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Polar Silk Road: the Current Situation and Future Possibilities of Arctic Territorial Dispute

Student: Tsuen ing Wang

Supervisor: Timofey Bordachev

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: International Relations: European and Asian Studies (Master)

Final Grade: 9

Year of Graduation: 2020

Power balance is a very important part of realism, and it is a mechanism to maintain the stability and order of the international system. From the perspective of realists, the distribution of capabilities in the international system reflects various forms of balance and imbalance of power in international relations. The balance of power theory is a theory for studying and observing the characteristics, principles, and forms of the distribution of capabilities changes, and it is also a strategy for foreign affairs and international relations. Waltz’s theory uses the “international system” level analysis on the analysis unit and constructs a specific system “structure” through the relative “distribution of capabilities” between the units. This specific “structure” restricts the actions of the “unit”. In other words, in a unipolar, bipolar or multipolar system under anarchy, the logic behind the formulation of national policy is whether the policy can achieve the balance of power in the international community. This thesis explores the assumption of whether Arctic countries following the balance of power in the Arctic maritime disputes, based on Waltz’s structural realism. If the behavior of each state meets the assumption of the balance of power, it can explain that the Arctic subsystem is relatively stable. If the subsystem is stable, the thesis can further analyze the impacts of China’s involvement in Arctic affairs with funds and construction of the Polar Silk Road on the balance of power in the system.

Full text (added May 11, 2020)

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