Articles

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In a sign of growing confidence, China's navy gave Chinese media on Sunday unprecedented publicity on its first nuclear submarine fleet, one of its most secretive military programs

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Journal Article - International Interactions

Going the Distance: The Price of Projecting Power

| 2013

The central purpose of this article is to establish the relationship between power projection, technology, and economic power. How economically powerful does a state need to be before it can afford the capital intensive technologies, foreign bases, and military and logistical forces associated with global power projection? The specific research question we focus on in this article is: What determines how far states send their military forces? We argue that as the costs associated with projecting power decrease or as the wealth necessary to project power increases, states will project power more frequently and at greater distances. We use a system level time series analysis from 1870–1936 and a dispute level analysis on all militarized international disputes from 1870–2000 to test these propositions. This article is the first to demonstrate empirically that the distance and frequency of power projection is a function of the cost of projecting power. We close with a discussion of contemporary states building power projection capabilities and how future research might build from our research to explain this behavior.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Curve and the Structure of International Politics: A Neorealist Synthesis

    Author:
  • Davide Fiammenghi
| Spring 2011

Realist scholars have long debated the question of how much power states need to feel secure. Offensive realists claim that states should constantly seek to increase their power. Defensive realists argue that accumulating too much power can be self-defeating. Proponents of hegemonic stability theory contend that the accumulation of capabilities in one state can exert a stabilizing effect on the system. The three schools describe different points along the power con­tinuum. When a state is weak, accumulating power increases its security. This is approximately the situation described by offensive realists. A state that con­tinues to accumulate capabilities will eventually triggers a balancing reaction that puts its security at risk. This scenario accords with defensive realist as­sumptions. Finally, when the state becomes too powerful to balance, its oppo­nents bandwagon with it, and the state’s security begins to increase again. This is the situation described by hegemonic stability theory. These three stages delineate a modified parabolic relationship between power and secu­rity. As a state moves along the power continuum, its security increases up to a point, then decreases, and finally increases again. This modified parabolic re­lationship allows scholars to synthesize previous realist theories into a single framework.

Magazine Article - The American Interest

Size Matters

| July-August 2008

"As the American political system hurtles toward its quadrennial encounter with the oracle of democracy, it is worth our while to take stock of the country's place in a world beset by bewilderingly rapid change. (Heaven knows none of the candidates will bother to do this.) I want to suggest that an old yet generally neglected subject remains particularly relevant: the relationship between the size of political units and the effective scale of systems of economic production and exchange. Another way to describe this relationship is by recourse to the hoary scholarly phrase "political economy", a term of art that has unfortunately gone out of style...."