Long-Term Structural Change and Regime Type

  • Karen Rasler
  • William R. Thompson
Part of the Evolutionary Processes in World Politics book series (EPWP)


In the past decade or so, the empirical study of world politics has gravitated overwhelmingly toward dyadic analyses. In what might be termed a macro-Noah’s Ark perspective, international relations is viewed as consisting of the aggregation of thousands of pairs of interacting states. The main reason for this shift in focus is that it makes considerable sense for a number of questions. At the core of such traditional phenomena as war, crisis, and arms races, there are often two states in confrontation. More recently emerged foci on militarized disputes, democratic peace, and enduring rivalry all seemingly lend themselves readily to a dyadic interpretation. While the adoption of a dyadic perspective makes great sense and has contributed to a number of advances in our understanding of international relations processes, there is a cost to pay if the one level of analysis is permitted to crowd out other levels of analysis. This is all the more the case if dyadic arguments and findings generate puzzles that can only be dealt with at some level of analysis other than the dyadic.


Regional Concentration Regime Type System Leader Power Concentration Major Power 
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Copyright information

© Karen Rasler and William R. Thompson 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Rasler
  • William R. Thompson

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