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Global Power Transitions and Regional Interests

Vesna Danilovic University at Buffalo, SUNY Department of Political Science 520 Park Hall Buffalo, NY 14260 and Joe Clare Department of Political Science Louisiana State University 240 Stubbs Hall Baton Rouge, LA 70803-5433

March 11, 2007 Forthcoming in International Interactions (2007).

NOTE: We would like to thank Christopher K. Butler, Chuck Finocciaro, Gregg Johnson, and Jason Sorens for their comments on an earlier version of this paper.

ABSTRACT A number of studies have examined and largely validated power transitions as necessary conditions for war, yet the second critical element of power transition (PT) theory---a challengers dissatisfaction with the status quo---has been analyzed to a much lesser degree. This paper is intended to address this research gap. Global power transitions between major powers can indeed be destabilizing, potentially triggering major conflicts, but we also argue that violent conflict is unlikely unless there is a clash of interests between the global contenders in the critical regions of their vital interests. Our study thus provides a modification of the original PT theory by identifying its two essential elements---(1) relative power and (2) attitude toward the status quo---at two different structural levels. Power transitions between major powers are still seen as critical at the global level, as originally stated by Organski and Kugler, whereas dissatisfaction with the status quo concerns the regional context of their interests. The paper provides a theoretical link between these two levels and quantitatively tests the argument, with suggested implications for further refinements of PT theory.

Keywords: Power transition theory, regional interests, major powers, deterrence, status quo.

THEORETICAL GAPS AND PUZZLES With the exception of the democratic peace theory, power transition theory is perhaps one of the most widely examined approaches to international conflict. At the core of the theory are the dual propositions that (1) power transitions should constitute necessary conditions for war, and (2) at least one states dissatisfaction with the status quo will determine whether these transitions will be violent or peaceful. Despite numerous empirical studies, there are still a few some research gaps and theoretical underspecifications. In this study we address one empirical puzzlewhether static or dynamic power parity is a more potent predictor of major power behaviorand one theoretical gapthe question of what exactly accounts for a major powers dissatisfaction with the status quo. Power Parity or Transitions? As originally stated, a sheer balance of power without overtaking should not be expected to give rise to wars according to the power transition argument, but rather the theory postulates a power transition as a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for war. This allows for peaceful transitions, but also places no significance on the static notion of power parity in understanding the causes of wars. To assess the validity of the power transition argument, it is, therefore, essential to see how much previous research provides solid evidence for dynamic power parity (parity with overtaking) as a necessary condition for war. Most studies look only at a static power balance (i.e., whether the two sides are equal or unequal in their power regardless of the transitional overtaking) and only a few attempts were made to include the transitional dynamic component as well (Geller 1992; Kim and Morrow 1991; Kadera 1996; Lemke and Werner 1996; Organski and Kugler 1980). Although each study used a somewhat different measure for 1

dynamic relative power, the results do not seem to show that dynamic parity (i.e., transition) has a greater predictive power than the static one. Lemke and Werner (1996, 253), for example, report that both static and dynamic power equality have a similar substantive impact on the probability of war. Others, such as Kim and Morrow (1991, 914), actually report no significant impact of dynamic power transitions on the likelihood of war, but a positive and significant impact for static power parity. Geller (1992) further extends his analysis to dispute (as opposed to simply war) initiation. While his findings show the importance in distinguishing the initiators with and without a power advantage, the results overall indicate that as many as 52% of the dispute dyads occur under unequal power distributions (see Geller 1992, 13). In general, then, these findings stand in a sharp contrast to the initial power transition study indicating the significance of dynamic power transitions (Organski and Kugler 1980). Taken together, previous research is, at best, mixed regarding the differential impact of static and dynamic power parity on the onset of wars and disputes in general. A potential problem regarding the cited works is that their results might be suspect as biased because almost all of them select on the dependent variable in the empirical analyses. For example, Geller (1992) differentiates between initiators and targets, but looks only at dispute and war dyads. Others, such as Kim and Morrow (1991) and Lemke and Werner (1996) compare war to no-war dyads, but do not examine dispute initiation, nor do they differentiate between war initiators and targets. While selection on the dependent variable should not taint the expectation about power parity (static and/or dynamic) as a necessary condition for conflict, it is nevertheless important to see if it also influences a states decision not to upset the status quo. As an attempt to solve some gaps 2

