Alliance Formation and the Balance of World Power

  title={Alliance Formation and the Balance of World Power},
  author={Stephen M. Walt},
  journal={International Security},
  pages={3 - 43}
  • S. Walt
  • Published 21 January 1985
  • Political Science
  • International Security
The question "what causes alignment?" is a central issue in debates on American foreign policy, and the choices that are made often turn on which hypotheses of alliance formation are endorsed. In general, those who believe that American security is fragile most often assume that Soviet allies are reliable and America's are prone to defect, while those who believe it is robust tend to view American allies as stronger and more reliable than those of the U.S.S.R. These divergent beliefs clash over… 

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