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Cooperative security in the era of United States primacy: Exploring the leader-follower relationship during coalition operations

Posted on:2004-08-20Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:University of DenverCandidate:Talbot, Brent JFull Text:PDF
GTID:1466390011474620Subject:Political science
William Wohlforth has argued that the international "system is built around U.S. power, [and thus] creates demands for American engagement." Moreover, Stephen Walt's balance-of-threat theory predicts that states will weigh intentions rather than capabilities of the hegemon in deciding whether to balance against it. A hegemon that provides a check on its own power by following institutional rules is less of a worry. And though realists would argue that a hegemon simply manipulates followers with material incentives via a carrot and stick approach, there is an alternative explanation for the maintenance of hegemonic leadership, "a more subtle component...that works at the level of substantive beliefs rather than material payoffs. Acquiescence is the result of the socialization of leaders in secondary nations. Elites in secondary states buy into and internalize norms that are articulated by the hegemon and therefore pursue policies consistent with the hegemon's notion of international order" (Ikenberry and Kupchan). Followers are thus less likely to balance against a hegemon that leads using a rule-abiding system of norms. In sum, primacy can provide a more stable international system. By allowing leader-follower interaction, the hegemon shares the decisionmaking process, which in turn, opens a window to its intentions.; I have used the case study approach to analyze three UN mandated coalitions of the willing: The Gulf War, the ongoing sanctions regime against Iraq since the end of the Gulf War, and the international coalition against terrorism that fought in Afghanistan. Overall, the cases demonstrate evidence of substantive-based coalition relations among the western powers and incentive-based relations among others (China and the Middle East). Value differences create obstacles to building ideal coalitions. Still, the U.S. can lead even in non-western environments by sharing the decisionmaking process with followers, even at limited levels of engagement. More importantly, the evidence indicates that leadership is central to coalition building, even when material incentives are the only solution.
Keywords/Search Tags:Coalition, States, International
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