Structural equivalence and international conflict: A social networks analysis

Zeev Maoz, Ranan D. Kuperman, Lesley Terris, Ilan Talmud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of international affinity - albeit under different names - captures a central place in international relations research. This study examines how different types of affinity affect the likelihood of conflict between states. The authors discuss different types of affinities as these appear in the realist and liberal paradigms. They offer a social networks conception of structural affinity - the concept of structural equivalence - which reflects the similarity of international ties across a set of different networks. They test the hypotheses derived from these paradigms, using both existing measures of affinity and their own structural equivalence measures. Their findings suggest that (1) strategic affinity has a consistent dampening effect on the probability of dyadic conflict, (2) trade-related affinity does consistently affect the probability of dyadic conflict, and (3) intergovernmental organization-related affinity has a negative impact on conflict, mostly in the twentieth century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-689
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Dyadic conflict
  • International affinity
  • International networks
  • Structural equivalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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