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Title: Augmenting Order: The Diffusion of Dominant Alliance Forms
Authors: Kuo, Raymond Cheng
Advisors: Ikenberry, G. John
Moravcsik, Andrew
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: Alliances
institutional design
international order
Security studies
Subjects: International relations
Organization theory
Military studies
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Security alliances have stabilized international order, and their failures have led to the costliest conflicts in history. Given these stakes, we should expect states to tailor their partnerships to meet specific strategic challenges, financial constraints, or domestic vulnerabilities. This should lead to a myriad of alliance institutional designs. Instead, the past 300 years feature six distinct historical periods, within which over 75 percent of alliance ties possess similar - if not identical - organizational features. These dominant alliance forms alternate between narrowly focused, shallow consultation and extensively institutionalized coordination. This dissertation explains the formation and diffusion of these dominant alliance forms. Major wars inject significant uncertainty into the international system. In their aftermath, states are unsure what the major security challenges are and how to effectively meet them. They also face a problem of "relative reliability:" Determining the importance of their security relationship within their partner's wider portfolio of alliances. This dissertation argues that the great powers create a "modal alliance" to manage security relations among them. This serves as the standard for security cooperation within the historical period. Other countries emulate the pact's institutional features to resolve the uncertainty generated by the major war. The modal alliance provides an institutional solution to key security challenges, establishes what organizational designs are considered credible, and sets a strategic aspiration towards which other states strive. This project examines three case studies to test this theory's observable implications, focusing on security relations in the Bismarckian (1873-1892), Cold War (1946-1991), and post-Cold War (1992+) eras. It also presents statistical findings to ensure that the theory's microfoundations lead to the predicted systemic effects. In the aftermath of major wars, leading states therefore have rare opportunities to set the nature of security relations not just for their core network, but for the entire state system. Balance of power dynamics throughout the system can be attenuated, but only if the leading state establishes and consistently upholds a particular standard of security cooperation. This institutional diffusion approach to alliance design therefore leads to important policy implications. Changes to a modal alliance can have much wider effects on credibility and prestige than initially anticipated, potentially disrupting or buttressing security ties in several regions at once.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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