Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Tying down the Gullivers : tripartite strategic balancing in unipolar international systems
Author: Volsky, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0000 5893 0199
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This dissertation seeks to conceptualise and operationalise the concept of soft balancing in international relations by articulating a “theory of tripartite strategic balancing” which is applicable to both international and regional unipolar systems. It has a twofold purpose: one theoretical and the other empirical. First, it seeks to develop a theory of tripartite strategic balancing which encompasses three forms of strategic balancing: internal, external, and soft balancing. The second part seeks to test the theory’s utility in explaining international political outcomes in the post-Cold War international system. In particular, it seeks to ascertain whether and how “second-tier great powers” have strategically balanced against the United States on a global level since the end of the Cold War. The analyses will focus largely on the foreign policies of Russia and France – the chief soft balancers. However, this dissertation also seeks to extend the concept of soft balancing into the regional level of analysis by examining whether and how minor-regional powers soft balance against regional unipolar leaders. For instance, it will examine whether and how the Russian Federation has been soft balanced against by states in the “European Near Abroad.” The analyses will focus primarily on the foreign policies of Poland – the chief soft balancer in the region. The dissertation will employ three in-depth case studies – the Kosovo Crisis (1999), the Iraqi wars (1991-2003), and the Georgia Crisis (2008) – to verify whether or not tripartite strategic balancing is actually occurring as the theory predicts. It will heavily rely on sources and interviews conducted during my time working at the United Nations Security Council and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These findings seek to contribute a more nuanced strand of thinking to the realist paradigm in international relations, and they offer practical implications for both US and Russian foreign policymaking.
Supervisor: Khong, Yuen Foong Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International studies ; Political science ; Law ; Public international law ; War (politics) ; International Relations ; International Law ; International Relations Theory ; Balance of Power ; Polarity ; Soft Balancing ; Great Power Politics ; Russian Foreign Policy ; French Foreign Policy ; Polish Foreign Policy ; United Nations