Bridging Economics and International Relations to Understand State Capacity and War in Sub-Saharan Africa

Roberto Ricciuti, Domenico Rossignoli*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper explores the role of state capacity in affecting the probability of being attacked by another country. We measure state capacity as the effectiveness of state sovereignty over its territory (from the Variety of Democracy dataset) and focus on high intensity episodes of Militarized Interstate Disputes (MID). The analysis is performed through a logit model, investigating 42 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa over the period 1954–2010. The paper shows that higher levels of state capacity increase the probability of suffering from external attacks. This result may appear counterintuitive, since countries having full control of their own territory are expected to be stronger, therefore suggesting that a would-be invader may be defeated. However, our result is consistent with balance-of-power theories in international relations, where countries that perceive a threat set up a process of balancing that could ultimately tend towards an armed conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalPeace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • international relations
  • quantitative analysis
  • state capacity
  • war

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