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Threat Perception, Non-State Actors, and U.S. Military Intervention after 9/11
Perez, Luis Ricardo
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By some accounts, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) created a paradigm shift in American foreign policy whereby terrorist organizations receive a lot more attention than they did prior to 9/11, especially in terms of U.S. military intervention. Moreover, some argue that this represents a shift in international politics whereby non-state actors have more power than they did before 9/11. However, others maintain that terrorism in the post-9/11 era is indicative of continuity in international politics. They argue that despite any of the immediate consequences of using military force to respond to the 9/11 attacks, the distribution of capabilities among states in the international system has not changed from the pre-9/11 era. This thesis empirically tests the notion of continuity in international politics through a case study of U.S. military intervention and threat perception. This research analyzes how these two concepts evolve from the post-Cold War era into the post-9/11 era. To the extent that U.S. military intervention and threat perception are comparable before and after 9/11, this is indicative of continuity in international politics. Conversely, contrast across 9/11 indicates change in international politics. Though this thesis finds considerable empirical evidence supporting continuity in international politics in the post-9/11 world, it also finds empirical evidence for change which cannot be ignored.
- Masters Theses