The domestic consequences of hierarchy in international relations



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Recent explorations of hierarchy in international relations have restricted their domain of inquiry to states as aggregate units. Although this has greatly enhanced our understanding of international politics, we know less about what the implications of hierarchy are for domestic politics in subordinate states. Because of the varieties of domestic political control - including violence - employed by great powers, opening up the black box of subordinate state politics can yield new insights into the operations and limits of international hierarchy. Here I outline a theory of political incentivization and link it to a discussion of foreign-imposed regime change, arguing that great powers stabilize politics in subordinate states directly by bolstering preferred regimes and indirectly by threatening to intervene and remove leaders who challenge the status quo.