IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/sae/joupea/v47y2010i4p407-419.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Political survival, policy distribution, and alliance formation

Author

Listed:
  • Anessa L. Kimball

    (Département de science politique, Université Laval, anessa.kimball@pol.ulaval.ca)

Abstract

Existing work cannot explain why countries form alliances when direct security threats are not a key political issue, though we know countries routinely do engage in that behavior. Countries form alliances to manage the essential problem that they must use finite budget resources to provide social policy and national security; the ‘guns versus butter’ dilemma. States ally to ‘contract out’ national security via the formation of alliance contracts so they can allocate more resources to domestic concerns. Alliances increase the efficiency of security policy by providing the same level of security with fewer resources, thus freeing those resources for use in other domains. Not only should alliances form when security threats do not dominate the political agenda, but also domestic political and economic demands will influence alliance decisions. In positing a domestic politics-based explanation for alliance formation, this article argues that increased demands for social policy goods increase the chances of alliance formation as leaders seek greater policy allocation efficiency. The use of a production possibilities frontier illustrates the central argument. Those claims are examined on a sample of all country-years from 1816—2000 using a probit model. Empirical results suggest changes in the demand for social policy goods, operationalized as changes in the infant mortality rate, are an important cause of alliance behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Anessa L. Kimball, 2010. "Political survival, policy distribution, and alliance formation," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(4), pages 407-419, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:47:y:2010:i:4:p:407-419
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://jpr.sagepub.com/content/47/4/407.abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Buscema, Massimo & Ferilli, Guido & Sacco, Pier Luigi, 2017. "What kind of ‘world order’? An artificial neural networks approach to intensive data mining," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 46-56.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    alliances; guns vs butter; political survival;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:47:y:2010:i:4:p:407-419. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: http://www.prio.no/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.