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Title:Incomplete democratization and conflict: The role of territory and nationalism
Author(s):Lassi, Leif Thomas
Director of Research:Vasquez, John
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Vasquez, John
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Pahre, Robert; Dai, Xinyuan; Kuklinski, James
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
International Relations
Abstract:This dissertation explores the impact of incomplete democratic transitions on international peace and security. Since the end of the Second World War, the number of democracies has seen a five-fold increase. Countries do not, however, magically transform into fully institutionalized democracies overnight. I ask how ongoing democratic transitions impact the likelihood of international conflict and the ability of states to resolve disagreements peacefully. I advance a nuanced argument, suggesting that democratization leads to belligerent foreign policies, but only in contexts where territory is a salient point of contention between states. The presence of territorial issues allows political actors to use nationalistic rhetoric and, therefore, they will pursue hardline policies vis-à-vis other states. I find support for my argument in statistical analyses, using existing data on territorial issues and militarized disputes in an innovative way, as well as qualitative case studies. Notably, the process described here does not appear to be present when states contend over non-territorial issues, supporting the argument that there is a unique link between democratization, territorial issues, and nationalism
Issue Date:2018-12-02
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Leif Lassi
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-02-07
Date Deposited:2018-12

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