Foreign and domestic conflict behavior in Communist China, 1949-1970 : a quantitative study
AuthorOnate, Andres David
AdvisorSullivan, Michael P.
Committee ChairSullivan, Michael P.
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.
AbstractPolitical scientists generally believe that the foreign and domestic conflict behavior of nations are related to the extent that nations experiencing internal difficulties will seek foreign policies of conflict in order to divert the people's attention from serious internal problems. Recent empirical studies, however, have cast some doubt on this generalized relationship. Generally, China scholars agree that increases in the levels of internal conflict has historically led the Chinese to seek foreign policies of conflict. This generalization provides both hypotheses for this study: (1) increases in levels of internal conflict are related to increases in levels of external conflict, and (2) if the two domains are related causally as suggested by the China scholars, then increases in internal conflict should be related to increases in external conflict at points later in time. Data were collected on nine measures of domestic conflict and 12 measures of foreign conflict. The data were collected over a 21 year period, 19S>0-1970, exclusively from the New York Times Index. The results were mixed. The principal finding in the correlations of the raw data and the transformed raw data was that foreign and domestic conflict were not related generally. However, analysis of the annual weighted transformed data did produce a significant relationship between foreign and domestic conflict of .52. Pour additional cross-checks were performed. First, treating the data quarterly, rather than annually, confirmed the finding at .40. Second, using the Spearman rank correlation test (rather than the Pearson product moment) lowered the correlation to .33 "for the annual data and .28 for the quarterly data, but still both correlations were moderately significant (the annual correlation was significant at the .14 level while the quarterly correlation was significant at the .01 level). The remaining two checks (a scattergram for checking linearity and outliers, and the analysis of smaller time-units in order to check for the stability of the relationship over time) produced results suggesting that the initial conclusion of a high relationship be modified to a moderately significant relationship. Thus, the principal finding of this study was that a moderate relationship exists between foreign and domestic conflict behavior in Communist China. Finally, temporal relationships did confirm the China scholar's notion that one conflict domain in China is temporally related to the other, but the relationship was contrary to what was expected: domestic conflict consistently emerged as the dependent variable, appearing to increase and decrease after increases and decreases in foreign conflict. Whether or not the two dimensions of internal and external conflict are related to the degree to which the China scholars believe is a question not totally confirmed nor refuted significantly by this study. The principal finding of a moderate relationship, however, does lend some support to the historical generalizations relating foreign and domestic conflict behavior in Communist China.
Degree ProgramGraduate College