Book

The Origins of Revisionist and Status-quo States

Authors:

Abstract

Explaining why some states seek the status quo and others seek revision in international relations, Davidson argues that governments pursuing revisionist policies are responding to powerful domestic groups, such as nationalists and those in the military, that believe they can defeat their rivals. He draws on examples of France, Italy and Great Britain to enhance understanding of a fundamental source of instability in international affairs.

Chapters (5)

Recently, international relations scholars have again begun to distinguish between states with revisionist goals and those with status-quo goals. Whereas revisionists seek to change the way things are in international politics, status-quo seekers strive to preserve things as they are. When scholars categorize states as revisionist or status-quo seeking they are able to explain important outcomes in international politics, such as war and peace.1 In this book, I explore the prior issue of the origins of revisionist and status-quo goals. What are the origins of revisionism and status-quo seeking? Building on past research, I recognize that rising states tend toward revisionism and declining states tend toward status-quo seeking. This general trend leaves an important question unanswered, however. Under which conditions do rising states become revisionist and declining states seek to maintain the status quo?
Changes in states’ relative power provide the starting point for this book’s explanation of revisionism and status-quo seeking. Rising states often become revisionists and declining states frequently become status-quo seekers. However, in order to answer the book’s core question—under what conditions does rising power lead to revisionism and under what conditions does declining power lead to status-quo seeking?—we need more specific claims. I argue that the domestic and international pressures a state is subject to and the opportunities it faces combine to determine whether the state will or will not become revisionist or status-quo seeking. I argue that none of these three factors is sufficient in isolation to lead rising states to revisionism or to cause declining states to adopt status-quo goals. Domestic- and internationallevel pressures must coexist with the ability to alleviate them in order for rising states to become revisionists and declining states to become status-quo seekers.
In this chapter, I evaluate the argument outlined in chapter 2 by comparing its claims to three historical cases of rising states and revisionism. This chapter asks: what conditions led these three rising states to adopt revisionist goals? First, I attempt to explain the origins of Revolutionary France’s “natural frontiers” goals of February 1793. The nationalist sans-culottes demanded an aggressive foreign policy appropriate to their view of French greatness. For French elites, expansion of France’s borders to the Rhine promised both to make France more secure and to appease the sans-culottes. Moreover, the revolutionary government perceived the opportunity to successfully revise the status quo due to the lack of resolve by France’s likely adversaries—Austria, Prussia, and Britain. Second, I probe the reasons for Fascist Italy’s 1939 “Mare Nostrum” goals. By the late 1930s, Italy’s dictator Benito Mussolini had become convinced that expansionism abroad was the best way to stay in power at home. His expansionist behavior abroad had also made it clear to him how limited Italy’s autonomy was, especially in the Mediterranean. When Germany offered Italy an expansionist alliance and Britain and France demonstrated low resolve, Italy’s leaders knew that it had an excellent chance to achieve its revisionist goals. At the end of the chapter I offer a brief case-study of Japan in the 1980s. That case provides an interesting contrast because Japan sought to revise the nature of regional markets, rather than territory. In addition, the Japan case demonstrates the importance of domestic politics in the origins of revisionism.
Declining states face two fundamental choices. They may either adopt status-quo goals—they may seek to preserve the status quo beyond their own borders—or they may be reclusive with regard to the status quo—they may be unwilling to bear costs to defend the external status quo and seek only to preserve their own territorial integrity. In this chapter, I examine declining states’ choices between status-quo seeking and reclusion. The first case is Britain from 1899 to 1912. In prewar Britain, the dominance of Britain’s allied coalition and the intensity of the German threat led it to adopt status-quo goals against the preferences of an important domestic group—the Radicals. The British case demonstrates that intense security concerns can overwhelm powerful internally oriented groups. The second case is interwar France. During the 1930s, France’s intense security concerns—rooted in German rearmament and aggressive behavior—drove it to consider committing to defend the status quo in Central Europe. However, its inability to find other states willing to aid it in defense of the status quo and the preferences of anti-status-quo pacifist groups led to the failure of these efforts and France’s reclusive stance toward the status quo. The interwar France case shows that declining states facing an unfavorable balance of allied resolve are unlikely to become status-quo seekers.
The most important question, having come this far, is whether the case studies presented in previous chapters fit with the propositions outlined earlier in the book. Due to the number and detail of the cases, a general confrontation between all of the case studies and propositions seems appropriate (for a visual scorecard see figures 2.1 and 2.2). In the first section of this chapter, I examine all five theoretical propositions against the six case studies, making the case that the theoretical explanation holds up well when confronted with the cases. If the reader is convinced by the fit between the historical case studies and the argument, she may still have an important question: do revisionists still exist or is revisionism a thing of the past, like dueling or great power war? One way to address the contemporary relevance question is to apply the book’s argument to a contemporary rising power, such as China. In the second section of the chapter, I explore the likelihood that China, a rapidly rising power, will become revisionist. In the final section of the chapter, I discuss the future of revisionism more broadly. I argue that revisionism will continue to exist as long as the factors that cause it continue to feature in international politics.
... 1981;Gowa, 1989;Grunberg, 1990;Snidal, 1985 ( Chan, 2004;Kissinger, 1957;Morgenthau, 1948;Legro, 2005 ) . Kydd, 1997;Schweller, 1998;and Davidson, 2006 .) Morgenthau, 1948. ...
