Quantifying Sovereignty: A New Way to Examine an Essential Concept
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CitationBarnett, Michael Andrew. 2017. Quantifying Sovereignty: A New Way to Examine an Essential Concept. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThere were three primary reasons for this study. First, the study attempted to create a quantitative framework for measuring the concept of sovereignty in order to facilitate easier comparative analyses. This framework, covering 122 countries, was achieved by creating two separate metrics, one measuring de jure (in law) sovereignty, the other measuring de facto (in fact) sovereignty. These metrics were weighted equally and combined to create a composite score, which measures the relative sovereignty of each country. The second purpose was utilizing the framework to test the author’s hypothesis that modern international institutions have empowered smaller states. In other words, the hypothesis was that population of a nation had no statistically significant effect on its sovereignty. The author’s hypothesis was refuted and a negative relationship between population and sovereignty was discovered. The third and final purpose of the study was to see what additional insights could be gained through this framework. This was achieved by analyzing the composite sovereignty score against a number of potentially explanatory variables such as GDP, trade volume, stability, government type, and ethnic and cultural diversity.
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