in the past research and what appear to be inconsistent findings, out analysis will examine the influence of relative powerboth static and dynamicas it affects the probability of an attempted change to the status quo (i.e., dispute initiation) as well as the likelihood of escalation to war. Dissatisfaction with the Status Quo A second component of power transition theory, and one that discriminates between peaceful and violent transitions, concerns the rising powers evaluation of the status quo. Unlike the power distribution component, however, the sources of dissatisfaction have not been as fully specified theoretically. Previous analyses that directly address the impact of status quo evaluation offer a few different indicators, most prominently, the similarity in alliance portfolios (Kim 1991; Lemke and Reed 1996) or relative military buildups (Werner and Kugler 1996; Lemke and Werner 1996). In this respect, therefore, DiCicco and Levys (1999, 690) criticism about the absence of conceptual refinement of the notion of satisfaction still holds to date. Although DiCicco and Levy (1999) raise it as a conceptual issue, we would argue that the issue of the challengers evaluation of the status quo has not been as fully theoretically specified as is the power distribution component in the theory. In other words, there is a need for a theory of status quo evaluations which should then direct toward valid measurement solutions as well. One possible way of thinking theoretically about status quo evaluations, initially suggested by Organski (1958), could be in terms of states satisfaction with the rules and norms governing the global hierarchy and/or its regime similarity with the hegemon: The more other states are similar in domestic composition and international outlook to the dominant power, the more they too will benefit from the status quo(Organski 1958, 131). Besides Lemke and Reed (1996), who 3

explore the connection between regime types and satisfaction, no theoretical and empirical research has examined the relative position in the international hierarchy as a source of satisfaction. More precisely, Lemke and Reed (1996) argue that the democratic peace is a subset of a peace in which states are satisfied with the status quo because they share similar alliance portfolios with the hegemon when the hegemon is also a democratic state. While not directly speaking of the domestic sources of satisfaction with the international status quo, this study points to one of the waysthat is, the regime similarity with the dominant nationto think about the sources of discontent with the hegemons distribution of benefits in the system. Another possible direction to think theoretically about reasons behind a states dissatisfaction with the systemic status quo was briefly suggested in the context of the status inconsistency theory, but left unexplored (e.g., Danilovic 1996). Besides the thin theoretical development regarding the issue of status quo evaluations, there is also the level-of-analysis problem as pointed out by DiCicco and Levy (1999). Perhaps due to the proliferation of power transition studies in the variety of contexts (dyadic, regional, systemic), scholars using the same concepts across different levels-of-analysis did not consider the fact that it is likely that some states will be satisfied with the systemic status quo but dissatisfied with the status quo of a particular bilateral relationship (DiCicco and Levy 1999, 690). That is, there is the need for further conceptual refinement of the status quo itselfis it systemic, regional, or dyadic? This is again an equally conceptual and theoretical question. A REVISED APPROACH TO STATUS QUO EVALUATIONS To address these research gaps, we provide a theoretical attempt at developing one of the ways to think about the sources of a major powers evaluation with the international status quo. 4