... p. 9;Legro, 2005;Chan 2004;and Buzan, 2010 .) ‫קלאסיים‬ ‫ריאליסטים‬ ‫חוקרים‬ -‫חדשים‬ ‫או‬ ‫רוויזיוניסטית‬ ‫מדיניות‬ ‫מאמצות‬ ‫מדינות‬ ‫מדוע‬ ‫להסביר‬ ‫שואפים‬ ‫מדיניות‬ ‫סטטוס‬ -‫קו‬ ‫ו‬ ( Davidson, 2002;Davidson, 2006;Jesse, Lobell, Press-Barnathan and Williams, 2012;Ringsmose and Rynning, 2008;Rose, 1998;Schweller, 2006 ( Johnston, 2003;Davidson, 2006;Ding, 2010;Ikenberry, 2011;Xiao, 2015;Wilson, 2017 ( Schweller, 1999. p. 19. ...
... p. 9;Legro, 2005;Chan 2004;and Buzan, 2010 .) ‫קלאסיים‬ ‫ריאליסטים‬ ‫חוקרים‬ -‫חדשים‬ ‫או‬ ‫רוויזיוניסטית‬ ‫מדיניות‬ ‫מאמצות‬ ‫מדינות‬ ‫מדוע‬ ‫להסביר‬ ‫שואפים‬ ‫מדיניות‬ ‫סטטוס‬ -‫קו‬ ‫ו‬ ( Davidson, 2002;Davidson, 2006;Jesse, Lobell, Press-Barnathan and Williams, 2012;Ringsmose and Rynning, 2008;Rose, 1998;Schweller, 2006 ( Johnston, 2003;Davidson, 2006;Ding, 2010;Ikenberry, 2011;Xiao, 2015;Wilson, 2017 ( Schweller, 1999. p. 19. ...
Thesis
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בעשור האחרון גדלה מעורבותם של שחקנים שונים במסגרת העימות באזור האפור. עימות זה מוגדר כמרחב תפישתי בין שלום ומלחמה, שבו מתנהלות פעולות החורגות מסף התחרות הרגילה, אך אינן חורגות - באופן מכוון - מסף של עימות צבאי ישיר בקנה-מידה נרחב. תכליתו של העימות באזור האפור היא להשיג יתרונות מדיניים, כלכליים וצבאיים בזירה הבין-לאומית במעין תחרות גיאו-פוליטית, ולהימנע במקביל מתגובות צבאיות מצד היריבים. מטרות המחקר הן תיאורטיות ואמפיריות: ברמה התיאורטית המחקר מציע גיבוש של תיאוריה אנליטית כוללת וסדורה באמצעות המשגה ואפיון של העימות באזור האפור, הצגת טיפולוגיה של דגמי עימות באזור האפור, והדגשת מעורבותם של שחקנים תת-מדינתיים במסגרת עימות זה. בכך הוא מרחיב את ההבנה אודות תופעה חשובה בעולם הסכסוכים הבין-לאומיים, תוך בחינת עקרונות אסטרטגיית הכפייה. הדגמים החדשים שגובשו במחקר יסייעו להבחין בין מטרות והתנהגויות של שחקנים שונים במסגרת העימות באזור האפור. הדיון האמפירי מציע מבט יישומי-השוואתי של דגמי העימות באזור האפור כפי שמתקיימת במספר זירות חשובות, ברמה העולמית והאזורית. המחקר מציג ניתוח יישומי השוואתי של שלושה מקרי-בוחן מרכזיים, הכוללים את העימות באזור האפור מצד ישראל, איראן וחזבאללה, על-פי הדגמים שהוגדרו בטיפולוגיה. לשם הרחבת היריעה היישומית ולשם ניתוח העימות באזור האפור ברמת המערכת העולמית, המחקר בחן שלושה מקרי-בוחן משניים, הכוללים את רוסיה, סין וארצות-הברית. בכך המחקר מרחיב את ההבנה בנוגע למאפייני הסביבה הביטחונית-אסטרטגית והעימותים המתקיימים בכל אחת מהן. במסגרת הניתוח, המחקר בחן התנהגויות של שחקנים מדינתיים ותת-מדינתיים והתבטאויות של מנהיגיהם על-סמך מקורות ראשוניים (מסמכים ממשלתיים ופרסומים תקשורתיים) ומשניים (ספרים ומאמרים). לאחר מכן מויינו המקרים לפי סוגי השחקנים ומטרותיהם, בהתבסס על הטיפולוגיה שגובשה בחלק התיאורטי של המחקר. על-בסיס שני קריטריונים (סוג השחקן ומטרת העל) מוצגים ארבעה דגמים אידיאליים של עימות באזור האפור: דגם המעצמה המשמרת, דגם המעצמה המאתגרת, דגם השחקן התת-מדינתי המאתגר ודגם השחקן התת-מדינתי המשמר. עם זאת, המחקר המוצע יוצא מתוך הנחה שבעולם המעשה, שחקנים שונים עשויים לבחור בדפוסי-פעולה משולבים וחופפים המתאימים בחלקם באופן אידאלי לסוג אחר של שחקנים. הציפייה היא לאבחן התנהגות טיפוסית ומודגשת.
