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Aaron Shreve


  • M.A., Public & International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, 2008
  • B.A., Political Science, Minnesota State University


Primary Field: International Relations
Secondary Field: Political Methodology
PhD expected March 2017

Dissertation Committee Composition:
Zeev Maoz (chair), Miroslav Nincic, Kyle Joyce

Research Focus

What happens when states are not ascribed status that is commensurate with their achievements? What are the effects on conflictual and cooperative behavior when states receive more status than their achievements suggest they deserve?  My research focuses on these status inconsistencies in the international system. States are status inconsistent (SI) when ascribed status (i.e. prestige) and achieved status (i.e. achievements) are incongruent. I make two key theoretical points. First, two types of SI can affect state behavior. Negative SI, the most common conception of SI, occurs when achieved status outpaces ascribed status. Positive SI, where ascribed status is greater than achieved status, also affects state behavior. Next, both positive and negative SI can influence conflictual and cooperative state behavior depending on the duration of change in SI and the duration of SI. SI leads states to exhibit both conflictual behavior, like conflict and arms buildups, and cooperative behavior, such as foreign aid and peacekeeping operations, as a means of building and keeping prestige.

Dissertation: "All I want is a Little Respect: How Status Inconsistency Affects Cooperative and Conflictual State Behavior"