Volume XVIII – Number 2

Richard Long

Abstract: This study explains why certain states, at certain times, have tried to expand their influence abroad. The basis for this article is found in the Parvenu-Arrogance theory, which states that as national sense of importance in the world rises, states become more assertive in international affairs. The article argues that significantly higher rates of increase in the power resources of a nation, relative to those of comparable nations, tend to produce greater increases in the assertiveness of foreign policy. Unlike other studies, which may focus on outcomes, such as the wars that might arise as a result of increased assertiveness, this study is focused only on levels of assertiveness, or the efforts of a state to influence its foreign environment. The article compares the changes every five years over the 120 year period from 1870 to 1990 in the power resources of a limited peer group of six major developed states: France, Germany, Japan, Russia/USSR and the United States. These results, paired with significant instances of foreign influence occurring during the time period prove that there is a correlation between states increasing their influence in the international arena and a states relative power increase.


Keywords: Pervenu-Arrogance, Power, Assertiveness, Influence, International Affairs

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