Date: August 2013
Creator: Kurz, Aaron
Description: The dissertation studies two aspects of international hierarchy. The world of international politics is not one of completely sovereign states competing in anarchy. Patterns of hierarchy, where a dominant state has legitimate control over some actions of a subordinate state, color the globe. First, I look at shared norms and hierarchy. Most studies concerning hierarchy focus on material maximization as an explanation for hierarchy--if hierarchy increases the wealth and security of two states, then hierarchy is more likely. I argue that shared norms held by two states facilitate hierarchy. Shared norms produce a common in-group community, generate common interests, create common ways of doing business, and give rise to common values that increase subordinate states' ability to persuade the dominant state. These factors ease the creation and maintenance of international hierarchical relationships. Second, I study interstate behaviors that can be explained as actions of maintenance by dominant states over subordinates to preserve or increase a level of hierarchy. I theorize that sticks and carrots from a dominant state (like economic sanctions, military interventions, and foreign aid) help sustain a dominant state's rule by convincing subordinate states to follow the dominant state's commands and expectations. Using data on U.S. hierarchies from ...
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