A Unifying Framework for the Study of International (Military) Cooperation
Military cooperation is an increasingly relevant feature of the international system. The militaries of the world train together, carry out operations together, share weapons, technology, and even classrooms. However, very little is know about the effects of such cooperation. Quantitative political scientists in particular have had relatively little to say on the topic. This uncharacteristic silence is in part due to a lack of unified framework for studying military cooperation. This paper presents a unified framework that is based on the foreign policy substitutability and alliance literatures. Rather than focusing on the individual policy, military cooperation is measured as a latent, underlying feature of a dyad that manifests itself in numerous observable ways, referred to as indicators of cooperation. Within this framework, military cooperation is measured at the dyad-year level using five indicators: joint military exercises, joint combat operations, arms transfers, multinational peacekeeping operations, and formal alliances. The resulting measure is validated with respect to several dyads of interest in the data.