This paper attempts to capture the behavior of agents (states), and the effects of international systemic structure, and the relationship of each to the other in a systemic, dynamic theory of international politics. The "nested politics" model describes how three layers of political authority– individual autonomy nested within state hierarchy nested within interna–tional anarchy–constitute an engine for both changes in state behavior and changes in the distributions that constitute the structure of the inter–national system. This paper discusses the model and examines its logical implications for existing explanations of Great Power behavior.
Theories that posit complex causation, or multiple causal paths, pervade the study of politics but have yet to find accurate statistical expression. To remedy this situation I derive new econometric procedures, Boolean probit and logit, based on the logic of complexity. The solution provides an answer to a puzzle in the rational deterrence literature: the divergence between theory and case-study findings, on the one hand, and the findings of quantitative studies, on the other, on the issue of the role of capabilities and willingness in the initiation of disputes. It also makes the case that different methodological traditions, rather than settling into "separate but equal" status, can instead inform and enrich one another.
Published in Political Analysis 11, no. 3 (2003): 209-233.