Productive Pacifists: The Rise of Production-Oriented States and Decline of Territorial Conquest

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See all articles by Jonathan Markowitz

Jonathan Markowitz

University of Southern California

Suzie Mulesky

University of Southern California - School of International Relations

Benjamin A. T. Graham

University of Southern California - School of International Relations

Christopher J. Fariss

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science

Date Written: March 1, 2019

Abstract

Scholarship suggests the profits from conquest have decreased over time. Given this, why were some states faster to abandon profit-motivated conquest, and why are some still seeking wealth from territorial control? We argue that regime type and land-rent dependence influence a regime’s preference for territory. The more autocratic the regime and the more it depends on rents extracted from land (i.e. the more land-oriented the economy), the greater its willingness to invest in territorial conquest. We develop a novel measure of land-orientation, with 200 years of data, to evaluate the linkages between land-orientation, regime type, and conquest. We find robust evidence that regime type and land-orientation are linked to territorial competition across a variety of model specifications. The global reduction in land-oriented states offers a plausible explanation for the decline in the number of large-scale territorial conquests. Our findings also explain why some states retain strong economic motivations for conquest.

Keywords: territorial conflict, resource dependence, regime type

Suggested Citation

Markowitz, Jonathan and Mulesky, Suzie and Graham, Benjamin A. T. and Fariss, Christopher J., Productive Pacifists: The Rise of Production-Oriented States and Decline of Territorial Conquest (March 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Jonathan Markowitz

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Suzie Mulesky (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - School of International Relations ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Benjamin A. T. Graham

University of Southern California - School of International Relations ( email )

3518 Trousdale Parkway
VKC 330
Los Angeles, CA California 90089-0043
United States
8586996306 (Phone)
2137420281 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://dornsife.usc.edu/graham

Christopher J. Fariss

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

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