The Balance of Power Theory
The most critical and obvious feature of international affairs is its
state of anarchy. The international stage features many indepent actors each
seeking their own best interest and security . With no sovereign body to govern
over these actors it would seem that the system would never be capable of
attaining any control. However this is not the reality of the system, we have
seen in history that it is possible to restrain the players. It is said to be
as a result of the concept of the Balance Of Power, which dictates the actions
of states and provides a basis of control that states use when dealing with each
This essay is aimed at investigating the concept of the balance of power
and will in turn discuss the following points. The use of the B.O.P. concept
to explain the behaviour of states . The ideal behaviour of states in the B.O.P.
system and the problems of B.O.P. analysis.
The concept of the B.O.P. can be a useful tool in explaining the behaviour
of states. Mostly because it is founded on the theory that all states act to
preserve thier own self interest. If they are to do this they must prevent
domination by any other state, which leads to the assumption that they must
build up power and form alliances. Throughout history we can see the B.O.P.
concept in action. The clearest example of the B.O.P. concept can be found in
the Cold War. In the Cold War the two superpowers the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.
held a stable world balance between them. Both states sought to deter
domination by the other through a build up of arms and through the creation of
strong alliance systems. Under the B.O.P. theory the logic of the Cold War
stratagies and alliances seems apparent, with...