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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Balance of Power

Detlev Vagts†

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 20 April 2024

Subject(s):
Act of state

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The concept of a balance of power implies an equilibrium of force as between the States or groups of States, within the system in question. Such a balance, it is asserted, works for peace since no State is in a position to seek hegemony. The balance may be conceived of as a status maintained by self-correcting natural forces or as the product of deliberate human intervention. Balances within regions may overlap a world-wide equilibrium. Writers sometimes refer to a favourable balance of power, as they might speak of a favourable balance of payments. While...
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