Research Library


This paper constructs and examines state level political ideology from 1789 to 1996 to sort out the long run political trends of the United States. The purpose is twofold: First, to contrast a reliable measure of long run political ideology for each of the contiguous 48 states. Second, to test whether states have become more or less alike over time.

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Working Paper 98–18, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 1998. 

The objective of this exercise is to provide the policy–maker with a series of tests or questions to be addressed in considering the proper response to a request or impulse to do something. The outcome does not pretend to be comprehensive, or adequate for all future contingencies, but it should help guide the process of deliberation leading to the making of decisions. It is intended to help guard against the less successful and more quixotic ventures which in retrospect we see to have been misconceived. It focuses consideration on the use and deployment of military forces and personnel, not on other governmental or NGO action.

Alpher, Joseph, and Khalil Shikaki. 1998. “The Palestinian Refugee Problem and the Right of Return”. Abstract

The present paper on the Palestinian refugee problem is the first concept paper that has emerged from the Joint Working Group deliberations. It is our hope that it will contribute to the discussion of this sensitive issue among decision makers, scholars, and the general public, and help to frame the issue in ways that will make it more amenable to productive negotiation.

The Joint Working Group is a project of the Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution (PICAR). in a long-standing, unofficial third–party effort to promote resolution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, based on an approach called interactive problem solving. Using this approach, we have over many years brought together politically engaged and, in some cases, highly influential Palestinians and Israelis for private, confidential discussions, facilitated by a panel of social scientists who are knowledgeable about international and intercommunal conflict, group process, and the Middle East. These discussions take place in intensive workshops designed to enable the parties to explore each other's perspective and understand each other's concerns, needs, fears, priorities, and constraints. On the basis of this analysis, participants are encouraged to engage in a process of creative, joint problem solving in order to generate new ideas for solutions to their conflicts that are responsive to both sets of needs and fears. The ultimate goal is to transfer the insights and ideas gained from these interactions into the public debate and decision–making processes in the two communities.

The present paper on the Palestinian refugee problem is the first concept paper that has emerged from the group's deliberations.

Alpher, Joseph, and Khalil Shikaki. "The Palestinian Refugee Problem and the Right of Return." Working Paper 98–07, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 1998.

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The study of compliance with international agreements has gained momentum over the past few years. Since the conclusion of World War II, this research agenda had been marginalized by the predominance of realist approaches to the study of international relations. However, alternative perspectives have developed that suggest that international law and institutions are important influences on the conduct of international politics. This review examines four perspectives and assesses their contribution to understanding the conditions under which states comply with international agreements. Despite severe conceptual and methodological problems, this research has contributed significantly to our understanding of the relationship between international politics and international law and institutions.

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North and Weingast (1989) argued that the English Glorious Revolution of 1688 redistributed political power in such a way as to enhance the enforcement of property rights. They supported their hypothesis by presenting evidence that interest rates fell and interpreted this as a fall in the risk premium demanded by lenders. I argue that one cannot test their theory in this way since it implicitly rests on the assumption that the risk of debt repudiation was exogenous. This was clearly not so. If lenders anticipated that the incentives of the Stuart monarchs to default depended on the interest rate, then instead of changing a risk premium, they ration credit. There is a fact much evidence that this was the case. In these circumstances a reduction in the desire, or the ability, of the monarch to default leads not to a fall in interest rates, but a relaxation of rationing. Thus the theory of North and Weingast is immune to the critique of Clark (1996) and is entirely consistent with the available evidence.

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Formal international human rights regimes differ from most other forms of international cooperation in that their primary purpose is to hold governments accountable to their own citizens for purely domestic activities. Why would governments establish an arrangement that invades domestic sovereignty in this way? Current scholarship suggests two explanations. A realist view asserts that the most powerful democracies seek to externalize their values, coercing or enticing weaker and less democratic governments to accept human rights regimes. A ideational view argues that the most established democracies externalize their values, setting in motion a transnational process of diffusion and persuasion that socializes less democratic governments to accept such regimes. I propose a third, institutional liberal view. Drawing on theories of administration and adjudication developed to explain rational delegation in domestic politics, I maintain that governments delegate for a self–interested reason, namely to combat future domestic political uncertainty.


WCFIA Working Paper 98–17, December 1998.

