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Editors’Note A decade has passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of U.S.-Soviet bipolarity. In the ensuing years, many commentators and scholars have questioned whether the United States can remain the world’s sole superpower. Some have deªned U.S. preponderance as “a unipolar moment”; others have suggested that the current structure is “unimultipolar .” Regardless of the characterization, the conventional wisdom maintains that unipolarity is unstable and conºict prone, and thus unlikely to prevail over the long term. In our lead article, William Wohlforth of Georgetown University challenges this logic, arguing that unipolarity is both durable and peaceful. The principal threat to the current structure, according to Wohlforth, is the failure of the United States to stay involved in the international arena. Robert Jervis of Columbia University offers a reformulation of the debate between realism and neoliberalism over the role of conºict and cooperation in international politics. Jervis argues that the disagreement between realists and neoliberals is not about the extent of conºict, but rather whether conºict is unnecessary given states’ quest for security. He then explains the disagreement in the context of what realists and neoliberalists contend is required to facilitate greater international cooperation. Finally, Jervis seeks to elucidate the different perceptions of the two schools of thought on the importance of institutions. John Lewis and Xue Litai, both at Stanford University, address two central questions . First, why have Chinese efforts over the last half century to create a modern air force failed? Second, what lessons have the Chinese gleaned from these failures? Based on their ªndings, the authors conclude that China’s air force has moved away from a strategy based on “active defense” and no ªrst strike, adopting along the way Western notions of the role of air power in combat. For many, the 1995–96 Taiwan Strait crisis and recent disclosures about possible Chinese espionage in the United States—including efforts to acquire U.S. nuclear and satellite technology—signal a major turning point not only in U.S.-China relations, but also in Beijing’s perceptions about the role of high technology in political and military affairs. Evan Feigenbaum of Harvard University explores the evolution of Chinese thinking about the importance of high technology and China’s effort to develop a high-tech capability to enhance its national security. International Security, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Summer 1999), pp. 3–4© 1999 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 3 For years scholars and policymakers have sought to develop ways to negotiate the end of internal conºicts and bring enduring peace to states torn apart by civil war. Barbara Walter of the University of California at San Diego argues that the key to successful conºict resolution lies in the development and implementation of credible commitments. Without them, Walter argues, warring factions are likely to reject negotiated settlements and resume ªghting. In separate letters to the editors, John Dufªeld, Theo Farrell, and Richard Price take issue with Michael Desch’s position that culturalism can at best supplement realism in the study of international relations. Desch responds. In our second set of correspondence, Tarak Barkawi and Christopher Dandeker, followed by Melissa Wells-Petry, offer counterarguments to Elizabeth Kier’s call for the open integration of gays and lesbians in the U.S. military. Kier replies. We are pleased to announce that the editors of International Security have set up a new website . This site contains information for contributors, including details of the journal’s editorial philosophy, policies, and procedures; the IS style sheet and other guidelines for authors; and sample articles from each issue. It complements the site maintained by the journal’s publishers, The MIT Press , which contains information on subscriptions and permission to reprint articles, as well as samples articles. note to contributors International Security welcomes submissions on all aspects of security affairs. Manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced, with notes double-spaced at the end. All artwork must be camera-ready. A length of 5,000–10,000 words is appropriate. To facilitate review, authors should send these copies to the Managing Editor...


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