Orkaby, Asher. 2013. Forgotten Gas Attacks in Yemen Haunt Syria Crisis. Bloomberg. Website
Gidron, Noam, and Bart Bonikowski. 2013. Varieties of Populism: Literature Review and Research Agenda.Abstract
In recent years, populism has attracted considerable interest from social scientists and political commentators (Panizza 2005, Bale et al. 2011, Mudde 2004, Berezin 2013, Rovira Kaltwasser 2013), despite the fact that, “[t]he mercurial nature of populism has often exasperated those attempting to take it seriously” (Stanley 2008, 108). Indeed, the term ‘populism’ is both widely used and widely contested (Roberts 2006; Barr 2009).1 It has been defined based on political, economic, social, and discursive features (Weyland 2001, 1) and analyzed from myriad theoretical perspectives—including structuralism, post-structuralism, modernization theory, social movement theory, party politics, political psychology, political economy, and democratic theory—and a variety of methodological approaches, such as archival research, discourse analysis, and formal modeling (Acemoglu et al. 2011, Ionescu and Gellner 1969, Canovan 2002, Hawkins 2009, Goodliffe 2012, Postel 2007). As observed by Wiles, “to each his own definition of populism, according to the academic axe he grinds” (Wiles, in Iunescu and Gellner 1969, p. 166).
Dryden-Peterson, Sarah, and Maysa Jalbout. 2013. Back to School: Even in Syria, Education Is About Hope. Huffington Post. Website
Cohen, Dara Kay. 2013. Female Combatants and the Perpetration of Violence: Wartime Rape in the Sierra Leone Civil War. World Politics 65, no. 3: 383–415. World Politics (DOI)Abstract
Much of the current scholarship on wartime violence, including studies of the combatants themselves, assumes that women are victims and men are perpetrators. However, there is an increasing awareness that women in armed groups may be active fighters who function as more than just cooks, cleaners, and sexual slaves. In this article, the author focuses on the involvement of female fighters in a form of violence that is commonly thought to be perpetrated only by men: the wartime rape of noncombatants. Using original interviews with ex-combatants and newly available survey data, she finds that in the Sierra Leone civil war, female combatants were participants in the widespread conflict-related violence, including gang rape. A growing body of evidence from other conflicts suggests that Sierra Leone is not an anomaly and that women likely engage in conflict-related violence, including sexual violence, more often than is currently believed. Many standard interpretations of wartime rape are undermined by the participation of female perpetrators. To explain the involvement of women in wartime rape, the author argues that women in armed group units face similar pressure to that faced by their male counterparts to participate in gang rape. The study has broad implications for future avenues of research on wartime violence, as well as for policy.
Female Combatants and the Perpetration of Violence: Wartime Rape in the Sierra Leone Civil War
Cohen, Dara Kay. 2013. Explaining Rape during Civil War: Cross-National Evidence (1980–2009). American Political Science Review 107, no. 3: 461–477. American Political Science Review (DOI)Abstract
Why do some armed groups commit massive wartime rape, whereas others never do? Using an original dataset, I describe the substantial variation in rape by armed actors during recent civil wars and test a series of competing causal explanations. I find evidence that the recruitment mechanism is associated with the occurrence of wartime rape. Specifically, the findings support an argument about wartime rape as a method of socialization, in which armed groups that recruit by force—through abduction or pressganging—use rape to create unit cohesion. State weakness and insurgent contraband funding are also associated with increased wartime rape by rebel groups. I examine observable implications of the argument in a brief case study of the Sierra Leone civil war. The results challenge common explanations for wartime rape, with important implications for scholars and policy makers.
Explaining Rape during Civil War: Cross-National Evidence (1980–2009)
Baum, Matthew, and John Wihbey. 2013. Intervention in Syria, the news media and public opinion: Research chat with Harvard’s Matt Baum. The Journalist's Resources. Website
Kremer, Michael R, and Christopher M Snyder. 2013. When Is Prevention More Profitable than Cure? The Impact of Time-Varying Consumer Heterogeneity.Abstract
We argue that in pharmaceutical markets, variation in the arrival time of consumer heterogeneity creates differences between a producer’s ability to extract consumer surplus with preventives and treatments, potentially distorting R&D decisions. If consumers vary only in disease risk, revenue from treatments—sold after the disease is contracted, when disease risk is no longer a source of private information—always exceeds revenue from preventives. The revenue ratio can be arbitrarily high for sufficiently skewed distributions of disease risk. Under some circumstances, heterogeneity in harm from a disease, learned after a disease is contracted, can lead revenue from a treatment to exceed revenue from a preventative. Calibrations suggest that skewness in the US distribution of HIV risk would lead firms to earn only half the revenue from a vaccine as from a drug. Empirical tests are consistent with the predictions of the model that vaccines are less likely to be developed for diseases with substantial disease-risk heterogeneity.
