Speaker: Mayumi Fukushima,  International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom Postdoctoral Fellow

What explains differences in junior allies' behavior in their asymmetric alliance relationship with their patron? Measured by their speed of military capability buildup and their degree of coordination with their patron, state alliance behavior can be categorized into four different, mutually exclusive types, some of which may increase the chances of deterrence failure and alliance entrapment - i.e., a senior alliance partner getting entrapped in an unwanted war.

As the first systematic analysis of variation in allied behavior in the context of asymmetric alliances, this seminar offers a new realist theory about what causes the differences among junior allies and should be able to contribute to current scholarly debates over whether the United States should strengthen its security commitments to its allies in different regions — and help answer critical policy questions such as: Should the United States maintain its strategic ambiguity with regard to Taiwan, and if the United States were to end some of its legacy alliances, where could it start retrenching safely without causing instability?

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:

For more information, email the International Security Program Assistant at susan_lynch@harvard.edu.