Power or Plenty? Economic Interests, Security Concerns, and American Intervention
48 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2007
Date Written: August 15, 2007
This paper evaluates the effect of economic interests and security concerns on American intervention in international conflict. Generalizations about the relative importance of these considerations have played an important role in the historiography of American foreign relations. Although statistical analysis is well suited for evaluating such generalizations, quantitative researchers have devoted relatively little attention to the issue. Existing large-n research has generally found that security concerns matter more, but has not considered how the economic and security concerns thought to affect intervention might also influence each other. These subsidiary relationships complicate efforts to assess the relative importance of these two influences on intervention. Evidence concerning intervention in international crises and civil wars indicates that, while alliance commitments and rival behavior have a greater immediate impact on American intervention, exports have an important indirect effect by shaping alliance commitments in the long run.
Keywords: foreign policy, economic interests, alliances, intervention
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