Weak States and Spheres of Great Power Competition: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Weak States and Spheres of Great Power Competition

1st Edition

By Hanna Samir Kassab


224 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367505820
pub: 2020-07-14
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This book explains the development of the international system’s present-day balance of power by exploring three central questions: (1) under what conditions has the international system order evolved from a unipolar system to the current multipolar system? 2) What are its major states? 3) How do weak powers affect great power competition?

It puts forward the following hypotheses: 1) if China and Russia are expanding their military, political and economic influence into weaker states globally, then the unipolar American order is unraveling; and 2) if the international system is multipolar, then great power balancing may enhance international security. However, balancing may be made difficult due to weak state aid-seeking behavior. When weak states engage competing great powers, they become spheres of competition. This book delves into these states. Whether in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Central Asia, East Asia or Eastern Europe, great powers hope to establish some control over weaker units for security, economic and at times, prestige purposes.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of political science and IR, security studies, and IPE, as well as members of the think tank community and policy analysts.


"An important work, global in reach and well-rooted in international relations theory, for understanding the dynamics of the contemporary state system as the PRC expands its global engagement and challenges the US strategic position."Dr. R. Evan Ellis, the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, USA

"Hanna Kassab is a prolific young scholar whose already long list of past publications deals with some of the most important challenges facing the world community: corruption, organized crime, drugs, energy, weak states in the international system, and other issues. All of these works provide important insights into extremely important concerns. Weak States and Spheres of Great Power Competition, which builds on much of Kassab’s past research, presents an important, comprehensive and region-by-region, examination of a major issue of the international system – great power competition for influence in weak states."Roger E. Kanet, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at both The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Miami, USA

"The book exposes the tensions of great power politics in the context of weak states, which lack significant influence but emerge an important factor in the 21st-century global politics. It compellingly draws our attention to events at small places, and their potential to shape great power politics."Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra, University of Central Florida, USA

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Part I: Great Powers and the Balance of Power

2. The United States and its Unipolar Moment

3. Eastern European

4. East Asia

5. Middle East

Part II: Weaker states and Non-state Actors: Spheres of Great Power Competition

6. Latin America

7. Africa

8. Other Spheres of Competition and Global non-state issues

9. Conclusions

About the Author

Hanna Samir Kassab is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at East Carolina University, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in International Relations and Global Politics

International relations is a rapidly changing area of research, reacting to and anticipating an ever more integrated and globalised world. This series aims to publish the best new work in the field of international relations, and of politics more generally. Books in the series challenge existing empirical and normative theories, and advance new paradigms as well as presenting significant new research.

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