Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Jamie Sommer, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

John Skvoretz, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James Cavendish, Ph.D.


group identity, imagined communities, nationalism, religion


Previous cross-national research concerning the political or economic factors that lead to international conflict tends to focus on leadership by elites, anarchic security, or democratic peace. However, less quantitative cross-national research focuses on how religious and national belief systems impact international conflict. Previous research suggests that value systems, such as religiosity and nationalism should impact conflict, though there is little cross-national empirical evidence to support these claims. Thus, I expand on this work by testing the relationship between several variables that represent religiosity and nationalism and the initiation and escalation of conflict between nation states. The main dependent variables are the level of aggression toward other nations, as measured in the Correlates of War project by the intensity of the conflicts and the number of international conflicts by each nation each year for the years 1981-2010. I utilize the World Values Survey waves 1 through 6 and the Correlates of War data to investigate the impact that religiosity and nationalism have on the amount and severity of conflict. This project uses a two-way fixed effects negative Poisson count regression to answer the research question: Do the values instilled by religious and nationalistic belief systems influence international conflict in intensity and/or number of conflicts?