Explaining regime formation : liberal identity theory & the Wassenaar Arrangement
Heim, Patrick Robert
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Liberal identity theory is one of several systemic international relations theories explaining the formation of international regimes. While many good qualitative studies help validate liberal arguments, to date no quantitative analysis of the liberal paradigm exists. The purpose of this study is to quantitatively test the explanatory power of liberalism, thus closing a gap in the existing literature. Using OLS regression, the thesis tests the strength of the liberal argument with respect to the Wassenaar Arrangement. While the results generally support the liberal argument, a recurring pattern of failure with regards to the developing world is unearthed. However, a follow on utility test for the developing nations displays mixed results and fails to seriously undermine the liberal arguments. The thesis suggests, that liberal identity theory provides a sufficient explanation for developed states, but fails to adequately explain regime formation among developing nations.