The Two Clubs: Major Powers, Regional Powers, and Status Considerations in International Politics



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20 Procedures used to establish substantial face validity for the data generated are found in Corbetta et al. 2008.

21 COW MIDs data, at: http://www.correlatesofwar.org/COW2%20Data/MIDs/MID310.html.

22 Lest one suspect that the logit models in Table 1 are endogenous, recall that the scale we use to assess unusually high conflict and cooperative behavior is derived from annually aggregated events data, different from data measuring individual instances of intervention in MIDS, with low correlations between conflict events and MID occurrence.

23 The models were also estimated using MIDs initiation as the dependent variable, yielding similar results.

24 For analysis of FIGOs, and the appropriate database, see Volgy et al. 2009.

25 The leap from regional to the global major power status club should be shorter and easier for states that have already emerged as major powers within their respective regions.

26 Australia is the only other regional power that demonstrates substantial capabilities for inter-regional activity, but it lags far behind India and Brazil.

27 Comparing potential members to older, more established members of the club is an unrealistic yardstick of comparison for aspirants.

28 As Figure 5 notes, much of India’s activity is confined to its meta-region and not globally.

29 Projections were generated using regression with a simple time counter as an independent variable. Based on the data from 1991-2007, a predicted value was generated for each year through 2050. Similar projections were run with models including the differenced dependent variable to test for the presence of autoregressive dynamics within the data. These ARIMA models, however showed no evidence of the existence of a significant autocorrelation structure.

30 We assume that there is a range of political extraction available to governments that can be identified given their observed extraction in relation to the material capabilities present in the domestic sphere (Organski and Kugler 1980). We have preliminarily tested this notion, using Arbetmann and Kugler’s (1995) political extraction measure, and found most states in and near the major power club, had a relatively stable range of extraction capabilities. We are grateful to Jacek Kugler for sharing the most recent data.

31 In one case the rate of change on one indicator is negative (Brazil’s state visits). We assume in this case that increasing political extraction has the effect of proportionally decreasing the rate at which decline occurs.

32 We created additional scenarios of stronger major power responses, but as Figure 8 demonstrates, these are not necessary.

33 This measure of efficiency is determined by

using a formula where actual extraction is the observed revenue of the state (World Bank data), and predicted extraction is the predicted amount of revenue each state should collect given the resources at their disposal (Arbetman-Rabinowitz and Johnson 2008). Within the formula, each predictive indicator represents sectors of domestic society from which the government can be expected to extract resources. Efficient governments exceeding their expected resource extraction receive an RPE measure greater than 1.



Failure to incorporate the efficiency of governments in extracting resources can lead to highly misleading results. For example, in the latest iteration of the COW CINC scores, China possesses greater capabilities than the United States. However, the CINC scores fail to incorporate the extent to which the Chinese government can use resources and population at its disposal. GDP modified by RPE is strongly related to variation among states in the number of annual foreign policy events in the IDEA data, outperforming unmodified GDP and CINC scores.


34 The economic recession of 2008-09 may have had a differential impact on states, with Western powers shrinking while China and India continue to grow and perhaps India accelerating into the major power club as a consequence of Western stagnation. Our first and second scenarios indirectly assess this argument by freezing growth in major power activity.

35 The COW designations suggest that exogenous shocks and major wars are largely responsible for changes in the club. A closer scrutiny of the time series suggests that major powers’ capabilities tend to grow or decline linearly with remarkable consistency while exogenous shocks appear at the conclusion of such linear trends (e.g., Austrian exit after WWI; Chinese and Japanese entrance after the Cold War).

36 The actual projection models and the data utilizing them are available from the authors on request.

37 States embedded in rivalries may emerge faster into the club, stimulated by the need to respond to myriad security issues. However, rivalries may also limit focus to the region, anchoring the state there, rather than global environment.

38 Substantial conflicts between India and Pakistan are integrated in our historical data used to forecast, including their 1999 conflict. The events we describe here, however, would yield security concerns above and beyond those events, and especially if Pakistan destabilizes.

39 For instance, despite support for Iran, following the latest round of UN sanctions, Russian authorities cancelled a substantial contract to provide sophisticated air defense systems to Iran (“Russia Cancels $800 million Air Defense Contract with Iran,” Bloomberg, October 7, 2010).

40 India’s ability to extend its global range is still hampered by a foreign service that contains fewer diplomats than New Zealand or even tiny Singapore (“India in Africa: Catching Up.” The Economist, May 28, 2011:7)

41 Morgan Stanley at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/36081710/Morgan-Stanley-India-and-China-New-Tigers-of-Asia-Part-III-20100813; the National Intelligence Council’s at: http://www.foia.cia.gov/2025/2025_Global_Governance.pdf

42 Andrew Jacobs, “China Softens Tone in Japan Dispute,” New York Times, September 28, 2010.

43 By 2010 its military spending exceeded that of both the UK and France, and was the third highest among all states. Its military spending as a percentage of its GPD exceeds all but the U.S. among major powers (SIPRI, 2011).

44 Note China’s efforts to showcase a new generation of stealth planes and the subsequent debate concerning whether they constitute a threat against American F-22 Raptors ("Chinese Stealth Fighter Makes First Test Flight," Associated Press, January 11, 2011).

45 Data retrieved from Cline et al. 2011.
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