Author (Your Name)

Ben Humphreys, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Government Dept.


James Marquardt

Second Advisor

Guilain Denoeux

Third Advisor

Suisheng Zhao


The different analyses and predictions of alliance behavior and capacity development advocated in the literature are based on the application of different theoretical perspectives to international relationships. As none of these theories dominate the field, the contradictory predictions do not empower current policy-makers with any clear sense of the future of alliance formation in East Asia. In this thesis I present the major theoretical frameworks that explain alliance formation behavior. Then I examine the empirical evidence independent of any theoretical considerations. I then apply the empirical evidence regarding capacity development in East Asia during 1990-1998 to these theories to determine their explanatory power, evaluating each to determine its strengths and weaknesses. The strengths of these theories are then examined for established patterns of alliance formation behavior that emerge and used to derive a more complete theoretical model of alliance formation behavior that specifically explains the case of post-Cold War East. Using this complete model, I extrapolate internal and external capacity development to develop predictions of the behavior competing nations will adopt in East Asia by 2010.


International relations -- Research, Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- China, China -- Foreign relations -- Soviet Union, Asia -- Strategic aspects, World politics -- 1989-, International relations, Pacific Area -- Military policy, Security, International, East Asia -- Military relations, East Asia -- Foreign relations