Publicly-Conducted Missile Tests in International Politics
Morgan, T. Clifton
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation investigates the role of publicly-conducted missile tests in international politics. The first paper introduces a new dataset including 11 countries’ missile tests between 1949 and 2015. It also overviews these countries’ indigenous missile development programs. The second paper empirically investigates what factors may affect changes in how frequently countries test-fire their missiles publicly. The results suggest that a country’s public missile tests are intrinsic to missile development programs and transpire more frequently with greater economic wealth. On the other hand, being under a military threat, major or severe economic sanctions have either weak or no consistent impact on countries’ public missile tests. The third paper investigates whether conducting public missile tests is associated with countries’ subsequent militarized interstate dispute, or war involvement. Statistical analyses show that there is little or no evidence that suggests that public missile tests have a discernible impact on countries’ militarized dispute or war involvement. Ultimately, this dissertation stands as the first large-N statistical work on publicly-conducted missile tests. In addition, it is the first one to empirically downplay the potential relationship between militarized conflicts and public missile tests.
Missile Tests; International Security; Missile Defense; War