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balance of power

Definition/Scope: In international relations, the posture and policy of a nation or group of nations protecting itself against another nation or group of nations by matching its power against the power of the other side. States can pursue a policy of balance of power in two ways: by increasing their own power, as when engaging in an armaments race or in the competitive acquisition of territory; or by adding to their own power that of other states, as when embarking upon a policy of alliances.

Broader Terms:

international relations

Related Terms:

arms race

CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008