Conclusions Maritime Strategy and National Policy: Historical Accident or Purposeful Planning?

  • John B. Hattendorf
  • Robert S. Jordan
Part of the St Antony's book series


In our view, the balance of power is a means to an end in international politics, not an end in itself. It is the means by which a state can prevent another from dominating world politics. At the same time, a balance of power creates a situation which allows a state to ensure its own safety and to promote its own interests and objectives. This system imposes limits on the degree and the range of objectives which a state can pursue, and this is true even if a state does not self-consciously pursue a balance of some sort. A balance of power is inherently self-limiting. It prevents hegemony by any single Power, and operates within the context of political pluralism.


International Politics Collective Security Historical Accident Political Pluralism Naval Force 
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  1. 1.
    Carsten Holbraad, The Concert of Europe: A Study in German and British International Theory 1815–1914 (London, 1970), p. 7.Google Scholar

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© John B. Hattendorf and Robert S. Jordan 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Hattendorf
  • Robert S. Jordan

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