Outsiders No More? Models of Immigrant Political Incorporation
Hochschild, Jennifer L, Jacqueline Chattopadhyay, Claudine Gay, and Michael Jones-Correa. 2013. Outsiders No More? Models of Immigrant Political Incorporation. Oxford University Press. WebsiteAbstract
Outsiders No More? brings together a multidisciplinary group of scholars to consider pathways by which immigrants may be incorporated into the political processes of western democracies. At a time when immigrants are increasingly significant political actors in many democratic polities, this volume makes a timely and valuable intervention by pushing researchers to articulate causal dynamics, provide clear definitions and measurable concepts, and develop testable hypotheses. By including historians, sociologists, and political scientists, by ranging across North America and Western Europe, by addressing successful and failed incorporative efforts, this handbook offers guides for anyone seeking to develop a dynamic, unified, and supple model of immigrant political incorporation.
Fujihira, Shinju. 2013. Can Japanese Democracy Cope with China’s Rise?. Wilson Center. WebsiteAbstract
The contemporary standoff over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands threatens to exacerbate Japan-China relations in the long run. Despite their disagreement over the islands’ sovereignty, the two governments had successfully depoliticized the issue for nearly four decades since their diplomatic normalization in 1972. The islands issue became politicized after the collision between a Chinese trawler and the Japan Coast Guard in 2010, and has become increasingly militarized after the Japanese government’s purchase of three of the five islands from their private owner in 2012. China has boosted its civilian and military presence in maritime and airspace around the islands, confronting their Japanese counterparts regularly and raising the risk of an armed conflict which potentially involves the United States. What caused the intense politicization and increasing militarization of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute? What are the pragmatic steps which the two governments can take to depoliticize, demilitarize, and deescalate the current situation?
Hall, Peter A. 2013. Anatomy of the Euro Crisis. Harvard Magazine. Website
Mylonas, Harris. 2013. Wither Nation-Building?. e-International Relations. Website
Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era
Nye, Joseph S., Jr. 2013. Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era. Princeton University Press. WebsiteAbstract
This book examines the foreign policy decisions of the presidents who presided over the most critical phases of America's rise to world primacy in the twentieth century, and assesses the effectiveness and ethics of their choices. Joseph Nye, who was ranked as one of Foreign Policy magazine's 100 Top Global Thinkers, reveals how some presidents tried with varying success to forge a new international order while others sought to manage America's existing position. Taking readers from Theodore Roosevelt's bid to insert America into the global balance of power to George H. W. Bush's Gulf War in the early 1990s, Nye compares how Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson responded to America's growing power and failed in their attempts to create a new order. He looks at Franklin D. Roosevelt's efforts to escape isolationism before World War II, and at Harry Truman's successful transformation of Roosevelt's grand strategy into a permanent overseas presence of American troops at the dawn of the Cold War. He describes Dwight Eisenhower's crucial role in consolidating containment, and compares the roles of Ronald Reagan and Bush in ending the Cold War and establishing the unipolar world in which American power reached its zenith.The book shows how transformational presidents like Wilson and Reagan changed how America sees the world, but argues that transactional presidents like Eisenhower and the elder Bush were sometimes more effective and ethical. It also draws important lessons for today's uncertain world, in which presidential decision making is more critical than ever.
Nye, Joseph S., Jr. 2013. Do Presidents Really Steer Foreign Policy?. The Atlantic. Website
Sen, Amartya. 2013. Why India Trails China. New York Times. Website
Nye, Joseph S. 2013. Ethiopia: Brics Without Mortar. All Africa. Website
Feldman, Noah. 2013. The Supreme Court Decides to See No Evil Abroad. Bloomberg. Website
Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era
Hall, Peter A, and Michèle Lamont. 2013. Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era. Cambridge University Press. WebsiteAbstract
What is the impact of three decades of neoliberal narratives and policies on communities and individual lives? What are the sources of social resilience? This book offers a sweeping assessment of the effects of neoliberalism, the dominant feature of our times. It analyzes the ideology in unusually wide-ranging terms as a movement that not only opened markets but also introduced new logics into social life, integrating macro-level analyses of the ways in which neoliberal narratives made their way into international policy regimes with micro-level analyses of the ways in which individuals responded to the challenges of the neoliberal era. The book introduces the concept of social resilience and explores how communities, social groups, and nations sustain their well-being in the face of such challenges. The product of ten years of collaboration among a distinguished group of scholars, it integrates institutional and cultural analysis in new ways to understand neoliberalism as a syncretic social process and to explore the sources of social resilience across communities in the developed and developing worlds.
