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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: February 2021

4 - An Empirical Evaluation of Border Settlement

from Part I - The Settlement of Borders


Chapter 4 evaluates the hypotheses introduced in Chapter 3. First, we provide descriptions of our variables and justifies a key sampling choice to focus only on contiguous dyads. Second, we implement our research design, presenting the evidence for evaluating the hypotheses. Patterns in the data suggest border settlement is less likely when power endowments are present in the border region, consistent with the expectations of the commitment problem framework. We find mixed support for the information problem hypotheses. Democratic neighbors are more likely than nondemocratic neighbors to settle their borders, allied states are more likely to settle borders than non-allied states, and power relations do not appear to affect settlement. When bargaining over territory that lacks power endowments, conflict management efforts foster border settlement. When power endowments are present, states are significantly less likely to settle their borders, and conflict management proves ineffective. The exception is legal methods, which generally increase the likelihood of settlement when power endowments are present.

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