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World Out of Balance: International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy Paperback – July 21, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0691137841 ISBN-10: 0691137846 Edition: Reprint

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World Out of Balance: International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy + Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order (Princeton Studies in International History and Politics) + No One's World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn (Council on Foreign Relations (Oxford))
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (July 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691137846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691137841
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,101,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Even as pundits are proclaiming the end of the United States' unipolar moment, scholars are still trying to understand the exact nature of U.S. primacy. If the United States is the most powerful state the world has seen, what constrains or disciplines its security pursuits? In this important book, Brooks and Wohlforth survey the leading schools of thought looking for answers."--Foreign Affairs

"The authors dispute both the logic and the evidence that has been adduced in support of such claims and make the case so clearly that World out of Balance can be used in upper-division undergraduate courses and also read with profit by members of the profession. It will stand as a major book for years to come."--Robert Jervis, Perspectives on Politics

"[T]his book is an important contribution to international relations studies and should be included in any upper-level undergraduate course or graduate seminar that is concerned with issues of power, primacy or polarity."--Patrick Shea, Political Studies Review

From the Inside Flap

"A sophisticated and elegant challenge to the view that U.S. primacy is fast on the wane. By deftly backing up theoretical argument with historical example, Brooks and Wohlforth redefine debate about the durability of a unipolar world and the future of U.S. grand strategy."--Charles A. Kupchan, author of The End of the American Era

"Effectively organized and well-written, this timely book engages many of the important debates in international relations theory and American foreign policy in a thoughtful and thought-provoking way. Without question, this is a major contribution to the field."--David Baldwin, Princeton University

"This substantial book provides a full analysis of key questions facing the United States today: Does U.S. power--specifically unipolar or hegemonic power--bring large benefits? And does the U.S. position call for a limited or an ambitious foreign policy? The authors draw from a wide range of established arguments and add important arguments of their own, to provide clear and powerful answers."--Charles Glaser, University of Chicago

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of three books I bought to reflect on the same generic topic, the other two are Power & Responsibility: Building International Order in an Era of Transnational Threat and To Lead the World: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine, which I will read and review this week-end.

It is a substantive contribution, important, but second tier in terms of clarity and utlity and comprehensiveness.

The authors do a fine job of setting the stage for why this book matters in relation to policy, putting forth three overarching questions worth quoting:

1. Can the United States sustain an expansive range of security commitments around the globe?

2. Is the United States well positioned to reshape the international system to better advance its security interests?

3. What are the general costs of unilateralism?

I have mixed feelings about this book for three reasons:

1. It is erudite in the extreme, and I love the footnotes (much better than endnotes for a work of this attempted importance), but it does not really illuminate as much as it convolutes--no doubt my own professional inadequacies contribute, but I would never impose this book on my students.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book for my International Relations Theory course, and I was quite pleased with the analysis of the major IR theories covered. You can tell that the authors are from the Realist tradition, however that does not cloud their analysis when examining both the strengths and weaknesses of each major theory (including Realism and its variants). As someone who is more from the Internationalist school of thought, I greatly preferred this text to the other that we read for the same course (which says a great deal, given that the other text was written from the Internationalist perspective). I would highly recommend this text to anyone looking to study the major IR theories
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