Revising the Status Quo of Revisionism, Grand Strategy, and International Order

Onur Erpul, Florida International University


This dissertation examines a type of variance in state behavior pertaining to international conflict and cooperation. Rather than confining this discussion to a binary understanding of state behavior, between revisionism and status-quo seeking, it endeavors to provide a nuanced discussion of the type of grand-strategic orientations states undertake in pursuit of their interests. It poses the question, “under what circumstances do states aspire to uphold, seek to reform, or challenge international order?” In doing so, the study helps to understanding the gamut of behaviors that purportedly satisfied or revisionist states display. System-level material opportunities that are filtered by elite-preferences and beliefs about international order at the unit-level account for the type of grand strategies states will adopt. Through congruency testing, the dissertation identifies and explains order-conforming, order-reforming, order-retrenching, and order-challenging grand strategies. In this context, the dissertation addresses debates within Structural Realism on status-quo and revisionist states as well as grand strategy formation to produce an eclectic mid-range theory of state behavior. The hypotheses generated by this theoretical undertaking are tested through longitudinal, comparative case study examinations of U.S. and Chinese grand strategies in the post-Cold War period.

Subject Area

International Relations

Recommended Citation

Erpul, Onur, "Revising the Status Quo of Revisionism, Grand Strategy, and International Order" (2019). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI28151118.