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50 J. Conflict Resol. 3 (2006)

handle is hein.journals/jcfltr50 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Power Positions


Nuffield College
Oxford University
Center for International Security and Cooperation
Stanford University

   A growing number of international relations scholars argue that intergovernmental organizations (IGOs)
promote peace. Existing approaches emphasize IGO membership as an important causal attribute of individ-
ual states, much like economic development and regime type. The authors use social network analysis to
show that IGO memberships also create a disparate distribution of social power, significantly shaping
conflicts between states. Membership partitions states into structurally equivalent clusters and establishes
hierarchies of prestige in the international system. These relative positions promote common beliefs and
alter the distribution of social power, making certain policy strategies more practical orrational. The authors
introduce new IGO relational data and explore the empirical merits of their approach during the period from
1885 to 1992. They demonstrate that conflict is increased by the presence of many other states in structurally
equivalent clusters, while large prestige disparities and in-group favoritism decrease it.

   Keywords:  social network; militarized international dispute (MID); interstate conflict; democratic
              peace; international governmental organization (IGO)

international   governmental   organizations  (IGOs)   promote   peace  and  cooperation
among   member states;   so say a growing   number   of international relations scholars.
Over  the past thirty years, researchers have devoted substantial resources to analyzing
the liberal proposition that IGOs offer states important pacific benefits, reducing mili-
tary conflict between  members   by creating an interdependent  world  context of mutual
self-interest and understanding.  Like trade  and democracy,   membership   in IGOs  has
come   to be conceptualized   as  an important  state attribute: as a characteristic that

   AUTHORS'NOTE: We thank Charles   Boehmer, Gary Goertz, David Lake, and Barry O'Neill for help-
ful comments. Emilie M. Hafner-Burton would like to thank Nuffield College at Oxford University for their
support, as well as Stanford's Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Alexander H.
Montgomery  would like to thank the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Univer-
sity. Both authors are deeply grateful to Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation for
their support during the conception of this article. The data can be found at http://jcr.sagepub.com/cgil
contendfull/50/1/3/DC 1/.
JOURNAL  OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION,  1ol. 50 No. 1, February 2006 3-27
DOI: 10.1177/0022002705281669
0 2006 Sage Publications

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