Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Irving Leonard Markovitz

Committee Members

Kwame Akonor

Donald Robotham

Seth Markle

George Andreopoulos

Subject Categories

International Relations | Political Science


Security Alliances, Bargaining, Africa, Diplomacy, Intelligence Liaisons, Military Basing Agreements


According to much of the international relations literature on security alliances weaker states are rarely in a position to drive hard bargains with their more powerful allies. Yet African states, for example, do not simply endure what they must to be of service to powerful friends. They often attempt to use security alliances to gain leverage over their stronger partners and extract concessions from them. When and why do they succeed?

This dissertation focuses on intelligence liaisons, military basing agreements, and coordinated military interventions as strategic resources that Ethiopia, Zaire (now D.R.C.), and Uganda have mobilized in intra-alliance bargaining with the US.

The central puzzle of this work coheres around two questions: How do these states deploy these resources, shape US perceptions of the value of these resources, and threaten US access to these resources when bargaining with Washington? And how effective have these states been in using these resources to generate bargaining leverage and extract concessions from the US?

This work hypothesizes that by shrewdly deploying these strategic resources when negotiating with the US, these states have at times amassed remarkably high levels of bargaining leverage. This leverage has led to sharp increases in US economic and security aid, attenuated US criticisms of the domestic policies of these allies, and increased US willingness to side with these security partners in their regional disputes. Simply put, coordinated military interventions, intelligence sharing programs, and military basing agreements serve as critical bargaining chips in the hands of African leaders as they attempt to capitalize on security alliances with the US. On the ground, however, beyond the halls of international diplomacy, these bargaining chips have often imperiled the institutions of African states and the security of their citizens.

This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Monday, September 30, 2024

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