The Poland-United States Security Relations in the light of Asymmetry Theory
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asymmetry theory
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Kupiecki, R. (2016). The Poland-United States Security Relations in the light of Asymmetry Theory. Przegląd Strategiczny, (9), 31–48.


Asymmetry in inter-state relations occurs when one of the partners enjoys more freedom of action, resulting from a unique confluence of power factors, thus obtaining a dominant position. Still, in the process, the superior power incurs costs and risks ineffectiveness, thus having to precisely calculate its modus operandi, while the weaker state has at its disposal means to mitigate the consequences of existing power discrepancies. Asymmetry defines Polish-US relations, manifesting itself with full strength in the field of security and defense, given the discrepancies in the two countries’ potentials, different roles played in international relations and the position of the USA as the guarantor of Poland’s security. This article touches upon the effects and the dynamics of this situation, perceived as a process that is the result of certain adjustments rather than coercion. Included in it is the ability of influencing the politics of the stronger partner as well as the overvaluation of its results by the weaker side, along with the neglect of the weaker player’s interests by the dominating side. Managing this kind of relations demands maturity and loyalty on both sides. Also, necessary is the institutionalization of deconflicting the priorities of cooperation, using international law tools and consultation mechanisms offered by multilateral forums as well as negotiating mutual relations protecting from their dissolution. Not without importance are also societal sentiments, as well as respect towards all symbolism that underlines mutual relations. Key for Polish-American cooperation, in the field of security, is an understanding of the USA’s global perspective, in which Europe is only one of its dimensions.
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