AuthorGrant, Keith Adley
AdvisorDixon, William J.
Committee ChairDixon, William J.
MetadataShow full item record
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.
AbstractThis dissertation project broadly addresses the question of how state behavior is conditioned by the structural configuration of the network in which they are embedded. It attempts to reconcile some of the discrepancies between the systemic and dyadic approaches to international relations, by arguing that the international system is a multidimensional network that results as an emergent property of the dyadic ties that exist between states.This dissertation consists of three stand alone analyses, connected by their focus on systemic configuration and the impact of various elements of international structures on the behavior of states. In contrast to most studies of international relations, dimensions of the international order are observed, rather than assumed. The first chapter focuses specifically on observing and describing the structure and tendencies of the behavioral dimension of the international system. It assesses patterns of consistency in international relations, searching for both simple, dyadic consistency as well as more complex, triadic consistency. The second chapter relies on these positive and negative relations to create a model of policy reinforcement, with a focus on the onset of militarized conflict. Structural balance theory is used to identify shared, external relations that either reinforce or dampen the impact of dyadic hostility on militarized conflict. The final empirical chapter shifts to a more localized focus, investigating the impact of alliance portfolio size on the likelihood of alliance obligation fulfillment. Here, the size and capabilities of a disputant's local alliance portfolio do not directly modify the behavior of the disputant, but instead that of the disputant's other allies.Together, these chapters demonstrate the importance of accounting for systemic factors in explaining and analyzing dyadic behavior. The characteristics of local networks, such as alliance portfolios, have significant implications for state security. The configuration of foreign policy relations provides feedback to states, influencing their willingness to take aggressive actions. Bipolarity and multipolarity can be empirically observed through the clustering of states, rather than by merely counting the number of major powers. However, perhaps most significant is the contribution these analyses make to a small but growing literature attempting to move beyond the dyad.
Degree ProgramPolitical Science