Date of Original Version




Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

A unique trend is emerging in the literature surrounding the choices made by leaders in the international system. As the influence of mathematical analysis in the field of international relations grows, a new theory has gained ground. A newcomer to the field, Selectorate Theory builds a model for assessing the behavior of leaders based on the assumption that leaders are motivated primarily by a desire to obtain and retain power within their nation. While it may seem appealing for its clarity and simplicity, which is often lacking in theories that address the individual level of analysis in international relations, Selectorate Theory’s explanation of leaders’ behavior excludes the influence of a variety of critical factors in its current incarnation. The theory will require a significant amount of further development and growth to explain the variety of factors that influence leaders’ behavior


Advisor: Kiron Skinner

Department of Social and Decision Sciences