Book Launch: "Restraining Great Powers: Soft Balancing from Empires to the Global Era" by T.V. Paul


Paragraphe Bookstore, 2220 McGill College Avenue, Montreal, QC, H3A 3P9, CA

McGill University

Department of Political Science

Co-sponsored by

The Project on International Security in the Globalization Era (ISGE)

Canadian International Council (Montreal Branch)


Book Launch Invitation

Paragraphe Bookstore

2220 McGill College Avenue, Montreal, QC H3A 3P9

Thursday, September 27, 2018, 5-7 pm

This book examines the use of international institutions, informal alignments and economic instruments to constrain the power and threatening behavior of dominant powers. Much of International Relations scholarship fails to capture the use of these non-military instruments for constraining superior power. The book expands and tests soft balancing arguments to historical eras (such as the Concert of Europe, and the League of Nations during the interwar period) and the emerging/resurging powers, China and Russia while responding to criticisms aired against the concept and strategy. It seeks to explore: under what conditions do states resort to soft balancing (relying on institutional and economic instruments) as opposed to hard balancing (relying on formal military alliances and intense arms buildups)? When do they combine both? What are the differences and similarities between the 20th and 21st century cases of soft balancing? When do soft balancing efforts elicit hostile reactions and when do they produce positive results? Finally, what are the implications of soft balancing for the rise of new great powers and the international order, especially conflict and cooperation among them in the 21st century’s globalized world?