... However, they differ in the way that they conceptualize this status quo. Some see the status quo as the distribution of valued goods in the international system, such as territory, power, wealth, or prestige, and status (Davidson 2006;Schweller 1998). According to this "distributive" conceptualization, revisionists are power maximizers who look to attain relative power advantages over other states in order to achieve the redistribution of valued goods they desire. ...
... But does this make Japan a revisionist power? (Davidson 2006) Whereas "distributional" conceptualizations of the status quo set the bar for revisionism too low, "social order" conceptualizations tend to set the bar too high. This is the case for many of the founding studies of revisionism, which adopt normative conceptualizations of revisionism and use Nazi Germany (Morgenthau 1946) or Revolutionary France (Kissinger 1957) as their archetypal cases. ...
... While an evaluation of revisionist aims considers the kind of changes that a state would like to make to the status quo order, an evaluation of revisionist means considers the kind of policies that the state adopts in pursuit of these goals (Schweller 1998). A state may harbor extensive revisionist aims, but the means it chooses to advance them may be purely rhetorical, i.e., limited to declaratory statements and internal policy discussions (Davidson 2006). Or, even when it does make changing the status quo as a central focus of its policy, it may work for change through the existing normative and institutional order (Jaschob et al. 2014). ...
Article
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IR has failed to develop a consistent and coherent conceptualization of revisionism. Conceptual stretching, false comparison, and “status quo biases” pervade the literature. In order to overcome these problems, the article develops a novel typology of revisionism that differentiates revisionist states by the scope of their revisionist aims as well and the means they are willing to use to achieve them. This typology goes beyond recent typologies, which focus on revisionist aims but neglect the important question of means, thereby failing to provide a complete picture of the kind of challenge any particular revisionist poses to peace and stability. The typology is used to classify contemporary Russia, whose challenge comes not from its modest revisionist aims, but from the extreme means it is prepared to use to realize these goals.
... Since then, scholars have used the terms in a sundry of ways; I have tried to capture the essence of the most common usage within the theoretical framework here advanced. In addition, I have not adopted the practice of identifying a third class of states, sometimes called isolationist or recluse states-see Davidson (2006)as these are more a subcategory of status quo states than a class in their own right. 23 Gains realized by status quo states may alter the balance of power-that is, alter states' relative powerbut they may not alter the balance such that the survival of any state is in jeopardy. ...
... The Impossibility of National Self-Determination 77 France was "disappointed at the way in which Britain had withdrawn from direct involvement in Europe at the end of the war," Overy, 18. 78 This argument lets alone the likely valid claim that the settlement itself enabled the rise of Fascist ideology. Davidson (2006) makes the sound point that Italian revisionism only followed the rise of Germany, that is, a shift in both power and ideology. ...
Article
In the first two chapters of this thesis I outline a theoretical approach to international society and international order, drawing heavily from realist and English School approaches to international relations. In chapters three and four I examine the systems constructed after the Congress of Vienna and the Treaty of Versailles using the tools and terms of the theory here elaborated. The Thesis includes an appendix of definitions and an annotated bibliograpy.
... The term revisionism re-emerged in IR recently, by distinguishing between revisionist states and those with status-quo goals. Whereas dissatisfied revisionists seek to change the way things are in international politics, those satisfied with status quo seek 'to preserve things as they are' (Davidson, 2006). ...
... Several approaches scrutinize why states occasionally adopt revisionism. According to conventional wisdom, rising states may adopt revisionism because of the relative capabilities whether declining or rising (Mearsheimer, 2002;Gilpin, 1981;Copeland, 2000), being under the influence of domestic interest groups (Snyder, 1991;Davidson, 2006), or as a result of ideologies, whether 'ideological distance' or 'ideological content' (Haas, 2005;Legro, 2007). Rather, in line with the alternative explanation, rising powers may adopt revisionism out of status concern, in particular, the 'status immobility' perception (Ward, 2013). ...
Article
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This paper delves into the shifts in the foreign policy of Russia, considering what has determined Russia’s grand strategy orientation after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It also attempts to offer an explanation of why Russia becomes discounted with the ‘constitutive and normative structure’, and how its foreign policy shifted toward the anti-status quo orientation, especially after the color revolutions. The main purpose of this paper is to explain the shift in Russia’s foreign policy, from the search for the ‘greatpowerness’ status via different enhancement strategies in light of status quo in the ‘revolutionary decade’, to revisionism after the color revolutions in CIS region, (2003-2005). To substantiate this, the study uses process-tracing and document analysis to show the changes in Russia’s foreign policy. As demonstrated in this paper, power is rendered unable of directing or disinclined to direct its policies toward status quo, due to internal effects of perceived ‘status immobility’ resulting from the failure of several status enhancement strategies. Accordingly, the shift in Russia’s foreign policy was a result of changing the Russian perception from status inconsistency to status immobility.
... This is because the international status quo they face becomes 'less and less compatible with the shifting distribution of power' among states (Gilpin, 1988: 601). Similarly, Kennedy (1987) interprets change as a fundamental result of geographical variation Davidson (2006) and Ward (2017) argue that its origin must be traced in the perceptions of national elites that their state's ambitions are incompatible with the international order. Wohlforth (2009), instead, combines status dissatisfaction with international polarity arguing that the former is more likely to produce revisionist behaviours in the presence of a multipolar system, whose flat hierarchy incentives clashes over the status quo. ...
... In contrast, neoclassical realists tried to grasp the variety of specific issues in which the revisionist challenge occurs. Davidson (2006) posits that states are concerned with modifying the distribution of five distinct international goods: territory, status, markets, ideology, and institutions. Ward (2017), for his part, suggests that states can be revisionist in two distinct dimensions: they can be dissatisfied either with the international distribution of resources or, rather, with the commonly-accepted international institutions. ...
Article
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The People's Republic of China (PRC) has irrefutably reached ‘great power’ status. As a consequence, most studies argue that it has adopted a revisionist posture towards the US-led international order. However, this image tells us little about Beijing's revisionist strategy, particularly whether it is revolutionary or incremental and what this implies in terms of actual policies. The current article posits that the PRC is behaving as an incremental revisionist and aims at tracing its modes. To verify this hypothesis, the analysis focuses on Beijing's policies towards its regional security order. In this light, it diachronically compares post-Cold War China (1989–2019) with the paradigmatic case of a revolutionary revisionist in the Indo-Pacific region: Shōwa Japan in the Interwar period (1926–1941). The findings offer a helpful contribution to the literature, providing the foundation for a more nuanced theoretical definition of incremental revisionism.
... Attempts from within IR to make sense of multipolarity are often informed by positivist approaches like realism and liberal institutionalism. 1 Realist tools include concepts like revisionist versus status quo powers and their quest for status (Davidson 2006;Volgy et al. 2011), hegemonic stability, its eclipse and preventive war (Gilpin 1988;Levy 2011), the balance of power (Paul, Wirtz, and Fortmann 2004;Kaufman, Little, and Wohlforth 2007), and power transition (Tammen 2008). Such work offers a bird's-eye view and can help elucidate major mid-range questions like prospects for war between the retrenching United States and rising China. ...
Article
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As the West retrenches, we are confronted with the rise of a revisionist former empires across Eurasia: China, Russia, Iran, and Turkey. How might we learn to better live together? In this intervention, I suggest that approaches like realism and liberalism, which favor Western-centric categories and large-N data, fail to capture important dynamics across Eurasia's revisionist empires. I then make the case for family resemblances as a method of cross-regional comparison which enables the analyst to examine cases typically boxed into different area studies compartments. Finally, I operationalize the approach towards a baseline for comparison across revisionist former empires. I argue that by thus establishing a basis for comparison, we uncover patterns relevant to prospects for cooperation as well as conflict in a post-Western world. The piece is aimed at scholars of IR, comparative politics, area studies, political sociology, history/memory and research methods.
... 5. This code can also be used by the Hegemon [Mearsheimer 2001: 237] in the role of a Lion, as well as a falling Hegemon (declining state) [Davidson 2006: 1], who will depend on maintaining his power. Therefore, he will set the rules of the game (norms and rules), but at the same time he will not strive for change (he wants to maintain his advantage over others), preferring the status quo, building non-offensive coalitions, neutralizing great or potentially threatening powers. ...
Article
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As analysis shows, every international leader (whether a Hegemon, Stabilizer or other) has his own moral code. They differ from each other, which generates conflicts and does not foster cooperation. The more versatile the values, the greater the chance of peace, but because a realistic leader is characterized by untenable and selfish morality, which is neither lasting nor certain. Abstrakt: Jak pokazuje analiza, każdy przywódca międzynarodowy (czy to Hegemon, Stabilizator, czy też inny) posiada swój własny kodeks moralny. Różnią się one między sobą, co generuje konflikty i nie sprzyja współpracy. Im wyznawa-ne wartości są bardziej uniwersalne, tym większa szansa na pokój, ale ponieważ realistyczny przywódca charakteryzuje się labilną i egoistyczną moralnością, ten też nigdy nie jest ani trwały, ani pewny.
... It is also based on political and security demands that are rooted in revisionist policies. 16 By contrast, the balance of security setting in the Persian Gulf is defensive in nature and based on the increase of states' relative security in a win-win game. It is also based on strengthening cooperation between different actors and acceptance of the status quo, while trying to rein in the latter's shortcomings. ...
... Conversely, states with a status quo behavior strive to preserve the current international order as it is. Davidson (2006) uses a neo-classical realist framework to explain how periods of "concert" might arise when the majority of states are committed to maintaining the status quo. This would lead to the conjecture that revisionism and status quoism are not static state behaviors. ...
Article
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The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic escalated the simmering tension and mistrust between the United States and China. The legacies of Barak Obama"s "pivot to the Pacific" and Donald Trump"s trade war held Sino American relations into a confrontational imperative that continue to cast its long shadow on Joseph Biden"s first term. The present paper attempts to analyze the multi-dimensional impact of the pandemic on Sino American relations. Politically, the pandemic emboldened China"s revisionist behavior following the U.S. calls to hold it accountable over the global pandemic. Economically, the United States moved towards economic decoupling with China and launched, with its allies, the B3W initiative to counter the Chinese BRI project. Diplomatically, the two powers have engaged in vaccine diplomacy to capitalize on the global demand for vaccines and score more points on the scale of international leadership. Strategically, however, the United States is caught in between two chairs: continue its strategy of liberal hegemony or adopt a more nuanced and restrained strategy to balance China in the post-pandemic era. Through their alternative strategies of offshore balancing and restraint, neo-realists call the United States to curtail its security blanket across the globe, especially near the Chinese homeland, refrain from imposing its liberal values on other societies and narrow the spectrum of its national interests. For neo-realists, the framing of the rivalry with China into an ideological contest between "democracies" and "autocracies" will usher in a post-pandemic era marked by a zero-sum existential rivalry and a return to the decades of costly interventions.
... stoljeća ovu kategorijalnu podjelu primjenjuju još Henry Kissinger (1976), koji razlikuje revolucionarne i konzervativne države, Arnold Wolfers (1962), koji razlikuje revizionističke i status quo države, te brojni drugi autori. trima desetljećima istraživački napori usredotočili na preciziranje pojavnih oblika revizionizma, kako bi mu dali konkretnu formu i sadržaj (Grieco, 1993;Schweller 1994;Jonhston 2003;Davidson 2006;Rynning i Ringsmose, 2008;Daase i Deitelhoff, 2014, itd.). Među prvima se ukoštac s ovom problematikom uhvatio Barry Buzan (1983: 173-214), razmatrajući revizionizam na dvjema analitičkim razinama -sistemskoj razini materijalne raspodjele snaga i normativnoj razini pravila i vrijednosti poretka. ...
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Posljednjih je godina teorijska literatura o međunarodnim odnosima znatno napredovala u proširivanju i preciziranju tipologije revizionističkih država – država koje teže preraspodjeli moći u međunarodnom sistemu i/ili promjeni normativnog poretka. Istovremeno je malo pozornosti posvećeno pojmu status quo države, kojim se označava država koja teži zadržavanju moći i očuvanju postojećeg stanja. Status quo država uglavnom se svodi na status quo predrasudu koja se odnosi na države koje imaju averziju prema riskiranju u vanjskopolitičkim odlukama i ne sudjeluju aktivno u oblikovanju međunarodne politike ili pak na države koje nastoje egzistencijalno preživjeti u anarhičnom sustavu. Literatura pritom previđa ono bitno u opreci kategorija: sukob revizionističke i status quo države. Naime, otvoreno suparništvo s revizionističkom državom i agresivno pružanje otpora promjeni redovito se označava kao još jedan vid revizionizma. U ovom se radu pokazuje da kategorija status quo države nije slučajno u "mrtvom kutu" teorije međunarodnih odnosa. Razlog je tomu što uvjet njezine mogućnosti – konsenzualni međunarodnopravni poredak – u suvremenim okolnostima nije prisutan. Povijesno iskustvo pokazuje da u određenim, veoma rijetkim uvjetima konsenzualnoga međunarodnopravnog poretka države s agresivnim motivima i nerijetko ofenzivnim sredstvima mogu biti status quo države. Pokazat će se da su u moderno doba samo dva razmjerno kratkotrajna međunarodna poretka činila status quo državu mogućom: europski vestfalski sustav ravnoteže snaga u 18. stoljeću i hladnoratovski detant u drugoj polovici 20. stoljeća.
... Another important issue in the study of revisionist actors is determining what variables the actors wish to change and at what cost. Davidson (2006) provided a list of variables that states can wish to change, such as prevailing norms, rules, institutions, allocations of territory and prestige, and distributions of capabilities. Therefore, it is not enough to identify the actors. ...
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Using contemporary theories on Status Quo and Revisionist actors, the study provides an alternative explanation to the Israeli−Hamas conflict. Israel is a status quo actor that enjoys high values in terms of economic and military power. It has low value in terms of brokerage in international institutions. Hamas is a radical revisionist actor that follows other radical revisionist Islamic actors. However, it fails on both axes to change its equation with Israel. This situation encourages a split within Hamas, between radical revisionists and positionalist revisionists who emphasize compromises with Israel to improve the economy in Gaza and local military capacity.
... Mientras tanto, otros autores rescatan la importancia de la opinión pública nacional, las presiones ejercidas por grupos de interés y sus respectivas ideas. Davidson (2006), por ejemplo, reconoce, además de las presiones y oportunidades externas, el rol que juegan ciertos grupos de presión o coaliciones nacionalistas, como una fuente del revisionismo. ...
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Casi de modo unánime, discursos y documentos oficiales y, a la par, un gran número de textos académicos en Occidente tildan a Rusia como una potencia revisionista. Sobre todo, a partir de la toma de Crimea y Sebastopol por parte de Moscú y el inicio del conflicto en el Donbás en el año 2014, se le considera al Estado eurasiático como un spoiler de la política internacional, en búsqueda del debilitamiento de los valores, las reglas e instituciones del denominado «Orden Internacional Liberal». El presente artículo se propone problematizar esta afirmación al postular que la categoría del revisionismo no constituye una proyección internacional unidimensional, ni tampoco objetiva. Por otro lado, siguiendo a Murray (2019), el revisionismo, además de emerger al interior de un Estado, también se construye a través de las interacciones sociales con otros Estados, como efecto de su pugna por el reconocimiento. Luego de una revisión de la literatura sobre dicho concepto y la ubicación de la teoría de Murray en ella, el presente artículo indaga en los motivos y las estrategias de Rusia en el orden pos Guerra Fría, así como las capacidades que sustentan su política exterior. Bajo esta luz, se evaluará el grado de revisionismo en la proyección internacional rusa de los últimos años.
... For the distinction between revisionist and status quo states, seeDavidson (2006);Organski and Kugler (1980);Rynning and Ringsmose (2008);Schweller (1994). ...
