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Bones of Contention: Measuring Contentious Issues in World Politics

Paul R. Hensel and Sara McLaughlin Mitchell

Department of Political Science Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 32306-2230 Phone: (850) 644-7318 Fax: (850) 644-1367

Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, 30 August 2001. The authors wish to thank Tom Sowers for his valuable comments and assistance, while taking all the blame themselves for any conclusions, interpretations, and errors herein.

Bones of Contention: Measuring Contentious Issues in World Politics

Abstract : Recent research suggests the importance of contentious issues as sources of militarized conflict. In this paper, we adopt an issues approach to world politics, focusing on disagreements over territory, cross-border rivers, and maritime zones. Our theoretical model identifies a variety of substitutable foreign policy tools that states can adopt to resolve disagreements over these issues, ranging from cooperative endeavors (such as bilateral negotiation) to militarized conflict. We develop several general issue hypotheses, emphasizing the impact of issue salience on peaceful and militarized settlement attempts and on the duration of issue claims. To test these hypotheses, we introduce data for the Americas collected by the Issue Correlates of War (ICOW) project. Empirical analyses of territorial and river claim data support our hypotheses. We find strong evidence that the salience of contentious issues affects the management of those issues, particularly with regard to variation in salience across issue types rather than variation within the individual categories of territorial or river issues.

Contentious issues have begun to attract serious attention in the study of militarized conflict. Many explanations for militarized conflict and war implicitly or explicitly revolve around specific issues as sources of conflict, ranging from leadership of the international system to control over territory. Yet despite calls from scholars such as O'Leary (1976), Mansbach and Vasquez (1981), and Diehl (1992), an explicit issue-based approach to world politics has been slow to develop. O'Leary (1976: 321) laments that everybody knows that issues are important... But what is equally obvious is that this obvious fact has made little, if any, impact upon systematic research in the field. Writing sixteen years later, Diehl (1992: 337) notes that despite initial positive reviews and more than a decade of time, the issue paradigm approach has not germinated such that its use is seriously evident, much less widespread, in the discipline. Even when issues have been considered theoretically, direct empirical analyses have been rare because of the paucity of systematic issue data in existing data sets and the difficulty of collecting original data related to issues. This paper adopts an issues approach to world politics, focusing on disagreements over territory, cross-border rivers, and maritime zones. Our theoretical model identifies a variety of substitutable foreign policy tools that states adopt to resolve disagreements over these various issues, ranging from cooperative endeavors (such as bilateral negotiation or submission of claims to a third party) to militarized conflict. We develop several general issue hypotheses,

emphasizing the impact of issue salience on the management of issues. We discuss the measurement of issues, focusing on the systematic identification of issues, the measurement of issue salience, and the collection of data on attempts to settle each issue. We conclude with some preliminary empirical analyses of issue management, using data on territorial and river issues. We find strong evidence that the salience of contentious issues affects the management of those issues, particularly with regard to variation in salience across issue types rather than variation within the individual categories of territorial or river issues.

An Issues Approach to World Politics

The standard realist approach describes world politics as a struggle for power (Morgenthau 1967), or in its neorealist form (Waltz 1979), a struggle for security in an anarchic interstate system. From such a perspective, states have a single, all-encompassing goal: they "think and act in terms of interest defined as power." (Morgenthau 1967: 5) An issue-based approach

differs from realism in that it views world politics as an arena in which states contend over many different types of issues, with very different implications for foreign policy decisions and interactions. We believe that an adequate understanding of interstate conflict and cooperation requires a focus on issues (see also Keohane and Nye 1977; Mansbach and Vasquez 1981; Diehl 1992). The following discussion identifies the central tenets of a systematic approach to the study of issues, as discussed in a recent International Studies Quarterly article (Hensel 2001a).

Foreign Policy is Issue-Directed The central tenet of an issue-based approach is that policy makers are concerned with issues. That is, rather than acting randomly or reacting to structural imperatives, policy makers make decisions in order to achieve their goals on certain issues. Such an approach closely resembles Clausewitz' portrayal of war as a political instrument, rather than an end to itself. Policy makers are seen as concerned with issues because of the "values" that the issues represent, such as wealth, physical security, freedom/autonomy, peace, order, status, or justice (Mansbach and Vasquez, 1981).1 Issues can involve competing views on concrete or tangible objectives, such as control over a particular piece of territory or cross-border resources, the protection of an ethnic or religious minority, or the removal of a particular leader, as well as competing views on intangible objectives such as influence, prestige, or ideology (Keohane and Nye 1977; Randle 1987; Holsti 1991; Diehl 1992).2

Issue Salience Varies

Mansbach and Vasquez (1981: 57-58) describe politics as the quest for value satisfaction, where "values" are abstract and intangible ends such as wealth, physical security, freedom/autonomy, peace, order, status, or justice. Because many such values can not be obtained directly, political actors often pursue desired values by contending over "stakes," which are more concrete and tangible objects that are seen as possessing or representing the desired values. One or more stakes and values are linked to form an "issue," or "a set of differing proposals for the disposition of stakes among specific actors" (Vasquez 1993: 46). Issues can involve competing views on concrete or tangible objectives, such as control over a particular piece of territory or cross-border resources, the protection of an ethnic or religious minority, or the removal of a particular leader, as well as competing views on intangible objectives such as influence, prestige, or ideology (see, e.g., Keohane and Nye 1977; Randle 1987; Holsti 1991; Diehl 1992). 2 For example, the Golan Heights issue between Israel and Syria involves competing claims relating to values such as physical security (represented by specific territorial stakes offering the ability to detect military threats, defend oneself from attack, and control access to scarce fresh water), peace (the absence of actual and potential security threats from their rival), and status (with both Israeli and Syrian prestige affected by control over territory that is claimed by both countries). Any final resolution of the overall Golan issue will have to produce a mutually acceptable division of the Heights that balances Israeli and Syrian concerns for peace, security, and status.

