chapter  3
Hierarchical Equilibria and the Long-Run Instability of Multipolar Systems
Pages 28

This chapter explores a particular aspect of the hierarchical equilibrium theory of systemic war. It is a theoretical structure designed to predict the absence of systemic war; concurrently the violation of one or more of its properties increases the probability of systemic war. Later in this chapter it will be shown that, in addition to the more obvious paths to systemic war traced by violations of the hierarchical equilibrium, there are more subtle and long-term consequences in the form of an inherent instability in multipolar systems. Bipolarity will be shown to be a more stable international structure, at least in regard to the onset of systemic war.