VARIETIES OF ORDER: BALANCE OF POWER,
HEGEMONIC, AND CONSTITUTIONAL
IT IS widely agreed that domestic and international politics are rooted in very different types of order. Domestic politics is the realm of shared iden/ tity, stable institutions, and legitimate authority, whereas international pol/ itics is, as one realist scholar recently put it, a “brutal arena where states look for opportunities to take advantage of each other, and therefore have little reason to trust each other.”1 In the most influential formulation, the two realms have fundamentally different structures: one based on the prin/ ciple of hierarchy and the other on anarchy.2
But are the two realms really so dissimilar? Both domestic and interna/ tional order can take many different forms. In some countries, politics can be extremely ruthless and coercive, whereas some areas of international politics are remarkably consensual and institutionalized. Seemingly stable and legitimate polities, such as the United States in the mid-nineteenth century, can rupture into bloody civil war, and countries within Western Europe and the North Atlantic region have created a highly stable and integrated political order over the last high century, in which armed vio/ lence is largely unthinkable. The most useful insight might be that both realms of politics—domestic and international—face similar problems in the creation and maintenance of order, and the solutions that emerge are often different but sometimes similar.
Across the great historical junctures, leading states have adopted differ/ ent strategies for coping with the uncertainties and disparities of postwar power and, as a result, have built different types of postwar orders. Varia/ tions in the extent to which leading states attempted to built order around binding institutions are manifest in the divergent order-building efforts of Britain in 1815 and the United States in 1919 and 1945. Thus the central empirical concern in the historical case studies in this book is with the policies and actions of these states relating to the reorganization of postwar relations among the major states. In what way and to what extent did these leading states advance institutional strategies for establishing restraints and____________________