Peace settlements, systemic events, and postwar military power

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2019-02-06

Authors

Landry, Joshua

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Abstract

Why do some states increase their military capability following war, while others return to prewar levels, or decline? Existing research has examined postwar economic recovery, but little scholarship is devoted to the parallel recovery of military capacity. This paper argues that postwar military power depends on the credibility of the commitment to enforce the terms of a peace settlement by each party. This credibility can be affected by other events in the international system not directly related to a given settlement, including regime change, or a later war, both civil and international. The implications of this theory are evaluated using a fixed-effects linear model and Correlates of War National Material Capability data in a sample of both victorious and defeated states from 1823 - 1913. The empirical model suggests limited support for the theory, as changes in the military capability of former coalition partners exerts strong effects of a state's military capability, but the effects of other international events are mixed.

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