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All International Politics is Local

The Diffusion of Conflict, Integration, and Democratization

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Publication Year: 2002

How does regional interdependence influence the prospects for conflict, integration, and democratization? Some researchers look at the international system at large and disregard the enormous regional variations. Others take the concept of sovereignty literally and treat each nation-state as fully independent. Kristian Skrede Gleditsch looks at disparate zones in the international system to see how conflict, integration, and democracy have clustered over time and space. He argues that the most interesting aspects of international politics are regional rather than fully global or exclusively national. Differences in the local context of interaction influence states' international behavior as well as their domestic attributes. In All International Politics Is Local, Gleditsch clarifies that isolating the domestic processes within countries cannot account for the observed variation in distribution of political democracy over time and space, and that the likelihood of transitions is strongly related to changes in neighboring countries and the prior history of the regional context. Finally, he demonstrates how spatial and statistical techniques can be used to address regional interdependence among actors and its implications. Kristian Skrede Gleditsch is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.

Published by: University of Michigan Press


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pp. v

List of Tables

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pp. vii-viii

List of Figures

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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi

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1. Zones of Peace, Conflict, and Democracy

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pp. 1-30

The field of international relations focuses on the political, economic, social, and cultural relations among societies and states. This book is about changes in these relations, in particular how peace and conflict coevolve with the emergence of democratic governance and integration among states...

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2. A Regional Approach to Conflict, Integration, and Democratization

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pp. 31-64

In this chapter, I seek to explain how some regional clusters in the international system develop interactions in which the use of violent conflict seems inconceivable while states in other parts of the system seem unable to escape from protracted conflict and perpetual insecurity. Figure 2.1 presents an overview of my argument. This heuristic device depicts the potential linkages between three conceptual factors...

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3. Empirical Data, Measurement, and Methods

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pp. 65-88

This chapter addresses issues of data and measurement that arise in analyzing the hypotheses outlined in chapter 2. I first delimit the domain of the analysis. I then explain in greater detail how I derive measures of local or regional context based on the minimum distances among polities. I review the theoretical rationale for the particular sources of data used as indicators of the concepts...

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4. Do Zones of Democracy and Peace Coevolve?

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pp. 89-118

In chapter 1, I showed that democracy and autocracy as well as armed conflict and peace cluster in regional zones. In chapter 2, I argued that a regional perspective provides a more useful approach to linkages between domestic institutions and conflict than purely monadic or dyadic perspectives do. In this chapter, I test whether zones of democracy and autocracy go together with differences in regional conflict and peace...

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5. Deutschian Integration and the Democratic Peace

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pp. 119-146

In chapter 4, I presented evidence indicating that zones of democracy go together with zones of peace. There is also a clear tendency for a decline in the likelihood of conflict following changes toward greater democracy within regions. Taken together, the findings indicate considerable support for the idea that zones of democracy coevolve with zones of peace...

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6. Wealth, Conflict, and the Diffusion of Democracy

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pp. 147-178

In this chapter, I will examine how various factors influence political structures and the likelihood that states will experience political change. Whereas most previous analyses have focused on the relationship between political institutions and attributes and processes internal to countries, the international dimensions of democratization will figure prominently in this chapter...

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7. Conclusions and Implications

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pp. 179-202

In chapter 1, I argued that regional interdependence and regional variation lie at the heart of world politics. There is a strong regional or geographical dependence among the states and actors that conduct what we call international relations and that we compare in cross-national research. Theories relating domestic attributes to conflict and cooperation again imply that local heterogeneity in the attributes of states...


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pp. 203-224


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pp. 225-240


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pp. 241-264


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pp. 265-266

E-ISBN-13: 9780472023356
E-ISBN-10: 0472023357
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472112678
Print-ISBN-10: 0472112678

Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 26 drawings, 23 tables, 6 maps
Publication Year: 2002