A Journey With Margaret Thatcher: Foreign Policy Under The Iron Lady
Renwick, Robin. 2013. A Journey With Margaret Thatcher: Foreign Policy Under The Iron Lady. Bitback Publishing. WebsiteAbstract
A Journey with Margaret Thatcher is an extraordinary insider’s account of British foreign policy under Margaret Thatcher by one of her key advisers. Providing a closeup view of the Iron Lady in action, former high-ranking diplomat Robin Renwick examines her diplomatic successes – including the defeat of aggression in the Falklands, what the Americans felt to be the excessive influence she exerted on Ronald Reagan, her special relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev and contribution to the ending of the Cold War, the Anglo-Irish agreement, her influence with de Klerk in South Africa and relationship with Nelson Mandela – and what she herself acknowledged as her spectacular failure in resisting German reunification. He describes at first hand her often turbulent relationship with other European leaders and her arguments with her Cabinet colleagues about European monetary union (in which regard, he contends, her arguments have stood the test of time better and are highly relevant to the crisis in the eurozone today). Finally, the book tells of her bravura performance in the run up to the Gulf War, her calls for intervention in Bosnia and the difficulties she created for her successor. While her faults were on the same scale as her virtues, Margaret Thatcher succeeded in her mission to restore Britain’s standing and influence, in the process becoming a cult figure in many other parts of the world.
Kelly, Catherine, and Jason Warner. 2013. Why the U.S. Military Should Care About African Opposition Parties. Council of Foreign Relations. WebsiteAbstract
Sub-Saharan Africa is an increasingly important theater of operation for the U.S. military. From al-Shabaab, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and Ansar Dine, the Department of Defense is recognizing that Africa will be a vital strategic battlefield in the next century. Yet in discussions of future African security policy, the potential role of opposition political parties in Africa has received virtually no attention. Following are three reasons why the Department of Defense should pay close attention to African opposition parties. 1) Opposition parties can be barometers of domestic opinion about foreign presence. Opposition parties’ rhetoric on US foreign policy and intervention—when it exists—can reveal local attitudes that incumbent governments may not openly share. This is especially helpful in countries such as Djibouti, Niger, and Ethiopia, where the U.S. military is currently engaged in a wide range of activities including military training, crisis management exercises, drone activities against al-Qaeda, and operating the United States’ only military base on the continent; Camp Lemonnier. Foreign policy debates tend to have scant prominence in African elections, precisely because of the limited range of choices available to some of the world’s weakest states. But major opposition party leaders almost invariably have more social and cultural capital than foreign diplomats, and thus have the potential to function as intermediaries between the US government and the wider African public on potentially contentious issues. 2) Today’s opponents could be tomorrow’s incumbents. Being cordial to (and even cautiously supportive of) opposition parties is deeply important in states where regime changes—electoral or otherwise—are likely. The absence of such a contingency plan in the event of a regime transition limits US policy options. In late March 2012, for instance, the United States offered few critiques as Djibouti’s president, Ismail Omar Guelleh, repressed supporters of the Union for National Salvation (USN) opposition coalition. Were the USN ever to control the presidency, the United States could potentially face expulsion from the U.S. military base Camp Lemonnier. Given Djibouti’s geographic proximity to volatile and strategically important countries in the Horn of Africa, the loss of such a geostrategic foothold would profoundly undermine the United States’ already modest security assistance capabilities throughout the region. 3) Certain opposition members are potential interlocutors on issues of conflict and terrorism. Major opposition party leaders can play integral roles in local conflict resolution efforts, and often exhibit the capacity to encourage or stem particular antagonistic behaviors among the populace. For instance, the leaders of six major opposition parties in southern Sudan recently joined rebel groups in “endorsing peaceful and armed opposition to Sudan’s government;” and in Kenya’s 2007 elections, ethnic violence, allegedly fueled by certain ruling and opposition party leaders, reduced regional stability and inflicted devastating human costs. Although opposition leaders in these contexts can at times exacerbate delicate security situations, their social networks could also potentially facilitate the resolution of other US security concerns. To this end, Eritrea’s opposition parties—some of which apparently launched an unsuccessful coup attempt in January 2013—could be the key to the United States acquiring domestic leverage on President Isaias Afewerki, a known source of regional instability in the Horn of Africa. This said, although opposition parties might have some role in mediating security outcomes, opposition leaders are almost never the most central players involved in such instances, nor are they necessarily tied to insurgencies that serve as the core security concerns of most African regimes. Nevertheless, cultivating opposition leaders as potential participants in peacebuilding, transparency, or counterterrorism measures could indeed increase the quality of human and state security on the continent. In summary, although democratization is not yet the norm in Africa, the trends towards greater political opening across the continent signal new opportunities for U.S. military engagement. As such, though it is the Department of State that invariably shoulders the responsibility for crafting US diplomatic policy regarding opposition parties, the Department of Defense—a silent observer on the political front—should be deeply cognizant of the security implications bound up in the politics of African opposition parties. Indeed, given the unavoidable US reliance on a mix of authoritarian and democratic allies for security-related initiatives in Africa, an effective US security strategy must continue evolving to take heed of the unique roles played by opposition parties on the continent.
Zhukov, Yuri. 2013. Trouble in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: The Coming Dash for Gas. Foreign Affairs. Website