Theater of Operations

Kevin Lewis

September 18, 2010

Framing, Public Diplomacy, and Anti-Americanism in Central Asia

Edward Schatz & Renan Levine
International Studies Quarterly, September 2010, Pages 855-869

The US State Department increasingly relies on efforts of public diplomacy to improve America's image abroad. We test the theoretical efficacy of these efforts through an experiment. Participants were recruited in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. All but those participants randomly assigned to a control group read a quote about religious tolerance and pluralism in the United States. We varied the attribution of this quote to President Bush, to an unnamed US Ambassador, to an ordinary American, or to no one. We then asked respondents a battery of questions about their opinions of the United States before and after a long discussion with other participants about the United States. We find that the identity of the messenger matters, as those who read the quote attributed to Bush tended to have lower opinions of the United States. After the discussion, these views partially dissipated. Post-discussion views were more heavily influenced by how other participants viewed the United States. After controlling for the source and location of the discussion, when the discussion took place among people with more positive initial views of the United States, views of the United States improved. However, when there was a large range of views in the discussion, post-discussion views of the United States were relatively worse. Based on this study, we suggest new directions for the conduct of public diplomacy.


Galton's Problem and Contagion in International Terrorism along Civilizational Lines

Eric Neumayer
Conflict Management and Peace Science, September 2010, Pages 308-325

If terror attacks from groups of one country are followed by similar attacks on the same target from groups of other similar countries, then this could be the consequence of contagion. However, just because one terror incident follows another does not necessarily imply that one is caused by the other or, in other words, that terror attacks are what is called spatially dependent. Rather, both incidents could have been triggered by the same underlying cause. This is known as Galton's problem. One area where this problem is particularly prevalent is international terrorism. According to Huntington, international terrorism is contagious because of civilizational rallying effects. If radical groups from one country attack targets from a country of another civilization, then groups from other countries of the same civilization as the initial terrorist groups will become more likely to also attack this target. Any test of this hypothesis has to solve Galton's problem and thus to disentangle spatial dependence from spatial clustering of attacks and common shocks and trends, which affect similar groups from different countries similarly. Accounting for such potentially confounding effects, we nevertheless find evidence for spatial dependence in international terrorism along civilizational lines in the post-Cold War period and particularly so for specific inter-civilizational combinations. However, while contagion consistent with Huntington's predictions exists, spatial dependence seems to have a substantively small effect on patterns of international terrorism.


From Murrow to mediocrity? Radio foreign news from World War II to the Iraq War

Raluca Cozma
Journalism Studies, October 2010, Pages 667-682

This content analysis compares a unique CBS radio dataset during the "golden age" of foreign correspondence (1940-1942) to National Public Radio's (NPR's) coverage during the Iraq War (2004-2006) to track changes in sourcing, originality, and typology of foreign news reporting on radio. Findings show that NPR outshines the golden-age performance, suggesting that we should stop taking reverential trips down memory lane when assessing broadcast reporting and instead recognize that current reporting can be even better in keeping audiences well informed about international affairs.


Climate not to blame for African civil wars

Halvard Buhaug
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Vocal actors within policy and practice contend that environmental variability and shocks, such as drought and prolonged heat waves, drive civil wars in Africa. Recently, a widely publicized scientific article appears to substantiate this claim. This paper investigates the empirical foundation for the claimed relationship in detail. Using a host of different model specifications and alternative measures of drought, heat, and civil war, the paper concludes that climate variability is a poor predictor of armed conflict. Instead, African civil wars can be explained by generic structural and contextual conditions: prevalent ethno-political exclusion, poor national economy, and the collapse of the Cold War system.


Major Combat Operations and Counterinsurgency Warfare: Plan Challe in Algeria, 1959-1960

Christopher Griffin
Security Studies, July 2010, Pages 555-589

In 1959-60, the French Army in Algeria achieved a major tactical and operational military success under the command of General Maurice Challe, in which the French destroyed half of the combat capability of the Algerian insurgency. Rather than adopting a population-centric, or "hearts and minds," approach to coin, the French Army created an innovative method for military success based on the use of major combat operations against the military power of the insurgency. The success of major combat operations in Plan Challe is omitted or dismissed in most of the Algerian War historiography, which focuses instead on French pacification. An analysis of Plan Challe, however, provides lessons and examples for the conduct of a successful sustained counterguerrilla campaign, a coercive method seldom discussed in current debates over coin warfare.


Ethnic Minority Groups and US Foreign Policy: Examining Congressional Decision Making and Economic Sanctions

Trevor Rubenzer & Steven Redd
International Studies Quarterly, September 2010, Pages 755-777

Previous research on the role of ethnic minority interest groups in US foreign policy has resulted in the development of an extensive list of criteria thought to condition ethnic minority influence. Existing case studies, in spite of their significant contribution, leave open the question of which factors, if any, actually drive influence. The result is a foreign policy decision-making puzzle. We know that ethnic minority groups attempt to influence foreign policy. We also know that foreign policy decision makers sometimes choose the option favored by certain ethnic minority groups. What practitioners and scholars alike do not know is whether decision makers make choices because of the efforts of ethnic minority groups. The experimental designs presented in this study offer the opportunity to solve the puzzle by isolating the impact of diasporic interests on foreign policy decision making at the congressional level. Using a hypothetical foreign policy scenario, the study examines the independent and interactive effects of diasporic numerical significance, diasporic mobilization, and cultural similarity on foreign policy decision making. Results indicate that decision makers are highly responsive to diasporic mobilization, but were unresponsive to diasporic numerical significance and cultural similarity. The overall implication is that small, but highly mobilized, ethnic minority interest groups may be able to significantly influence the development of US foreign policy at the congressional level.


