Explaining foreign diplomatic presence in the U.S. with spatial models: A liberal spatial perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

5 Scopus citations


This paper examines the effect of economic interdependence, intergovernmental organizations, political freedom, and spatial relationship on foreign diplomatic presence in the U.S. from 1980 to 2000. Spatial perspective is largely missing in the mainstream international theories. Spatial relationship has three measures: spatial proximity measured as distance, spatial dependency measured as neighborhood effect, and spatial heterogeneity measured as regional effect. We found that the effect of economic interdependence is directional. The U.S. sensitivity to foreign trade rather than foreign sensitivity to trade with the U.S. explains much of the variation in the foreign diplomatic presence in the U.S. Spatial effect is mainly manifested as spatial dependency; the effects of geographic proximity and geographic regions on foreign diplomatic presence are, however, mild. Spatial dependency in the variation of foreign diplomatic presence in the U.S. could not be well explained by the liberal perspective without using the spatial model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-101
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Diplomatic relationship
  • Economic interdependence
  • International relations
  • Spatial effect
  • Spatial interaction
  • The United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development

Cite this