© 2010

A Theory of Security Strategy for Our Time

Defensive Realism

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Introduction

    1. Shiping Tang
      Pages 1-6
  3. Preparing the Ground

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Shiping Tang
      Pages 9-32
    3. Shiping Tang
      Pages 73-96
  4. Strategic Choices

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 97-97
    2. Shiping Tang
      Pages 99-127
  5. Implications and Conclusions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 163-163
    2. Shiping Tang
      Pages 165-177
    3. Shiping Tang
      Pages 179-183
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 185-248

About this book


This book advances a coherent statement of defensive realism as a theory of strategy for our time and adds to our understanding of defensive realism as a grand theory of IR in particular and our understanding of IR in general and contributes to the ongoing debates among major paradigms of international relations.


international relations Policy realism

About the authors

SHIPING TANG is Professor at School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


"In an extraordinarily thorough and penetrating analysis of fundamental issues surrounding defensive realism and the security dilemma, Shiping Tang takes us deep into the theoretical and empirical controversies of the nature of international conflict. In doing so, he sheds a great deal of light on many questions of realism, signaling, trust, and cooperation." - Robert Jervis, Adlai E Stevenson Professor of International Politics, Columbia University

"A thoughtful and creative attempt to buttress the theoretical underpinnings of defensive realism and lay the basis for an evolutionary theory of international relations. Practitioners and students alike will find this a profitable read." - Richard Ned Lebow, James O. Freedman Presidential Professor of Government and Centennial Professor of International Relations, Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science

"Shiping Tang is after big game - nothing less than a coherent theory of defensive realism. Wielding a sharp machete, he fearlessly wades into the overgrown jungle of realisms and opens useful pathways for those seeking to understand and formulate grand theory. Essential reading for all scholars of world politics." - Jeffrey W. Legro, Compton Professor of World Politics, Department of Politics, University of Virginia