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Why did Pakistan initiate the Kargil War with India, so soon after the two states reached overt nuclear status? Existing theories attribute war between nuclear states either to the strategic opportunities of limited conflict or to a closing opportunity of preventive war to destroy the nuclear capabilities of nuclearizing states. However, strategic opportunities explain the possibility of, but not the motivation for, war; after all, the nuclearization of India began long before the war. To develop a better explanation, I propose an original theory of how the theoretical mechanisms of nuclear deterrence can be altered by nationalist conflict. The Indo-Pakistani nationalist conflict not only motivated Pakistan to initiate the war because of its perception of a threat, but also caused both states to overestimate their own deterrence credibility and underestimate the other’s capability and resolve to conduct war. These nationalist motivations and estimations enabled the war between the two nuclear states. The article suggests that nuclear weapons may have different effects on different types of conflict.
... Im Folgenden diskutieren wir diese Probleme in Auseinandersetzung mit den Autoren, die sich in den letzten Jahren theoretisch und konzeptionell mit dem Phänomen des Revisionismus besonders intensiv befasst haben. Hierzu gehören Randall Schweller (1994Schweller ( , 1996Schweller ( , 1998Schweller ( , 1999, Barry Buzan (2001), Alistair Johnston (2003) und Jason Davidson (2002Davidson ( , 2006. ...
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Dieses Einleitungskapitel präsentiert zunächst einen verbesserten Analyserahmen für die Untersuchung von Revisionismus in der internationalen Politik. Darauf aufbauend entwickeln die Autoren das Puzzle dieses Sonderhefts – das Problem der Unzufriedenheit und des Revisionismus im Allgemeinen und die Frage, weshalb gerade erfolgreiche Aufsteiger eine etablierte Herrschaftsordnung offen herausfordern sollten im Speziellen. Den Abschluss bildet ein Überblick über die nachfolgenden Fallstudien, die sich mit der Klärung dieser Fragestellung befassen. This introductory contribution first explicates an improved analytical framework for studying revisionism in international politics. Building on that, it develops the puzzle underlying this special issue – the problem of dissatisfied great powers and the question why rising powers should want to challenge an established internation al order that facilitated their extraordinary growth. The article concludes with an overview of the four historical case studies which address our research question. Article can be read online here: http://rdcu.be/nPmF via Springer Nature Sharing
... Just as James Rosenau criticized early theories of foreign policy claiming that they only label certain empirical phenomena as variables but do not delineate causal mechanisms binding them (1966), the same can be said about a large segment of contemporary NCR theories both a little older (respectively, Lobell, Ripsman, Taliaferro, 2009, andcriticism Quinn, 2013) and more recent (respectively, Ripsman, Taliaferro, Lobell, 2016, and criticism: Sears, 2017, Narizny, 2017, Kozub-Karkut, 2020. There are NCR theories that escape that criticism, especially those that try to explain the origins of revisionist behaviour of states (Schweller, 2006, Davidson, 2006 by carefully linking domestic variables such as foreign policymaking elite's cohesion with other aspects of the state and showing their causal relationship with particular foreign policy choices. Similarly, other NCR theories explain foreign policy behaviour with the help of prospect theory (Taliaferro, 2004) or the ability of the state to withstand the economic pressure from other states (Blanchard, Ripsman, 2008). ...
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... 4. Konserwatysta (Owca) to zazwyczaj mała, ale rosnąca potęga pretendująca do rangi "moralnego nauczyciela", "moralnego supermocarstwa" o trwałym i spójnym kodeksie moralnym, łagodząc konflikty będzie dążyć do pokoju, preferując wartości konsensualne. 5. Kodeksem tym jednako może również posługiwać się Hegemon [Mearsheimer 2001: 237] występujący w roli Lwa, jak i upadający Hegemon (declining state) [Davidson 2006: 1], któremu zależeć będzie na utrzymaniu swej potęgi. Będzie on zatem ustalał reguły gry (normy i zasady), ale jednocześnie nie będzie dążył do zmiany (zechce podtrzymać swoją przewagę nad innymi), preferując raczej status quo, budując nieofensywne koalicje, neutralizując wielkie, bądź też potencjalnie zagrażające potęgi. ...
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... See also their joint-authored article(Axelrod & Keohane, 1985) 5(Carr, 1939;Davidson, 2006;Johnston, 2003;Rynning & Ringsmose, 2008) 6(Adelman, 1984;Kydd, 2012;Meyer, 1984;Talbott, 1984) ...
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... Whereas status-quo states are content to maintain the established order of things, revisionists seek to change the global distribution of power and goods in their favour (Davidson 2016;Chan et al. 2019). Nevertheless, analyses of status-quo and revisionist states in the International Relations literature have largely focused on great powers, thus diverting attention away from how states with relatively low state capacity (e.g. ...
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Der vorliegende Beitrag zeichnet die Entwicklung realistischer Theorien nach. Er geht von der Annahme aus, dass es kein realistisches Paradigma gibt, sondern vielmehr konkurrierende Realismen, die jedoch alle ein Set gemeinsamer Annahmen teilen. In einem zweiten Schritt diskutiert der Beitrag mögliche zukünftige Entwicklungspfade realistischer Theorien.
