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By Ruchi Anand (auth.)

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Neorealists are more concerned with security and survival than power. Power, for neorealists is a means to achieving security and not an end in itself, as Realists believe. The value of being powerful lies in the security that power brings. However, excess power vis-à-vis others can make states less secure as this would cause other states to restore the balance of power by accumulating 18 Self-Defense in International Relations arms and aligning against it. The structure impacts the states (or units) differently depending on the number of balancing powers.

Neorealists were fearful of the destabilizing impact of the end of a bipolar distribution of power, possibly leading to instability and greater likelihood of wars. The underlying assumption of neorealists was that bipolarity provided the stability that the anarchical international system lacked. e. that war and distrust were not inevitable features of the international system and that peace was a possibility as an outcome of shared common goals, values and visions of peace and democracy among states.

Which of these are status-quo states, revisionist states or “on-the-fence” states? Japan’s power today has grown manifold and plays an important role in the international arena but the question that arises is whether it would want to play the role of a balancing superpower. China, some argue is the emerging balancer of US power, growing in economic strength each day. In addition, the European Union is seen as a potential balancer to the US on the international arena. India International Relations Theory Meets International Law 37 presents a potential for superpower status, given its size, geography and growth.

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