Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Organizing for Violence
by Kedziora, Jeremy Thomas, Ph.D., University of Rochester, 2013, 272; 3555031
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation consists of three essays that analyze the emergence of the state and how the logic of its organization shapes its major pursuit: war. In the first essay, I develop a theory of state formation in which a sovereign must delegate policy implementation to local barons, aware that doing so empowers those barons to act against him. I find that militarily weak sovereigns construct federations by relying on barons whose policy preferences mirror their own while militarily strong sovereigns construct centralized states by relying on barons whose policy preferences are far from their own. My second essay analyzes how rulers formulate war aims given the need to bargain with subjects over wartime resource allocation. I find that the relationship between the effect of military victory on the future course of the war and the effect of military victory on diplomacy emerges as the central factor influencing both subject resolve and ruler war aims. This logic suggests a number of important substantive results, for example, that democracies extract more resources during capital intensive wars while autocracies extract more resources during labor intensive wars, and that material inequality limits war aims. In the final essay I leverage the importance of bargaining between ruler and subject in wartime resource allocation to advance a Bayesian methodology for measuring the uncertainty facing states involved in disputes over the war-fighting capabilities of their opponents. I then analyze the probability of a militarized interstate dispute escalating to war and find that it increases greatly in the presence of uncertainty over capabilities/resolve.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Signorino, Curtis S.
Commitee: Goemans, Hein E., Kalandrakis, Tasos
School: University of Rochester
Department: School of Arts and Sciences
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science
Keywords: Bayesian statistics, Dynamic games, Political development, State formation, War termination
Publication Number: 3555031
ISBN: 978-1-267-96101-3
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