Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

International Politics and State Strength

Thomas J. Volgy and Alison Bailin
International Politics and State Strength
ISBN: 978-1-58826-141-0
ISBN: 978-1-58826-117-5
2002/173 pages/LC: 2002031838

"A superb and significant book.... it will unquestionably stimulate debate and fruitful follow-on research for years to come. Volgy and Bailin provide a new lens for understanding international affairs. Provocative and thoughtful, offering a concise treatment of deep questions of grand design, their book deserves a place in every department's international relations offerings."—Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, New York University and Hoover Institution, Stanford University

"A very fine piece of scholarship.... The authors have produced one of those rare pieces of academic work that weaves together current theoretical debates, strong empirical evidence, and significant policy relevance.... This is a valuable and insightful book."—Mark A. Boyer, University of Connecticut


Although it has been more than a decade since the Cold War global structure collapsed, neither scholars nor policymakers have clearly identified its replacement. What is the new world order, ask Thomas Volgy and Alison Bailin; and in the midst of declining state strength, who sustains it? They find their answers in the system collectively constructed by the major powers.

The authors consider both the nature of state strength and the changing capabilities of the states most likely to construct global architecture. Demonstrating that the traditional structures of global order—hegemony, bipolarity, and multipolarity—are inconsistent with existing and projected patterns of state strength, they present a provocative alternative model that reflects the "creeping incrementalism" of multilateral institutions and the "institutionalized group hegemony" of the G7 states. In their final chapter, they explore the weaknesses of the present architectural arrangements and discuss alternative scenarios.


Thomas J. Volgy is professor of political science at the University of Arizona and executive director of the International Studies Association. He has also served as mayor of Tucson, Arizona. His publications include Politics in the Trenches: Citizens, Politicians, and the Fate of Democracy and (with John Schwarz) The Forgotten Americans: Working Hard and Living Poor in the Land of Opportunity. Alison Bailin is currently doing research with the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto. She is author of From Traditional to Group Hegemony: Liberal Economic Order and the Core-Periphery Gap (forthcoming 2003).


  • Practicing Agnosticism Around Passionate Believers.
  • Who Cares: The Salience and Contours of Global Architecture.
  • The Three Faces of State Strength.
  • Assessing State Strength Among the Major Powers.
  • "Creeping Incrementalism" and "Group Hegemony": State Strength and the New World Order.
  • Gazing Through the Crystal Ball: The Stability of Today's Architecture.
  • What If: Another Round of Architectural Enhancements for a New World Order?
No rights in South Asia.