The Balance of Power Theory and It's Application to Kosovo
Ideas are the corner-stones of International Relations and Diplomacy. These ideas are often titled theories, a term that grants the ideas a certain degree of credibility in application, though they remain theories; they cannot be proved., only applied intelligently in hopes of arriving at the correct conclusion. One theory concerning the Balance of Power (BOP) falls under the Neo-Realist analysis of conflict within the International system. This Essay will attempt to apply this theory, somewhat retroactively to the situation in Bosnia and more specifically, to that in Kosovo. Retroactively, because the essay will principally examine how these theories can be applied to the history of the Kosovo conflict, dating to the present. Secondly, it will undertake to detail the current situation in that region in these same terms, providing an accurate description of the status quo. Finally, the Balance of Power Theory will be employed in a prospective manner, to offer a solution to the situation in terms of actually creating a balance of power within the country of Bosnia.
I. Definitions of Terms for the Purpose of this Essay
A. Neo Realism
B. Balance of Power Theory (BOP)
C. Power Transition (PT)
II. Retroactive Application of Theory
A. History of Kosovo Situation
B. How BOP/PT Theory Explains Kosovo Conflict
III. Immediate Application of Theory
A. How Status Quo is Represented by BOP Theory
IV. Prospective Application of Theory
A. What Actual Balance of Power may lead to Peace in the Region V. Conclusion
I. A. Neo-Realism
Neo-Realism is one of the schools of thought in International Relations theory. It is a sub-school of Realism, which originated in the aftermath of World War II. Realists tended to blame the Second World War on Liberals and their failure to deter the fascist powers that initiated that war. Some of their specific criticisms include these principles:
1.There is no such thing as individual rationality, as liberals believe. In realism, individuals give in to group rationales, i.e. German participation and support of the holocaust. Of course, most of the population was horrified at what was happening, but as a nation of Germans, felt perhaps it was necessary for the survival of their state.
2. States do not truly have common interests. If this were true, there would be no need for supranational organizations, and supranationally binding treaties would also be unnecessary, as interests would be tacitly agreed on.
Neo-Realism, as a result of the cold war, is marked by more a modern view of International Relations, i.e. whereas Classicists would insist that a Balance of Power theory is what keeps the world from the brink of war, a Neo-Realist attributes this to a combination of BOP and the Mutual Assured Destruction theory.
1.B. Balance of Power Theory
The BOP Theory states that having a balance of power establishes equilibrium. Anarchy generally equals insecurity, and insecurity and conflicts of interest are what produce constant competition between states. In order to ease competition states seek allies and military power, which leads to a balance of power. This formulation is a consequence of twentieth century war and state history, and must be modified to be applied to different times periods. Medievally, this power structure would have included the church and the power of its doctrines. For the objectives of applying this theory on the future, it will be used in it's current form. 1.C. Power Transition Theory
The PT theory states that whoever has the power (the ability of state A to influence state B) in an arena, is likely to be the dominant state. Conversely, it hypothesizes that an equality of power leads to peace. This last observation tends not to have relevance in the Kosovo situation because of the historical imbalance...
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