Reminder: there is no class tomorrow (Thursday, 27 July). Class will resume on Friday, 28 July.


Chap. 3: Strategies of Opposition


What factors affect whether other states will oppose the US?


Why is “hard” balancing against the US so rare? Why are there not formal or informal alliances against the US?


What is “soft balancing”? What example of it does Walt give? What are the long-term dangers of “soft balancing” according to Walt?  Do you think soft balancing is meaningful? Does it really matter?


What is Walt’s suggestion for how the US can discourage “soft balancing”?  Is the US not already doing this? What specifically can it do to achieve this?


What are the three ways that states can balance internally against the US? Is one method more effective that the other? Are countries trying to defend themselves against US military power or are they trying to deter the use of US military power?


Do you agree that the reason Iraq, Iran, and North Korea wanted WMD is to deter the US from using its power with impunity?


What is “balking” as a strategy of opposition? What states have done it? How much of a problem for US policy is it?


How is binding different from “soft balancing”?  Why is Walt skeptical that it will be effective in case of national security? Is it effective in other types of situations?


Other than North Korea, what state have effectively blackmailed the US? Has North Korean WMD blackmail worked? Should the July tests be seen as part of a blackmail strategy? 


To what extent is de-legitimating a strategy that opponents of US primacy pursue rather than an effect that the United States creates by its own actions? Is legitimacy linked to binding as strategy of opposition – does the failure of the US to be bound by international rules de-legitimate its actions?


Why does legitimacy matter, according to Walt?


Chap. 4: Strategies of Accommodation


Are states bandwagoning with the US or not? What does Walt say? What do you think? What kind of states “bond” with the US?