TitleFear and greed
NameJung, Sung Chul (author), Levy, Jack S (chair), Licklider, Roy (internal member), Lau, Richard (internal member), Pickering, Jeffrey (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
International relations ,
Nuclear weapons--Korea (North)--Testing,
Vietnam War, 1961-1975,
Korea (North)--Politics and government--20th century,
Korea (South)--History--20th century,
Korea (South)--Politics and government--20th century
DescriptionThis dissertation asks and answers the question of when domestic unrest leads to interstate conflict. First, I present the diversionary target theory that argues that a political leader’s decision for military use of force is affected by foreign as well as domestic conditions. I expect that domestically-troubled states are more likely to use military force against some, not all, states because political leaders prefer targets which can produce their domestic audience’s fear and/or greed in order to enjoy “rally-round-the-flag” effects. I suggest that the fear-producing targets are foreign states having rapidly rising power or having different identities; the greed-producing targets are foreign states occupying disputed territory or exercising regional/local hegemony despite declining power. In addition, I expect political leaders prefer fear-/greed-producing targets that possess similar powers because domestic audiences may see initiation of military conflicts against too-powerful states and too-weak states as too risky and unnecessary, respectively. Then, I conduct a quantitative test of the cases of states from 1920 to 2001. The result shows that the presences of the rising power, the territory target, and the hegemony target contribute to the correlation between domestic unrest and initiation of interstate conflict in a statistically significant way. Especially, the rising power target shows the strongest effect on the domestically-troubled state’s initiation of dyadic conflict. Also, I found that domestically-troubled states are more likely to initiate a military conflict against slightly stronger rising power targets than other rising power targets, and prefer weaker territory targets to other territorial targets when choosing their military targets. Next, I carry out a qualitative test on two historical cases: the first North Korean nuclear crisis and South Korea’s participation in the Vietnam War. The two cases show the causal mechanism that political leaders are motivated by domestic unrest to initiate military aggression but also constrained by foreign conditions. After the Korean War, South Korea suffered political unrest and economic troubles. This is why unpopular South Korean leaders, Syngman Rhee and Park Chung Hee, sought to send combat troops to Vietnam in 1954 and in 1961, respectively. But it was in 1965 that President Park could realize his plan when South Vietnam could not defend itself anymore and the People’s Republic of China developed nuclear weapons. While North Korea was diplomatically isolated and militarily and economically weaker than South Korea, at least from 1990 on, it did not adopt confrontational policies toward its opponents, including South Korea and the United States, until 1993 when Kim Il Sung recognized domestic troubles such as a bad economy and weak military loyalty. In short, the interaction between internal unrest and external threats led to the two Koreas’ initiation of military aggression.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Sung Chul Jung
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.