Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date

Spring 4-26-2022


Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, College of


Political Science, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Nathan Griffith

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


From the perspective of an outside observer, interactions between sovereign states within the international arena seem to mirror the often paradoxical interpersonal complexities of their populace and those who govern them. Why did the Russian Empire and Poland-Lithuania choose to maintain a cooperative relationship in the early 1700s despite a shared desire to take control of the Baltic for themselves (Masse 1980)? How can one decipher the simultaneous desire of Turkey to stay in good graces with its NATO partners while also foraging ahead in its siding with the authoritarians of the world (Bekdil 2018)? All of these questions play into understanding at a theoretical level why nations in alliances still choose to remain in their frameworks despite their own individual goals, to which some scholars attribute to the base desires of nations to either spread their influence or seek security. Others invoke the power of the frameworks themselves to prevent collapse, and there are also those who highlight states’ subjective attitudes’ roles in this maintenance. This study of alliances that analyzes cases ranging from contemporary to historical alliance structures presents a further addition to this debacle, utilizing a constructed model and close scrutiny to effectively determine that the stability of cooperation between alliances rests in the extent of their structural alignment, holding vast implications for contemporary arrangements and crises that have captured the public’s attention in the process.