Thesis Title

Governing Interests: Structured Interest Maximization as a Construct For Choice Dynamics

Date of Graduation

Fall 2004


Master of Global Studies



Committee Chair

Beat Kernen


There is a functional disconnect from current international relations theory to the practitioner and non-practitioner alike. The practice of international relations is a human science. The purpose of this thesis is to clarify a rationale for state action in the international arena. The Structured Interest Maximization (SIM) model represents the driving force behind state action: Static bounded interests and flexible bounded interests. Static bounded interests are the core, unchanging values of a state. Flexible bounded interests are the changing views of the state that are seen through the lens of the static bounded interest. The SIM model is validated through three case studies, representing three major dynamics in state behavior: Unilateral action by states, group action by states, and special interest pressure by states. The SIM model is also posited with the realist paradigm, from which the SIM model shares tenets. The findings of this research through the case studies showed that states will above all try to maintain their sovereignty and security. Also found was that states will maintain their static interests above all costs.


interests, SIM model, international relations, realism, sovereignty

Subject Categories

International and Area Studies


© Leslie J. Bass