Essay: Theory of Hegemonic War

Essay: Theory of Hegemonic War
14/04/2011 Comments Off on Essay: Theory of Hegemonic War Academic Papers on Politics,Sample Academic Papers admin

Sample Essay

The important idea that was encompassed in the Theory of Hegemonic War was that fundamental changes in the international system determine the whether such wars take place or not. This was very much true for the cold war as well, as due to the global nature of world War II, major changes were brought in the international system, which included the establishment of strong relationship between powers in Europe and North America due to the constant threat from Germany which was enjoying power in that region but wanted to become a global power.

Both Soviet Union and the United States participated in the war with Germany in an attempt to block the advancing German army and to bring peace to the region through a possible regime change. After the defeat of Germany, the war-ravaged states quickly needed support to reestablish. Meeting these demand would have also meant that the states which were helped would have realigned themselves to positive stance toward the state that was helping them. This started a race between the United States and the Soviet Union especially, both of which wanted to establish a configuration which could serve them a better purpose[1]. In his theory, Thucydides identifies two structures for distribution of power amongst the states in an international system. The stable system has the hierarchy of power and a dominant or hegemonic power while in the unstable system; the economic, technological and other changes lead to the erosion of international hierarchy and undermine the position of the hegemonic state. In this unstable structure, unwanted events, as well as diplomatic crisis, lead to the precipitation of a hegemonic war among the states in the system. The end of such war always gives birth to a new international structure. Though before the cold war, the situation was not as identical as before the Peloponnesian War, it can be said for sure that the change in the international hierarchy did take place resulting in an unstable system. The powers fighting the Axis (German) invasion in Second World War never foresaw the situation they would face after its end. Hence, when the power vacuum appeared, all of them competed along with each other, giving rise to the competitive and thus challenging situation where several diplomatic crises took place, thus resulting in the start of a cold war. Furthermore, it is also true as well that the Soviet Union, after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, found itself isolated in the international arena and felt that its position would soon be undermined by the “hostile capitalist encirclement” of states present around it[2]. The Thucydides theory of hegemonic has three propositions are embedded in it. The first proposition in the theory identifies the hegemonic war as distinct, as it is caused by broad changes in the political, strategic and economic affairs.

[1] Same as (3)

[2] Lozovsky, A., A Bolshevik Statesman, The Communist International, 1940

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