Yet we go a step further and specify it at the regional level rather than just the global one. That is, while trajectories in the overall power distribution between major powers are global in nature, it is argued here that major powers generally think of their interests and influences at the regional levelboth within and outside their home areas. Moreover, it is further contended here that the notion of threat credibilityinherent resolve, in particularfrom deterrence studies can be theoretically linked to the notion of status quo evaluation in the context of power transition theory. A theoretical link between deterrence and power transition theories was already validated in previous formal models (e.g., Kugler and Zagare 1990, Zagare and Kilgour 1993, 2000), though these studies have not directly specified the link between a states credibility (resolve) and its status quo evaluations.1 Yet there is valid reason to believe that the same factors that influence a states resolve are also linked to their satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the status quo. That is, since both concepts suggest the willingness to challenge an opponent (and even fight if necessary), we believe that theoretical and empirical validation of the inherent credibility notion from deterrence studies (Danilovic 2002, Zagare and Kilgour 2000) provides solid grounds for refining it in terms of a conceptual approach to status quo evaluations, which is central to theories such as power transition. Previous research confirms the validity to examine regional stakes as a principal source of such inherent resolve in major power deterrence (Danilovic 2002), and we would further suggest that such stakes can be seen as a source of major power satisfaction for purposes of power transition theory as well, not just its resolve in the context of deterrence theory. More specifically, Danilovic (2002) found that variable regional stakes account for both general and 5

immediate deterrence failuresmore robustly than any other alternative source of a major powers resolve. Hence, while the terminology is differentthat is, with deterrence scholars referring to general deterrence failure and PT theorists preferring the term challenge to the status quothe meaning is essentially the same. That is, if we generalize from the deterrence studies focusing on the interests at stake in the context of power transition theory, then one of the main premises of power transition theory could be restated as follows: major powers evaluate the status quo primarily in the areas of their strong interests, and clashes of these interests can be a major source of dissatisfaction.2 Based on such solid findings, and given the above discussion of a logical link between the notions of resolve and status quo evaluation, the main extension or rather modification of the power transition theory can now be proposed: (a) major powers primarily identify their international positions in terms of their influences in different world regions; (b) not all regions are equally salient in major power policies;3 (c) dissatisfaction arises if two or more major powers clash over their influence in the same regional area. The argument advanced here is only loosely related to the work on multiple hierarchies (Lemke and Werner 1996, Lemke 2002) in terms of the regional level of analysis for conceptualizing the status quo. However, although the term regional is common to the both approaches, there are significant theoretical and conceptual differences between the multiple regional hierarchies approach and the presented study. Firstly, the multiple hierarchies approach considers the regional (local) status quo for understanding the behavior of regional (local) states in the context of their regional hierarchy. The interference by external major powers is exogenous to the model whereas this is precisely at the core of theoretical extension proposed here. Secondly, Lemke (2002) hints at local territorial disagreements, but limits it to the 6

measurement issue of satisfaction and ultimately opts for a relative military buildup. On the other hand, disagreements between major powers over their regional influences is at the heart of the theoretical extension of power transitions notion of status quo dissatisfaction proposed here. Overall, then, the general thesis in this study as an extension (revision) of power transition theory can be formulated as follows: Whereas power transitions provide the necessary condition for war between major powers, their willingness to fight is contingent upon their satisfaction with their influences across different regions. If these clash, the willingness to revise the regional status quos in terms of their influences leads them to fight given the ongoing transition in their overall power (global capabilities). In other words, this means that it is necessary to recast power transition theory in a context of the major power contest over their influences in specific regional areas. RESEARCH DESIGN Based on the above discussion, we operationalize the dependent variable to allow us to assess the impact of explanatory variables on the probability of a status quo challenge and escalation to crisis, including wars, between major powers. The explanatory variables include both static and dynamic power parity (the latter indicating the power transition) as well as regional interests and joint democracy as these show to represent the only theoretically grounded approaches to the sources of status quo evaluations (see the above discussion). Finally, consistent with the initial formulation of power transition as a theory of major power conflict, we examine major power behavior only. At the same time, we realize that probably the most faithful analysis to the original theory should be the one that looks only at those dyads that involve a dominant 7