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Der vorliegende Beitrag zeichnet die Entwicklung realistischer Theorien nach. Er geht von der Annahme aus, dass es kein realistisches Paradigma gibt, sondern vielmehr konkurrierende Realismen, die jedoch alle ein Set gemeinsamer Annahmen teilen. In einem zweiten Schritt diskutiert der Beitrag mögliche zukünftige Entwicklungspfade realistischer Theorien.
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Academic literature calls a state that is dissatisfied with the status quo a revisionist state. Revisionist states and their behavior are presented as ‘anti-something’, mostly against the given international order or more precisely against a specific territorial setting. But what exactly is revisionism? Several accounts exist on the concept of revisionism (or more general dissatisfaction with the status quo). Mostly the term ‘revisionism’ is used in an empirical context. ‘Revisionism’ thus functions as a nearly colloquially used concept to describe and classify state behavior. Henry Kissinger for example describes revisionist state actions in his historical work “A world restored” (1957) on the diplomacy of great powers in the 18th century. The central theme of the book is the difference between policies of revolution (revisionism) seeking expansion and reform, and policies of conservatism (status quo) seeking tranquillity and stability. This argument can also be found in Hans Morgenthau's “Politics among Nations” (Morgenthau 1954). Cattaruzza et al. use the term revisionism in their work “Territorial Revisionism and the Allies of Germany in the Second World War” (2013) to describe a historical period of revisionism, surprisingly the term revisionism is not defined in this book. Cattaruzza et al. and Kissinger describe revisionist state action by using historical case studies and the dedication to be a revisionist is made ex post (Buzan 2010; Yaqing 2010). This very short and rudimental overview highlights that there is no definition or a systematic conceptualization of revisionism. This poverty is especially relevant and troubling for theories like neoclassical realism and power transition theory that include revisionist/dissatisfied powers in their argument. It is astounding, however, that the knowledge on the phenomenon itself (as opposed to the causes of the phenomenon) is not much stronger. There is no consensus on what is (that is, should count as) revisionism, revisionist behavior or revisionist preferences. Even more astonishing – given this lack of agreement – is that there is no debate on the issue. The aim of this paper is to bring light into the dark by comparing and classifying the diverse understandings of revisionism by different IR authors and historians. Thereby, we want to fill the gap and provide a useful analytical concept of revisionism. In a first step we survey the current relevant literature on revisionism in IR, pointing out shortcomings and weaknesses. After that we introduce a new elaborated approach for conceptualizing revisionism, by introducing the two constitutive variables “degree of revisionism” and “intensity of revisionism”. Finally we illustrate our model by applying it to the historical case of Imperial Japan.
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When does domestic unrest lead to interstate conflict? I present the diversionary target theory that argues that domestically troubled states are more likely to use military force against some, but not all, states because political leaders prefer targets that can evoke their domestic audience's fear or greed in order to enjoy “rally-round-the-flag” effects. I suggest that the fear-producing targets are foreign states that exhibit rapidly rising power or manifest different identities. The greed-producing targets are foreign states occupying disputed territory or exercising regional/local hegemony despite declining power. In addition, I expect that political leaders prefer fear- or greed-producing targets that possess similar powers, because domestic audiences may see initiation of military conflicts against too-powerful states or too-weak states as excessively risky and unnecessary, respectively. From statistical analyses on directed dyad-years from 1920 to 2001, I find that the presence of a rising power, a territory target, or a hegemony target contributes to the correlation between domestic unrest and the initiation of interstate conflict in a statistically significant way.
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Vor dem Erscheinen von Alexander Wendts „Social Theory of International Politics“ (1999) war „Theory of International Politics“ (1979) von Kenneth N. Waltz das einflussreichste Werk in der akademischen Disziplin der Internationalen Beziehungen (IB). Die Debatten um die Entwicklung von Theorien der IB seit den 1980er Jahren, aber insbesondere seit dem Ende des Ost-West-Konflikts, entfalteten sich zumeist vor dem Hintergrund einer kritischen Auseinandersetzung mit der von Waltz in diesem Buch niedergelegten neorealistischen Theorie. Dabei wurde der Neorealismus als Folie benutzt, um konkurrierende Theorien und Theoreme zu entwickeln. Ohne eine gründliche Kenntnis des Neorealismus ist auch die aktuelle Theoriediskussion deshalb nur schwer nachvollziehbar. Die Diskussion um den Neorealismus wurde und wird allerdings oftmals entlang eines falschen Verständnisses von dem, was der Neorealismus ist und was er zu leisten vermag geführt. An diesem Missverständnis sind aber nicht nur die Kritiker des Neorealismus schuld, wenngleich sie diesen oftmals falsch oder gar in karikierender Weise dargestellt haben (Masala 2005), sondern auch viele selbst-deklarierte Neorealisten, die den Eindruck erweck(t)en, dass die neorealistische Theorie eine „eierlegende Wollmilchsau“ sei, mit der sich alles erklären ließe.
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The end of the Cold War and subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union resulted in a new unipolar international system that presented fresh challenges to international relations theory. Since the Enlightenment, scholars have speculated that patterns of cooperation and conflict might be systematically related to the manner in which power is distributed among states. Most of what we know about this relationship, however, is based on European experiences between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, when five or more powerful states dominated international relations, and the latter twentieth century, when two superpowers did so. Building on a highly successful special issue of the leading journal World Politics, this book seeks to determine whether what we think we know about power and patterns of state behaviour applies to the current 'unipolar' setting and, if not, how core theoretical propositions about interstate interactions need to be revised.
