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DPE Tuesday Talk Series: Douglas Lemke, “The Survival of ‘States’”

The Division of Politics and Economics invites the CGU community to attend this week’s Tuesday Lunch Talk featuring Douglas Lemke, Professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University. Lunch will be provided.

Douglas Lemke’s research focuses on the intersection of militarized conflict and political development with hopes of learning something about how states are made.

Douglas Lemke

Talk Title: The Survival of “States”

The survival of states is important to many theories of international relations (IR). Yet when IR scholars consider state survival and death, they focus exclusively on commitment problems and normative constraints. Absent from their thinking is consideration of the conflict experiences of states. These conflict experiences are central to state making arguments about state survival. In addition to this omission, IR researchers nearly uniformly consider only sovereign states when evaluating arguments about state survival. In contrast, state making scholars consider a broader group of sovereign state and non-sovereign state-like actors when studying state survival. In this project, Dr. Lemke broadens the potential causes of state survival or death, and also broadens the actors studied by combining state-like political entities with sovereign states. Dr. Lemke finds considerable support for both state making and normative arguments about state survival. A particularly interesting finding is that normative changes believed to have enhanced the survival of sovereign states have expanded both the numbers of state-like entities in the international system and extended the periods of time over which these state-like entities persist.