A condition whereby the distribution of military and political forces among nations takes on a state of equilibrium. It may be global or regional in scope, but in all cases, it is in states’ interest to maintain this condition as it is largely viewed as the safest strategic configuration of the international and/or regional system – Particularly under bi-polarity (when two states balance each other). Other configurations include a uni-polar system (wherein other states are likely to gang up on the single great power) or a multi-polar system (whereby three or more great powers balance each other). This latter configuration is considered to be the least stable.   See also: kenneth waltz | neorealism | structural realism