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Three to tango: explaining expansion of militarized interstate disputes

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Title: Three to tango: explaining expansion of militarized interstate disputes
Author(s): Moorthy, Shweta
Director of Research: Diehl, Paul
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Diehl, Paul
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Flint, Colin; Vasquez, John; Shumate, Michelle
Department / Program: Political Science
Discipline: Political Science
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): interstate disputes intervention joining
Abstract: Why do some international conflicts diffuse and expand beyond its initiators? This dissertation answers this question by identifying the potential third party states to a conflict and focusing on their decisions to join (or not) in an ongoing conflict. Why do some third parties intervene in militarized conflicts, while others do not? The potential joiner’s decision to join an ongoing dispute is influenced by two factors – (1) the degree of affinity i.e. the level of shared strategic, economic and political interests it shares with both sides of the dispute, and (2) the level and nature of its interactions with other potential joiners to the dispute, and other states in international politics, which provide opportunities or places constraints on its decision to join. This paper uses social network analysis to test its logic. Affinity is measured by the ‘structural equivalence’ between a potential joiner and the dispute initiators on both sides of the dispute. It is the extent to which they have the same allies, trade partners and are members of the same international government organizations (IGOs). This project posits that a potential joiner is constrained in its decision to join an ongoing dispute by its position in network spaces of rivalries, international trade, and IGO affiliations. The hypotheses are tested using data on potential joiners to Militarized Interstate Disputes (MIDs) between 1816 and 2001. Empirical tests support many of the theoretical propositions. A potential joiner is highly likely to intervene in disputes when it has asymmetric levels of affinities induced by having common allies and shared international organizations with the dispute initiators. A potential joiner’s decision to enter an ongoing dispute is constrained by their centrality in rivalry and international government organization networks.
Issue Date: 2012-09-18
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/34510
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Shweta Moorthy.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-09-18
Date Deposited: 2012-08
 

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