▶ Top Resources

Fading Friendships: Alliances, Affinities and the Activation of International Identities - Erik Gartzke, University of California San Diego

Please join us for a talk by Erik Gartzke, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California San Diego.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
UCLA Bunche Hall
Room 10383
Los Angeles, CA 90095


AUDIO: Listen to the lecture here.

PAPERRead Dr. Gartzke's original research  here.

POWERPOINT: View presentation slides here.




In international politics "friends'' co-ally. But friendship is relational and contextual. Countries are more likely to act on common interests on a given dimension if few other actors share that identity. In contrast, new cleavages are likely to emerge as an identity becomes ubiquitous. The tendency for states to form common alliances based on certain affinities is thus best thought of as a (strategic) variable, rather than as a constant. For example, in systems where democracies are scarce, democratic states tend to seek out democratic allies. As democracy becomes more common, however, incentives binding democratic allies together weakens, eventually giving way to other definitions of mutual interest. The argument, and the evidence we provide here, suggest that national identities are activated by strategic concerns as well as other factors. The salience of identities as cues to affinity and difference vary with the distribution of types in the system.


Erik Gartzke is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. He received his PhD from the University of Iowa in 1997 in International Relations and Formal/Quantitative Methods. Professor Gartzke joined the faculty at UCSD in Fall 2007. He studies the impact of information on war, peace and international institutions. Students of international politics are increasingly aware that what leaders and others know or believe is key to understanding fundamental international processes. Professor Gartzke's research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science , International Organization , International Studies Quarterly , the Journal of Conflict Resolution , the Journal of Politics and elsewhere. He is currently working on two books, one on globalization and the other on the democratic peace.


Sponsor(s): Burkle Center for International Relations


Upcoming Events

Film Screening: Guangzhou Dream Factory

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Thursday, May 25, 2017
7:30 PM

Explore our calendar »