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Conference Proceeding

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Power (Social sciences), Global power shift, Arms transfers, Social networks -- Mathematical models


Structural dimensions of the international system are key elements in power transition theory. Most theoretical applications to date have examined the distribution of power, and fluctuations in that distribution, as a precursor to global and regional warfare. Somewhat less attention has been paid to the coalitional structure of the international system in applied research. In this paper I suggest that certain concepts from power transition theory, including those that rely on information about alliance membership, might also be operationalized by examining the global arms trade using tools developed for social network analysis (SNA). I focus in particular on the SNA concepts of centrality, structural equivalence, and group cohesion.


Paper prepared for presentation at the Fifth Power Transition Conference, 20-22 August 2004, Carmel, CA.

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