Show Summary Details
Page of

(p. 11) Part 1 Approaches to Security 

(p. 11) Part 1 Approaches to Security
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD POLITICS TROVE (www.oxfordpoliticstrove.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Politics Trove for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 03 August 2020

This chapter examines realism as a dominant explanation of why and how states have sought security. It first considers the basic features of realist theory, including its emphasis on the implications of international anarchy and the importance of power, before discussing major divisions within the realist family, along with their implications for states’ security policies and war. The most fundamental division is between structural realism and motivational realism. The chapter proceeds by looking at the debate between Kenneth Waltz’s structural realism, offensive realism, and defensive realism. In contrast to Waltz and offensive realism, defensive realism argues that the risks of competition can make cooperation a state’s best strategy. The chapter illustrates how these different arguments result in divergent predictions for how China’s continuing economic growth is likely to influence international security. It suggests that war is more likely when the offence-defence balance favours offence.

Access to the complete content on Politics Trove requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.