Date of Degree
Access restricted until 09/04/2021
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
This research project focuses on how three different levels of naval power influence the occurrence of militarized disputes over maritime claims. First, the systemic level of naval power investigates the role of the leviathan (the naval hegemon: the United States since World War II). As proponents of the hegemonic stability argue, the overwhelming naval power of the naval hegemon leads to stability in the sea by deterring the number of militarized disputes over maritime claims because more naval warships of the naval hegemon mean that more naval warships can operate in the sea to prevent maritime conflicts. However, when considering the vast area of the sea and the limited number of naval warships of the United States, it is impossible to deploy an equal number of naval warships to all maritime areas. As a rational actor, the naval hegemon should put more effort to more salient maritime claims. In other words, the naval hegemon should pay more attention to maritime claims which are highly related to its security/economic interests. Among several factors, this research found that when maritime claims are strategically important, which means maritime claims occur near international straits, and when maritime claimants are jointly democratic, the pacifying effect of the naval hegemon is increased.
Second, at the regional level of naval power, which focuses on Asia, the Asian naval hegemon has played a similar role as the global naval hegemon has done to maintain the order and to deter militarization over the sea. However, the Asian naval hegemon has a different level of incentive to align with the global naval hegemon’s effort depending on the relationships with the global naval hegemon. The results show that when the Asian naval hegemon is allied with the global naval hegemon and when the Asian naval hegemon is a democracy, the Asian naval hegemon is more likely to cooperate with the global naval hegemon’s effort to maintain stability in the regional waters, which results in fewer militarized disputes over maritime claims in Asia. In addition, this study also found that when the Asian naval hegemon approaches naval power of the global naval hegemon in Asia, they are more likely to challenge the order and the rules formed by the global naval hegemon, which leads to more conflictual behaviors over Asian maritime claims.
Lastly, at the dyadic level of naval power, this research focuses on how relative naval power between claimants affects foreign policy over maritime claims. When disputants over maritime claims have projectable naval power, they can conduct more active and aggressive foreign policy, which can lead to militarization over maritime claims. However, when claimants consider foreign policy over maritime claims, they should consider the strength of naval power relative to the opponent. Similar to the power (dis) parity argument, the results show that parity of relative naval power between claimants increases the occurrence of militarized disputes over maritime claims.
Maritime claims, Militarized disputes, Naval power
x, 149 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 140-149).
Copyright © 2019 Jonghwan Han
Han, Jonghwan. "The influence of naval power on the militarization of maritime claims." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2019.
Available for download on Saturday, September 04, 2021