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32 J. Conflict Resol. 3 (1988)

handle is hein.journals/jcfltr32 and id is 1 raw text is: 







A   Theory of the

Behavioral Power of Nations



MICHAEL D. WARD
Institute of Behavioral Science,
University of Colorado
LEWIS L. HOUSE
US  West Advance Technologies, Englewood, Colorado



   Nations are said to be behaviorally powerful to the extent they can influence the
behavior of other nations. An analytical model of this process is developed based upon the
existence of a statistical equilibrium in international political exchange, and its advantages
and disadvantages are discussed. This formulation is empirically examined using
interaction data taken from the COPDAB data bank. After presenting the static results for
132 nation-states, the behavioral power of the 10 most powerful nation-states is
empirically examined and discussed over time (1948-1978) in the separate dimensions of
conflict and cooperation, as well as the combined dimension of total interaction. The
ability to influence multilateral politics through conflict behavior is found to be quite
distinct from the ability to use cooperation as a means of influence.



   In  late 1985, a group  of self-proclaimed PLO   terrorists seized an
Italian luxury cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, by force. By conventional
standards, these individuals, and indeed the organization  to which they
belong, have  few of the attributes or resources of the powerful. They do
not possess  large-scale, sophisticated military hardware such as MIGs
or F-16s; their size is minuscule in the global scale (compared, say, to
China's population);  their economic productivity, in an aggregate sense,
is negligible. Yet-small  as they were-they   did have the capability to
seize the  Achille Lauro   and  set off a remarkable   chain  of events,
involving not  only the Italians and the PLO, but ultimately the United
States, Algeria,  and  especially Egypt.  The  fissure in U.S.-Egyptian
relations caused by this singular event continued  to loom large in U.S.
and  Egyptian foreign policy interactions. Beyond  the initial, first-order
impact   of the  hijacking, the  behavioral  impact  or  power   of that
particular event may  be said to have been  large.

JOURNAL  OF CONFLICT  RESOLUTION, Vol. 32 No. 1, March 1988 3-36
© 1988 Sage Publications, Inc.
                                                                        3


from the SAGE Social Science Collections. All Rights Reserved.

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