Strategic Hedging and Balancing Model under the Unipolarity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


Over recent decades, unipolarity has occupied a significant position in International Relations literature. Scholars have argued that the end of unipolarity is unavoidable, but they have disagreed on the perception of transmission mechanism to the post unipolarity. Some analysts have found that soft balancing is the optimal option for this changing; others have argued that the transition could occur by using hard balancing. More recently, strategic hedging concept has emerged as a new theory in International Relations that could be more persuasive than hard or soft balancing to draw the end of unipolarity. Strategic hedging involves more-effective policies, which lead to improving capabilities of hedging states and to reach the balance among the great powers, along with avoiding direct confrontation with the leading state. In this paper, we present the balancing strategies that are most likely to be chosen by great powers under unipolar conditions. This paper examines the mutual influence between second-tier state strategies and system leader policies. It argues that the second-tier state is more likely to follow positive balancing strategies as a more peaceful option to end the unipolarity. By contrast, it is more likely for the system leader to follow negative balancing strategies in order to undermine the secondary states. China's positive balancing and the U.S. negative balancing against China are two case studies that test the validity of this balancing model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationpaper presented at Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA 2015), April 16-19, Chicago, USA.
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event73rd Annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference - Chicago, United States
Duration: 16 Apr 201519 Apr 2015


Conference73rd Annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference
CountryUnited States


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