nation (as Werner and Lemke 1996 did), but we opt for all major powers for practical reasons. The number of observations would be substantially reduced had we looked only at those involving the dominant nation and would hinder a reliable statistical analysis. Dependent Variable and Estimation Methods For the empirical analysis, we use Danilovics (2002) major power deterrence data set for the 1895-1985 period as it seems best suited for our purposes. It provides greater precision in identifying crisis actors, behavior, and, most importantly, geopolitical regions of disputes than the MID data set. It is interesting to note that, historically, almost all cases of wars between major powers have resulted from the failure of extended deterrence, when one major power (Defender) came to the aide of a third party (Protege) in its dispute against another major power (Challenger). Her data set is thus useful for our purposes as it includes both extended and direct deterrence failures between major powers that either escalated into a more serious dispute between major powers (including major wars) or remained limited to an initial major powerminor power conflict. We first examine what factors trigger an attempted change in the status quo (general status quo change) when one major power initiates a dispute against another state, either a minor or major power.4 The cases of general status quo change (i.e., general deterrence failure between major powers) refer to all instances in which at least one major power (Challenger) upsets the status quo by getting involved in a conflict with another state. We look at all major power directed dyads per year and per region as the unit of analysis (total of 41046 dyads). If any power in a dyad is involved in a dispute, the dependent variable general status quo change is coded 1, otherwise 0. Binomial logit is used as an estimation model. 8

If the status quo challenge indeed occurs, we then analyze the effect of the same causal factors in predicting whether the situation is likely to escalate into a serious major power crisis and eventual major war. Not all breakdowns of the general status quo lead to a major power crisis (i.e., immediate deterrence between major powers), but only when another major power (Defender) demands that the Challenger pull out from the conflict against another state (Protege). Another scenario for the outbreak of major power crisis results from the so-called direct deterrence failure, that is, when the initial challenge to the status quo is issued directly against another major power, rather than a third party. In both cases, the unit of analysis is a major-major power dyad per each crisis in which the challenger attempted to upset the status quo. Note that each crisis has multiple major power dyad combinations, since we are interested in examining whether another major power would step in as a defender and not only the level of violence if it does so (total of 887 dyads). The dependent variable is a trichotomous categorical variable measured as follows: no escalation to a major power crisis (0), escalation to a major power crisis without war (1), escalation to a major power war (2).5 Due to the categorical nature of this variable, we accordingly use multinomial logit as an estimator.6 Explanatory Variables Balance of Power. A direct way to estimate the effect of power parity or disparity on deterrence outcomes can be calculated as follows: Power Parity = 1 - abs|(PowerDef - PowerCh)/(PowerDef + PowerCh)| Where: PowerDef = Defenders capability PowerCh = Challengers capability The resulting value ranges from 0 (exact disparity) to 1 (exact parity), with lower values indicating a larger distance from parity and higher values indicating a greater proximity in 9

relative power. While this measure serves our purposes for analyzing the effect of static power parity, we also stressed above the need to examine it in a dynamic sense as well (i.e., as power transitions). Therefore, we additionally include a separate measure of power transition over a five-year period. We coded it by subtracting the power parity measure at time t-5 from the power parity at time t. Positive values indicate changes toward parity over the preceding five years, while negative values indicate movements away from parity. Data on power capabilities were obtained from the Correlates of War (COW) National Capabilities Data Set. Balance of Interests. We assume that the main indicator of major powers interests extending beyond their borders is reflected by the intensity of their linkages with different regions around the world. For this measure, as mentioned above, we use Danilovics (2002) dataset on the ties between major powers and world regions. This index of major powers regional ties includes a varying number of indicators such as alliances, trade, colonies, and diplomatic exchanges. Given the varying significance of these different forms of linkages over the period 1895 to 1985, she develops the index of regional ties by including alliances for the entire time span (1895-1985), while adding colonial possessions and diplomatic exchanges to the alliance bonds only for the period 1895-1939. They are replaced by the level of foreign trade for the period from 1945 and 1985. Foreign trade is also included for the 1920-1941 period. Since the composite score of regional ties or stakes is an additive index, it is constructed as a sum of the components and then averaged out by dividing the sum by the number of included components (for more details, see Danilovic 2002).7 After obtaining the values of this variable indicating a major powers interests vis-a-vis each region on annual basis, we use the computational method for estimating the balance of 10

