Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Dan Morey


Military coalitions are both a common feature of interstate warfare and an example of the highest level of cooperation between states. Despite their tremendous importance in international relations, military coalitions remain poorly understood. This project investigates critical questions related to coalition structures, and uses quantitative and qualitative methods to show that both the threat and political opportunity facing coalitions helps to determine the shape of their structures. This project utilizes a dataset of all coalition wars since 1816, as well as case studies of six coalitions to investigate these relationships. Key contributions include novel theoretical arguments and the findings that political opportunity is the most significant determinant of coalition size and that both conflict stakes and regime type play a significant role in determining the organization of coalition command structures.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)