“Patterns of Maritime Conflicts, 1900-2010”
Sara McLaughlin Mitchell is the F. Wendell Miller Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa. She has authored five books, the most recent being What Do We Know About Civil Wars? and has edited several special journal issues and published more than forty journal articles and book chapters. She is the recipient of several major research awards from the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development. Her areas of expertise include international conflict, political methodology, and gender issues in academia. Professor Mitchell is co-founder of the Journeys in World Politics workshop, a mentoring workshop for junior women studying international relations. She has received several prestigious awards, the most recent being the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award (2015) from the International Studies Association, and served as President of the Peace Science Society.
There is little understanding of their generalizable patterns with respect to claim onset and management. This project utilizes data from the Issue Correlates of War (ICOW) on diplomatic claims over maritime areas globally from 1900-2010 to explore patterns in states’ interactions over territorial and resource issues of the seas. Initial results suggest that potential oil resources are more dangerous for producing militarized disputes than extracted oil resources (or none). Migratory fish stocks also raise the risks for militarized confrontation over maritime claims. Surprisingly, maritime claims are more likely to occur between wealthier and more democratic countries, although escalation of such disputes to fatal militarized disputes is rare. These findings will help us understand how prominent cases like the South China Sea disputes fit into the broader landscape of maritime conflicts.