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The Effect of Regional Institutionalization on Violent Conflict: A Shaky Kantian Leg?

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Are more institutionalized international organizations more effective in mitigating militarized interstate disputes? Realists expect no independent effect of international organizations on such disputes, regardless their level of institutionalization. Liberals, on the other hand, offer several mechanisms by international organizations may alleviate violent conflict. These mechanisms depend on the institutionalization of these organizations in important ways. I empirically evaluate the claims of these contending perspectives with respect to regional integration arrangements (RIAs). These organizations display a great deal of variation in their institutional design and the implementation thereof. Employing an event count model with a panel-data set up and controlling for several alternative explanations, the empirical analysis indicates that higher levels of regional institutionalization tend to reduce violent conflict at the regional level, but that this effect is rather weak.

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... It was not enough for Indonesia just to end confrontation, which was only the beginning of a more positively 24 In his Foreign Affairs article, Malik (1968, 296-298) trumpets the Indonesian efforts on this issue and the high costs associated with these reforms for the Indonesian economy and population. 25 On the role of ASEAN in mitigating intra-regional conflict, see (Haftel 2004). activist policy towards the region: Indonesia needed to provide further proof that it was really committed to a good neighbor policy. ...
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Dale C. Copeland is Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia. For their helpful comments on previous drafts of this article, I would like to thank Robert Art, V. Natasha Copeland, Michael Desch, Angela Doll, John Duffield, Matthew Evangelista, Richard Falkenrath, James Fearon, Joseph Grieco, Atsushi Ishida, Irving Lachow, Alastair Iain Johnston, Andrew Kydd, Jack Levy, Lisa Martin, Michael Mastanduno, John Mearsheimer, Andrew Moravcsik, John Owen, Paul Papayoanou, Stephen Rhoads, Gideon Rose, Richard Rosecrance, Len Schoppa, Herman Schwartz, Randall Schweller, Jitsuo Tsuchiyama, David Waldner, and Stephen Walt. This article also benefited from presentations at the Program on International Politics, Economics, and Security at the University of Chicago; the University of Virginia Department of Government's faculty workshop; the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, September 1995; the Olin security workshop at the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University; and the Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University (under whose auspices it was written). All errors remain mine. 1. For a summary of the causal variables in the two schools, see John J. Mearsheimer, "Back to the Future: Instability in Europe After the Cold War," International Security, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Summer 1990), pp. 5-56; Robert O. Keohane, "International Liberalism Reconsidered," in John Dunn, ed., The Economic Limits to Modern Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 165-194. 2. Four other subsidiary liberal arguments, employing intervening variables, are not sufficiently compelling to discuss here. The first suggests that high trade levels promote domestic prosperity, thereby lessening the internal problems that push leaders into war. The second argues that interdependence helps to foster increased understanding between peoples, which reduces the misunderstandings that lead to war. The third asserts that trade alters the domestic structure of states, heightening the influence of groups with a vested interest in peaceful trade. The final argument contends that trade has the "spill-over" effect of increasing political ties between trading partners, thus improving the prospects for long-term cooperation. For an critical analysis of these views, see Dale Copeland, "Economic Interdependence and the Outbreak of War," paper presented to University of Virginia Department of Government's faculty workshop, March 1995. 3. Richard Cobden, The Political Writings of Richard Cobden (London: T. Fischer Unwin, 1903), p. 225. 4. Norman Angell, The Great Illusion, 2d ed. (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1933), pp. 33, 59-60, 87-89. 5. Ibid. , pp. 59-62, 256. 6. Richard Rosecrance, The Rise of the Trading State: Commerce and Conquest in the Modern World (New York: Basic Books, 1986), pp. 13-14; 24-25 (emphasis added); see also Rosecrance, "War, Trade and Interdependence," in James N. Rosenau and Hylke Tromp, eds., Interdependence and Conflict in World Politics (Aldershot, U.K.: Avebury, 1989), pp. 48-57; Rosecrance, "A New Concert of Powers," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 71, No. 2 (Spring 1992), pp. 64-82. 7. A book often seen as a statement on the peace-inducing effects of interdependence—Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye, Power and Interdependence (Boston: Little, Brown, 1977)—actually contains no such causal argument. For Keohane and Nye, "complex interdependence" is more peaceful by definition: it is "a valuable concept for analyzing the political process" only when military force is "unthinkable" (pp. 29, 24). In the second edition: "since we define complex interdependence in terms of [policy] goals and instruments," arguments "about how goals and instruments are affected by the degree to which a situation approximates complex interdependence or realism will be tautological." Thus, "we are left essentially with two dependent variables: changes in agendas and changes in the roles of international organizations." Keohane and Nye, Power and Interdependence, 2d ed. (Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman, 1989), p. 255; emphasis in original. The dependent variable of this article—the likelihood of war—is nowhere to be found, which is not surprising, since it is assumed away. Other works on interdependence from the 1970s, which largely examined dependent variables other than war, are discussed in Copeland, "Economic Interdependence and the Outbreak of War." 8. One might contend that realists doubt the causal importance of economic interdependence, since relative gains concerns convince great...
