Bandwagoning for Survival: Political Leaders and International Alignments
42 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 06, 2018
External threats and state capacity have been at the center of the scholarly study of alignments in world politics. This article describes an alternative path to alignment between two states that is rooted in the strategic interaction between individual political leaders. We present a theory of bandwagoning for survival in which the leader in the dominant state provides side payments to help the incumbent in the secondary state survive in office in return for compliance. The theory specifies the mechanism through which leader preferences produce alignment, and alignment, in turn, generates international order. We test these ideas by checking for the presence of our hypothesized mechanism in three historical cases, and by providing transparent access to detailed historic evidence to substantiate our claims.
Keywords: Bandwagoning, Selectorate Theory, Leaders in International Relations
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation