SAGE Journals

Why Do Leaders Build Walls? Domestic Politics, Leader Survival, and The Fortification of Borders

Posted on 2022-03-03 - 13:09

States around the world are fortifying their international borders at unprecedented rates. While only seven states had fortified their borders with walls or fences as of the end of World War Two, this number has now grown to more than 75. Why do states build walls on their international borders? While states may build walls to ameliorate the consequences of cross-border economic inequalities and to defend against transnational security threats, we suggest that another compelling logic stems from domestic politics and leaders’ desire to remain in office. Building on assumptions furnished by diversionary theory, we argue that national political leaders at risk of losing office are incentivized to implement popular policies, such as border wall construction, hoping that doing so will prompt a domestic rally effect. To test this argument, we assemble a global dataset of leader-years and find that politically insecure leaders are more likely to be seen to start and continue border wall construction.


3 Biotech
3D Printing in Medicine
3D Research
3D-Printed Materials and Systems
AAPG Bulletin
AAPS PharmSciTech
Abhandlungen aus dem Mathematischen Seminar der Universität Hamburg
ABI Technik (German)
Academic Medicine
Academic Pediatrics
Academic Psychiatry
Academic Questions
Academy of Management Discoveries
Academy of Management Journal
Academy of Management Learning and Education
Academy of Management Perspectives
Academy of Management Proceedings
Academy of Management Review
Select your citation style and then place your mouse over the citation text to select it.


need help?