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This article is a reflection on the field of European integration studies, a product of four years of collaboration within the ‘Laguna Beach Project.’ This project, co-organized by Alec Stone Sweet and Wayne Sandholtz, will be published as Supranational Governance: The Institutionalization of the European Union (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995). Three themes are explored in this article: the growing importance of institutions in the EU over time; the changing relevance of different theories, especially reflected in the increasing importance of comparative politics approaches; and an assessment of the current theoretical debate, contrasting several competing theories with the approach outlined in the book. While the EU has experienced profound changes over the last five decades, it is often unnoticed that its scholarly counterpart has changed in important ways too.
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A model is introduced that yields a single parsimonious explanation for a diverse range of political phenomena, including the processes of democratic consolidation and peace among democratic nations. The model predicts democratic values to arise from the norms of contract that are endemic in developed market economies and yields the novel contingent claim that the peace among democratic nations may be a pattern limited to those democracies with developed economies. Analyses of a large number of interstate dyads from 1950 to 1992 show strong support for this hypothesis. It seems that the pacifying impact of democracy is about twice as strong among developed countries compared with other dyads. Among conflict-prone contiguous dyads, the pacifying impact of democracy does not appear statistically significant among the poorest decile of joint democratic dyads. The study demonstrates the wide explanatory power of the simple postulate that social values and political preferences derive from socioeconomic norms.
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Reinhard Wolf is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg. Erich Weede is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Cologne, Germany. He is European editor of International Interactions, and the author of Economic Development, Social Order, and World Politics (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1996). He has been President of the Peace Science Society (International), Vice President (International) of the International Studies Association, and Visiting Professor of International Relations at the Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins University. Andrew J. Enterline is a doctoral candidate in international relations at Binghamton University. His dissertation research examines the impact of regime changes, leadership changes, and political instability on interstate conflict. Edward D. Mansfield is Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and author of Power, Trade, and War (Princeton University Press, 1994). Jack Snyder is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. His most recent book is Myths of Empire (Cornell University Press, 1991). He thanks Kathy Barbieri, Lynda R. Curtis, Michael D. McDonald, Glenn Palmer, David R. Pattee, Rose Sherick, and Eduard A. Ziegenhagen for their assistance and encouragement, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. He is particularly indebted to Stuart A. Bremer for his critical comments, technical advice, and support. They thank Robert Jervis and Hendrik Spruyt for comments; Sergei Tikhonov for assistance with computer programming; and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation for financial support. 1. Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder, "Democratization and the Danger of War," International Security, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Summer 1995), pp. 5-38. Subsequent references to this article are in parentheses in the text. 2. To be listed as a "free" country, a state has to register between 1.0 and 2.5 on the Freedom House scale which stretches from 1.0 to 7.0. See Freedom House, Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties (New York: Freedom House, 1989-94). A useful overview of military conflicts after the Cold War's ending is given by Peter Wallensteen and Karin Axell, "Conflict Resolution and the End of the Cold War, 1989-93," Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 31, No. 3 (August 1994), pp. 333-349; and Peter Wallensteen and Margareta Sollenberg, "After the Cold War: Emerging Patterns of Armed Conflict 1989-94," Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 32, No. 3 (August 1995), pp. 345-360. 3. By "rapid progress towards democracy" I mean an average improvement of more than 2.0 in the combined Freedom House ratings over a three-year period. Using only the index for political rights has no effect on the classification of states with regard to the speed of their democratization. For the years prior to independence of a new state, I have used the figures for its parent state. Russian involvement in interstate hostilities refers to the participation of Russian forces in the military conflicts in Georgia (Abkhazia) and Moldova. 4. Among this group of states which moved more slowly or not at all towards democracy are also the two pairs of states which, as Mansfield and Snyder put it, "have found themselves at war while experimenting with varying degrees of partial electoral democracy" (p. 6). According to the Freedom House ratings, however, political rights in three of these countries improved only modestly in the years preceding their war involvement. In Serbia, the initiator of the Serbo-Croat war of 1991-92, Freedom House registered no improvements at all between 1988 and 1991. 1. Dina A. Zinnes, "Why War? Evidence on the Outbreak of International Conflict," in Ted Robert Gurr, ed., Handbook of Politcal Conflict (New York: Free Press, 1980), p. 359. 2. Nils Petter Gleditsch, "Geography, Democracy, and Peace," International Interactions, Vol. 20, No. 4 (1995), pp. 297-323. 3. See, for example, Lewis F. Richardson, Statistics of Deadly Quarrels (Chicago: Boxwood and Quadrangle, 1960); J. David Singer and Melvin Small, The Wages of War (New York: Wiley, 1972); Quincy Wright, A Study of War, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965). 4. See, for example, Gary Goertz and Paul...
