Committee ChairSullivan, Michael P.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe present study focuses on IGOs and polarity to explain the onset of war in the international system. By testing six functional (economic, transportation, communications, law, social, technical), two neofunctional (regional, universal), and a political type of IGO, an inverse relationship between those types of intergovernmental organizations and the onset of war is found. Furthermore, when controlling for the characteristics of the system (bipolarity, multipolarity), the findings show that during bipolarity, IGOs are more likely to contribute to a decrease in the onset of war than during multipolarity. The findings not only confirm functionalist and neofunctionalist theory which proposes that nation-state cooperation in socio-economic issues ultimately help reduce the onset of war in the international system, but systems theory as well which claims that IGOs are more likely to contribute to peace during bipolarity rather than during multipolarity. Finally, when considering number of ICOs in the international system, the findings show that intergovernmental organizations are a stronger indicator in the variance of onset of war than when polarity is added as an intervening variable.
Degree ProgramPolitical Science