The article of Lieber and Alexander (2005)1 presents several reasons for balancing behavior of actors against the United States not taking place, as it was earlier expected by a number of theorists to happen after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The first reason than contradicts theorists’ prediction lies in the reduction of the levels of resource mobilization by some of the key players in international system. Another reason suggests that what theorists regard as soft balancing in current system are in fact diplomatic frictions that were taking place even before the rapid transformation in US foreign policy behavior after the September 11. Finally, scholars believe that the aforementioned shift in US behavior would encourage other actors to commit themselves to balancing process. In reality however, brute acting model of the US is targeted to rouge states, and this behavior corresponds to other states’ interests as well. (Lieber and Alexander 2005)
Moreover, Lieber and Alexander (2005) believe that actors in the international system share the vision of dominant state regarding the containment of potential nuclear proliferators. This opinion might be a good response to the unanswered question of Gilpin (1988) showing that the emergence of hegemonic war in the era of nuclear weapons is unlikely. Yet, one cannot assure that actions of the nuclear club might not get out of control.
To conclude with all of the aforementioned authors in given articles touch upon a topic of power in international relations in one sense or another. While David Baldwin describes the revolution in power analysis, other stick to either relational or resource approach in constructing their arguments. Johnson and his colleagues address the power in international relations through the study of deterrence theory. Robert Gilpin does the same but through the prism of hegemonic war theory. Finally, Lieber and Alexander touch cover the same topic through the observation of balancing trends among actors in international relations.
1 Lieber, Keir A., and Gerard Alexander. 2005. “Waiting for Balancing: Why the World Is Not Pushing Back.” International Security30(1): 109–39.