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Regions of War and Peace. By Douglas Lemke. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 235p. $70.00 cloth, $25.00 paper. I highly recommend Douglas Lemke's book to all scholars and students who study international conflict and war. This study is an extension of work conducted by the author since the early 1990s, some of which was published in the major quantitatively oriented journals in the field of international politics. The book integrates and advances the theoretical arguments and empirical findings of those earlier studies and makes a notable contribution in the area of peace and conflict analysis. I believe that although it is of primary interest to scholars, it may prove useful in advanced undergraduate classes on international relations and in graduate-level courses on international conflict.
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Whereas most research on the democratic peace has focused on relations within pairs of states, research on the relationship between democratization and armed conflict has centered primarily on the behavior of individual states. Moreover, the existing literature has placed primary emphasis on explaining the effects of democratization on war, rather than military disputes more generally. In this article, we find that certain types of democratic transitions markedly increase the risk of such disputes within dyads, even when economic and political relations between states are taken into account. Particularly prone to violence are dyads in which either state undergoes an incomplete democratic transition; that is, a shift from an autocratic to a partially democratic (or anocratic) regime that stalls prior to the establishment of consolidated democratic institutions.
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Commitments are a persistent feature of international affairs. Disagreement over the effect of international commitments and the causes of compliance with them is equally persistent. Yet in the last decades the long-standing divide between those who believed that international rules per se shaped state behavior and those who saw such rules as epiphenomenal or insignificant has given way to a more nuanced and complex debate. The proliferation and evolution of international legal agreements, organizations, and judicial bodies in the wake of the Cold War has provided the empirical predicate and a policy imperative for heightened attention to the role of international law. Across many issue-areas, the use of law to structure world politics seems to be increasing. This phenomenon of legalization raises several questions. What factors explain the choice to create and use international law? If law is a tool or method to organize interaction, how does it work? Does the use of international law make a difference for how states or domestic actors behave? These questions are increasingly of interest to theorists and policymakers alike. This chapter surveys recent developments in the study of compliance in both the international relations (IR) and international law (IL) literature. Part one defines the concept of compliance, distinguishing it from the related but distinct concepts of implementation and effectiveness. We also focus primarily on compliance with treaties, rather than with the broader categories of rules that international lawyers term 'customary international law.' Part two reviews the major theories advanced by IR and IL scholars through the 1990s, setting forth a chronological account. Part three situates these theories in the context of a typology of six different variables that scholars from both disciplines have identified as influencing the existence and degree of compliance. Part four reviews a range of more recent empirical studies of compliance, as well as the results of cognate analyses of regime design, legalization, and the choice of hard law versus soft law. Part five concludes by identifying a number of open questions.
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Recent developments in the study of international institutions have created a need and opportunity for restating the traditional realist view of the role of institutions in international relations. Advancing what he claimed was realism’s perspective on this issue, John Mearsheimer (1994/95) forcefully staked out an extreme position that institutions are essentially epiphenomenal. Mearsheimer’s arguments, however, derived from Waltzian neorealism, are inconsistent with traditional realism’s concern for the origins and influence of international institutions. Moreover, they do not reflect the views of the newest wave of modified structural realists who adopt many of the insights of neoliberal institutionalism. In an attempt to show that pre-Waltzian realists had much to say about institutions, this essay reviews the neorealist/neoliberal debate over institutions, clarifies the basic differences between traditional realism and neorealism, and resurfaces traditional realist arguments concerning the effects of state power and interests on international institutions and global order. Combining insights from both traditional realism and neorealism, a model is constructed that considers how the characteristics of states, their interactions, and the structure of the international system facilitate understanding the ways in which power will be exercised, the type of global order that will be produced, and the level of global institutionalization that can be expected.