faculty paper series, the University of Miami Law and Policy Workshop, and the 2011 Florida Political Science Association. The authors are grateful to the participants of these meetings for valuable comments and to many research assistants, especially Jing Chen, for their exhausting labors. Generous financial support provided by the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences. Enduring errors have nothing to do with the authors. Any flaws in the work are solely the fault of secretive powerful groups.
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.
Strong central authorities are able to effectively manage costly defection, but are unable to adequately address lesser conflicts because of limits to their ability to monitor and enforce. We argue, counterintuitively, that these limitations build cooperation and trust among subordinates: the limitations contribute to the production of order. First, limits to authority leave space for locally informed decentralized enforcement. Second, central authorities act as powerful but incompetent third parties whose threatened interventions increase incentives to cooperate and, therefore, to trust. We outline the mechanisms by which a strong central authority enforces order and test their utility by considering the secondary literature on rates of conflict in strong, weak, and capricious states. We supplement this evidence, based on association, with a close examination of diverse case studies: baseball umpires, commercial contracts, and domestic disputes. By analyzing these case studies, we isolate and describe the mechanisms by which central authorities produce order in varied settings. We find that central authority may be effective, but the majority of this effectiveness derives from an indirect influence on dyadic relations rather than direct intervention. The state interacts with local communities, but each operates according to distinct logics. The particular character of their interaction produces four mechanisms useful in the production of order. We briefly explore implications for the operation of law as well as the production of generalized trust. * We are particularly grateful to Peter Bearman for his comments. Additional assistance came from . The three anonymous referees at Sociological Theory gave comments that were both incisive and extremely useful, for which we are also grateful. We divide responsibility for the remaining errors.
s article "Graceful Decline?" offers a clear, parsimonious theory of great power retrenchment that helps ªll a massive gap in international relations scholarship. 1 Through comparative case studies and "coarse grained" statistical analysis, MacDonald and Parent argue that the degree of a state's decline often explains the form and extent of its retrenchment. They then show that retrenchment is a surprisingly common and effective response to relative decline. MacDonald and Parent correctly point out the myopia of the "pessimistic" structuralist dogma that simply dismisses retrenchment as an impractical and dangerous strategy that only accelerates decline by signaling weakness and creating additional vulnerability (pp. 13-18). 2 Their spare neorealist model goes a long way toward repairing this deªciency. As a ªrst cut, it improves on the existing literature while facilitating progressive future research on the topic. Still, a number of theoretical and conceptual problems undermine their argument and compromise their results. Below I discuss three issues with MacDonald and Parent's theory of retrenchment. power transitions and policymakers' responsivenessMacDonald and Parent operationalize decline as an ordinal power transition in which a rising state overtakes a declining state in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) and retains this new lead for at least ªve consecutive years. They justify this focus by claiming that such transitions are particularly "dramatic" events that should force policymakers in the declining state into a thorough strategic reassessment, potentially leading to retrenchment (p. 21). These are "most likely" cases for their neorealist model, as less dramatic periods of decline may fail to generate policy shifts with similar promptness.
We advocate a new approach to study models of fermion masses and mix-ings, namely anarchy proposed in Ref. . In this approach, we scan the O(1) coefficients randomly. We argue that this is the correct approach when the fundamental theory is sufficiently complicated. Assuming there is no physical distinction among three generations of neutrinos, the probability distributions in MNS mixing angles can be predicted independent of the choice of the measure. This is because the mixing angles are distributed according to the Haar measure of the Lie groups whose elements diagonalize the mass matrices. The near-maximal mixings, as observed in the atmospheric neutrino data and as required in the LMA solution to the solar neutrino problem, are highly probable. A small hierarchy between the ∆m 2 for the atmospheric and the solar neutrinos is obtained very easily; the complex seesaw case gives a hierarchy of a factor of 20 as the most probable one, even though this conclusion is more measure-dependent. U e3 has to be just below the current limit from the CHOOZ experiment. The CP-violating parameter sin δ is preferred to be maximal. We present a simple SU (5)-like extension of anarchy to the charged-lepton and quark sectors which works well phenomenologically.
Does neorealism offer a convincing account of great power balancing behavior? Many scholars argue that it does not. This conclusion rests on a misunderstanding of neorealist theory and an erroneous reading of the evidence. Properly specified, neorealism holds that great powers place an overriding emphasis on the need for self-help. This means that they rely relentlessly both on arming and on imitating the successful military practices of their peers to ensure their security. At the same time, they rarely resort to alliances and treat them with skepticism. There is abundant historical evidence to support these claims. Since 1816, great powers have routinely achieved an effective balance in military capabilities with their relevant competitors and promptly copied the major military innovations of the period. Case studies show that these outcomes are the product of states' efforts to ensure security against increasingly capable rivals. Meanwhile, the diplomatic record yields almost no examples of firm peacetime balancing coalitions over the past 200 years. When alliances have formed, great powers have generally doubted the reliability of their allies and of their opponents' allies. Thus neorealism provides a solid foundation for explaining great power balancing behavior.
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