Alliance risk tolerance and regime type
Shelton, Allison Marie
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This thesis explores the relationship between state regime type and observations of risk in alliance textual commitments between 1950 and 1992 (most of the Cold War era). What is the impact of regime type on states’ risk tolerance in alliance treaty provisions? More specifically, do democratic states tolerate less risk in alliances than autocratic states? Using Polity data and empirical coding of alliance textual commitment variables from the Alliance Treaty Obligations and Provisions (ATOP) dataset I examine member-year-level relationships between regime type and selected indicators of entrapment and abandonment risk drawn from alliance documents. Empirical results provide partial support for my expectation that democracy has a negative association with alliance risk tolerance. The measurement of indicators does not allow me to conclude full support for my argument, but provides enough support to warrant further research regarding the intersection of regime type, alliance risk, and alliance textual commitments.