By itself, the argument that states are concerned with multiple types of issues does not necessarily imply that incorporating issues will make a difference in analyses of world politics. Even if numerous issues exist on the policy agenda, the specific issue(s) under contention at any point in time can only affect foreign policy decisions if issues vary in salience, defined as "the extent to which (but principally, the intensity with which) peoples and their leaders value an issue and its subject matter" (Randle 1987: 2; see also Coplin et al. 1973, Diehl 1992). Without this assumption, behavior would remain constant across different issues, and the specific issue under contention would only be of interest for descriptive purposes (indeed, of little more value than the vague notion that states pursue "the national interest"). If issue salience is considered, though, leaders can be seen as willing to expend greater effort (and to risk higher costs) to achieve favorable settlements on highly salient issues than on issues that are attributed less importance.3

Multiple Means Are Available for Issue-Related Ends Numerous cooperative or conflictual options may be chosen to pursue goals over issues, reflecting alternative mechanisms for allocating the disputed stakes; the common link is that these different policy options are substitutable means toward the same end. Policy makers may choose to take no action, allowing the issue to fester until it is forgotten or until one side chooses a more active strategy. Toward the peaceful end of the spectrum, leaders may choose to negotiate over their differences, either bilaterally or with the (non-binding) assistance of third parties, or they may submit their disputes to binding third party judgments. Leaders may also employ unilateral coercive action up to and including the use of military force to pursue their interests, in order to achieve their goals by force or by convincing an adversary to back down.4 This perspective allows the analyst to think in terms of substitutable policy options that are available to states (Most and Starr 1989; Morgan 1990), treating each option as one component piece in a larger puzzle. In short, by recognizing that multiple options are available to states for
Moravcsik (1997) similarly suggests that states require a "purpose" or perceived underlying stake before they will act, and that the strength of their preferences for these stakes drives policy making. This argument is central to Moravcsik's critique of the realist argument that capability or power considerations drive policy making: "Nations are rarely prepared to expend their entire economic or defense capabilities, or to mortgage their entire domestic sovereignty, in pursuit of any single foreign policy goal" (Moravcsik 1997: 520). Instead, the primary determination of a state's willingness to expend resources in pursuit of any given foreign policy goal is the strength of that state's preferences for achieving that particular goal.

resolving their conflicts of interest, the issues approach allows for a more complete understanding of world politics than is possible in isolated studies of individual options.

Taken together, these elements of an issues approach suggest a very different way of thinking about and studying world politics. Theoretically, the issues approach encourages scholars to think about the specific goals that states wish to achieve, and to think about how certain goals or issues are more salient than others. This approach also encourages scholars to think about militarized conflict and other types of activities as substitutable means toward the same issue-related end, which leads to a new focus on why one particular method is chosen rather than its alternatives -- a somewhat different question than whether or not a state will initiate militarized conflict in a given year. The issues approach also has implications for data collection. Very little attention has been paid to issues in existing data collections, which have focused more on such explanatory factors as arms, alliances, international organizations, trade, or geographic contiguity. If a scholar wishes to identify issues or to study issue management, new types of data are needed. Specifically, issues must be identified systematically, preferably with some indicators of issue salience and some identification of issue management or settlement efforts. As will be seen, the ICOW project attempts to meet all of these data-related needs.

Theoretical Model: Contentious Issues and World Politics

The issue-based framework that has been presented suggests that world politics can be conceptualized and studied as contention between states over issues using a variety of coercive or cooperative techniques. We now present explicit hypotheses on states' choices between settlement techniques in pursuit of issue-related goals. While there are a number of issue-related factors that can affect these choices (Hensel, 2001a), we focus on the importance of issue salience in this paper. The hypotheses on settlement techniques (and claim duration) are general in nature (applying to any issue), but we also emphasize any differences we expect across issue types (territory, river, and maritime issues).

Policy makers may also choose to take no action over a given issue, allowing the issue to fester until it is forgotten or until one side chooses a more active strategy.

Attempts to Settle Issue Claims As noted above, one of the central tenets of the issue approach is the idea that policy makers have a variety of means for settling contentious issues. To settle a territorial claim, for example, leaders can pursue cooperative or conflictual solutions, or they can choose to do nothing at all. How leaders choose among these various substitutable foreign policy options is an interesting question (Most and Starr 1989; Morgan 1990), and one that has been largely ignored by scholars who focus solely on the militarized end of the spectrum (e.g., by studying the issues involved in militarized disputes or wars). We focus on three general types of issue settlement attempts: (1) bilateral negotiations, (2) settlement involving third party activities, and (3) militarized conflict. The most direct approach for resolving a contentious issue is to settle the dispute directly between the conflicting parties, through bilateral negotiations. Bilateral negotiations involve direct discussions between official representatives of the two claimant states; such negotiations may take any form and may follow any procedure that the participants find acceptable (Hensel, 2001b). States may also turn to third parties to help resolve a disagreement over some issue. Third party settlement attempts include the provision of good offices, inquiry, conciliation, mediation, arbitration, adjudication, and multilateral negotiations. Some of these third party settlement attempts, such as arbitration and adjudication, are binding, meaning that the parties agree in advance to abide by the decision of the third party. Finally, leaders may also employ unilateral coercive action up to and including the use of military force to pursue their interests, in order to achieve their goals by force, or by forcing an adversary to back down. The question that must be answered is which factors make leaders more or less likely to select each of these foreign policy options. The salience of the specific issue under contention is one such factor that appears likely to influence the choice among policy options, with policy makers willing to pursue costlier or riskier options to achieve their goals over issues that are considered highly salient than over less important issues. In particular, unilateral military action is a relatively costly option, involving the risk of high military and economic costs should the adversary reciprocate with military action of its own, while not guaranteeing a successful resolution of the issues under contention. For low-salience issues, these costs and risks are unlikely to be seen as worthwhile, relative to more

peaceful means, in which the costs are limited to failing to achieve one's (relatively unimportant) issue goals -- without the additional costs and risks inherent in military escalation.5 When highly salient issues are under contention, though, the costs of failing to achieve one's desired issue position are much greater, especially in terms of failing to accomplish a leader's goals. As a result, when highly salient issues are involved, leaders are likely to fear the costs of losing on the issue more than the risks and costs of using force to achieve their goals. Even legal scholars such as Levi (1991:271-272) note that reliance on one's own capabilities and resources can be very attractive when the alternatives include the uncertain outcomes inherent in diplomatic or legal settlements, particularly when a state fears that political considerations may enter into the settlement or enforcement processes. In general, then, we should expect that highly salient issues should lead most frequently to bilateral negotiations and militarized settlement attempts.

Hypothesis 1: States should be more likely to employ bilateral negotiations or militarized action to pursue their issues when the issue at stake is more salient.

With regard to third party involvement, we must consider the conditions under which the claimants would be willing to request or accept third party involvement, as well as the conditions under which potential third parties -- such as major powers, neighboring states, or international organizations -- would be willing to offer their involvement or accept a request from the claimants. It appears reasonable to expect that outside actors would be most involved with highly salient issues, as well as that the claimants would be most likely to request or accept third party involvement -- at least in a non-binding form -- over such issues. Third parties should be more likely to offer assistance in settling highly salient issues -- which may be seen as threatening regional or global stability -- than to make similar offers over less salient issues, which may not attract the third party's attention and may not appear to justify the (economic, political, reputational, or even military) risks and expenses that might be involved in such an operation.
5 Even political realists like Morgenthau (1967: Chapter 25), who might be expected to advocate unilateral solutions to disagreements because of the anarchic, self-help nature of politics, recognize that judicial settlement of issues is possible when the issue involves minor questions such as the interpretation of an existing law. It is only

Policy makers contending over highly salient issues such as territory should be especially hesitant to turn to legally binding third party involvement (arbitration or adjudication), in which the parties agree in advance to abide by the decision of the third party. Non-binding third party techniques may be seen as less threatening, because they emphasize the facilitation of communication between two adversaries, neutral fact-finding missions, or the suggestion of possible solutions that need not be accepted by either party. Unilateral or bilateral action may be generally preferable to the involvement of any third party, but if a third party is to become involved, the ideal form of involvement would be one allowing policy makers to reject any suggestions that they consider unfavorable. To the extent that antagonists either request third party assistance or accept a third party's offer of such assistance, then, third party settlement attempts should be more likely to involve non-binding third party activities than binding third party decisions when the issue at stake is highly salient.6

Hypothesis 2: States should be more likely to attract non-binding third party assistance, and less likely to use binding third party assistance, when the issue at stake is more salient.

Issue Claim Duration The salience of an issue affects not only the means by which states attempt to resolve an issue claim (bilateral, third party, or militarized), but also the potential for successfully resolving it. More salient issues are expected to prove more difficult to resolve successfully. The final resolution of any issue requires that both sides view a settlement as beneficial, or at least as preferable to continued contention over the issue. Compromise over an issue -- essential to producing a settlement that both sides consider worthwhile -- is not likely to be difficult for leaders when the issue is relatively trivial, so once settlement attempts are set in motion on such issues, there should be a reasonable prospect for success. Yet when one or both actors view an issue as highly salient, they are likely to find compromise solutions unpalatable (and any domestic political opposition is likely to take advantage of any compromise to launch charges of
when the question at hand is political, involving conflicts of power or challenges to the prevailing status quo, that Morgenthau sees binding judicial settlement of disputes as impossible for self-interested states.

treason or incompetence). We thus expect claims over highly salient issues to last longer than ones involving less salient issues.

Hypothesis 3: Contentious claims over highly salient issues will last longer than claims over less salient issues.

Comparing Salience Within and Across Issues One of the appealing aspects of the issue approach to world politics is its recognition that states contend over multiple issues and that these issues vary in salience. Issues are important to states for a variety of reasons, which we categorize in terms of the tangible and intangible value to the contending states. Perhaps most obvious are the tangible values associated with many issues, such as their contribution to a states physical security, wealth, or even basic human needs such as food, water, and living space. Less obvious, yet often important, are more intangible values such as order, status or prestige, and justice. Different types of issues can be seen as varying along these two dimensions of tangible and intangible salience to states, ranging from issues with high tangible and high intangible salience to those with low salience on both dimensions. Territory, for example, is typically described as quite important to states for both tangible and intangible reasons (e.g., Vasquez 1993; Hensel 1996, 2001a). Territorial claims often involve land that contains economic and/or strategic value, thus relating to the tangible values of wealth and physical security. Beyond this tangible importance, many territories also take on enormous intangible significance, coming to be viewed as part of a states national identity; the deep ties of Jews to Palestine/Israel and of Serbs to Kosovo offer two dramatic examples. Although individual territorial claims may involve specific pieces of land with little tangible value or with little intangible significance for either participant, in general territorial issues are seen as taking on high values on both dimensions.7
Hensels (2001) empirical analysis of data on territorial claims in the Americas supports these hypotheses. In this paper, we broaden the analysis to three issues, which allows for a better test of the issue approach more generally (especially the hypotheses regarding salience, which are argued to hold across multiple issues). 7 We believe that this classification scheme is superior to alternative schemes that have been presented in past research. For example, Rosenau (1971) classifies issues by the tangibility or intangibility of the values to be allocated, as well as the tangibility or intangibility of the means employed to effect allocation. Yet many issues, particularly territorial issues, are seen as extremely important for both tangible and intangible reasons, complicating the classification of the values as one or the other. Additionally, a variety of means can be used to effect allocation

At the opposite end of the spectrum, issues with little tangible or intangible value include international athletics or economic issues associated with individuals or small groups. Hosting or winning athletic events such as the Olympic Games or the World Cup may contribute somewhat to a states prestige, and obtaining the release of a states national imprisoned abroad or protecting foreign investments by the states corporations may be quite important for the individual or corporation involved, but there is little tangible or intangible value in such issues for the vast majority of the states leaders or populace. Between these extremes, a variety of issues take on relatively high values along the tangible or intangible dimension, while lacking in the other dimension. We focus on two additional issues that fall in this intermediate range, contention over cross-border rivers and contention over maritime areas, both of which involve relatively high tangible value but relatively low intangible value. While all three of these issues are fairly high along the tangible dimension (and less so along the intangible dimension), we expect territorial issues to be the most salient overall, followed by maritime and river issues. Of course, the salience of a given issue within a single issue category varies considerably. For example, some maritime areas may be highly salient to one or more states, such as the territorial sea around Iceland (which almost produced a war between Iceland and the United Kingdom in the 1970s); this is a case where the resources in the claimed area are extremely important to the claimants economies. Other maritime areas are less salient to leaders; the United States contests Canadas claim of sovereignty over the Northwest Passage (arguing that it is an international waterway), but neither side views the issue as salient enough to call for drastic measures. Our general point is that we expect the hypotheses regarding salience to hold for each separate issue (e.g., militarized force is more likely to be used when a claim is highly salient), but we do recognize that some issues are more salient in general (such as territory) than others. Thus while we might expect militarized force to be used to resolve a highly salient territorial, river, or maritime issue, because territorial issues are more salient on average than the other issues, we would expect to observe a greater number of militarized incidents over these
of any type of issue, ranging from military force to negotiations to third-party adjudication; it would be both difficult and misleading to categorize any particular issue as involving primarily tangible or intangible means. The International Crisis Behavior (ICB) project has attempted to categorize issues by the specific substantive area of contention, using four categories: military-security, political-diplomatic, economic development, and cultural status (Brecher and Wilkenfeld 1997). Yet these categories are not mutually exclusive; territorial issues, for one, can be important for reasons related to all four categories.

(territorial) issues in comparison to the others. In the following section, we describe the data we have collected on these three issues to test our theoretical hypotheses.

Measuring Issues
The Issue Correlates of War, or ICOW, project attempts to address the shortcomings of past research on issues. The project began in the late 1990s at Florida State University with data collection on territorial issues and is currently expanding to cross-border river and maritime issues. Each of these issue types is approached similarly, with the goal of meeting the specific data needs of the issues approach as discussed above.

Explicit Issue Contention The most important requirement for systematic data on issues is explicit evidence of contention involving official representatives of two or more nation-states over the issue type in question; without explicit contention there is no reasonable way to identify issues. With the ICOW territorial claims data, for example, this means evidence that official representatives of at least one state make explicit statements claiming sovereignty over a specific piece of territory that is claimed or administered by another state. In the absence of such explicit evidence, we cannot simply assume that every border, every river, or every maritime zone is disputed, or that every militarized dispute, crisis, or war between states sharing a border, river, or maritime zone is evidence of such a claim. Requiring explicit statement of a claim by official government representatives helps the issues approach avoid charges of tautology, which might otherwise weaken or discredit the endeavor (for example, by arguing that all wars must be about territory because the armies seek to control territory to win the war). It is also important that the claim be stated by official government representatives, or individuals authorized to state official government policy (and that this statement not be disavowed by other official sources). Many potential claims are stated by private individuals, legislators, corporations, rebel groups, or other actors, typically for personal or financial motivations. Unless official governmental representatives support the claim, though, it does not qualify for inclusion in the data set. For example, while various private groups have pushed for the creation of a Greater Albania incorporating parts of Kosovo, Serbia's Presevo Valley, and


Macedonia as well as Albania itself (perhaps among other locations), we have seen no credible evidence that this is the official position of the Albanian government. It should be noted that this definition does not require any specific form of contention over the claim. In particular, it does not require that one or both sides resort to militarized force over the claim, meaning that the data set includes a number of cases that never led to the threat or use of force by either claimant. Similarly, it does not require that the adversaries negotiate over the claim, submit it to third party arbitration or adjudication, or even take any action whatsoever over the claim; some cases may not lead to any action of any kind, instead being allowed to fade away gradually. Both peaceful and militarized actions over a claim are more properly the subject of systematic analysis using complete compilations of all issue claims, rather than tools to be used for case selection.8

Issue Settlement Attempts Each ICOW claims data set includes data on attempts to manage or settle the issues involved in a claim. As noted above, we focus on three general types of settlement attempts: bilateral negotiations, third party settlement, and militarized conflict. Militarized attempts to settle issues are identified using the Correlates of War Project's Militarized Interstate Dispute (MID) data set (Jones, Bremer, and Singer 1996). Each of the more than two thousand MIDs in the data set is examined to identify whether it involved the claimants in the territorial or river claim in question.9 Two separate analyses are run using militarized conflict, one of which considers any
In general, a separate ICOW claim is considered to exist whenever two or more actors contend over a piece of territory, a river, or a maritime area that is not already covered as part of another ICOW claim. A separate dyadic claim within an already existing ICOW claim is considered to exist whenever two or more actors contend over a piece of territory, a river, or a maritime area that is already covered as part of another ICOW claim. For example, the overall Alaska territorial claim includes several distinct dyadic claims: a U.K.-Russia claim and a U.S.-Russia claim from the period before Russia sold Alaska (Russian America) to the United States in 1867, each of which covered somewhat different portions of Alaska, and a U.K. (acting on behalf of its then-colony Canada)-U.S. claim covering a smaller portion of the Alaska-Canada border after the U.S. purchase. Because each of these dyadic claims involved partially overlapping territory, they are all considered to be part of the overall Alaska claim. In contrast, though, there are numerous different claims between the U.S.-U.K., U.S.-Mexico, and Argentina-Chile because the claims involve separate (rather than overlapping) pieces of territory and because the claimants treat the claims to these distinct territories separately (Hensel, 2001b). 9 Because the official MID data set has not been released in dyadic form, we employ a version that has been transformed into a dyadic data set, as described by Hensel (1996). Some dyads engage in multiple claims of a certain type at the same time (most notably the United States and Canada, United States and Mexico, and Argentina and Chile), making it difficult to determine which (if any) of these claims generated the dispute. For now, this problem is resolved by attributing each such dispute to the earliest-starting claim that is still active at that point in time, although this is admittedly an imperfect solution. Future research will attempt to resolve this question more definitively by examining each such dispute more closely.


militarized dispute between the claimants regardless of the issue at stake. More relevant, though, are militarized disputes over the specific territorial or river issues at stake in the claim. Disputes over territorial claims are easily identified, because the MID data set codes whether territory is at stake in a dispute, but there is no code for river issues in the official MID data set. Because only ten militarized disputes occurred between river claimants in the Americas from 1816-1992, though, all ten cases could be analyzed to identify the specific issues. Four (one between Bolivia and Chile over the Lauca River and three between Argentina and Uruguay over the Ro de la Plata) involve river issues, while the other six involve other issues between the United States and Canada or its former British ruler (the Alaskan territorial claim, maritime fishing claims, and the British dispute with Guyana). While militarized attempts to settle issues can be identified using readily available data sets, much more work is required to identify and code peaceful attempts to settle ICOW claims, as this information is not available in any other social science data sets. Four specific topics can be covered by these peaceful attempted settlements: negotiations meant to settle the entire claim, negotiations over a smaller part of the claim, negotiations over procedures for future settlement of the claim (a "procedural" settlement attempt, such as a treaty submitting the claim to arbitration by a specific third party or an agreement to meet for new negotiations at some specific time), and negotiations over the use of the claimed territory, river, or maritime area without attempting to settle the question of ownership (a "functional" settlement attempt, such as a treaty of free navigation along a disputed river border). Any other type of negotiations (e.g., talks over a ceasefire to stop an ongoing crisis or war) is excluded. Coded settlement attempts may involve bilateral negotiations, negotiations with nonbinding third party assistance (inquiry, conciliation, good offices, or mediation), or submission of a claim to binding arbitration or adjudication.10 It is important to include all of these different types of peaceful settlement attempts, as this variety allows study of numerous research topics. For example, this allows the study of the relative frequency and effectiveness of each type of effort, which has not been possible with most previous data sets. Collections such as the MID, ICB, and SHERFACS data sets are focused around armed conflict, and either exclude conflict management entirely (as with the MID data) or only include attempts to manage or settle ongoing crises or wars (as with the ICB and SHERFACS data). An exclusive focus on attempts

More detail on each type of settlement attempt is provided by Hensel (2001a, 2001b).


to manage claims that have become militarized (e.g., Dixon 1993, 1994; Wilkenfeld and Brecher 1984) is likely to understate the effectiveness of peaceful means for dispute settlement, because it only examines the most intractable and conflictual issues and ignores cases that never reach such extreme measures. Furthermore, a focus on armed conflict leaves out the majority of all issue settlement attempts. Less than fifteen percent of the settlement attempts involving ICOW territorial claims in the Western Hemisphere begin during militarized disputes or wars, meaning that over 85 percent of the ICOW cases would be left out of the data sets that have been used in most recent research on conflict management.11 Hensel (2001b) provides more detail on the identification and coding of peaceful settlement attempts.

Issue Salience An important element of each ICOW data set is the collection of indicators that can be used to measure issue salience. That is, scholars using the data set must have some way to distinguish between claims of higher and lower salience. In the ICOW territorial claims data set, salience is measured through numerous indicators, each of which addresses an aspect of the claimed issue that should increase its general value to one or both claimant states. We combine six dichotomous indicators of salience for each issue type to create an overall measure of salience. On this twelve-point index, we assume that values from zero to four represent low salience, values from five to seven represent moderate salience, and values eight to twelve represent high salience.12 For territorial claims, the six indicators used to construct the general measure of territorial claim salience include (1) homeland territory (as opposed to colonial or dependent territory), (2) mainland territory (rather than an offshore island), (3) contiguity of the claimed territory to the nearest portion of the state, (4) the presence of valuable resources in the territory, (5) a militarily or economically strategic location for the territory, and


Raymond's (1994, 1996) data on international arbitration and mediation offers a partial exception, as it includes numerous cases that began outside of the context of ongoing militarized conflict. Yet Raymond's data is limited to conflict management cases involving at least one major power and involving states that share a direct or indirect border, and his data set ends in 1965; only a small fraction of cases in the ICOW territorial claims data set would appear in Raymond's compilation. 12 Each indicator can contribute up to two points to the overall total of this index (one point per state involved in the claim).


(6) the presence of an ethnic, religious, or other identity basis for the claim.13 We construct similar indices of salience for river and maritime claims.14

Describing the ICOW Data on Territorial, River, and Maritime Claims

Before moving on to empirical tests of our theoretical hypotheses, we provide some basic descriptive information about the ICOW data collected in the Western Hemisphere (North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean) for each of the issue areas: territorial, river, and maritime claims. Territorial claims are coded from 1816-2000, whereas river and maritime claims are collected from 1901-2000.15 We begin by considering the frequency of actual claims relative to the number of potential claims. For territorial claims, we assume that any two states with contiguous land borders have an opportunity to become involved in a territorial claim. For river claims, any dyad that shares a cross-border river might be counted as a potential river claim, although there are thousands of streams or rivers that cross borders, most of which are not depicted or named even on the best world atlases (such as the Times Atlas of the World or National Geographic Atlas of the World). As a result, we limit the list of potential river claims to "major rivers," or rivers of at least 100 miles total length that enter the physical territory of at least two states. Finally, potential maritime claims are based on overlapping territorial sea and/or economic exclusive zones up to 200 nautical miles (Pratt and Schofield, 2000).16
13 It is worth noting that several of these indicators reflect the "intrinsic importance" (Diehl 1992) of the claimed territory, contributing to the salience of the claimed territory for all involved parties, while others may reveal asymmetries in claim salience for different participants ("relational importance"). Thus, the presence of valuable resources or control over a strategic location should presumably benefit each side in the claim, while territory that is considered to be part of one state's homeland another state's colony may have much greater salience for one state than the other. This may be an important influence on the two states' decisions and interactions regarding the claim. 14 The six indicators for river claim salience are homeland territory (versus colonial or dependent territory), navigational importance of the river, level of population served by the river, the presence of a fishing or other resource extraction industry on the river, hydroelectric power generation along the river, and irrigational value of the river. The six indicators for maritime claim salience are homeland territory (versus colonial or dependent territory), strategic location, fishing resources, migratory fishing stocks, oil resources, and relation to an ongoing territorial claim. 15 We have several reasons to limit river and maritime claims data collection to the twentieth century. First, particularly for maritime claims, such issues simply do not appear to have been important enough to many states to have generated explicit claims until some time in the twentieth century. Second, and perhaps related to the first reason, historical sources have not given such issues anywhere near the attention that is given to territorial claims until the twentieth century, leaving us much less confident that we could identify most relevant claims or that we could collect sufficient data on claim characteristics or on attempts to settle each claim. 16 Each data set can include additional claims not represented on these lists of potential claims, such as territorial claims to islands by geographically distant adversaries, claims over rivers as short as twenty or thirty miles, or


Table 1 reveals that there are 40 potential territorial claims, 162 potential river claims, and 60 potential maritime claims in the Americas. 39 of the 40 land borders (97.5%) have been disputed at some point in the past two centuries. The percentage of actual claims for rivers and maritime zones is much smaller. 26 of the 60 overlapping maritime zones (43.3%) have produced a maritime claim, whereas only 14 of the 162 cross-border major rivers (8.6%) have been contested. Not surprisingly, territorial claims are the most frequent. This is consistent with our argument that territorial claims are very salient to leaders (being high in the tangible and intangible dimensions), and thus much more likely to be the subject of a claim. It makes sense that maritime claims would be the next most frequent, largely because many disputed maritime zones stem from contested land borders, and that river claims would be the least frequent.17 While territorial claims have been the most frequent type of contentious issue in the Americas, our expectation is that the number of territorial claims should decline over time as borders become established, and states resolve their territorial disagreements. On the other hand, we expect river and maritime claims to become more frequent over time for two reasons. First, we believe that a states level of economic development affects its ability to exploit the resources contained in rivers and oceans. Most maritime claims, for example, did not arise until after World War II precisely because states did not have large fishing fleets and oil companies competing for oceanic resources. Likewise, the ability of a state to develop hydroelectric power plants on a river depends on its overall level of economic development. Second, the resources contained in the ocean and freshwater rivers have become much more scarce over time. Canada, for example, has had disputes with a variety of states (such as the United States, Spain, and France) to protect the dwindling oceanic fish stocks in and outside their economic exclusive zone. More broadly, the total world catch of marine fish reached a record high of 86 million metric tons in 1989, before beginning a rapid decline in thirteen of nineteen FAO statistical areas (Bailey, 1996).18
maritime claims involving fishing rights that are disputed between distant adversaries. For the purposes of Table 1, though, such additional claims are left out, because of the impossibility of constructing a meaningful list of the many thousands of small islands or short rivers; this table only indicates the proportion of these listed potential cases that have been the subject of at least one explicit ICOW claim. The remaining tables in this paper use the full list of all claims, regardless of whether they appear in Table 1's list of potential claims. 17 While not all maritime claims are related to territorial claims, there are enough cases where such a link exists to complicate the delimitation of maritime areas. 18 We also see rising scarcity of fresh water resources suitable for drinking or agriculture, with vast disparities across regions in the world. For example, the Amazon River accounts for twenty percent of all global river runoff triple the combined total runoff for all of Europe -- and the Congo/Zaire River accounts for thirty percent of all runoff in


Table 2 presents information on claim frequency over time in the Americas. We report the total number of claims (where each disputed area is counted as one claim) in the first column, and the total number of dyadic claims in the second column (where a disputed area may have multiple dyadic claims).19 The total number of claims is higher in Table 2 than in Table 1 because here we include claims over other issues (noncontiguous territories such as islands, small rivers, or noncontiguous maritime zones) that were not identifiable as potential claims in practical terms. There have been a total of 75 territorial claims from 1816-2000, 17 river claims from 1901-2000, and 39 maritime claims from 1901-2000. Even with this more complete listing of claims, then, territorial claims have been the most frequent type of issue claim in the Americas. When we break down the overall time periods, however, our expectation with respect to the frequency of these issues over time is confirmed. Territorial issues have become less frequent over time; there are 63 active territorial claims in the nineteenth century and only 26 active claims in the latter half of the twentieth. Table 2 also shows that river and maritime claims have become much more frequent over time, as we expected. Only three river claims and sixteen maritime claims were active between 1901-1950, while fifteen river claims and 39 maritime claims have been active at some point between 1951-2000. The same temporal trends hold for dyadic claims, as well.

Empirical Analyses
We turn now to empirical analyses designed to test the theoretical hypotheses described earlier in the paper. We have argued that the salience of an issue has a strong effect on the types of settlement attempts chosen by leaders and on the chances for contentious issues being
Africa. Similarly, Oceania as a region has over twenty times the per capita water availability of Asia, largely because of rich water resources and low populations (Gleick 1993: 3-4). At least nine Middle Eastern countries already use more water each year than can be replenished through either renewable internal water sources or river inflows from other countries, and twelve countries around the world are unable to provide even minimally acceptable supplies of fresh water per capita; both lists are expected to lengthen considerably in the next several decades (Gleick 1993: 105-106). Many fresh water resources are shared across nation-state borders, whether in the form of rivers that form or run across a border or lakes that touch two or more states; at least thirteen countries depend on water sources beyond their borders for three-fourths or more of their total river flow (Gleick 1993: 108). 19 Issues are studied based on specific claims by policy makers, or explicit goals that are expressed with regard to preferred settlements of a specific type of disagreement. Issue claims are aggregated based on the specific topic under contention, whether it is a piece of territory, a river, or a maritime zone. If there are multiple actors who claim a particular area, then there are multiple dyadic claims for the overall claim. For example, Venezuelas claim to a 200-mile economic exclusive zone around Aves Island is contested by many Caribbean states, including Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent. This is treated as a single maritime claim involving five separate dyadic claims (each state versus Venezuela).


successfully resolved (duration). States are more likely to employ bilateral negotiations or militarized action when the issue at stake is highly salient (Hypothesis 1). They are also less likely to involve third parties in ways that are binding (arbitration or adjudication) for highly salient issues (Hypothesis 2). Furthermore, because highly salient issues are difficult to resolve, claims over these issues last longer than claims over other, less salient issues (Hypothesis 3). We also expect territorial issues to be more salient in general than river or maritime issues, which would suggest that territorial claims should differ from river claims in the same general ways that higher salience claims of a given issue type should differ from their lower salience counterparts. Because of slower progress in data collection, we are not yet able to report results for maritime claims in these final three tables, although work is continuing on that data set and we plan to add maritime claims to the territorial and river claims in these tables as soon as possible. Table 3 describes the frequency of territorial and river claims that are characterized by high, moderate, or low salience. Among the 114 dyadic territorial claims in the Americas from 1816-2000, 29% (33) are highly salient. Of the 23 dyadic river claims in the Americas from 1901-2000, 26% (6) are highly salient. The modal salience category for both territorial and river claims is moderate salience, constituting 36.8% of territorial claims and 43.5% of river claims. Table 4 compares the duration of territorial and river claims (section A), and then comparing the duration of each issue separately based on the salience level (sections B and C). The first column includes data for all claims, whether they were resolved or still ongoing. The second column omits the claims that are ongoing as of the year 2000. It is clear that territorial claims have lasted much longer than river claims, with a mean duration of 43.3 years relative to 9.6 years for river claims. This difference is statistically significant (p<.001) both for all claims and for uncensored claims. Hypothesis 3 finds support; because territorial claims are more salient in general, and because highly salient issues are difficult to resolve, they endure longer than claims over other issues. We can also see in Table 4 that issues of high and moderate salience last longer than issues of low salience for both territorial and river claims, although these differences are not statistically significant. River claims of high salience last about 11 years longer on average than claims of low or moderate salience, although the differences are not statistically significant for


either all claims or uncensored claims.20 On other hand, territorial claims of high salience (44.2 years) have a somewhat shorter average duration than claims of moderate salience (49.4 years), although again the result is not statistically significant. Table 5 presents the frequency of the various types of settlement attempts (bilateral negotiations, non-binding and binding third party involvement, and militarized conflict) based on the salience of the issue claim (high, moderate, or low). As we had hypothesized, there is a significant difference across issue types in both bilateral negotiations (p < .01) and militarized conflict behavior overall (p < .02). The results are slightly weaker but still approach

conventional levels of statistical significance when examining conflict over territorial or river issues specifically (p < .09) and non-binding third party involvement (p < .11). Territorial claims generate an average of 2.5 militarized disputes (1.4 of them over territorial issues), while river claims generate only 0.4 (with a total of only ten disputes across 23 dyadic river claims, only four of them specifically involving river issues). Similarly, territorial claims generate nearly three times as many rounds of bilateral negotiations as do river claims, and an even greater disparity in non-binding third party activity. The only surprise in the upper portion of the table lies in the results for binding third party settlements, with territorial claims averaging one such settlement per three claims and no such settlements occurring in Western Hemisphere river claims (p < .02). This result may indicate in part that river claims are easier to resolve bilaterally or with non-binding assistance, leaving no need to turn to binding third party judgments. It may also indicate that river claims lack an appropriate international body to resolve claims through adjudication, at least in the twentieth century Western Hemisphere, or that river claims rarely generate the militarized conflicts or stalemated negotiations that may lead states to choose a binding third party technique. In any case, further research is warranted. With regard to differences within each issue type, neither issue produces very significant results. Territorial claims of high, moderate, and low salience generate 2.7, 1.1, and 0.5 militarized disputes over territorial issues respectively, indicating that the most salient claims produce much more militarized conflict than the least salient (p < .02), and more salient territorial claims also generate significantly more negotiations (p < .001). River claims do not


To some extent, these results are impeded by the small N; these analyses are based on comparisons of mean values across just 23 dyadic river claims.


produce any noteworthy differences based on salience levels for any type of settlement attempt, nor are there any significant differences for third party activities in territorial claims. Taken together, these analyses suggest that the salience of a contentious issue strongly influences the ways in which states try to settle their differences. States are more likely to use militarized means and bilateral negotiations to settle highly salient claims. Furthermore, claims over issues that are more salient in general, such as territory, last longer than claims over less salient issues, such as cross-border rivers. Our analyses demonstrate the impact of variation in salience both within and across issue types, offering the first systematic empirical examination of multiple issues.

