Balance of Power: Adversarial Pair of Scales or Associational Arch?

J.H. de Wilde*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


    By looking at its intellectual history, this chapter addresses the problem that Balance of Power by most observers is treated one-sidedly in adversarial terms, whereas a balance of power-logic often requires cooperation. The Peace of Utrecht (1713) is an example where the balance can be better compared with an arch than with a pair of scales. Moreover, an adversarial Balance of Power has little to do with weighing power in imaginary scales: 1) there are no objective standards for measuring power, 2) means of power cannot predict outcomes of struggles; and 3) outcomes themselves are discursive tools rather than historic facts. Balance of Power has two specific political functions: the first is to structure an analysis of specific historic episodes; the second is to support specific political argumentations. Using the scales argument is likely to undermine the associational logic.
    Originele taal-2English
    TitelThe 1713 Peace of Utrecht and its Enduring Effects
    RedacteurenAlfred H.A. Soons
    UitgeverijBrill / Nijhoff
    Aantal pagina's14
    ISBN van elektronische versie978-90-04-35157-8
    ISBN van geprinte versie978-90-04-26640-7
    StatusPublished - 19-dec.-2019

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