Romania and the Decision to Enter the War in August 1916. Balancing, Sub-­balancing, Alignment Cover Image

România şi decizia de a intra în Război în august 1916. Balansare, sub-balansare, aliniere
Romania and the Decision to Enter the War in August 1916. Balancing, Sub-­balancing, Alignment

Author(s): Șerban Filip Cioculescu
Subject(s): Recent History (1900 till today)
Published by: Editura Militară
Keywords: Romania; World War 1; alliances; balance; bandwagoning; hegemony; revisionism; national unification; decision-making

Summary/Abstract: The Great War from 1914-1918 has clearly been first a hegemonic war, if one uses the words of Neorealist author Robert Gilpin: the great powers prepared for it and fought it in order to get new spheres of influences and territories, resources, populations, and also to prevent the rival ones to become too strong in the near future. On the other side, small and medium-sized states like Romania prepared for war and entered into it with the aim of receiving those territories and populations inhabited by their ethnic-kin populations and belonging to multinational empires like the Austro-Hungarian and the Tsarist ones. The author asks the question if Romania entered the war after two years of neutrality aiming at balancing against the enemies, against the most threatening state (Russia), or to align with the likely victors, as both the Triple Entente and the Central Powers coalition promised it to offer territories from the defeated enemy empires. But in August 1916 no likely victorious coalition had emerged and Romania finally did chose to ally with the Entente, thus also with Russia, which had been previously seen as the biggest danger for its national security. The collective desire to get the rich and beautiful Transylvania, the Bukovina and the Banat (or at least part of it) prevailed against the fear of Russia (and the alternative scenario of receiving Bessarabia), but the decision was not a bandwagon-like calculus as Russia was not at all superior in military forces, technology and economy to Germany, the leading state of the Central Powers.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 3-4
  • Page Range: 43-50
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Romanian