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"The Networked Peace: Intergovernmental Organizations, Preferences and International Conflict"

CIS Seminar Series

CIS welcomes Yonatan Lupu from George Washington University.


What are the effects of membership in intergovernmental organizations (IGOs)? Existing work has shown that IGO membership leads to interest convergence and reductions in the likelihood of conflict. The traditional approach to theorizing and empirically testing the effect of IGOs has been to adopt a dyadic model of IGO ties. In these models, the key independent variable is the number of IGO memberships shared by a pair of states. In our view, this approach is too narrow: to fully understand the effects of IGO membership, scholars need to consider both the dyadic and the extra-dyadic effects of shared IGO membership. We argue that these extra-dyadic (or network-level) effects play an important role in helping IGOs to transmit information and cultivate shared norms among larger aggregations of states.  We refer to groups of states that share many similar IGO memberships as IGO communities. Within these communities, members' interests will converge and members will be less likely to experience conflict, and these effects are independent of states' dyadic IGO ties alone. We systematically measure and define the communities within the IGO network. We find robust empirical support for our theory that the mechanisms of IGO socialization and conflict reduction have significant effects at the extra-dyadic level.