Award Date

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Committee Member

John Tuman

Second Committee Member

Jonathan Strand

Third Committee Member

Michele Kuenzi

Fourth Committee Member

Robert Futrell

Number of Pages



The practice of diplomatic expulsion, as well as expulsion of other foreign personnel by an executive, has received little attention in the field of International Relations or in Political Science more broadly. If expulsion were analyzed under the broader category of diplomatic relations, then studying the variation in expulsions could improve our understanding of international relations. It would be understood as one of the many tools executives use in negotiation between states. Executives, however, appeared to treat expulsion specially. Although no international convention requires executives to notify the public of the expulsion of a diplomat, ambassador or other personnel, it has been observed that executives do make highly publicized announcements in some cases, which suggests that expulsions have domestic value to some executives.

This project examines expulsions in terms of their political value to executives with special attention paid to executives from New Left regimes in Latin America and their relationship with the United States. The dissertation argues that expulsions increase in value to states on the weaker end of a power disparity. The stronger state could prefer to conduct diplomacy with military and/or economic threats, but the weaker state does not enjoy such options. The one option that is not limited by such a power disparity is expulsion. Executives of weaker countries may be quick to expel because reciprocation by the stronger state will do little harm to the weaker state. The radical, populist left executives in the expelling states need such a low cost and low risk move to actionize the anti-United States rhetoric they utilized as they were running for office.


diplomacy; expulsion; Latin America; radical populist left


International Relations | Political Science

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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