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The internal politics of external threat

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Title: The internal politics of external threat
Author(s): Wright, Thorin
Director of Research: Diehl, Paul F.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Diehl, Paul F.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Vasquez, John A.; Svolik, Milan; Dai, Xinyuan
Department / Program: Political Science
Discipline: Political Science
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): international conflict territory rivalry human rights
Abstract: This project focuses on domestic political pressures in response to different kinds of international threat. In explaining the domestic politics of external threat, I seek to answer why states choose escalate conflicts over some issues and not others, against rivals at certain times and not others, and choose to abuse human rights during some conflicts, but not others. I focus specifically on the interaction between the external threats of territorial competition and interstate rivalry with domestic political institutions to predict outcomes in interstate conflict such as escalation to war and rival conflict severity, as well as the propensity to repress human rights. I argue that democratic states, which are driven by popular support, are more likely to engage in conflict and repression when public goods issues such as symbolic territory (e.g. Jerusalem, Kashmir) are contested. In contrast autocratic states, which are dependent on elite support, are more likely threats salient when they threaten private good distribution, or when land such as resource rich territory, is on the line. In three empirical chapters, I explore the domestic politics of threat in three arenas. First, I examine how domestic considerations affect when and over what kinds of territory that state go to war; examining militarized territorial conflicts and territorial claims from 1816-2001. The second empirical chapter explores how domestic political concerns affect the escalation of conflict between international rivals from 1816-2001. Finally, the last empirical chapter explores how territorial conflict, rival conflict, and domestic politics intersect to alter states tendencies to abuse human rights from 1977-2001.
Issue Date: 2012-09-18
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/34571
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Thorin Wright
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-09-18
Date Deposited: 2012-08
 

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