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Explaining Changes in Grand Strategy

Explaining Changes in Grand Strategy

Chapter:
(p.37) 2 Explaining Changes in Grand Strategy
Source:
Grand Strategy from Truman to Trump
Author(s):
Benjamin MillerZiv Rubinovitz
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226735153.003.0003

This chapter presents the book’s theory. The explanation is based on the combined effect of two key systemic factors: the global distribution of capabilities and the balance of threat confronting the great power. Variations of these two factors can account for changes and variations of the American grand strategy. While elements of realism and liberalism are always present in U.S. grand strategy, these systemic factors determine the relative dominance of each of the four approaches in the foreign policy of the United States at a given time and the likelihood of its acceptance by the U.S. domestic political system.

Keywords:   global distribution of capabilities, hegemony, parity

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