interests between major powers with respect to the region of conflict that is a modified version of Tuckers (1989) estimation for joint democracy (see below). After multiplying the values of regional interests between two major powers for each region, we then take the square root and add these values for each region per dyad and then divide by the number of regions. This variable (jointly strong interests, all areas) yields a value for jointly strong interests between major power (actual and/or potential Challenger and Defender) for all regions, ranging from zero (0) indicating jointly weak interests to one (1) indicating jointly strong interests. That is, the higher the value, the more mutually contested regions of influence between major powers in a dyad. We also employ a more specific measure for their joint interests in the region where the initial status quo breakdown occurred, by dividing their respective joint interests in that region by their total joint interests for all regions. This variable (jointly strong interests, dispute area) gives a better estimate as to whether the crisis occurs in the area of their mutually vital and conflicting interests as opposed to being a result of their conflicting overall global interests. Joint Democracy. As discussed above, an alternative way to think about the sources of status quo satisfaction concerns regime type and similarity. More specifically, to examine the impact of joint democracy, we employ the Polity indicators of institutionalized democracy and autocracy levels. A nations overall regime score is calculated by subtracting a states autocracy score from its democracy score. As the resulting regime score ranges from -10 (complete autocracy) to +10 (complete democracy), we add 11 to the overall regime score to obtain positive values ranging between 1 and 21. Following Tucker (1998), we obtain the joint democracy variable by multiplying the overall democracy scores for each side in a dyad and then taking the square root, which is then divided by 21 (Tucker 1998). The resulting value ranges between 0 11

and 1 on the continuous scale from joint autocracy (0) to joint democracy (1). Alliance. Finally, another alternative to regional interests, often utilized as a measure of a defenders credibility in extended deterrence, concerns the alliance ties between the potential defender and another state (Protege). Data on alliances were taken from Small and Singer (1969) for the period until 1965, and from Oren (1990) for the 1965-1980 update. A simple dichotomous measure of alliances, indicating their absence (coded 0) or presence (coded 1) of an alliance between the Defender and its Protege, was then constructed. EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS We use binomial logit to estimate whether there will be the status quo challenge and, due to polychotomous nature of the crisis outcome, we estimate this second stage (if the challenge occurs) with the multinomial logit.8 [Insert Tables 1 and 2 here] Regarding the probability of initiating the status quo change (Table 1), one of the most puzzling findings concerns the opposite effect of static and dynamic power parity: while the balance of power, regardless of whether the transition takes place, seems to deter against changing the status quo, power transition actually makes it more likely. Further investigation into the impact of these variable on the probability of subsequent escalation might give us a clue into solving this puzzling result. As for mutually conflicting interests as a source of status quo dissatisfaction, the findings strongly support the expectation that the attempt to change the status quo is indeed more likely if there is a conflict of regional interests for major powers in the dyad, both in the specific area of dispute and their overall regional interests. Finally, joint democracy in the major power dyad and alliance ties between the protg and potential defender have a 12

deterring effect against the attempted status quo change. In terms of the substantive impact, Table 2 clearly indicates the strongest impact of jointly strong interests, most notably the overall conflict in regional interests between major powers, but in the disputed area as well. [Insert Tables 3 and 4 here] Note that positive coefficients in Table 3 indicate a positive correlation between the variable and the probability for the first-listed outcome relative to the second-listed outcome. The reverse holds for negative coefficients. For example, the negative and statistically significant coefficient for power parity (-2.379) in the first column indicates that under power parity a major power crisis short of war is more likely than no crisis at all. Since the coefficient for power parity is uniformly negative and statistically significant for the remaining pairs of outcomes that include war as an option, we can interpret the results to indicate that war is more likely than any other outcome under power parity. However, since both crisis short of war and war are more likely than no crisis at all, we still need to look at the substantive impact to determine which of these two outcomes (that is, major power crisis with or without major war) are better predicted by the power parity variable. Table 4 provides us with a straightforward interpretation of the multinomial logit results reported in Table 3. As is routinely done in the multinomial logit analyses, it shows the substantive change in the impact of the explanatory variables (that is, those that were statistically significant in the model) on each outcome if we change its value from minimum to maximum while holding other variables at their mean or modal values. Here we can see that power parity is a much stronger predictor of crisis short of war than war itself. The impact on the probability of war is still positive but, nevertheless, much weaker than the one on the probability of major crisis 13

