1. The concept of status in world politics has become increasingly important, with leaders from various countries asserting their international status and bristling at encroachments upon it.
2. Scholars have pointed to status as the primary cause of arms races, territorial expansion, and diplomatic crises, as well as of the outbreak and intensity of interstate wars.
3. The four books reviewed in this article provide detailed accounts of why the pursuit of status can have destabilizing consequences for world politics, which neither a focus on power nor interests would predict.
The article provides a comprehensive review of the status literature in world politics, focusing on four recent books that highlight the importance of status in shaping foreign policy and interstate conflict. The authors note that there is near unanimity among scholars about what status is, why states seek it, and how it can destabilize international relations. However, they also point out that there are tensions within and between these theories that need to be addressed for continued progress.
One potential bias in the article is its focus on studies connecting status to foreign policy and interstate conflict, which excludes other important areas where status may have an impact, such as internal conflict or global governance. Additionally, the authors acknowledge that there are different ways of defining status (as standing or membership) and measuring it (quantitatively or qualitatively), but do not fully explore the implications of these differences.
The article also makes some unsupported claims, such as stating that leaders around the world are bluntly asserting their international status and bristling at encroachments upon it without providing evidence for this assertion. Similarly, the authors suggest that instability will likely increase if boasts and brags supplant discretion and diplomacy in world politics without explaining why this would be the case.
Overall, while the article provides a useful overview of the status literature in world politics, it could benefit from more nuanced analysis of different definitions and measures of status, as well as more rigorous evidence for some of its claims.