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Joining the Club of Nations: Political Development and International Conflict, 1816-1976

Zeev Maoz
International Studies Quarterly
Vol. 33, No. 2 (Jun., 1989), pp. 199-231
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The International Studies Association
DOI: 10.2307/2600537
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2600537
Page Count: 33
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Joining the Club of Nations: Political Development and International Conflict, 1816-1976
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Abstract

This study examines the relationships between regime formation, regime change, and international conflict. A distinction is made between evolutionary and revolutionary state formation processes as well as between revolutionary and evolutionary changes within existing states. It is hypothesized that revolutionary state formations and regime changes result in high levels of post-independence or post-regime change involvement in interstate disputes. On the other hand, evolutionary political development and regime change results in low levels of conflict involvement. These patterns of individual state involvement in international conflict provide new insights into the high correlations between the size of the international system and a variety of interstate conflict attributes. The political development model suggests that the number of interstate conflicts in the system will increase when a large number of states are undergoing revolutionary regime changes, even when there is no change in the number of states in the system. These propositions are tested on data covering nearly all interstate system members in the 1816-1976 period. In addition, the extent to which the political development model accounts for patterns of contagious spread of international conflict is examined. The implications of the relations between internal processes of political development and change and interstate disputes for the study of international politics are examined.

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