Domínguez, Jorge I. 1998. “Free Politics and Free Markets in Latin America.” Journal of Democracy. Journal of Democracy. Publisher's Version Abstract

Never before in the history of Latin America have so many countries had constitutional governments, elected in free and competitive elections under effective universal suffrage, that also pursue market–based economic policies. Early in the twentieth century, many Latin American governments favored open economies, but rulers were chosen either by narrow oligarchies or by military officers. By the middle of the century, many Latin American governments were democratically chosen, but pursued statist policies that sought, as far as possible, to sever the links between their nations' economies and the world market. Thus the combination of the 1990s — an era of free politics and free markets - is truly without precedent.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1998. “Israel in Transition from Zionism to Post-Zionism.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Publisher's Version Abstract

Since the original goals of Zionism have largely been accomplished or are less relevant today, conditions are ripe for Israel’s transition from Zionism to post–Zionism. A post–Zionist Israel – while maintaining its Jewish character and special relationship to world Jewry – would be a state primarily committed to protecting and advancing the interests of its citizens, regardless of ethnicity. In a post–Zionist Israel, the status of non–Jewish Israelis would be upgraded and the status of non–Israeli Jews downgraded. Moreover, Israel would be integrated into the region and engaged in normal, peaceful relations with its neighbors. Many forces are promoting this transition, including the peace process, changes in Israeli–Diaspora relations, and the liberalization of the society. Countervailing forces stem mostly from the ultra–nationalist and orthodox religious sectors in the society. To advance the transition, Israel will have to address four major divisions within the society: the divisions between citizens and noncitizens, Jewish and Palestinian citizens, Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, and religious and secular Jews.

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Despite various electoral reforms enacted in Mexico between 1988 and 1994, large numbers of Mexicans doubted the honesty of elections and the general integrity of their country's policy making process. Such doubts did not automatically lead, however, to support for the opposition parties that called for greater democratization. Rather, voter preferences were largely dependent on judgments about the opposition's viability and competence. Widespread suspicions about fraud and corruption in Mexico did affect electoral outcomes by making it less likely that potential opposition supporters turned out to vote. Data are drawn from seven national public opinion surveys conducted in Mexico in 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993 (3 polls), and 1995.

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Braumoeller, Bear F. 1998. “The Myth of American Isolationism”. Abstract

America in the 1920s and 1930s is often characterized as having been isolationist in the realm of security policy. This article offers a critique of this characterization. American diplomacy in the 1920s was subtle but ambitious and effective. American policy in the years leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor was in fact quite responsive to events on the European continent. Isolationists did exist, of course, but they never came close to constituting a majority. In short, American isolationism is a myth.


This article presents a general approach to the development of personal identity, exploring the ways in which various group identities may be incorporated into the emerging personal identity of an individual. It is hoped that this general scheme will have some implications for the question of how Jewish identity can be built into the personal identity of Jewish children, and what role Jewish education might play in this process.
The approach is based on a conceptual model developed for the analysis of social influence and extended to the analysis of personal involvement in social systems. This model is not specifically addressed to identity formation, but it has some relevance to the development of identity both at the level of the individual and at that of the group – that is, both to personal and to national or ethnic identity. The purpose of this article is to explore the implications of this model for identity formation at these two levels, with special reference to Jewish family.

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Domínguez, Jorge I. 1998. “Security, Peace, and Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges for the Post-Cold War Era.” University of Pittsburgh Press. University of Pittsburgh Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

The prospects for peace and security in the Americas improved as the cold war ended in Europe. Peace settlements were reached in the civil wars in Nicaragua (1989–90), El Salvador (1992), and Guatemala (1996). The Cuban government stopped providing military support to revolutionaries in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Chile. And Colombia's M–19 movement, El Salvador's Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, and Guatemala's National Revolutionary Union transformed themselves from guerilla organizations into political parties. Nonetheless, as David Mares [has shown], Latin American countries have been involved in a militarized interstate dispute with a neighboring country on average nearly once a year for the past century.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1998. “Social-Psychological Contributions to Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in the Middle East.” Applied Psychology: An International Review. Applied Psychology: An International Review. Publisher's Version
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In recent years, the World Bank has been at the vanguard in pressing for a circumscribed role for the State in developing countries. It therefore comes as somewhat of a surprise that the 1997 World Development Report (WDR–the World Bank?s annual flagship publication), The State in a Changing World, underscores the continuing significance of the State in LDCs.

