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After VictoryInstitutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order after Major Wars, New Edition$
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G. John Ikenberry

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169217

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169217.001.0001

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The Problem of Order

The Problem of Order

(p.3) Chapter One The Problem of Order
After Victory

G. John Ikenberry

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of how states build international order. The great moments of international order building have tended to come after major wars, as winning states have undertaken to reconstruct the postwar world. Certain years stand out as critical turning points: 1648, 1713, 1815, 1919, and 1945. At these junctures, newly powerful states have been given extraordinary opportunities to shape world politics. In the chaotic aftermath of war, leaders of these states have found themselves in unusually advantageous positions to put forward new rules and principles of international relations and by so doing remake international order. The most important characteristic of interstate relations after a major war is that a new distribution of power suddenly emerges, creating new asymmetries between powerful and weak states.

Keywords:   international order, major wars, postwar world, world politics, international relations, interstate relations, power distribution

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