After defeating the 20th-century challengers to the international order, the United States must today calibrate its response to the rise of the PRC, whose foreign policy poses problems both for policy-makers and IR scholars. Wilhelmine and Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and USSR have left a heavy mark on the scholarship on revisionist threats and their management. Like the mythological Titans, these states launched their challenge all the way to ‘Olympus’: they longed to build a new international order by war or a large-scale and long-standing competition. However, the myth of Prometheus teaches us that this ‘revolutionary’ path is not the only road for secondary states to gain primacy. Revisionism can also take a more careful shape, both by means and objectives. The article preliminarily discusses the understudied type of careful revisionism and distinguishes the subtypes of ‘incrementals’, ‘moderates’ and ‘gamblers’. These more nuanced forms compel status quo power(s) to face a dilemma between two strategic options: engagement or confrontation. Then it posits that a wisely gauged assessment of the careful revisionist challenge by the dominant power must inevitably lay at the basis of any grand strategy for preserving the status quo and preventing systemic change. Finally, it tests this hypothesis by investigating the confrontation between a dominant power – the United Kingdom – and six careful revisionists – namely the United States (1814–1860), the Kingdom of Sardinia/Italy (1852–1882), France (1875–1904), Russian Empire (1864–1907), Imperial Japan (1919–1936) and Fascist Italy (1922–1935).

The return of Prometheus. Dominant powers and the management of careful revisionists / Natalizia, Gabriele; Termine, Lorenzo. - In: RIVISTA ITALIANA DI SCIENZA POLITICA. - ISSN 0048-8402. - (2023), pp. 1-17. [10.1017/ipo.2023.26]

The return of Prometheus. Dominant powers and the management of careful revisionists

Natalizia, Gabriele;Termine, Lorenzo
2023

Abstract

After defeating the 20th-century challengers to the international order, the United States must today calibrate its response to the rise of the PRC, whose foreign policy poses problems both for policy-makers and IR scholars. Wilhelmine and Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and USSR have left a heavy mark on the scholarship on revisionist threats and their management. Like the mythological Titans, these states launched their challenge all the way to ‘Olympus’: they longed to build a new international order by war or a large-scale and long-standing competition. However, the myth of Prometheus teaches us that this ‘revolutionary’ path is not the only road for secondary states to gain primacy. Revisionism can also take a more careful shape, both by means and objectives. The article preliminarily discusses the understudied type of careful revisionism and distinguishes the subtypes of ‘incrementals’, ‘moderates’ and ‘gamblers’. These more nuanced forms compel status quo power(s) to face a dilemma between two strategic options: engagement or confrontation. Then it posits that a wisely gauged assessment of the careful revisionist challenge by the dominant power must inevitably lay at the basis of any grand strategy for preserving the status quo and preventing systemic change. Finally, it tests this hypothesis by investigating the confrontation between a dominant power – the United Kingdom – and six careful revisionists – namely the United States (1814–1860), the Kingdom of Sardinia/Italy (1852–1882), France (1875–1904), Russian Empire (1864–1907), Imperial Japan (1919–1936) and Fascist Italy (1922–1935).
2023
careful revisionism; gamblers; incrementals; management; moderates; United Kingdom; United States
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
The return of Prometheus. Dominant powers and the management of careful revisionists / Natalizia, Gabriele; Termine, Lorenzo. - In: RIVISTA ITALIANA DI SCIENZA POLITICA. - ISSN 0048-8402. - (2023), pp. 1-17. [10.1017/ipo.2023.26]
File allegati a questo prodotto
File Dimensione Formato  
Natalizia-Termine_Prometheus_2023.pdf

solo gestori archivio

Note: articolo principale
Tipologia: Versione editoriale (versione pubblicata con il layout dell'editore)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 267.47 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
267.47 kB Adobe PDF   Contatta l'autore

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1693003
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact