Protection from themselves : the domestic consequences of international hierarchy



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In recent years, international relations scholarship has begun to take seriously the role that hierarchy plays in shaping international order. The conclusion of this research program is that hierarchical ordering principles primarily work to structure relations among states in the international system. This dissertation offers an alternative view of international hierarchy. More specifically, this project explores the implications that international hierarchy has for political developments within -- rather than between -- states. I first argue that international hierarchy is oriented around the securing of favorable leadership within other states. I find that "dominant states" can alter the willingness of groups within "subordinate states" to compete for domestic political power by shaping the value these groups place on holding office. This argument has three empirical implications. First, I show that by conditionally promising resources like foreign aid to groups within subordinate states, dominant states can bring new, friendly leaders to power, in effect "purchasing" regime change. Second, I find that dominant states are able to deter challenges to their preferred regimes within subordinate states by providing foreign aid and by threatening unfriendly groups with coercion. Finally, I show that the disappearance of hierarchy -- and its attendant regime security -- generate incentives for civil conflict.