Conclusions and Implications

International relations scholars often assume that states foreign policy interests are dominated by a single overarching goal, such as the maximization of power and/or survival in an anarchic environment. We believe that this vision of world politics is quite limited, and we argue that states contend over many issues, with some issues being more salient or important than others. It is important to examine these various contentious issues because foreign policy decisions vary based on the issue at stake and the salience of the issue at hand. We argue that different types of issues vary along two general dimensions of salience: the tangible importance of an issue, such as economic or strategic value, and the intangible importance of an issue, such as prestige or identity value. Territorial issues are salient for both tangible and intangible reasons, while other issues, such as cross-border rivers and maritime zones, are less salient. The salience of issues within these general issue types (territory, rivers, maritime areas) varies as well, with some territorial claims being much more important to leaders than other territorial claims. Our theoretical model identifies a variety of substitutable foreign policy tools that states can adopt to resolve disagreements over issues, ranging from cooperative endeavors to militarized conflict. We contend that states should be more likely to employ bilateral

negotiations or militarized action, more likely to attract non-binding third party assistance, and less likely to use binding third party assistance, when the when the issue at stake is more salient. We also argue that issues that are more salient in general, such as territory, should last longer because they are more difficult to resolve. Empirical analysis of territorial, river, and maritime data for the Americas generally confirms our hypotheses.


The ICOW data seta on territorial, river, and maritime claims will be useful in testing numerous additional propositions on phenomena in world politics beyond issue management. Arguments that certain types of states (such as democracies) are less likely than others to contend over certain types of issues can be tested more meaningfully with data that are collected independently from data on militarized conflict. The ICOW data sets will thus help to overcome a potential criticism of research by Bueno de Mesquita and Siverson (1997) and Mitchell and Prins (1999). Both studies examine the issues at stake between democracies but their

contributions are limited to issues involved in militarized disputes, which are unlikely to be representative of all issues under contention (particularly for democracies, which are known to become involved in fewer militarized disputes overall than other types of adversaries). Analyses of peaceful conflict management techniques (e.g., Dixon 1993; Raymond 1994) can benefit from the collection of data on a specific type of disagreement between states, which allows the study of all attempts to manage such disagreements -- whether or not the adversaries become involved in militarized conflict (Dixon) or employ third-party settlement assistance (Raymond). Because data are collected on characteristics of each claim, analyses of conflict management techniques can also benefit from the measurement of issue salience, which has been impossible with recent research by Dixon, Raymond, and others. States involved in territorial, river, maritime, and regime claims also offer an excellent set of cases to be used in testing propositions about status quo dissatisfaction (e.g., Kugler and Lemke 1996), because the existence of the claims clearly indicates a form of dissatisfaction with the local (dyadic or regional) status quo and additional data on claim salience can be used to indicate the extent of this dissatisfaction. The ICOW data will also allow for a more detailed understanding of the effects of water scarcity and maritime disagreements on world politics than is currently possible, by indicating the extent to which countries facing disagreements over such issues employ peaceful versus military means in settling their issues and the extent to which different approaches are likely to be successful at resolving the issues. The few studies that have dealt with water scarcity issues or maritime disagreements and conflict have generally followed impressionistic research designs, involving the intensive study of a single case (as with Lowi's 1995 study of the Jordan River basin) or a brief listing of prominent cases that have made news headlines. None of these studies have attempted to compile a list of all cases of actual or potential water scarcity problems around


the world, nor have they made any systematic effort to collect additional information about the magnitude of each such problem or about attempts to manage these problems through peaceful or military means. Furthermore, the broad temporal span of the ICOW data will facilitate analysis of the impact of significant changes in the regional (e.g., with the development of the European Union) and global (e.g., the development of the Law of the Sea) institutional context on the settlement of various issues over time. Beyond the role of institutions, these data sets will allow scholars to compare the impact of issues with that of more traditional realist factors such as power. Mansbach and Vasquez (1981; Vasquez 1993), among others, have argued strongly against a realist interpretation of world politics on a variety of theoretical, empirical, and other grounds; these data sets will finally allow for a direct comparison of the realist "power politics" approach with an "issue politics" approach.

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Gleick, Peter H. (1993). Water in Crisis: A Guide to the World's Fresh Water Resources. New York: Oxford University Press. Hensel, Paul R. (1996). "Charting a Course to Conflict: Territorial Issues and Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1816-1992." Conflict Management and Peace Science 15, 1 (Spring): 43-73. Hensel, Paul R. (2001a). Contentious Issues and World Politics: The Management of Territorial Claims in the Americas, 1816-1992. International Studies Quarterly 45, 1:81-109. Hensel, Paul R. (2001b). General ICOW Project Codebook: Issue Correlates of War (ICOW) Project. Unpublished manuscript, Florida State University. Holsti, Kalevi J. (1991). Peace and War: Armed Conflicts and International Order 1648-1989. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Jones, Daniel M., Stuart A. Bremer and J. David Singer. 1996. Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1816-1992: Rationale, Coding Rules, and Empirical Patterns. Conflict Management and Peace Science 15(2):163-213. Keohane, Robert O., and Joseph S. Nye (1977). Power and Interdependence. Boston: Little, Brown. Kugler, Jacek, and Douglas Lemke (1996). Parity and War: Evaluations and Extensions of The War Ledger. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Levi, Werner (1991). Contemporary International Law: A Concise Introduction, second edition. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Lowi, Miriam R. (1995). Water and Power: The Politics of a Scarce Resources in the Jordan River Basin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mansbach, Richard, and John Vasquez (1981). In Search of Theory: A New Paradigm for Global Politics. New York: Columbia University Press. Mitchell, Sara McLaughlin and Brandon C. Prins. (1999). "Beyond Territorial Contiguity: Issues at Stake in Democratic Militarized Interstate Disputes." International Studies Quarterly 43:169183. Moravcsik, Andrew (1997). "Taking Preferences Seriously: A Liberal Theory of International Politics." International Organization 51, 4 (Autumn): 513-553. Morgan, T. Clifton (1990). "The Concept of War: Its Impact on Research and Policy." Peace and Change 15, 4 (October): 413-441. Morgenthau, Hans J. (1967). Politics among Nations, fourth edition. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.


Most, Benjamin A. and Harvey Starr (1989). Inquiry, Logic, and International Politics. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. O'Leary, Michael (1976). "The Role of Issues." In James Rosenau, ed., In Search of Global Patterns. New York: Free Press, pp. 318-325. Pratt, Martin and Clive Schofield, eds. 2000. Janes Exclusive Economic Zones. UK: Janes Information Group Unlimited. Randle, Robert (1987). Issues in the History of International Relations. New York: Praeger. Raymond, Gregory A. (1994). "Democracies, Disputes, and Third Party Intermediaries." Journal of Conflict Resolution 38,1 (March): 24-42. Raymond, Gregory A. (1996). "Demosthenes and Democracies: Regime-Types and Arbitration Outcomes." International Interactions 22, 1: 1-20. Rosenau, James N. 1971. "Pre-Theories and Theories of Foreign Policy," in James N. Rosenau (ed.), The Scientific Study of Foreign Policy. New York: Free Press. Vasquez, John A. (1993). The War Puzzle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Waltz, Kenneth. (1979). Theory of International Politics. Reading: Addison-Wesley. Wilkenfeld, Jonathan, and Michael Brecher (1984). "International Crises, 1945-1975: The UN Dimension." International Studies Quarterly 28, 1 (March): 45-67.