Yemen: A Collapsed Economy

Nora Ann Colton
Middle East Journal, Summer 2010, Pages 410-426

This article explores the economic development of Yemen after the 1970s in order to identify and analyze the variables that have contributed to its near collapse. It will be argued that the structural changes that took place in the Yemeni economy, particularly over the twenty-year period between 1970-1990, created a unique development experience that, once it collapsed due to the Gulf Crisis of 1990, left the majority of Yemenis with little means of survival. Moreover, it is argued that the structure of the Yemeni economy (which had been based on sustaining labor migration) could not and would not adapt to the changing circumstances. Furthermore, Yemen continues to survive on the substitution of revenue from oil rents for the revenue from labor migration. These rents from oil have not trickled down to the vast majority of Yemenis that had come to rely on labor migration rents either directly or indirectly for over two decades. These revenues significantly shifted the economic base away from the general population and narrowed it to a few individuals associated with the government. Although there have been attempts to restructure the economy with the assistance of international agencies, Yemen's economy remains underdeveloped and appears ready to collapse under the burden of unemployment, poverty, and rapid population growth.


Ballots, Bargains, and Bombs: Terrorist Targeting of Spoiler Opportunities

Alex Braithwaite, Dennis Foster & David Sobek
International Interactions, July 2010, Pages 294-305

Benjamin Netanyahu's come-from-behind victory over Shimon Peres in the Israeli national elections of May 1996, following an apparent intensification of Palestinian terrorism over the course of that spring, reminded observers of the political ramifications of terrorism. Since May 1996 was also the month in which Israel reentered Final Status negotiations with a Palestinian delegation in Taba, Egypt, the timing of this surge in violence encourages us to ask if terrorists regularly conceive of elections and rounds of negotiations as "spoiler opportunities," or opportune times to undermine peaceful political processes. We address this question in the context of Israel's long-running experience with elections, negotiations, and terrorism. We hypothesize that attacks resulting in fatalities are likely to increase in periods immediately surrounding Israeli general elections and key rounds of negotiations affecting the fate of the Palestinian population. Negative binomial event count analyses of the period 1970-2007 suggest that violent opponents indeed viewed the periods preceding negotiations and the ends of electoral cycles as "spoiler opportunities."


Societal Responses to Endemic Terror: Evidence from Driving Behavior in Israel

Guy Stecklov & Joshua Goldstein
Social Forces, June 2010, Pages 1859-1884

In this article, using data on traffic volume and fatal accident rates in Israel from 2001 to 2004 - a period spanning much of the Second Intifada - we examine the population-level responses to endemic terror to uncover whether societies become habituated so that the response weakens following repeated attacks or whether they become increasingly sensitized so subsequent attacks have a greater impact. Our analysis, using distributed-lag time series models, supports earlier findings while highlighting the persistence of the response to terror attacks even several years into the violence. There are, however, signs that the reaction to terror has accelerated. This shift, which is not naturally seen as evidence for either habituation or sensitization, is suggestive of social learning of norms over time.


Flexigemony and Force in China's Resource Diplomacy in Africa: Sudan and Zambia Compared

Pdraig Carmody & Ian Taylor
Geopolitics, July 2010, Pages 496-515

The Chinese government and its companies have dramatically increased their presence in Africa in the last decade. There has been much media interest and commentary on the impacts of this engagement on governance in Africa, as it is often seen to be strengthening authoritarian states, such Sudan and Zimbabwe. However, Chinese actors are also engaging with more democratic states and spaces, such as Zambia. This article seeks to explore the impacts of increased Chinese engagement with Africa on governance through a comparative case study of two contrasting cases: Sudan and Zambia, using the concept of flexigemony. Contrary to popular perception, behaviour by Chinese actors has sometimes been a moderating force in Sudan, while provoking violence in Zambia.


Islam, Militancy, and Politics in Pakistan: Insights From a National Sample

Christine Fair, Neil Malhotra & Jacob Shapiro
Terrorism and Political Violence, October 2010, Pages 495-521

We use data from an innovative nationally representative survey of 6,000 Pakistanis in April 2009 to study beliefs about political Islam, Sharia, the legitimacy and efficacy of jihad, and attitudes towards specific militant organizations. These issues are at the forefront of U.S. policy towards Pakistan. Four results shed new light on the politics of militancy and Islamic identity in Pakistan. First, there is no relationship between measures of personal religiosity and the likelihood a respondent expresses highly sectarian sentiments. Second, militarized jihad is widely seen as legitimate in Pakistan but there are substantial regional differences in the acceptance of militarized jihad. Third, attitudes towards militant groups vary dramatically across groups, particularly when it comes to the efficacy of their actions. Fourth, while Pakistanis express massive levels of support for Sharia law, this is driven by its perceived connection with good governance, not by sympathy with the goals of militant groups claiming to implement it.


