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Title:Correlates of political alignment: Jumping off the balancing bandwagon
Author(s):Rudkevich, Gennady
Director of Research:Vasquez, John A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Vasquez, John A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Diehl, Paul F.; Leff, Carol S.; Bowers, Jake
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
balance of power
war joining
military interstate dispute (MID) joining
Abstract:This dissertation investigates the determinants of interstate political alignment, examining why states join others in conflictual or cooperative endeavors and which side they take in those situations. The puzzle it seeks to address is why some states are much more likely to gain support than others, and whether the likelihood of such support varies on the basis of the issue under dispute and the characteristics of the state itself. The dissertation emphasizes the interests of rulers, particularly in their need to obtain support on issues of high salience to them. The desire for future reciprocation lies at the heart of these alignment decisions. First, leaders consistently reciprocate positive and negative alignments, rarely changing sides in consecutive conflicts. Second, rulers avoid positively aligning with leaders of unstable or politically unrepresentative states, as the latter are less likely to be in a position to return the favor. After providing a general explanation of alignment, the dissertation demonstrates that not all alignments are created equal. The willingness of rulers to reciprocate is contingent on the cost and discernibility of past alignment decisions. A ruler who provided unambiguous support to another and paid a large price for doing so can expect future support more readily than someone who did not. I test the theory in three chapters, two quantitative and one qualitative. In the former, the hypotheses relating to reciprocation and regime characteristics are tested on a new dataset consisting of all potential interventions into existing wars, MIDs, and sanctions. The qualitative chapter consists of a case study of the former Soviet Union from 1991 to the present, and attempts to determine whether alignment decisions made by those states were for reasons specified in the alignment theory.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Gennady Rudkevich
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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