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International Futures Help System

Threat Elaborated: Nonpower Terms

Among the most important factors that determine the probability of disputes between countries that are not related to their power is their level of democracy. More specifically, threat depends on the level of democracy in actor and target countries and on the difference in level, sometimes called political distance.

Studies find that trade relations between states also affect the probability of disputes between them, but results are ambiguous. Because IFs uses pooled trade, it cannot forecast the specific level of trade between any two states. The model has a term that links overall levels of global trade, as a portion of GDP, to dispute probability.

Alliances generally reduce dispute probability. Another factor that may reduce the probability is that global community is growing. This is uncertain and the linkage is not now activated.

One of the most basic factors affecting interstate relations is the closeness or contiguity of two states (small states on different continents pose little or no threat to each other).