Evaluating the Argument and the Future of Revisionism

  • Jason W. Davidson


The most important question, having come this far, is whether the case studies presented in previous chapters fit with the propositions outlined earlier in the book. Due to the number and detail of the cases, a general confrontation between all of the case studies and propositions seems appropriate (for a visual scorecard see figures 2.1 and 2.2). In the first section of this chapter, I examine all five theoretical propositions against the six case studies, making the case that the theoretical explanation holds up well when confronted with the cases. If the reader is convinced by the fit between the historical case studies and the argument, she may still have an important question: do revisionists still exist or is revisionism a thing of the past, like dueling or great power war? One way to address the contemporary relevance question is to apply the book’s argument to a contemporary rising power, such as China. In the second section of the chapter, I explore the likelihood that China, a rapidly rising power, will become revisionist. In the final section of the chapter, I discuss the future of revisionism more broadly. I argue that revisionism will continue to exist as long as the factors that cause it continue to feature in international politics.


Security Concern American Foreign Policy Domestic Group Territorial Expansion Spratly Island 
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© Jason W. Davidson 2006

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  • Jason W. Davidson

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