Major Power Capabilities and Interstate Wars


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Major Power Capabilities and Interstate Wars
Etienne A.
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Papres on whether there has existed a relationship between the relative power of the strongest nation and the frequency of war throughout the last two centuries.
Since the end of World War II, the international system (a system that comprises all nations in the world) has experienced a decrease in the occurrence of international wars accompanied by a steady increase of intrastate wars (also referred to as civil war, civil conflict), conflicts that occur within a nation-state rather than between two or more nation states. Many scholars have attempted to identify the characteristics that lead to civil war onset (Anyanwu, 2003; Fearon and Laitin, 2003; Gurr, 1968; Lake, 2003; Mansfield and Snyder; Posen, 1993 2002; Sambonis, 2001; Saxton, 2005; Tilly, 2003) by mainly focusing on the characteristics of countries and how these either promote or preclude the occurrence of a civil war. However, the effects of systemic factors (the aggregate characteristics of the international system rather than characteristics of its members individually) on civil war onset remains impressively understudied. Additionally, scholars have overlooked the potential causes of the frequency of civil wars within the international system over time. In order to fill these gaps, this study aims at answering the following question: Does the hegemon's level of capabilities impact the number of civil wars occurring within the international system? The international system represent the world under which countries operate and interact; the hegemon represents the stronger state in the said system - in this paper, the hegemenon is the United States for the entire time period - and the capabilities of the hegemon represent the portion of total world power (the aggregated international power) that the hegemon owns in terms of electricity consumption, military power, and population indices. The paper is organized in the following manner: first, the data sources are identified and explained; second, some background on times series variables and processes are defined; then, the characteristics of the data are presented; the fourth section presents the statistical analyses and the interpretation thereof; the final questions addresses implications, conclusions and avenues for future research.
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18/11/2008 13:42
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20/08/2019 16:01
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