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Moreover, it demonstrated that, to be effective, a defensiveness norm must be accepted by many states, especially the major powers. Otherwise, revisionist states are bound to generate an offensive `breakout' followed by status quo states determined not to be caught off guard. The Second World War Public interest in defensive ideas virtually disappeared following the unsuccessful conclusion of the Geneva Disarmament Conference. In 32 Concepts of Non-Provocative Defence Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union, military doctrine shifted towards the offensive, partly in reaction to the Great War's defensive stalemate, partly (as revisionist powers) to the European power balance.

Reflectivist theories and the security dilemma Another challenge to the defensive view of the security dilemma comes from the `reflectivists'. Such theories as constructivism, post-modernism, post-positivism, and feminism would deny that the security dilemma is a central explanation for various international problems. They would also reject its alleged fatalism. In this, some reflectivist theories align with defensive views. However, reflectivists view the security dilemma differently, suggesting that it is a social construction and hence can be transcended or even avoided in the first place.

However, the most desirable form of arms race, and simultaneously the most absurd, is one in which two rival states with no offensive capabilities engage in a race to acquire defensive weapons only. By most criteria, this situation would not qualify as a security dilemma. The Security Dilemma 21 As should be clear by now, the relationship between the security dilemma and arms racing is complex. While the security dilemma includes arms racing as a core idea, it also introduces a more elaborate set of ideas about the distorting role of reciprocal fear, incentives for `preventive war', the law of unintended consequences, and the actual loss of security through arms procurement.

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