How does political competition among domestic actors influence foreign policy choice? Studies examining these questions often focus on the role of economic or partisan interests, and how they influence the preferences of decision makers who are subject to electoral institutions and pressures of their constituents. Less attention has been paid to how the preferences of other influential but unelected actors influence state behavior. I examine the influence of one such group by looking at how American military leaders shape decisions on military spending and force structure, while also examining how these decisions have been affected by changes to the institutions governing civil–military relations. Results indicate that military leaders occupying key positions can influence defense spending priorities in favor of their respective branches. Results also suggest the influence of military leaders has changed and is conditional upon the institutions governing the relationships between civilian decision makers and military leaders.
Nonstate actors, such as international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs), have attained an increasingly prominent role in modern world affairs. While previous research has focused on these actors’ respective interactions with states, little attention has been paid to their interactions with each other. In this paper, we examine the extent to which the decisions of private actors seeking to invest abroad are affected by the reputational costs of doing business in countries publicly targeted by human rights activists. We find that ‘‘naming and shaming’’ by human rights INGOs tends to reduce the amount of foreign direct investment received by developing states, providing evidence that INGO activities affect the behavior of MNCs. An additional implication of our findings is that shaming by INGOs can impose real costs on targeted states in the form of lost investment.