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A Network-Analytic Study of Burden Sharing in International Alliances

PI: Zeev Maoz, University of California

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A Network-Analytic Study of the Determinants and Consequences of Burden Sharing in International Alliances and Defense Cooperation Agreements, 1945-2020

Principal Investigator: Zeev Maoz, University of California, Davis

Co-Investigators: Brandon J. Kinne, University of California, Davis

Years of Award: 2019-2022

Managing Service Agency: Army Research Office

Project Description:

Burden sharing is a pervasive problem in international agreements and institutions that provide public goods. Failure by some alliance members to contribute effort or resources that insure the organization's survival and success forces other members to disproportionately contribute to the organization's actions and operation. We offer a novel approach to the study of these issues that focuses on a combination of network analysis, agent-based models, and empirical analysis of the determinants, dynamics, and implications of burden sharing in security cooperation. We also widen the scope of security cooperation agreements beyond existing research by focusing on defense cooperation agreements (DCAs) and general security agreements (GSAs) that specify specific forms of security cooperation among military establishment and civilian security agencies. Our project offers several innovations, specifically:

  • Development of dynamic agent-based network models of security cooperation and burden sharing, which re-define the costs and benefits of security cooperation in ways that take into account direct and indirect network-related effects.
  • Extending models of the determinants of burden sharing by incorporating a wide array of defense cooperation agreements, or DCAs and general security agreements (GSAs).
  • Focusing on implications of burden sharing. Studying burden sharing across a wide array of security agreements will improve our understanding of how burden sharing influences the effectiveness of these arrangements.
  • Multi method research strategy, combining mathematical modeling, agent-based simulation, and empirical analysis employing a wide array of network-analytic methods.

We foresee several implications for knowledge in general and for U.S. national security, in particular:

  • A broader theoretical approach to security cooperation relying on network analytic logic and models, will add important insights to the evolution of security cooperation and burden sharing practices.
  • A systematic understanding of burden-sharing issues and outcomes across a wide array of security cooperation ventures-formal alliances, various types of DCAs, and collective action issues such as peacekeeping operations and military interventions in civil conflicts.
  • New methodologies and software allowing for studies of security cooperation and burden sharing, including network analytic models, agent-based simulations, and empirical tests.
  • Data repository on a wide array of security cooperation and collective action in security affairs
  • Training of post-docs, graduate and undergraduate students in sophisticated methods and data management strategies.
  • Significant policy implications. The theoretical approach, the multi-method strategy, and the generality of this project will yield important policy ideas. These would stem from a more solid theory of the determinants and implications of burden sharing, a more comprehensive array of methods for modeling these ideas, and a significantly wider scope of empirical analyses.