Chapter

Explaining Political Union

Joseph M. Parent

in Uniting States

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199782192
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919147 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782192.003.0002
Explaining Political Union

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This chapter unpacks the logic behind the main argument and competing explanations. The main argument claims that there is a realist explanation for voluntary political unification that does not demand great bloodshed. There are three parts to the main argument. First, voluntary political unions only happen when states face optimally intense, indefinite, symmetrical threats. Second, a crisis must highlight security deficiencies. Third, pro-union elites must effect their policy by winning in at least two of three arenas: the media, the military, and political procedures. Rival hypotheses are drawn from constructivism, liberalism, and binding/republican security theorists.

Keywords: realism; constructivism; liberalism; republican security theory; unification; union; balance of power theory

Chapter.  8405 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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