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IR Theory is for Lovers

- February 14, 2009

“Stephen Walt”:http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/02/13/ir_theory_for_lovers_a_valentines_guide explains:

bq. To begin with, any romantic partnership is essentially an alliance, and alliances are a core concept on international relations. Alliances bring many benefits to the members (or else why would we form them?) but as we also know, they sometimes reflect irrational passions and inevitably limit each member’s autonomy. … Realists have long argued that bipolar systems are the most stable. So if any of you lovers out there are thinking of adding more major actors to the system, please reconsider. As most of us eventually learn, trying to juggle romantic relationships in a multi-polar setting usually leads to crises, and sometimes to open warfare. … Which brings me to an especially helpful IR concept: appeasement. The term has been unfairly denigrated since Munich, but it is a critical strategy for preserving any romantic relationship. And if you don’t believe me, ask my wife, who made me put this paragraph in.

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