Although first explicitly coined in Renaissance Italy, the notion of a 'balance of power' - the conduct of state actors to meet the logics of power balancing - goes back to pre-modern times. Traditionally, scholars have looked to the Punic Wars and the early modern period as early evidence for the balance. However, the ancient Near East during the second-millennium BC has received far less attention. Yet Western Asia existed as an international arena of states fully integrated in a system based on interdependence and power balancing. In the field of International Relations, systematic analyses of this phase in world history remain under-developed. Accordingly, the question of when a systemic environment for the balancing behaviour existed for the first time has been addressed less in International Relations theory where the literature leans primarily on the European experience.
- 517 Valtio-oppi, hallintotiede