Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Committee Member

John P. Tuman

Second Committee Member

Michele Kuenzi

Third Committee Member

Jonathan Strand

Fourth Committee Member

Robert Futrell

Number of Pages



Using liberal theory, this dissertation examines the behavior of member states in the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), with a focus on middle powers. In particular, I analyze whether trade between middle powers and Latin America and the Caribbean is associated with an increase in middle powers’ subscription shares in the IADB. The analysis draws on a cross-sectional time-series data set of capital subscription shares (in log form, and first-differenced) for the period of 2004 to 2018. The results suggest that among all members of the IADB, an increase in members’ trade with Latin America and the Caribbean was associated with growth in capital subscription shares, on average, during the time-series. However, the interaction term between middle powers and trade was negative and significant, which shows that as middle powers’ trade with the region increased, the percentage point change in the log of their capital subscriptions in the IADB declined. The results were robust to different methods for coding middle power membership in the IADB. Additionally, voting affinity between IADB members and the U.S. in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was positive and significant, suggesting the possible realist-based influence of the U.S. on other members of the IADB, including middle power. Although the findings for trade among all members is consistent with the expectation of liberal theory, the results for middle powers suggests that a more nuanced process might be at work. Possibly, middle powers might reduce growth in their total amount of capital subscriptions in the IADB because they view trade as a more effective than multilateral aid at promoting mutual gains and poverty alleviation among states in the region. I also explore other possible reasons for the unexpected finding for middle powers and trade. I offer my responses against these supposed notions of structural realism throughout the dissertation.


International Relations

File Format


File Size

1390 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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