that gets resolved peacefully. These findings are consistent with the logic of the power transition argument in that they suggest power parity to be a destabilizing factor if there is indeed an attempt to change the status quo. However, it is alone insufficient for explaining whether such an instability is likely to escalate into a major power warfare or rather be resolved peacefully. The dynamic power transition variable, however, is not statistically significant with the exception of only one pair of outcomes (and the statistical significance is relatively low even in this case). All that we can conclude is that an attempt to change the status quo is less likely to escalate into a major power crisis under the conditions of power transition. Combined with the findings reported in Table 1, we can generally conclude from this analysis that the results are mixed concerning the impact of dynamic power parity on major power conflict. While it may tempt a major power to upset the status quo, it has a much weaker impact on the subsequent unfolding of events in the crisis. Once we turn to regional interests as a source of status quo dissatisfaction, some of the puzzling findings regarding the effects of power parity become interpretable in a more coherent manner. First note that, similar to the power parity variable, the coefficients for jointly strong interests in the disputed area are negative and statistically significant for the outcomes comparing no crisis to war and crisis (no war) to war. Table 4 gives us further refined insight into the impact of this variable on the probability of each outcome. Like power parity, it has a positive impact on the probability of major power crisis as well as major power war and a negative impact on the probability of no escalation. Yet, unlike the power parity variable, it shows a much stronger substantive impact on the probability of war than crisis short of war. If we are to combine these two variables, and examine their mutually conditional effects, we might put these 14

pieces of the puzzle together. [Insert Table 5 here] In Table 5, the results are reported from the calculation of predicted probabilities for each outcome under the joint effect of power parity and jointly strong interests in the disputed area. More precisely, the substantive impact of a change in the jointly strong interests variable from minimum to maximum is reexamined under three different levels of power parity: the first row shows its impact under complete disparity (power parity=0), the second row shows it under the mean parity value (approximately around .5), and the third row indicates it under the conditions of exact power parity (its value is 1). The results clearly show that the conflict of interests in the disputed region have a much stronger impact on the probability of conflict and especially war under power parity. In other words, while regional interests as a source of status quo evaluation have a strong independent impact on the likelihood of war, its effect is the strongest under conditions of parity. This is consistent with the logic of power transition theory, which states that both power parity and dissatisfaction are needed for war to occur. Finally, joint democracy proves to be a weaker predictor of the probability for escalation than regional interests if we are to compare these two variables as alternative sources of dissatisfaction with the status quo. Note also that if we are to measure jointly strong interests for all areas, not just the disputed one, then the results are much less coherent. CONCLUSION In light of our empirical analysis, we can conclude that a modified form of the general assumption in this studyprimarily, a theoretical reformulation of the status quo dissatisfactionhas been confirmed. More precisely, though we have used a different measure 15

for power transition, the findings here are consistent with those in Kim and Morrow (1991) that found no impact for power transition but only for static power parity. Unlike their study, however, ours shows a more detailed insight into the conditional effect of power parity and status quo dissatisfaction. Specifically, our findings support the argument that dissatisfaction can be seen as stemming from the conflicting interests of major powers in the regional area of dispute. Our empirical results thus validate our restatement of the main power transition argument (see p. 7 above), that is, whereas power parity provides the necessary condition for war between major powers, their willingness to fight is contingent upon their satisfaction with their influences across different regions. If these clash, the willingness to revise the regional status quo in terms of their influence in the disputed area leads them to fight given the balance in their overall global power capabilities.


