The Constraining Effects of Security Communities: Military Integration and Government Repression
As the breadth and depth of international military cooperation expands, security communities become increasingly developed. These communities are sub-systems of intense multilateral cooperation, and as such they have consequences for state behavior. For example, integrated states have difficulty taking actions in opposition to others in their community while isolated states are less constrained but lack the cooperative benefits a community provides. Extending this logic and motivated by the events of the Arab Spring, I argue that integration with Western liberal democracies constrains non-Western states from using lethal repression against their citizens. In Western states, restraint from using lethal repression is a well-established behavioral norm. Violators of this norm face consequences, and so does the violator's strategic partners. Therefore, Western liberal democracies have incentives to coerce their non-Western partners from engaging in such behaviors. The theory put forth is empirically tested using government repression and social protest data from 1981 -- 2006. Military cooperation is estimated as a latent trait expressed by multiple distinct and observable policy-choices, and military integration is measured using the social network concepts of degree centrality and eigenvector centrality. I find empirical evidence that increased military integration with Western liberal democracies significantly decreases a state's likelihood of using lethal repression against its citizens, thus demonstrating one constraining effect of a community structure. Other state behaviors affected by military integration and the development of security communities are discussed, but empirical assessment is left for future work.