Quantifying And Forecasting Vulnerability To Dyadic Conflict In An Integrated Assessment Model: Modeling International Relations Theory

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Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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https://digitalcommons.du.edu/etd/458; https://digitalcommons.du.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1457&context=etd
Moyer, Jonathan David
Digital Commons @ DU
Forecasting IR; Measuring IR; Quantifying IR
thesis / dissertation description
The character of state interaction matters. This dissertation quantifies this interaction from 1960-2001 and then forecasts it from 2010-2050. I contribute to the field of International Relations by improving traditional measures of Realism and Liberalism, quantifying new perspectives sensitive to cultural interaction, and statistically evaluating these indices relative to the occurrence of conflict. It is the first step in an academic research agenda that desires to expand the scope of possibility regarding the modeling of International Relations theory for the purpose of theory evaluation and policy analysis.This dissertation spans two fields of study that do not typically overlap: International Relations and Integrated Assessment Modeling. I begin by laying a broad foundation to bridge this chasm. I do this by first exploring knowledge constraints associated with forecasting. This leads to an overview of my conceptual and empirical tool for calibrating my final model: the historic occurrence of international conflict. Next, I introduce conceptual and applied systems theory, which leads to an overview of the International Futures (IFs) model.I then explore Liberalism and Realism as they have been traditionally operationalized at the macro-level. A newly quantified variable--referred to as the Cultures of Interaction Index-- is introduced that builds on Liberal notions and tries to explain some aspect of intersubjective norms and values operating in a dyad. I perform statistical analysis on these indices and show that using IR theories in conjunction explains more of the historic occurrence of conflict--and thus the character of state interaction--than using any theoretical tradition in isolation. I then endogenize Liberalism and Realism in IFs and use the cultural measure as an exogenous constant. I am interested in whether the stock of culture in a dyad and growth in Liberal notions of interdependence can off-set negative pressures arising from Realism.Most dyads improve their character of interaction to 2050, but some become more conflictual, including China - US and China - India. The analysis is extended by looking at long-term structural shifts in the global system: depleted fossil fuel reserves, stressed fresh water availability and tension from domestic instability. I conclude by offering a series of next steps that builds upon this work and recommendations for policy planners concerned with the future of interstate relations.