Feb 22 Time, Uncertainty, & Emerging Threats in Great Power Politics

The Minnesota International Relations Colloquium presents Professor David Edelstein of Georgetown University. His talk is titled, "Time, Uncertainty, and Emerging Threats in Great Power Politics."

What explains variation in cooperation and competition between existing great powers and emerging potential threats to those states? Contrary to some theoretical expections, existing great powers do not simply assume the worst about emerging potential threats, nor do they invariably pursue competitive strategies, such as preventive war, toward those states. Edelstein argues that the proclivity of existing great powers to aid, rather than constrain, emerging threats can be explained by a combiunation of uncertainty about the emerging threat's intentions and powerful short-term incentives to pursue less costly and often profitable cooperation. Despite the risks, states are unlikely to forego opportunities for short-term cooperation out of concern about the uncertain long-term intentions of a rising power. My argument better accounts for variation in state behavior than extant theoretical alternatives, including offensive realism and constitutional liberalism.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Beverly and Richard Fink Professorship in the Liberal Arts.
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