REFERENCES Danilovic, Vesna (1996). Modeling Power Transition: An Extended Version. In Parity and War: A Critical Evaluation of the War Ledger, Jacek Kugler and Doug Lemke, eds. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 117-126. Danilovic, Vesna (2002). When the Stakes Are High: Deterrence and Conflict among Major Powers. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. DiCicco, Jonathan M. and Jack S. Levy (1999). Power Shifts and Problem Shifts: The Evolution of the Power Transition Research Program. Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol. 43, pp. 675-704. Fearon, James D. (1994). Signaling Versus the Balance of Power and Interests: An Empirical Test of a Crisis Bargaining Model. Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol. 38, pp. 236-269. Geller, Daniel S. (1992). "Capability Concentration, Power Transition, and War." International Interactions Vol. 17, pp. 269-84. Kim, Woosang (1991). Alliance Transitions and Great Power War. American Journal of Political Science Vol. 35, pp. 833-850. Kim, Woosang, and James D. Morrow (1992). When Do Power Shifts Lead to War? American Journal of Political Science Vol. 36 pp. 896-922. Lemke, Douglas (2002). Regions of War and Peace. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Lemke, Douglas, and William Reed (1996). Regime Types and Status Quo Evaluations: Power Transition Theory and the Democratic Peace. International Interactions Vol. 22, pp. 14364. 17

Lemke, Douglas, and Suzanne Werner (1996). Power Parity, Commitment to Change, and War. International Studies Quarterly Vol. 40, pp. 235-260. Organski, A. F. K. (1958). World Politics. New York: Knopf. Organski, A. F. K., and Jacek Kugler (1980). The War Ledger. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Oren, Ido (1990). The War Proneness of Alliances. Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol. 34, pp. 208-33. Small, Melvin, and J. David Singer (1969). Formal Alliances, 1816-1965: An Extension of the Basic Data. Journal of Peace Research Vol. 3, pp. 257-82. Tucker, Richard (1998). The Robustness of the Dyadic Democratic Peace Result. Typescript. Emory University. Werner, Suzanne, and Jacek Kugler (1996). Power Transition and Military Buildups: Resolving the Relationship between Arms Buildups and War." In Parity and War: A Critical Evaluation of the War Ledger, Jacek Kugler and Doug Lemke, eds. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 187-207.


Table 1. General status quo change, logit coefficients

Variable Coefficient

Power Parity Power Transition (5 years) Jointly Strong Interests, Dispute Area Jointly Strong Interests, All Areas Joint Democracy Potential Defender-Protege Alliance Constant Model Chi-Square = 282.07*** Log Likelihood Function = -4137.604 N = 41046

-.249* (.165) 1.560*** (.940) 3.456*** (.241) .858*** (.076) -.420*** ( .136) -.125* (.076) -4.350*** ( .139)

NOTE: Numbers in parentheses are standard errors. *p < .10, **p < .05, ***p < .01 (one-tailed t-tests)


Table 2. Marginal change in the probability of general status quo change Variable Power Parity From min (imbalance) to max (balance) Power Transition (5 years): From min to max Jointly Strong Interests, Dispute Area: From min to max Jointly Strong Interests, All Areas: From min to max Joint Democracy: From min to max Potential Defender-Protege Alliance: From min to max SQ Change -0.44 +1.61 +12.98 +57.61 -0.73 -0.24

NOTE: The marginal effect of each explanatory variable is calculated by changing its value while holding the other variables at their mean or modal value.


