Press Freedom and Cooperation
Thus far, the analysis of how press freedom influences international relations and shapes global politics has been limited to conflict. One reason for this is that despite the indeterminate and difficult to interpret results for the monadic hypotheses examined in Chapter 6, the dyadic effect, the pacifying effect of shared press freedom, is clearly robust and substantial. Further, the initial hypothesis that led to the collection of the press freedom data, and ultimately to this book, grew out of a study of war. Thus, an initial focus on conflict and militarized disputes is not surprising. Still, there is more to international relations than conflict. This chapter uses analyses of two types of U.S. aid allocations, development aid and disaster aid, as examples of how press freedom might effect cooperative interactions in international politics. Obviously, aid is not the only area of international cooperation that could be used, but it has several qualities that lend themselves to an empirical analysis.
Exploring the possible effects of press freedom on cooperation is not a simple undertaking. It is often difficult to identify a large set of comparable instances of cooperative interactions directed from one state specifically at another. Unlike conflict, cooperative interactions between states tend to be diffuse, such as open trade, or indirect, such as participation in multilateral organizations like the World Bank. Some co- operative actions, such as alliance formation, are actually a component of international conflict, which creates further difficulties when trying to