Terror management in a predominantly Muslim country: The effects of mortality salience on university identity and on preference for the development of international relations

Doğan Kökdemir & Zuhal Yeniçeri
European Psychologist, Summer 2010, Pages 165-174

The mortality salience hypothesis of terror management theory was tested in a predominantly Muslim country. In Study 1a, private university students primed with thoughts of death reported more negative evaluations of a paragraph arguing state universities' superiority to private ones, compared to a control condition in which "death" was replaced by "an important exam." Study 1b conceptually replicated this finding at a state university. Study 2 found that MS participants wanted their home country to have stronger relations with Turkmenistan and weaker relations with England and Greece. Results were discussed with reference to university and national identity, and implications for future research were noted.


Base Closings: The Rise and Decline of the US Military Bases Issue in Spain, 1975-2005

Alexander Cooley & Jonathan Hopkin
International Political Science Review, September 2010, Pages 494-513

This article examines the conditions under which the United States foreign military bases become a contentious political issue in democratic base-hosting countries. Democratic consolidation, and in particular the institutionalization of the party system, reduces the incentives for political elites to mobilize domestic political support in opposition to foreign military presence. In the Spanish case, changes in the pattern of party competition explain why the basing issue was particularly contentious in domestic politics from 1981 to 1988, despite long-standing and profound public opposition to the use of the bases by the United States, and most recently in the 2003 Iraq campaign. Neither a public opinion explanation, focusing on anti-Americanism, nor a security-based explanation, focusing on the nature of bilateral security relations, can explain these same trends. The argument illuminates long-neglected important interactions in emerging democracies between party system dynamics and foreign policy positions and has important implications for determining the domestic political conditions under which overseas democratic countries will contest United States security hegemony.


Coercive or Corrosive: The Negative Impact of Economic Sanctions on Democracy

Dursun Peksen & Cooper Drury
International Interactions, July 2010, Pages 240-264

This article seeks to analyze the impact that sanctions have on democracy. We argue that economic sanctions worsen the level of democracy because the economic hardship caused by sanctions can be used as a strategic tool by the targeted regime to consolidate authoritarian rule and weaken the opposition. Furthermore, we argue that economic sanctions create new incentives for the political leadership to restrict political liberties, to undermine the challenge of sanctions as an external threat to their authority. Using time-series cross-national data (1972-2000), the findings show that both the immediate and longer-term effects of economic sanctions significantly reduce the level of democratic freedoms in the target. The findings also demonstrate that comprehensive economic sanctions have greater negative impact than limited sanctions. These findings suggest that sanctions can create negative externalities by reducing the political rights and civil liberties in the targeted state.


Coercive Diplomacy and Press Freedom: An Empirical Assessment of the Impact of Economic Sanctions on Media Openness

Dursun Peksen
International Political Science Review, September 2010, Pages 449-469

Despite the central role the media play in the domestic and foreign policy-making processes, very little research examines the influence of international factors on media openness. This article investigates the impact of coercive diplomacy (in the form of economic sanctions) on press freedom. It is argued that foreign economic coercion will likely deteriorate press freedom by (1) restricting a sanctioned country's interactions with the outside world, thereby allowing the target regime to have greater control over the free flows of information, and (2) inflicting significant economic damage on the sustainability and development of independent media outlets. Using time-series, cross-national empirical data over a large number of countries for the period 1980-2000, the findings confirm economic sanctions' negative effect on media openness. Extensive sanctions, in particular, have a greater negative impact on press freedom than more selective sanctions. Furthermore, multilateral sanctions will likely have a greater corrosive impact on media openness than unilateral sanctions.


Trade Interdependence and the Issues at Stake in the Onset of Militarized Conflict: Exploring a Boundary Condition of Pacific Interstate Relations

Lingyu Lu & Cameron Thies
Conflict Management and Peace Science, September 2010, Pages 347-368

This article explores a boundary condition surrounding the effect of trade interdependence on the onset of interstate conflict. In particular, we focus on the types of conflict experienced by states, including territory, policy, and regime conflicts. We draw on the MID 3.1 and Oneal and Russett's data to build three multinomial logit models to examine how trade interdependence affects territorial, policy, and regime types of conflict between 1885 and 2000. We find that trade interdependence significantly decreases the onset of all three types of conflict. This result largely holds across three different measures of trade interdependence. Moreover, we discover that the pacific effect of trade interdependence on the three types of conflict displays different patterns. Trade interdependence at the moderate and middle levels plays a marginal role in pacifying territorial and policy conflict. This effect becomes quite strong between states with high levels of interdependence. For policy conflicts, the threshold for this strong dampening effect is even higher. Finally, trade interdependence exerts a more consistent pacific impact upon regime conflict.

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