The geographical imperatives of the balance of power in 3-country systems


Journal Article

This paper extends a cooperative game-theoretic model of the balance of power in anarchic international systems to include consideration of the asymmetry which geography occasions in the offensive and defensive capabilities of countries. The two substantive ideas which concern us are a formalization of the notion of a "balancer" and that of a "central power". What we show is that in stable systems, only specific countries (such as Britain in the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries) can play the role of balancer, and that the strategic imperatives of a central country (e.g. Germany in the period 1871-1945) differ in important ways from those of "peripheral" countries. © 1989.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Niou, EMS; Ordeshook, PC

Published Date

  • January 1, 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 4-5

Start / End Page

  • 519 - 531

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0895-7177

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0895-7177(89)90422-6

Citation Source

  • Scopus