Findings

Wartime President

Kevin Lewis

August 05, 2020

Lost in the New Deal Realignment: GI Joe
Helmut Norpoth
PS: Political Science & Politics, forthcoming

Abstract:

Military service in World War II produced a generation of Democrats. This finding results from an examination of Gallup polls (1945-1953) that probed both party identification and wartime service. The 1944 election afforded soldiers an opportunity to vote for their commander in chief, and they did so by a large margin for Franklin D. Roosevelt - a Democrat. A vote under these circumstances is bound to leave lifelong marks on a cohort in its impressionable years, which was the life stage of many World War II soldiers. Further tests rule out the possibility that the Democratic tendency of soldiers was simply the result of their youthful age, lower socioeconomic status, urban background, union membership, race, or Southern region - all of which predict partisanship. Neither did the return to civilian life erode the Democratic edge of veterans. GI Joe is an unsung hero of what is widely known as the New Deal realignment.


Paying Them to Hate Us: The Effect of U.S. Military Aid on Anti-American Terrorism, 1968-2014
Eugen Dimant, Tim Krieger & Daniel Meierrieks
University of Pennsylvania Working Paper, July 2020

Abstract:

Does U.S. military aid make the United States safer? To answer this question, we collect data on 173 countries between 1968 and 2014. Exploiting quasi-random variation in the global patterns of U.S. military aid, our paper is the first to provide causal estimates of the effect of U.S. military aid on anti-American terrorism. We find that higher levels of military aid led to an increased likelihood of the recipient country to produce anti-American terrorism. For our preferred instrumental-variable specification, doubling U.S. military aid increases the risk of anti-American terrorism by 4.4 percentage points. Examining potential transmission channels, we find that more U.S. military aid leads to more corruption and exclusionary policies in recipient countries. Consistent with a theoretical argument developed in this paper, these results indicate that the inflow of military aid induces rent-seeking behavior, which in turn encourages terrorism by groups that suffer from reduced economic and political participation as a consequence of rent-seeking. These groups direct their dissatisfaction against the United States as the perceived linchpin of an unfavorable status quo in the recipient country.


The Effect of Combat Exposure on Veteran Homelessness
Adam Ackerman, Ben Porter & Ryan Sullivan
Journal of Housing Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:

This paper examines the effect of combat exposure on homelessness in surviving deployed veterans. We assess combat exposure in 50,522 Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) participants by combining self-reports of witnessing death through the 2011-2013 survey cycle with military deployment records since September 2001. We use participants' 2014-2016 MCS survey cycle reports to assess subsequent homelessness. We accommodate uncertainty surrounding limited data with an information theoretic, semi-parametric Generalized Maximum Entropy model. We estimate, on average, a single combat exposure increases the probability of homelessness by about 0.40 percentage points (27 percent relative to the mean probability) and multiple combat exposures increase the probability of homelessness by about 0.57 percentage points (38 percent relative to the mean probability). Our model also sheds light on pre-deployment characteristics associated with combat exposure resilience; estimates indicate veterans with poorer pre-deployment mental or physical health and veterans under the age of 30 years are less resilient to the effects of combat exposure on homelessness. Cost calculations with model estimates suggest combat exposure contributed to 4,600 veterans experiencing homelessness and $54 million in related public spending.


Does deterrence change preferences? Evidence from a natural experiment
Elisa Cavatorta & Ben Groom
European Economic Review, forthcoming

Abstract:

The deterrent effects of counter-violence initiatives could backfire if they cause preferences to change so that the perceived gains from violent actions increase. We test the preference-change hypothesis in a quasi-experimental design exploiting the random location of segments of the wall between the West Bank and Israel, an initiative intended to deter armed resistance. We undertake incentivised decision tasks with Palestinians to measure key individual traits that determine the valuation of political actions: preferences for risk, uncertainty and time delay. We show that people living close to the wall become more risk-tolerant, ambiguity averse and impatient than those unexposed to the wall, and this effect is amplified for people both exposed to and isolated (from the West Bank) by the wall. Preference-change could explain how repressive initiatives appear to perpetuate cycles of violence and resistance.


Why Governments Have Their Troops Trained Abroad: Evidence from Latin America
Adam Scharpf
International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:

Why do governments send their soldiers abroad for military training? Governments frequently expose their troops to training offered by other countries, although this may undermine military control and even lead to coups. Focusing on the demand side of security assistance, I argue that governments accept these costs to achieve diplomatic and military goals. Governments first send some soldiers abroad to substantiate their cooperation with the host country. Once this diplomatic commitment is made, governments increase training rates to counter threats using military skills unavailable at home. I test both arguments by studying training patterns at the most notorious US training facility: the School of the Americas. Using original data based on more than 60,700 course attendance records between 1946 and 2004, I find support for the proposed diplomatic and military logics of foreign training. Governments were more likely to send soldiers to the school after they had aligned their foreign policy with that of the United States, and only increased training in response to insurgent attacks. The findings demonstrate why and when governments are willing to cede significant parts of their political power to foreign-trained soldiers and other states. This has important implications for understanding military effectiveness and security cooperation.


