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When and Why States Project Power /


Why do some economically powerful states build and project military force while others do not? This dissertation argues that domestic institutions and economic interests influence why states project power to compete over resources or access to markets. It proposes that a state's level of interest compatibility with other powerful states determine when she projects power. The theory is tested using a large-N time series cross-sectional design as well as through case studies that analyze how states reacted to a set of exogenous environmental and technological shocks that exposed resources in the Arctic, the North Sea and the South China Sea. The findings have implications for rising powers in Asia, the political effects of climate change in the Arctic, and global energy security. The research design tackles the questions of when and why states project power through case studies that utilize environmental and technological shocks that exogenously expose maritime energy resources and large-N cross- sectional time series analysis. A combination of case studies and quantitative analysis represents the best way to uncover concepts that are difficult to operationalize, such as a state's foreign policy objectives. The quantitative analysis (Chapter 3) hones in on the question of when states build power projection capabilities and the case studies (Chapters 4-5) focus both on when and why states project power. In closing, this dissertation provides an explanation for when and why states project power. The primary contribution of the theory is that it allows us to make ex ante theoretical predictions regarding which states are most likely to project power and what types of objectives they are likely to project power to secure. The central finding is that state type and interest compatibility conditions whether states choose to convert economic power into power projection capabilities. This finding informs the debate over the relationship between economic and military power. The implications of these findings suggest that the United States should more strongly reorient its forces away from Europe and the Western Hemisphere, which are likely to remain cooperative geopolitical environments, and more strongly pivot to Asia

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