By Randall Schweller
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Note 7: Niou, Ordeshook, and Rose, The Balance of Power ; Niou and 0rdeshook, “Stability in Anarchic International Systems”; A. F. K. Organski, World Politics (New York: Knopf, 1958), pp. 271–338; A. F. K. Organski and Jacek Kugler, The War Ledger (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), pp. 13–63; R. Harrison Wagner, “The Theory of Games and The Balance of Power ,” World Politics , vol. 38, no. 4 (July 1986), pp. 546–576. Note 8: Niou and Ordeshook, “Stability in Anarchic International Systems,” p.
Some readers, however, are wondering how increased cooperation between two poles likewise causes instability. The connection is not an obvious one because the outcome (system instability) is typically an indirect effect. To illustrate, suppose each pole earmarks half of its unreserved forces against each of the other two poles. Now, imagine that poles A and B reciprocally reserve or demobilize all or some substantial part of the forces that each has been deploying against the other. They now have more forces and/or resources to target against C.
Status–quo powers: states that seek only to keep their resources and for whom the costs of war exceed the gains from nonsecurity expansion 3. To qualify as a pole, a state must possess at least half of the resources of the most powerful state in the system 4. Resources = military power potential 5. System stability means that no actor in the system is eliminated. Assumptions 1. Wars are costly 2. The alternatives among which the members of the triad may choose are: do nothing; align with another member to block an attack; align with another member to eliminate the third member; wage a lone attack to eliminate one or both members of the triad 3.
Deadly Imbalances by Randall Schweller