AuthorSchampel, James Howard.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDyadic power theory proposes that the speed of power-ratio change between two nations predicts to both the onset of war and alliance formation. The speed of power-ratio change is measured utilizing the concepts of velocity and acceleration. It is posited that decision-makers perceive high velocity change and/or high acceleration of change in the power-ratio between them and a potential adversary as threatening. The lack of reaction time encourages the decision-makers to act in non-traditional ways. Thus, they opt for hostilities or alliance partners rather than utilize traditional diplomatic measures such as "summits", conferences, protests, etc. The independent variables of national power were provided by Jacek Kugler in private correspondence, and the dependent variables of alliances and wars were selected from data-sets compiled by Singer and Small. Dyadic changes in power previous to these events were then correlated with the events, themselves. Moderate support for the theory was obtained. Although there was little correlation between acceleration of power-ratio change and either event, there were moderate correlations between average velocity of change and the event, suggesting that decision-makers react precipitously to rapidly changing conditions vis-a-vis potential adversaries. The findings suggest that future studies that will isolate such factors as size of nation, century of event, contiguity, and even type of political system of the adversaries or partners are warranted.
Degree ProgramPolitical Sciences