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Political transitions and national security strategies for defense and political survival in new states, new democracies, and new autocracies /

by Victor, Jonah.

Abstract (Summary)
Governments of new regimes in old states and governments of new states share the common challenge of establishing their political legitimacy and governing in a political environment of heightened uncertainty over whether the leadership and regime will survive or be overthrown by a political competitor, foreign or domestic. Together, I call this class of states that have recently experienced a major political transition – regime change or new statehood – “newly transitioned states” (NTSs). In this dissertation, I argue that the challenges of governing an NTS are likely to cause NTS leaders to adopt a decision making calculus on issues of national security that is different from that of other leaders, which makes NTSs both convergent as a group and distinctive from most other states that have served as the “model” for generalizations in international relations theory. In quantitative analyses of states worldwide from 1950 to 1998, I compare national security policies adopted by NTSs to those adopted by other states with respect to militarization, international conflict, alliances, and arms transfers. In addition, among NTSs, I compare national security policies among sub-types of NTSs, such as new democratic and new autocratic regimes and new and old states. Drawing on a synthesis of selectorate theory, bargaining theory and democratization theory, I generate several testable propositions of how NTS leaders will adopt national security policies that can allow them to pursue an effective strategy of political survival to maintain power within their new regime, consolidate the power of their regime, and defend their state from foreign rivals. The findings reveal that NTSs exhibit different policy iii tendencies from other states across these dimensions of national security policy, which supports my contention that NTSs should be viewed as distinct political entities in international relations theory. In addition, the analysis of sub-types of NTSs reveals important points of convergence as well. Furthermore, certain national security policies are found to have different consequences for the political survival of NTS leaders than for leaders of more established governments. iv
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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