Table 3. Major power crisis: onset and hostility levels, multinomial logit coefficients
Variable No Crisis vs. Crisis (No War) No Crisis vs. War Crisis (No War) vs. War

Power Parity Power Transition (5 years) Jointly Strong Interests, Dispute Area Jointly Strong Interests, All Areas Joint Democracy Defender-Protege Alliance Constant

-2.379*** (.749) 4.862* (3.704) -3.118*** (1.308) 2.056*** (.854) .684 (.629) 1.280** (.463) 2.424*** (.778)

-2.690* (1.93) 75.671 (100.129) -10.712*** (2.715) -.794*** (.462) -.304 (1.502) 3.081** (1.399) 8.014*** (1.779)

-.3110*** (2.034) 70.809 (100.180) -7.594*** (2.882) -2.890*** (.9634) -.9876 (1.603) 1.801* (1.463) 5.5902*** (1.924)

Model Chi-Square = 68.55*** Log Likelihood Function = -241.08343 N = 887 NOTE: Numbers in parentheses are standard errors. *p < .10, **p < .05, ***p < .01 (one-tailed t-tests)


Table 4. Percentage change in the probability of major power crisis and hostility levels Variable Change No Crisis Change in Power Parity: From min (imbalance) to max (balance) Change in Jointly Strong Interests, Dispute Area: From min to max Change in Jointly Strong Interests, All Areas: From min to max Change in Defender-Protege Alliance Ties: From min (0) to max (1) -8.88 -28.63 Crisis (No War) +8.41 +9.16 War +0.48 +19.48







NOTE: The marginal effect of each explanatory variable is calculated by changing its value while holding the other variables at their mean or modal value. Changes in power transition and joint democracy are not statistically significant for most pairs of outcomes and thus not calculated.


Table 5. Percentage change in the probability of major power crisis and hostility levels: the conditional effects of regional interests and power parity Variable Change No Crisis Change in Jointly Strong Interests, Dispute Area: From min to max Power Disparity (min=0) Power Distribution, mean value (.59) Power Parity (max=1) -8.36 -28.63 -49.38 +3.15 +9.16 +12.82 +5.21 +19.48 +36.56 Crisis (No War) War

NOTE: All other variables are held at their mean or modal value.


NOTES 1. Zagare et al.s models explore the impact of capability, credibility, and status quo dissatisfaction on conflict probability. 2. In this sense, for example, Japans decision to attack the United States in 1941 should not be seen as the result of their dissatisfaction with the global status quo. Rather, it resulted from their own rising interests in Asia and the clash of these interests with the United States. 3. As Danilovic (2002) reports, the Cold War containment policy as an indiscriminate global policy was rather a lone exception for the United States as a major power. Even in the case of U.S. , she reports different behavior across regions. 4. As these challenges and demands can be manifested both verbally and behaviorally, Danilovic (2002) bases the typology of such moves on the MID coding rules as follows: (1) the threat of force; (2) the display of force; or (3) the use of force short of war. 5. Note that only the latter two categories of this dependent variable apply to situations where another major power stepped in to resist the challengers attempt to change the status quo. 6. It is reasonable to object to this two-stage estimation for not accounting for possible selection effects. Indeed we also use Heckmans censored probit to estimate whether the status quo challenge is likely to occur (selection equation) and, if it does, whether it is likely to escalate to major power crisis and/or major war (outcome equation). Note that Heckmans probit is disadvantaged by requiring binary dependent variables in both equations. If the correlation between the error terms is not statistically significant, then we can proceed with the standard approach of assessing both stages as statistically independent events as described above since the coefficients should not be suspected of statistical selection bias.


7. In her dataset, Danilovic (2002) classifies geopolitical regions as follows: West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, North Asia , South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, North America, South America, Central American and the Caribbean, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Oceania. 8. To address the concerns regarding potential selection bias, the onset and outcomes of crises were estimated with Heckmans censored probit and the results showed a statistically insignificant correlation in the error terms (D) . Since there is no evidence of statistical selection effects between the selection and outcome models, the standard probit or logit estimates would not be affected by selection bias. Since Heckmans probit is disadvantaged by requiring binary choices for both the selection and outcome equations, we opt to estimate them with separate models due to the polychotomous nature of our crisis outcome variable.