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2015

U.S. Navy Historical Center

Fall 2015

"Balancing in Neorealism"

Journal Article, International Security, issue 2, volume 40

By Joseph M. Parent and Sebastian Rosato, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2005–2006

Do great powers balance against each other, as neorealist theory predicts? Over the past two centuries, great powers have typically avoided external balancing via alliance formation, but they have consistently engaged in internal balancing by arming and imitating the military advances of their rivals.

 

2012

Spring 2012

"Correspondence: Decline and Retrenchment: Peril or Promise?"

Journal Article, International Security, issue 36, volume 4

By William R. Thompson, Kyle Haynes, Paul MacDonald, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2006-2008 and Joseph M. Parent

Kyle Haynes and William R. Thompson respond to Paul K. MacDonald and Joseph M. Parent's spring 2011 International Security article, "Graceful Decline? The Surprising Success of Great Power Retrenchment."

 

2011

AP Photo

May 2011

"Resurrecting Retrenchment: The Grand Strategic Consequences of U.S. Decline"

Policy Brief

By Paul MacDonald, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2006-2008 and Joseph M. Parent

"Husbanding resources is simply sensible. In the competitive game of power politics, states must unsentimentally realign means with ends or be punished for their profligacy. Attempts to maintain policies advanced when U.S. relative power was greater are outdated, unfounded, and imprudent. Retrenchment policies—greater burden sharing with allies, less military spending, and less involvement in militarized disputes—hold the most promise for arresting and reversing decline."

 

 

Spring 2011

"Graceful Decline? The Surprising Success of Great Power Retrenchment"

Journal Article, International Security, issue 4, volume 35

By Paul MacDonald, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2006-2008 and Joseph M. Parent

There is broad scholarly consensus that the relative power of the United States is declining and that this decline will have negative consequences for interna­tional politics. This pessimism is justified by the belief that great powers have few options to deal with acute relative decline. Retrenchment is seen as a haz­ardous policy that demoralizes allies and encourages external predation. Faced with shrinking means, great powers are thought to have few options to stave off decline short of preventive war. Contrary to the conventional wis­dom, however, retrenchment is not a relatively rare and ineffective policy in­strument. A comparison of eighteen cases of acute relative decline since 1870 demonstrates that great powers frequently engage in retrenchment and that re­trenchment is often effective. In addition, we find that prevailing explanations overstate the importance of democracies, bureaucracies, and interest groups in inhibiting retrenchment. In fact, the rate of decline can account for both the ex­tent and form of retrenchment, even over short periods. These arguments have important implications for power transition theories and the rise of China.

 

2008

Summer 2008

"Correspondence: Of Polarity and Polarization"

Journal Article, International Security, issue 1, volume 33

By Joseph M. Parent, Joseph Bafumi, Charles A. Kupchan and Peter L. Trubowitz

Joseph Parent and Joseph Bafumi reply to the Fall 2007 International Security article, "Dead Center: The Demise of Liberal Internationalism in the United States," by Charles Kupchan and Peter Trubowitz.

 
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