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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Neoclassical Realist's Analysis of Sino-U.S. Space Policy
by Fabian, Christopher David, M.S., The University of North Dakota, 2019, 184; 13880083
Abstract (Summary)

During the Cold War, the United States focused its collective policy acumen on forming a competitive, actor-specific strategy to gain advantage over the Soviet Union. The fragmentation of the Soviet Union resulted in a multi-polar geopolitical environment lacking a near-peer rival for the United States. Overwhelming soft and hard power advantages allowed American policy makers to peruse a general, non-actor specific strategy to maintain its hegemonic position. However, the meteoric rise of China as a near-peer competitor in East Asia has challenged this paradigm. In order to maintain its competitive advantage, or at the very least ensure the safety of its geopolitical objectives through encouraging benign competition, U.S. strategy needs to evolve in both focus and complexity. It is essential for Spacepower, as a key element of national power, to be included in this evolution. In order to do so, this analysis will examine Sino-U.S. space relations using neoclassical realism as a baseline methodology. First, structural elements of the Sino-U.S. relationship will be modeled in a semi-quantitative game theoretical framework, using relative economic and military capabilities as primary independent variables. Second, key assumptions will be tested to ensure that this model accurately represents the current geopolitical environment. Third, the decision making apparatuses of the United States and China will be examined as intervening variables. This will account for imperfect rationality and how it modifies the game theoretical framework. Fourth, this framework will be used to present actionable space policy recommendations for the United States so that space can be incorporated into a competitive strategy for East Asia.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dodge, Michael
Commitee: Kugler, David, Urlacher, Brian
School: The University of North Dakota
Department: Space Studies
School Location: United States -- North Dakota
Source: MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: International Relations, Political science, International law
Keywords: China, Competitive strategy, Game theory, Neoclassical realism, Space law, Space policy, Cold War, Soviet Union, United States
Publication Number: 13880083
ISBN: 9781085594301
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