The Public's Foreign Aid Priorities: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment
David Doherty et al.
American Politics Research, September 2020, Pages 635-648

Abstract:

Foreign aid is one of the few areas where Americans say the government should spend less. We leverage a unique conjoint experiment to assess how characteristics of an aid package, as well as characteristics of the targeted country, affect public support. We find that people are far more inclined to support economic aid than military aid and are disinclined to provide aid to undemocratic countries. We also find that people are more averse to providing aid - particularly economic aid - to countries in the "greater Middle East" than those countries' other characteristics would suggest. These effects are comparable to those associated with substantial increases in the cost of the aid package, suggesting that public wariness of foreign aid is not rooted in a fundamental aversion to spending in this domain. Our findings offer new insights into the contours of public opinion regarding foreign aid.


Lay theories of peace and their influence on policy preference during violent conflict
Oded Adomi Leshem & Eran Halperin
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 4 August 2020, Pages 18378-18384

Abstract:

We often talk about peace as if the concept is self-explanatory. Yet people can have various theories about what peace "is." In this study, we examine the lay theories of peace of citizens embroiled in a prolonged ethnonational conflict. We show that lay theories of peace 1) depend on whether one belongs to the high-power or low-power party and 2) explain citizens' fundamental approaches to conflict resolution. Specifically, we explore the link between power asymmetry, lay theories of peace, and preference for conflict resolution strategies within large-scale samples of Palestinian residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and Jewish residents of Israel. Results reveal that members of the high-power group (in this case Jewish-Israelis) are more likely to associate peace with harmonious relationships (termed "positive peace") than with the attainment of justice (termed "structural peace"), while members of the low-power group (in this case Palestinians) exhibit an opposite pattern. Yet both groups firmly and equally interpret peace as the termination of war and bloodshed (termed "negative peace"). Importantly, across societies, associating peace with negative peace more than with positive or structural peace predicts citizens' desire for a solution that entails the partition of land (the Two-State Solution) whereas associating peace with structural or positive peace more than with negative peace predicts citizens' desire to solve the conflict by sharing the land (the One-State Solution). This study demonstrates the theoretical and policy-relevant utility of studying how those most affected by war understand the concept of peace.


Productive Pacifists: The Rise of Production-Oriented States and Decline of Profit-Motivated Conquest
Jonathan Markowitz et al.
International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:

Scholarship suggests the profits from conquest have decreased over time. Given this, why were some states faster to abandon profit-motivated conquest, and why are some still seeking wealth from territorial control? We argue that land-rent dependence influences a regime's economic preference for territory. The more a state depends on rents extracted from land (i.e., the more land-oriented the economy), the greater its willingness to invest in securing control of territory. We develop a novel measure of land orientation, with 200 years of data, to evaluate the linkages between land orientation and military competition over territory. Across 160 regression models, we find robust evidence that land orientation predicts territorial competition. These results hold in both democracies and autocracies. The global reduction in land-oriented states offers a plausible explanation for the decline in the number of large-scale territorial conquests. Our findings also explain why some states retain strong economic motivations for conquest.


RUBICON and revelation: The curious robustness of the 'secret' CIA-BND operation with Crypto AG
Jason Dymydiuk
Intelligence and National Security, June 2020, Pages 641-658

Abstract:

For over 50 years, America and Germany read much of the world's communications. With 'Operation Rubicon', the CIA and the BND undermined the encryption security of foreign governments by controlling the Swiss technology company, Crypto AG. Puzzlingly, investigative journalists and customers increasingly identified the relationship and the vulnerabilities of their products. Yet, Rubicon continued, producing dividends for over half a century despite repeated revelations. This article asks why? It argues that geopolitical influences on targets, the consumer's limited resources, and individual brilliance by CIA-BND agents within Crypto AG combined to enable operational longevity - where other sigint operations would have failed.


Strange Bedfellows: Interrogating the Unintended Consequences of Integrating Countering Violent Extremism with the UN's Women, Peace, and Security Agenda in Kenya
Sahla Aroussi
Politics & Gender, forthcoming

Abstract:

In October 2015, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2242 calling on member states to work toward the greater integration of the women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda with efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism. While the rapprochement between counterterrorism and WPS may appear to be a step forward, particularly for those seeking to increase women's participation in areas traditionally dominated by men, it is also potentially dangerous. This article makes a significant contribution to the larger debate on the WPS agenda by studying the impact and unintended consequences of linking WPS with countering violent extremism on the ground in Kenya. Based on original research in the field, including key informant interviews, I argue that in the Kenyan context, connecting WPS with violent extremism has had several damaging consequences for women and their communities. Far from advancing the WPS agenda, this new policy shift has caused tension between local and international priorities, precipitated the redirection of donor funding away from important gender initiatives and toward countering violent extremism, and resulted in women's additional stigmatization, insecurity, and exclusion.


Does Aid Reduce Anti-refugee Violence? Evidence from Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
Christian Lehmann & Daniel Masterson
American Political Science Review, forthcoming

Abstract:

Anti-refugee violence often accompanies refugee migration, but the factors that fuel or mitigate that violence remain poorly understood, including the common policy response in such settings of humanitarian aid. Existing theory and policy debates predict that aid to refugees exacerbates anti-refugee violence by increasing hosts' resentment toward refugees. In contrast, however, aid may reduce violence in ways such as increasing host communities' well-being through more demand for local goods and services and refugees sharing aid. We test for the sign and mechanisms of this relationship. Evidence from original survey data and a regression discontinuity design suggests that cash transfers to Syrian refugees in Lebanon did not increase anti-refugee violence, and if anything they reduced violence. Exploring why aid does not increase hostility, we find evidence that aid allows recipients to indirectly compensate locals through higher demand for local goods and services, directly benefit locals by offering help and sharing aid, and reduce contact with potential aggressors.


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