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This paper seeks to develop a new typology of revisionism based on the nature of the aims (territorial/normative/hierarchy of prestige), the means employed (peaceful/violent), and the level of action (regional/global). This will then be used to explain the escalation of Russia's foreign policy from regional to global claims with reference to its military interventions in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria and to identify the type of revisionism involved in each of the three Russian military interventions undertaken both inside (Georgia and Ukraine) and outside (Syria) the post-soviet space. The paper is divided into three parts. The first examines the concept of revisionism and suggests a new classification of six types in relation to the means, nature, and level of the claims put forward by revisionist powers . The second discusses the interventions carried out by Russia within its regional area (in Georgia and Ukraine). The third analyses the intervention in Syria and highlights the escalation of Russian claims from the regional to the global level.
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International Relations literature often refers to states’ motivations as revisionist or status-quo oriented. Such attributions are especially prevalent in discourse on the power-transition theory, suggesting that the danger of war rises when a revisionist China catches up to a status-quo US. Such attributions, however, are rarely supported by systematic evidence providing a direct comparison of Chinese and US conduct. We undertake an analysis of how these countries have behaved differently over time according to their policy pronouncements, their participation in international institutions and agreements, and their voting in the United Nations. Our analysis challenges the conventional wisdom that a rising power tends to be revisionist whereas an incumbent hegemon is invariably committed to the defense of the international order.
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Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, severe limitations have been placed on Ukraine’s coastal state rights and navigational freedoms in the Black and Azov Seas and the Kerch Strait. The “Kerch Strait clash” in November 2018, which resulted in the Russian capture of three Ukrainian naval vessels in international waters south of the strait, can be seen as the temporary culmination of tensions that have been building up over a longer period. In violation of international law and bilateral agreements, Russia has in recent years pursued an increasingly assertive and revisionist policy in the region and sought to turn the maritime spaces on the country’s southwestern flank into a “Russian lake”. This policy is affecting not only the security and economy of neighbouring states such as Ukraine and Georgia, but also the strategic balance in the southeastern corner of Europe. Drawing on empirical evidence derived from Russian, Ukrainian and Western sources, as well as insights from neoclassical realist theory, this article discusses legal, economic and security aspects of Russia’s ongoing quest for a dominant position in the Black Sea region.
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Revisionism is one of the main drivers of international conflict in the 21st century. Sensing the weakening of US global leadership, countries with regional or great power ambitions, especially former empires, increasingly resort to threats and the use of force to alter the status quo in their favour. In some cases, this involves military occupation, and even annexation of foreign territory. This article takes a closer look at neo‑Ottomanism, Turkey’s revisionist foreign policy, and its gradual transition from a soft‑power to a hard‑power approach, which eventually led to Ankara’s military incur‑ sion and occupation of parts of neighbouring Syria.
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The author pinpoints the relations between geopolitics and globalisation from the angle of the post-Cold War politically turbulent order. Against this background of a clash between two opposing tendencies – revisionism and defence of the status quo – the author determines the dynamics of the deconcentration of forces in the international system, which is increasingly polycentric and less and less monocentric. He devotes much attention to the identity crisis of the West (from the crisis of US leadership to the depreciation of NATO). He characterizes Russia, with its aspirations to rebuild its superpower status and its imperial mission, as the main geopolitical opponent of the West. Pointing to the contemporary discourse on Russia and the risk of escalating a new confrontation reminiscent of the Cold War era, he critically assesses the consequences of Poland's international policy.
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This article surveys literature on the struggle for recognition and ontological security in international relations (IR). It explores rising powers’ structural and normative challenges and seeks to answer why often achieving a viable social identity as a great power is not regularly predicated on actors’ material power in the international society. This state of the field paper identifies notable texts for focusing on some of the situated knowledge and implication of recognition theory in IR-relevant inquiry. It presents how rising powers’ aspirant identity ambitions such as China are primarily a social demand for recognition to gain great power status and ontological security. Finally, the article concludes by touching on three main types of state social behavior in response to demand for recognition and ontological security in the international society: first, rising states desire to routinize their relationship with the established powers to ensure their social identity and cognitive stability in the international society. Second, the feeling of misrecognition and ontological insecurity would push rising states to seek provocative behaviors. Lastly, states would seek conflict if their national narratives and routines are disrupted by an external ‘Other’ both in time and space.
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This article contends that China, as a part of its broader global agenda, is striving to recast the regional order in East Asia, South East Asia, and South Asia. Its revisionist moves and growing influence in South Asia are perceived by New Delhi as challenge to its national security and regional position thus forcing it to counter the Chinese moves and preserve the status quo ensuing into bilateral rivalry. Doklam standoff was an outcome of this bilateral rivalry between the two emerging Asian powers as Beijing attempted unilaterally to alter the prevailing territorial arrangement in the area of dispute and New Delhi counter-attempted to maintain the status quo. During the standoff, China projected itself as ‘victim’ of India’s aggression while making provocative military deployments and threats of war against India. Opposite to this, India absorbed Beijing’s pressure and defended its move in Doklam giving the logic of its ‘security concerns’ and ‘special relationship’ with Bhutan. New Delhi asked Beijing to resolve the dispute diplomatically while emphasizing on their troops’ mutual withdrawal from the site of standoff.
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