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Comparative Grand StrategyA Framework and Cases$
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Thierry Balzacq, Peter Dombrowski, and Simon Reich

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198840848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198840848.001.0001

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Comparing Grand Strategies in the Modern World

(p.1) 1 Introduction
Comparative Grand Strategy

Thierry Balzacq

Peter Dombrowski

Simon Reich

Oxford University Press

This chapter lays out the objectives of the volume, provides a new conceptual and methodological framework, and justifies case selection. It comprises three sections. The first section argues that a comparative approach to the study of grand strategy both highlights the constraints of contemporary single-country research and the opportunities presented by a systematic research design. The chapter’s second section evaluates the alternative definitions and competing theoretical traditions developed to study grand strategy. The authors argue in favor of an integration of these traditions within a single framework, coupled with an expanded universe of countries as viable cases. In the third section, the authors examine which systemic and domestic factors organically influence the ways in which states formulate and implement grand strategies. The chapter identifies criteria for better explanations about why individual states make specific choices, and provides threads that ensure the internal consistency of the book.

Keywords:   grand strategy, comparison, rationalism, constructivism, prescription, case selection, research program, framework for analysis, threat perception, opportunities

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