The WDR is generally successful as a didactic device, both in refocusing attention on roles and capabilities that enhance state effectiveness and as a guide to policy makers on the "what": the State?s role must focus on social and economic fundamentals, but should always be tailored to capabilities. It is, however, much weaker when it comes to the "how". Its recipe for reinvigorating institutional capabilities—increased competition, decentralization and participation, and international collective action—is neither controversial nor novel. Myriad exercises at quantification to "prove" its case, especially with regard to the importance of State "credibility", are often misplaced and analytically flawed. And by avoiding contentious issues at the heart of the State, in particular those related to politics and power, and instead genuflecting to current intellectual fashions, the report says more about the World Bank than the role of the State in LDCs.

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Working Paper 02–04, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 2002.

The article is organized into three major sections. The first section provides an analytical review of the development of studies of international institutions. From the beginning, the pages of IO have been filled with insightful studies of institutions, in some cases asking questions consistent with the research agenda we propose in this essay. But the lack of a disciplinary foundation in the early years meant that many good insights were simply lost, not integrated into other scholars' research...
The second section explicitly addresses a theme that arises from the review of scholarship on institutions; whether international politics needs to be treated as sui generis, with its own theories and approaches that are distinct from other fields of political science, or whether it fruitfully can draw on theories of domestic politics...
The third section turns to the problem of research agendas. Where does scholarship on international institutions go next? Our primary argument in this section is that attention needs to focus on how, not just whether, international institutions matter for world politics...

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This chapter surveys the long–term implications of population growth and its interaction with technological change, resources utilization and the environment. We ask: what are the key determinants of the processes of population growth and technical change and how do they interact with each other? Under what conditions can the people of the world enjoy rising living standards, and if they do, does population have to stabilize for this to be feasible? How do the answers to these questions depend on the relationship between human progress and the natural environment? Will growth be limited by lack of resources or negative environmental repercussions? Will the development of the world economy necessarily mean the despoiling of the environment?
In Handbook of Population and Family Economics, Volume 1B, 1177-1271, by O. Stark. North Holland, April 1, 1997.

What are the prospects for a rules–based regional security environment in Asia? Major powers traditionally do not wish to be tied down by middle and small sized powers, but institutions are emerging in Asia, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group, in which multiple small and middle sized powers play leading roles. The ARF, in just two years, has succeeded in its aim to build a multilateral security dialogue that engages the relevant players, and helps to forestall possible conflicts in part through concrete transparency and confidence building measures. APEC, as a Transpacific forum, ties the United States more firmly into the fabric of the region and gives regional actors, including China and Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), alternative settings in which to pursue political cooperation while joining a wider fabric of economic relations beyond the region.

Working Paper 97–02, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, February 1997. 

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Theories which explain the origins of institutions as the product of struggles for distributive advantage provide only a general framework with no conceptualization of the bargaining process and few applications to empirical cases. We address both problems and extend the distributive theory of institutional origins by drawing on a unique set of data to examine the creation of the Hungarian electoral law of 1989. Arguing that outcomes are shaped by four mechanisms arising from bargaining—time preferences, the credibility of threats and promises, mimicked fairness, and symmetrical division—we develop observable implications of these mechanisms and test them empirically by analyzing the bargaining which produced the multiple rules of Hungary's complex electoral system. Not only does the Hungarian case confirm the bargaining mechanism theory of institutional origins, but the theory also explains many curious features of the Hungarian electoral institutions, including its surprising combination of extraordinary complexity and unusual stability.

Working Paper 97–05, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, May 1997. 

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This article addresses one small part of the war termination (or more properly war duration) puzzle. It poses the question: why do great powers persist in peripheral wars despite the diminishing prospects of victory and increasing military, political and economic costs? The answer to this question has clear implications for the development of international relations theory, the conduct of grand strategy, and the practice of international conflict resolution. Most studies on war termination have explicitly or implicitly worked within the rational choice paradigm. Offensive realism, which builds upon rational choice assumptions, holds that national leaders pursue aggressive external policies at times and in places that minimize costs and risk. Elite decision making generally adheres to the norms of bounded rationality. National leaders will weigh the costs and benefits of withdrawal or a continuation of the war, update their preferences in response to new information, and are sensitive to marginal costs and diminishing returns. This paper posits a different hypothesis.

Working Paper 97–06, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, June 1997. 

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