What is Grand Strategy? Interview with Thierry Balzacq and Simon Reich

Comparative grand strategy

What is grand strategy? Do states have the monopoly of grand strategy? Can all states develop and claim to have a grand strategy? What can a comparative study of grand strategy bring to an understanding of global politics? Thierry Balzacq , Simon Reich and Peter Dombrowski examine these questions and many more in a coedited volume promoting a novel approach to the concept of grand strategy, Comparing Grand Strategy: A Framework and Cases (Oxford University Press, 2019). Interview with Thierry Balzacq and Simon Reich.

How would you define grand strategy to the layman?

This is a difficult question, not least because experts tend to forget that the definition is considerably simplified with that purpose in mind when you provide an answer aimed at a general audience. But acknowledging that risk, in our view grand strategies describe the fundamental principles that guide a country’s foreign policy. In that sense they provide the guidelines for a state’s plans, the strategy it pursues in a specific case, and even its decisions and tactics in an individual episode...

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