1 Tabuchi, Hiroko. "China Passes Japan as Second-Largest Economy." New York Times, August 15, 2010.
2 In addition to overlapping memberships in the clubs of major powers and regional powers, states are also found in the global power club (Thompson, 2011), the elite power club (Morton and Starr 2001), the nuclear powers club, the P5 Club, the rising powers club, the OECD club, and the BRIC club.
3 For a short summary of the range of empirical findings connecting the status of major powers with varied forms of conflicts and interactions in international politics, see Corbetta et al. 2008.
4 Examples include Mercer 1995; Hymans 2002; Larson and Shevchenko 2003, 2010; and Sylvan, Graff and Pugliese 1998.
5 Although, as we note below, we disagree with previous measures used to identify what constitutes major power “status”.
6 According to our analysis, the only two states that have managed to keep the scope of their policies relatively narrow while flirting with major power status—Germany and Japan—have had to revise their posture considerably after achieving entrance into the club (Volgy et al. 2011b).
7 And unsurprisingly, generating substantial criticism from the community of states when intervention destabilizes a region.
8 For the importance of major power status considerations in Indian domestic politics, see Nayar and Paul (2003); for France, see Badie (2011).
99 For instance, the U.S. pressured states to increase the status of its allies and to minimize the status of communist states during the height of the Cold War.
10 Some are attributed major power status when they are no longer (a halo effect); some are denied their status while becoming a great power (latency effect). See the historical examples of Italy (Kennedy 1987: 206) and Austria-Hungary (Sylvan et al. 1998).
11 We assume this to be so for two reasons: they would benefit from more status and will be more aggressive in claiming it; and unlike overachievers, they have the wherewithal (capabilities) to act more aggressively.
12 Overachievers include both states with increasing (China) and declining capabilities (Russia). Policy makers operating in the realm of potential losses (consistent with prospect theory) may take more risks than those who are gaining. Those risks, however, would be most likely taken in their own regions where there may be potential, direct security threats or challenges to their regional leadership role (e.g., Russian confrontation with Georgia).
13 Military size is measured by military spending; military reach is military spending divided by the size of the armed forces; economic capacity is represented by the size of the economy (GDP); economic reach is trade divided by global trade.
14 We use events data, from COBDAB (Azar 1980), WEIS (Goldstein 1991), and IDEA (Bond et al. 2003, King and Lowe 2003), and apply to them the Goldstein scale, separating into dimensions of conflict and cooperation.
15 Being a major power entails great breadth and leadership (Levy 1983). Implicit in such traits is substantial foreign policy independence from other major powers. Capability-rich countries without an independent foreign policy are unlikely to be attributed major power status by the community of states (note Japan’s lack of major power status prior to 1989, noted in Volgy et al. 2011b).
16 Annual foreign policy profiles are formed by constructing a matrix of the mean foreign policy activity between two states, based on intensity-weighted international events data. Each directional entry in the matrix represents the central tendency of interactions from the row state towards the column state. The full row can be thought of as a country’s foreign policy profile. We measure the structural equivalence of states based on these foreign policy profiles, reporting the extent to which foreign policy profiles are similar (Wasserman and Faust 1994). The measure of foreign policy similarity can be interpreted as a correlation coefficient, ranging from complete dissimilarity (-1) to identical (1).
17 See Volgy et al. (2011a) for specifics regarding definitions of "unusual" capabilities, reach, activities, foreign policy portfolios and measurement procedures.
18 Diplomatic contacts data are from COW’s diplomatic exchange data (http://www.correlatesofwar.org/), and DIPCON DATA (http://www.u.arizona.edu/~volgy/data.html). State visits are extracted from the three events data sources noted above.
19 COW for instance designates the PRC as a major power starting in 1950; yet measures of capabilities and status attribution indicate that it barely registered as even a regional contender until well after the end of the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1970s (Grant et al. 2010). For further differentiation between the two measures, see Corbetta et al. 2008, and Grant et al. 2010.