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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, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 10 December 2019

Subject(s):
Act of state

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

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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