Executive Decision-making Constraint and Alliance Institutionalization Open Access

Parowczenko, Christina (2016)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/v692t6570?locale=en


Neither states nor the military alliances that they negotiate are monolithic entities. Whether democratic or autocratic, regimes vary by the number of veto players participating in the foreign policy decision-making process. And as the number of veto players increases, reaching consensus on a deviation from the status quo policy becomes more difficult. Alliances may or may not require members to provide upfront costs--the construction of a standing security organization, strategic military coordination, monetary or materiel grants, et cetera. So, does the extent to which a state's leader is constrained influence the likelihood that his state will provide higher levels of military institutionalization as a demonstration of commitment to the overall terms of the alliance treaty? I hypothesize that a state with a minimally constrained leader will more often agree to provide higher levels of military institutionalization when entering into an alliance with a partner with a maximally constrained leader. Using the Alliance Treaty Obligations and Provisions (ATOP) dataset, I code directionality for military institutionalization obligations across bilateral alliances existing between 1919 and 2001 and run a statistical analysis to assess the effect of the interaction of members' regime types on the provisions agreed to by individual states in treaty text. Only tenuous support is found in favor of the hypothesis. Otherwise, the data suggests that the international environment is inordinately threatening to only some combinations of regime types, prompting higher levels of military institutionalization, and that members' power status influences military institutionalization in a manner more consistent with arguments concerning collective action and balance of power than with arguments concerning commitment.

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1

Reputation. 7

Democracy: Mechanisms Enabling Credible Commitment and Regime Classification. 10

Executive Constraint. 19

Military Institutionalization as a Commitment Device. 24

Directionality of Commitment Devices. 28

Research Design. 32

Findings. 58

Discussions and Conclusion. 74

Appendix. 81

References. 85

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