While I am not attending ISA physically this year, I have two different papers being presented by co-authors. As such, a bit of shameless self-promotion.
The first paper is being presented by Matt DiGiuseppe on Tuesday (4/3) at 8:15 AM in Hospitality Suite 2201 on the Economics in International Processes panel. Our paper, "Austere Alliances: Sovereign Credit and Asymmetric Alliance Formation," is a continuation of a research project that we had accepted at ISQ recently (expected 12/2013) and seeks to understand how sovereign credit relates to defense budgets and alliance formation. The abstract:
The funding of military ventures through borrowed money has been practiced for centuries. Sovereign debt enables states to maintain stable tax rates while increasing expenditures to confront sudden budgetary needs such as economic downturns or wars. Affordable access to credit, then, serves as both a source of power and an important buffer between security and the political consequences fiscal policy. The alternatives to debt (taxes, monetary expansion, and social spending reduction) have consequences for the aggregate economy and salient domestic constituencies. We suggest that as governments lack access to affordable credit they will substitute military capacity with alliance formation. Alliances provide a means for leaders to offset the flexibility provided by credit without disturbing the domestic political economy. This influences both a state’s willingness to join an alliance and their potential alliance partners. Our examination of minor-major power dyads indicates that states with lower credit ratings or that have recently defaulted are more likely to form an asymmetric alliance than those states with affordable access to credit markets.
On Wednesday (4/4) at 8:15 in Hospitality Suite 2301 on the War Preparation and War Outcomes panel, Michael Flynn will present a paper, also co-authored with Julie VanDusky-Allen, titled "Supplementing Security: US Troop Deployments and Host-State Defense Spending." The paper estimates the impact foreign deployed troops has on defense spending by other countries. The abstract:
Since the end of the Second World War hundreds of thousands of US military personnel have been deployed to overseas locations. Such deployments often add an additional level of security and can create incentives that have the potential to influence a host-state's foreign policy decisions in a variety of ways. In this paper we analyze how the deployment of US troops both in and around the host-state has affected the degree to which states contribute to their own security and defense capabilities. Using data on US troop deployments since 1951 through 2003, we test this relationship by looking at how the deployment of US military forces has impacted defense spending in several different types of states, including NATO members, US allies in general, non-allies of the US, and all states. We also utilize dynamic spatial measures of US troop deployments in order to analyze how regional and neighborhood concentrations of US military forces contribute to shaping host–state policies. We analyze the data using both traditional panel methodology as well as incorporating a simultaneous equation model for the deployment of troops. Our results indicate that larger US troop deployments are associated with a smaller defense burden across several of our sub–samples–including non–NATO US allies. NATO allies, however, appear to consistently increase their defense burden in respond to the presence of US troops. Our results shed new light on both the guns versus butter dynamics, as well as the role played by alliances in defense spending.
Also, congratulations to Michael Flynn who decided that San Diego, on April Fool's Day, while attending ISA, was the right time and place to propose and is now engaged.