1st Edition

The Grand Strategies of Great Powers

By Tudor A. Onea Copyright 2021
    242 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    242 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    What is grand strategy and what is it good for? What are great powers, and which states are great powers today? What are the grand strategies available to great powers? What are the conditions under which a certain strategy is suitable and when should it be rejected? What are the factors affecting the success or failure of a given grand strategy? The present volume provides answers to these questions by introducing a typology of great power grand strategies, as strategies of rising, status quo, and declining powers, as well as through historical illustrations of each type. The reader is thus exposed to strategies such as divide and conquer, biding your time, opportunity strike, primacy, semi-detachment, concert, and appeasement through the experiences of leaders such as Bismarck, Peter the Great, Metternich, Deng Xiaoping, Neville Chamberlain, and Stalin. This analysis is then brought to bear on present developments in the grand strategies of the United States, China, and Russia. The volume should be of interest to both the academic and foreign policy-making communities, and in particular to students of international relations, diplomacy, history, and current international affairs.

    1. Introduction: What Is Grand Strategy?;  2. The Great Powers;  3. The Grand Strategies of Rising Powers;  4. The Grand Strategies of Status Quo Powers I;  5. The Grand Strategies of Status Quo Powers II;  6. The Grand Strategies of Declining Powers;  7. Great Powers’ Grand Strategies Today and Tomorrow


    Tudor A. Onea is Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations of Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. He has been educated in Japan and Canada, has received his Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Kingston, and has pursued post-doctoral stages in the United States, Canada, and Singapore. He has written a previous book, US Foreign Policy in the Post-cold War: Restraint versus Assertiveness from George H.W. Bush to Barack Obama (2013) and has published in Review of International Studies, International Studies Review (forthcoming), European Journal of International Security, and International Relations.

    The large and growing field of grand strategy studies desperately needs Tudor Onea’s The Grand Strategies of Great Powers. With unmatched erudition on both the modern history of international politics and the best and most influential writings on strategy and grand strategy, Onea provides a compelling account of archetypal grand strategies and their application by leaders ranging from Peter the Great to Bismarck to Stalin. This will be a go-to volume for those who teach, study, and reflect upon grand strategy.

    William Wohlforth, Daniel Webster Professor, Dartmouth College

    This important book represents a significant advance in our understanding of grand strategy. In contrast to single-country studies, Professor Onea probes actor understandings and utilization of grand strategy comparatively. He offers a typology of seven ideal type grand strategies and uses them to analyze the foreign policies of some of the most and least effective leaders of the modern era. These cases prompt generalizations about the circumstances to which these strategies are appropriate and the essential conditions of their success. These lessons are then deployed to evaluate the grand strategies of present-day United States, China, and Russia. This book is as relevant to policymakers as it is to scholars.

    Richard Ned Lebow, Professor of International Political Theory, King's College London and James O. Freedman Presidential Professor Emeritus at Dartmouth College

    We know that states with coherent grand strategies are more likely to advance their interests than states that pursue ad hoc policies. But what kinds of grand strategies are most effective for what kinds of states and under what conditions? How do we know if a state has a grand strategy? To answer these questions Tudor Onea develops a new theory of grand strategy and applies it to some of history’s most important great powers and most intriguing leaders. The Grand Strategies of Great Powers will be immensely valuable to international relations theorists, diplomatic historians, students, and all those interested in contemporary international affairs.

    Jack S Levy, Board of Governors Professor, Rutgers University