Alliance Transitions and Great Power War
Point: The role of alliances in both power equality and power transition models has not been fully explored. The internal capabilities of a nation must be combined with the expected support from allies in order to get a clearer picture of the full capabilities of a state.
Argument: This paper modifies previously accepted ideas within power-transition Kim proposes four main points. The first is that war is more likely when a great power is overtaken by another great power when alliances are considered. The second is that the faster the challenger overtakes the leader, the more likely war is, again, when alliances are considered. Thirdly, war is more likely when power is equally distributed between the two main powers, again, with alliances considered. The final point is that a if the challenger is dissatisfied with the status quo during the transition, then war is more likely, of course this considers the effects of alliances.
His first model finds that there is a higher probability of war when two great powers consider the support their alliances can provide and the power level is roughly equal. His second model supports the findings of the first, where if the capabilities of two rival major powers are roughly equal, then war is more likely when their alliances are considered, thus going against the traditional balance of power theory that equality breeds peace. The final model suggests that when the challenger is dissatisfied with the status quo and considers the support its allies can give it, then war is more likely.
Conclusions: The conclusions of this study are that transitions themselves have no effect on the probability of war and that the growth speed of the challenger also has no effect on war. What does matter is when the challenger considers the support its allies can give it and the challenging state is dissatisfied with the current order of things.