chapter  12
Lateral Pressure in International Relations: Concept and Theory
Pages 38

In the study of international relations, lateral pressure is defined as the extension of a country's behavior and interests outside of its territorial boundaries (and, in some circumstances, the extension of the boundaries themselves). The theory of lateral pressure is an explanation of the determinants and consequences of extended behavior, and it accounts for immediate as well as less proximate sources and outcomes. Despite the focus on state behavior, the core elements and processes of lateral pressure are not state centered, but derived from and applicable to all conglomerations of populations at all levels of analysis.1 The theory draws primarily upon the established literature of international and global politics, but it borrows from other fields and disciplines as needed.