Table 1: Potential and Actual Claims in the Americas

Potential Claims:

Actual Claims:

Land Borders A. Territorial Claims 40

Claimed 39 (97.5%)

Major Rivers B. River Claims 162

Claimed 14 (8.6%)

Adjoining Maritime Zones C. Maritime Claims 60 Claimed 26 (43.3%)

Notes The percentage reported in the Actual Claims column is the percentage of eligible borders, rivers, or maritime zones that have been the subject of an explicit claim. Because we cannot reasonably count the potential number of cases for noncontiguous states (such as potential claims over islands), we exclude claims that do not involve a direct homeland border, river, or maritime zone in this table. We also exclude multiple claims involving different portions of the same river or land or maritime border (e.g., the USA-Canada dyad has experienced five different territorial claims and six different maritime claims, each involving distinct portions of the land or maritime border between the same two states; this dyad counts as one territorial claim and one maritime claim for this calculation). The borders, rivers, and maritime zones that are used to measure potential claims are current as of August 2001. This may undercount the total, as some borders have vanished with the disappearance of states or dependencies (e.g., European possessions in what is now the United States) and some rivers have gained or lost international status following major territorial changes. Nonetheless, these figures are reasonably accurate, as most past colonial borders (both land and maritime) have been replaced by similar post-independence international borders (and the few remaining colonial borders, involving French Guiana, are counted in this table), and most territorial changes do not involve the entire course of any rivers in our list.


Table 2: Claim Frequency Over Time in the Americas Total Claims A. Territorial Claims 1816-1900 1901-1950 1951-2000 Total B. River Claims 1901-1950 1951-2000 Total C. Maritime Claims 1901-1950 1951-2000 Total 63 29 26 75 Dyads 82 66 35 114

3 15 17

5 19 23

16 39 39

20 53 53

Notes The frequency in the Total Claims column is calculated such that each distinctly claimed area is a single case. The frequency in the Dyads column counts the number of separate dyads within these total claims. The values in this table are higher than those reported in Table 1 because they include claims over other issues (noncontiguous territories such as islands, small rivers, or noncontiguous maritime issues). Total figures include all claims that were active in one or more historical periods. Figures for the individual periods do not add up to these total figures because a given claim may be active in more than one period.


Table 3: Claim Salience in the Americas Claim Salience: High 33 (29.0%) 6 (26.1%) Moderate 42 (36.8) 10 (43.5) Low 39 (34.2) 7 (30.4) Total 114 23

Territorial Claims River Claims

Notes Salience for each issue type is measured with a twelve-point index, with six indicators each contributing up to two points to the overall total (one point per state involved in the claim). Low salience includes cases with zero to four points on this index, indicating the presence of no more than two of these six indicators of salience. Moderate salience includes cases with five to seven points on this index, indicating the presence of several of these salience indicators. High salience includes cases with at least eight points in this index, indicating the presence of at least four of the indicators. The six indicators for territorial claim salience are homeland territory (versus colonial or dependent territory), mainland territory (rather than an offshore island), contiguity of the claimed territory to the nearest portion of the state, the presence of valuable resources in the territory, a militarily or economically strategic location for the territory, and the presence of an ethnic, religious, or other identity basis for the claim. The six indicators for river claim salience are homeland territory (versus colonial or dependent territory), navigational importance of the river, level of population served by the river, the presence of a fishing or other resource extraction industry on the river, hydroelectric power generation along the river, and irrigational value of the river. The six indicators for maritime claim salience are homeland territory (versus colonial or dependent territory), strategic location, fishing resources, migratory fishing stocks, oil resources, and relation to an ongoing territorial claim.


Table 4: Claim Duration in the Americas Claim Duration (all claims) A. Comparison of Issue Types Territorial Claims River Claims Total N 114 23 137 Mean (S.D.) 43.3 (35.4) 9.6 (15.1) 37.7 (35.2) Claim Duration (uncensored claims) N 98 18 116 Mean (S.D.) 42.6 (33.9) 10.2 (16.5) 37.6 (33.9)

F = 20.08 (p < .001)

F = 15.69 (p < .001)

B. Territorial Claims High Salience Moderate Salience Low Salience N 33 42 39 Mean (S.D.) 44.2 (29.7) 49.4 (41.7) 36.1 (31.7) N 28 37 33 Mean (S.D.) 44.4 (28.2) 45.5 (38.5) 37.8 (33.3)

F = 1.47 (p < .24)

F = 0.50 (p < .61)

C. River Claims High Salience Moderate Salience Low Salience N 7 10 6 Mean (S.D.) 17.9 (25.1) 6.9 (7.0) 4.3 (4.8) N 7 7 4 Mean (S.D.) 17.9 (25.1) 5.3 (3.4) 5.3 (6.0)

F = 1.66 (p < .22)

F = 1.29 (p < .31)


Table 5: Attempts to Manage Issues in the Americas A. Comparison of Issue Types Frequency of Settlement Attempts (mean per claim): Bilateral Negotiations 4.6 1.6 F = 8.86 (p < .01) Third Party: Non-binding Binding 1.1 0.3 0.2 F = 2.65 (p < .11) 0.0 F = 5.79 (p < .02) Militarized Conflict: Any Issue Terr/Riv 2.5 1.4 0.4 F = 6.40 (p < .02) 0.2 F = 3.08 (p < .09)

Claim Salience Territorial Claims: River Claims:

B. Territorial Claims Frequency of Settlement Attempts (mean per claim): Bilateral Negotiations 7.4 4.8 2.0 F = 14.11 (p < .001) C. River Claims Frequency of Settlement Attempts (mean per claim): Bilateral Negotiations 2.4 1.4 1.0 F = 1.67 (p < .22) Third Party: Non-binding Binding 0.4 0.0 0.1 0.2 F = 0.85 (p < .45) 0.0 0.0 N/A Militarized Conflict Any Issue River 0.4 0.4 0.6 0.2 F = 0.31 (p < .74) 0.0 0.2 F = 0.89 (p < .43) Third Party: Non-binding Binding 1.9 0.3 1.1 0.6 F = 2.16 (p < .12) 0.4 0.2 F = 0.74 (p < .49) Militarized Conflict: Any Issue Terr. 3.4 2.7 2.7 1.5 F = 2.22 (p < .12) 1.1 0.5 F = 4.45 (p < .02)

Claim Salience High Salience Moderate Salience Low Salience

Claim Salience High Salience Moderate Salience Low Salience