Disputed territory, defensive alliances and conflict initiation

Thorin Wright, Toby J. Rider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, we evaluate the effects of alliance behavior on the probability of militarized conflict initiation with specific emphasis placed on the issues at stake in the conflict. After much debate over the relationship between alliances and conflict, recent research suggests that specific types of alliances, namely defensive pacts for target states, decrease the likelihood that potential challengers will initiate militarized disputes. Revisiting the alliance-conflict relationship, we allow the type of issue at stake to vary in order to determine whether this deterrent effect holds even when the most salient of issues are under contention. Specifically, we introduce indicators for whether the two states are competing over territorial issues, a high-salience stake that is particularly conflict-prone. Using a number of different indicators for territorial competition and examining several different time periods, analyses suggest that targeted defensive alliances do indeed have a deterrent effect against named adversaries, even when the most salient of issues are at stake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-144
Number of pages26
JournalConflict Management and Peace Science
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

conflict research
Alliances
time
Challenger
Dispute
Relationship conflict

Keywords

  • Alliances
  • deterrence
  • militarized interstate disputes
  • territory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

Disputed territory, defensive alliances and conflict initiation. / Wright, Thorin; Rider, Toby J.

In: Conflict Management and Peace Science, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2014, p. 119-144.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e31ecb20cee142e0a9f1e1f1301e2ba8,
title = "Disputed territory, defensive alliances and conflict initiation",
abstract = "In this study, we evaluate the effects of alliance behavior on the probability of militarized conflict initiation with specific emphasis placed on the issues at stake in the conflict. After much debate over the relationship between alliances and conflict, recent research suggests that specific types of alliances, namely defensive pacts for target states, decrease the likelihood that potential challengers will initiate militarized disputes. Revisiting the alliance-conflict relationship, we allow the type of issue at stake to vary in order to determine whether this deterrent effect holds even when the most salient of issues are under contention. Specifically, we introduce indicators for whether the two states are competing over territorial issues, a high-salience stake that is particularly conflict-prone. Using a number of different indicators for territorial competition and examining several different time periods, analyses suggest that targeted defensive alliances do indeed have a deterrent effect against named adversaries, even when the most salient of issues are at stake.",
keywords = "Alliances, deterrence, militarized interstate disputes, territory",
author = "Thorin Wright and Rider, {Toby J.}",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1177/0738894213503440",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "31",
pages = "119--144",
journal = "Conflict Management and Peace Science",
issn = "0738-8942",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Disputed territory, defensive alliances and conflict initiation

AU - Wright, Thorin

AU - Rider, Toby J.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - In this study, we evaluate the effects of alliance behavior on the probability of militarized conflict initiation with specific emphasis placed on the issues at stake in the conflict. After much debate over the relationship between alliances and conflict, recent research suggests that specific types of alliances, namely defensive pacts for target states, decrease the likelihood that potential challengers will initiate militarized disputes. Revisiting the alliance-conflict relationship, we allow the type of issue at stake to vary in order to determine whether this deterrent effect holds even when the most salient of issues are under contention. Specifically, we introduce indicators for whether the two states are competing over territorial issues, a high-salience stake that is particularly conflict-prone. Using a number of different indicators for territorial competition and examining several different time periods, analyses suggest that targeted defensive alliances do indeed have a deterrent effect against named adversaries, even when the most salient of issues are at stake.

AB - In this study, we evaluate the effects of alliance behavior on the probability of militarized conflict initiation with specific emphasis placed on the issues at stake in the conflict. After much debate over the relationship between alliances and conflict, recent research suggests that specific types of alliances, namely defensive pacts for target states, decrease the likelihood that potential challengers will initiate militarized disputes. Revisiting the alliance-conflict relationship, we allow the type of issue at stake to vary in order to determine whether this deterrent effect holds even when the most salient of issues are under contention. Specifically, we introduce indicators for whether the two states are competing over territorial issues, a high-salience stake that is particularly conflict-prone. Using a number of different indicators for territorial competition and examining several different time periods, analyses suggest that targeted defensive alliances do indeed have a deterrent effect against named adversaries, even when the most salient of issues are at stake.

KW - Alliances

KW - deterrence

KW - militarized interstate disputes

KW - territory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84898910289&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84898910289&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0738894213503440

DO - 10.1177/0738894213503440

M3 - Article

VL - 31

SP - 119

EP - 144

JO - Conflict Management and Peace Science

JF - Conflict Management and Peace Science

SN - 0738-8942

IS - 2

ER -