Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Debak Das

Second Advisor

Deborah Avant

Third Advisor

Nadia Kaneva


Security, Infrastructure, International relations, International institutions


As relationships between actors have become much more important for security in a globalized world and raw capabilities have become less important, the security landscape has fundamentally changed. When looking at the modern competition between the United States and European Union against China, global infrastructure investment has become a new arena to compete within. When examining each actor’s global infrastructure initiatives, China with the Belt and Road Initiative, the European Union with its Global Gateway, and the United States heading the G7’s initiative dubbed the Build Back Better World initiative, competition is deemed to be present within the global system. These infrastructure initiatives help cement positive relations with actors by building off of them with health initiatives. Soft power gains can be seen when looking at the leadership of international institutions. By then examining how actors are reacting to these changes within the global network, centrality becomes a large concern as actors wish to maintain their dominance. As actors or nodes then compete for stronger relationships or ties with other nodes, a soft power escalatory dilemma is formed. This competition leads to an escalatory spiral for more soft power in order to be able to co-opt or persuade others to do what they want rather than to force or incentivize them.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Hunter M. Willis


Received from ProQuest

File Format



English (eng)


79 pgs

File Size

650 KB


International relations

Available for download on Thursday, September 12, 2024