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Studies 15 January, 2012

Management of Strategic Crises and the Structure of the International System

Keyword

The structure of the international system affects the manner in which its sub-units manage international crises, due to its influence on the tools and outcomes of crisis management. Conversely, the manner in which international crises are managed, especially by the superpowers, affects the international system itself. A complete transformation and change in the form of polarity exhibited by the international system is caused by both major and minor changes within. This study uses three variables: international alignments, the arena of international struggle, and international values. These variables are used to present a comparative analysis of the management of international crises under various structures of the international system (multipolarity, bipolarity, and unipolarity). The aim is to understand the manner in which international crises are managed according to each of these structural models, as well as to understand the behavior of major powers and their awareness of limits to the influence of the variables during crises.


Research Question

The international system regulates the behavior of its sub-units during the management of international strategic crises; however, the recurrence of international crises within a certain international system points to the anarchic nature of policies between the states within this system. In the absence of a central power regulating the behavior of a large number of independent political units, the conflict of interests between these units would persist. This conflict increases the probability of direct military confrontations between these international units, even though such confrontations could be avoided through mutual de-escalation and accurate calculations of the parties' interests. Some conflicts escalate to the point where threats of using military force are made, and enmity between countries increases to the point where war becomes imminent or probable. At the flaring of such crises, the manner of their management affects relations between the great powers. Conflicts between great powers might be suspended, or divisive issues might be resolved, preparing the way for more stable and harmonious relations in the long term.

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