Overwhelming Preponderance as a Pacifying Condition Among Contiguous Asian Dyads, 1950-1969
The author wants to test Organsky’s power transition theory by considering levels of relative power. Specifically, he argues if a state is ten times more powerful than the other state in the dyad, war will be impossible.
Argument: Weede begins by eliminating dyads in which war has no reason to be expected. When dyads are contiguous, have one major power, and have a latent territorial conflict, the dyads are at risk for war. Among these, the potential to have conflict is neutralized if the weaker state has a superpower ally or is a member of the same bloc as their belligerent neighbor. Among dyads with an expectation for war, the weaker state will have “no illusions” they could win and will be unlikely to attain enough power through allies or armaments once a 10-1 power ration is in place.
Findings: Preponderance does reduce the likelihood of war in each comparison. For example, when considering GNP, 0/26 of dyads with preponderance went to war, while 7/29 without preponderance went to war. When considering all analyses, it is also clear that preponderance is more likely to reduce Singer & Small wars than SIPRI wars. This could be because it actually reduces higher intensity war or because civil wars—which are not excluded from SIPRI—are being internationalized.
Conclusions: Preponderance reduces war, especially larger wars and “purely interstate” wars.