Resisting the Lonely Superpower: Responses of States in the United Nations to U.S. Dominance

Authors

  • Erik Voeten

    Corresponding author
    1. The George Washington University
      Erik Voeten is assistant professor of political science and international affairs, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052 (voeten@gwu.edu).
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Erik Voeten is assistant professor of political science and international affairs, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052 (voeten@gwu.edu).

Abstract

The United States finds itself increasingly isolated in multilateral organizations. To infer what this trend signifies, we need to disentangle changes in the agenda from changes in revealed preferences. This paper does so with a novel data set, important votes in the United Nations according to the State Department, and method, a multilevel item-response model estimated by MCMC methods. The results show that the agenda becomes more negative for the United States after 1996, whereas the almost universal widening of the preference gap occurs at a constant rate between 1991 and 2001. In addition, there is no evidence for an increasing clash of civilizations and some evidence that the gap with states that become more liberal has increased less.

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