Who Does the Night Watchman Work For? And, What Are the Job Responsibilities: The Question of Anarchy in the Regional Balance of Power
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CitationPreston, Angella. 2019. Who Does the Night Watchman Work For? And, What Are the Job Responsibilities: The Question of Anarchy in the Regional Balance of Power. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractIn this thesis, I challenge the existing theoretical understanding of the roles of great powers in the regions and clarify assumptions about anarchy by asking the question: Do great powers pacify regions? Miller and Levy argue anarchy is not fully satisfied in the regional balance of power because great powers protect weak nations and leverage peace agreements. This “pacifier” role is tested the “self-interested” role presented by Mearsheimer and Waltz, who argue great powers focus on gaining power through destabilization and balancing wars. I present a case study to analyze the choices of US and USSR leaders to see what role they played in the conflicts in Angola and Namibia at the end of the Cold War until peace was achieved from 1974-2002. One problematic assumption found is great powers can reduce anarchy. Instead, great powers can reduce the consequences of anarchy. I argue the international system of anarchy encourages the formation of the regional balances of power. When a nation acts as an aggressor through attacks, invasions and domination it brings chaos into the system. Without a central authority to respond, nations form balances of protection. Normally, great powers chose not to “pacify” the distant region – they focused on rivalry more than protecting the weak nations. However, when they tried to pacify there were limits and restrictions. The limits included an interference between the global and regional balance of power systems, drawbacks in the methods they employed, and the actors in the distant region altered the course of events. Peace proved elusive as actors could easily disregard agreements and act violently. In conclusion, while the great powers appear to have the strength and ability to reduce the consequences of anarchy; in fact, the great powers made the region worse.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42004245