At loggerheads

Kevin Lewis

August 15, 2019

Sophisticated but Scared: The Effects of Political Sophistication, Right‐Wing Authoritarianism, and Threat on Civil Liberty Restrictions
Kevin Carriere, Margaret Hendricks & Fathali Moghaddam
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, forthcoming

Despite the widely ratified United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, support for civil liberties is easily eroded in times of threat. Understanding which factors moderate the relationship between threat and support for civil liberties is critical, yet remains relatively unexplored. In this study, we test a double moderation model in which support for the restriction of civil liberties in the face of threat is moderated by both right‐wing authoritarianism and political sophistication. In a national representative dataset (N = 12,507), those low on right‐wing authoritarianism became more like their high right‐wing authoritarian peers in the face of threat. Also, those more sophisticated about political issues were less supportive of restrictions on civil liberties, but only when threat was low. We tested this model on both restrictions for the in‐group, in terms of being wiretapped, and for the out‐group, in terms of torturing suspected terrorists. Our results suggest that increasing political sophistication may have desirable consequences when considering the outcomes for in‐group members, and we argue for increased efforts to expand the in‐group we seek to protect.

The Prejudice First Model and Foreign Policy Values: Racial and Religious Bias among Conservatives and Liberals
Richard Hanania & Robert Trager
Columbia University Working Paper, July 2019

Scholars of foreign policy preference formation have accepted what Rathbun et al. (2016) call the “vertical hierarchy model,” which says that policy attitudes are determined by more abstract moral ideas about right and wrong. This paper turns this idea on its head by introducing the prejudice first model, arguing that foreign policy preferences and orientations are in part driven by attitudes towards the groups being affected by specific policies. Three experiments are used to test the utility of this framework. First, when conservatives heard about Muslims killing Christians, as opposed to the opposite scenario, they were more likely to support a humanitarian intervention and agree that the United States has a moral obligation to help those persecuted by their governments. Liberals showed no religious preference. When the relevant identity group was race, however, liberals were more likely to want to help blacks persecuted by whites, while conservatives showed no racial bias. In contrast, the degree of persecution mattered relatively little to respondents in either experiment. In another experiment, conservatives adopted more isolationist policies after reading a text about the country becoming more liberal, as opposed to a paragraph that said the United States was a relatively conservative country. The treatment showed the opposite effect on liberals, although the results fell just short of statistical significance. While not necessarily contradicting the vertical hierarchy model, the results indicate that prejudices and biases not only help influence foreign policy attitudes, but moral perceptions of right and wrong in international politics.

Homeland Violence and Diaspora Insecurity: An Analysis of Israel and American Jewry
Ayal Feinberg
Politics and Religion, forthcoming

Jews and Jewish institutions have suffered the majority of reported religion-motivated hate crimes in the United States for nearly two decades. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in 2014 the 609 reported anti-Semitic incidents made up 59% of all religious bias hate crimes alone. Rates of reported anti-Semitic hate crimes vary considerably over the course of a year. Yet, little scholarly attention has been given to what factors cause reported anti-Semitic hate crimes to fluctuate so substantially in the United States. This paper hypothesizes that violent Israeli military engagements are critical in explaining weekly surges of reported anti-Semitic hate crimes. Utilizing FBI hate crime data from 2001 to 2014 and fixed effects negative binomial regression models, consistent findings underscore that violent Israeli military engagements significantly increase the likelihood of a state reporting anti-Semitic hate crime. Most dramatically, their occurrence increases the likelihood of reported hate crime intimidating individuals or characterized as violent by nearly 35%. This paper underscores that homeland perpetrated violence can directly impact the security of diaspora communities.

Raison de l’Hégémonie (The Hegemon’s Interest): Theory of the Costs and Benefits of Hegemony
Carla Norrlof & William Wohlforth
Security Studies, June 2019, Pages 422-450

When and under what conditions does hegemony pay? The fate of any hegemonic order hinges on the answer to this question. Notwithstanding major relevant research traditions, international relations scholarship remains poorly equipped to answer it. We fill this gap with a theoretical framework for understanding the costs and benefits of hegemony that identifies the conditions that affect potential complementarity between military protection and economic production. We show how this relationship varies in different international systems in ways that confounded previous research. Contrary to widely held views in US domestic politics and in the security studies research community, we argue that under current conditions complementarity between protection and production means the maintenance of hegemonic order remains beneficial to the United States.

A Bandit Worth Hunting: Pancho Villa and America’s War on Terror in Mexico, 1916-1917
Michael Neagle
Terrorism and Political Violence, forthcoming

The September 11, 2001, attacks were not the first time that a private, foreign group attacked the United States mainland. Although not referred to as an act of “terrorism” at the time, the March 1916 raid of Francisco “Pancho” Villa and his men on Columbus, New Mexico, was understood by Americans of the early-twentieth century in much the same way. The discourse of the “bandit,” as Villa was widely described at the time, connoted many of the same meanings that we ascribe to terrorists in the twenty-first century ⁠— criminality, incivility, and illegitimacy. This rhetoric served to dehumanize Villa and justified U.S. incursions on Mexican sovereignty in its fruitless pursuit of him and his militia. Moreover, Villa’s political motivations for the attack reflect a modern understanding of terrorism. He sought revenge against the Woodrow Wilson administration for withdrawing its support of him during the Mexican Revolution and tried to goad the United States and Mexico into a wider war. His brief invasion nearly succeeded in bringing about his desired result. American understandings and approaches to Villa mirror many of the same strategies that have been used in the modern war on terror.

Evaluating the influence of international norms and shaming on state respect for rights: An audit experiment with foreign embassies
Zhanna Terechshenko et al.
International Interactions, forthcoming

How do international norms affect respect for human rights? We report the results of an audit experiment with foreign missions that investigates the extent to which state agents observe international norms and react to the potential of international shaming. Our experiment involved emailing 669 foreign diplomatic missions in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom with requests to contact domestic prisoners. According to the United Nations, prisoners have the right for individuals to contact them. We randomly varied (1) whether we reminded embassies about the existence of an international norm permitting prisoner contact and (2) whether the putative email sender is associated with a fictitious human rights organization and, thereby, has the capacity to shame missions through naming and shaming for violating this norm. We find strong evidence for the positive effect of international norms on state respect for human rights. Contra to our expectations, though, we find that the potential of international shaming does not increase the probability of state compliance. The positive effect of the norms cue disappears when it is coupled with the shaming cue, suggesting that shaming might have a ‘backfire’ effect.

Public Goods, Club Goods, and Private Interests: The Influence of Domestic Business Elites on British Counter-Piracy Interventions in the South China Sea, 1921–35
Edward Lucas
Security Studies, July 2019, Pages 710-738

This paper sheds light on the question of how domestic elite preferences drive states’ foreign policies by studying British efforts to suppress maritime piracy in the South China Sea in the 1920s and 1930s. The archival record shows that the British conducted military interventions, which included destroying entire Chinese villages, principally to serve the private aims of London business elites. Absent these parochial interests Britain ignored pirate attacks, including attacks on British-flagged ships. This finding challenges the standard structural explanation, put forward by global public goods scholars, that powerful maritime states suppress piracy to protect universal access to the global maritime commons. It does so through a detailed examination of the principal example cited by this argument’s supporters: historical British counter-piracy efforts. Understanding why states pursue their foreign policies also provides a greater understanding of why powerful states choose to serve as global public goods providers in some instances but not in others.

A fundamental asymmetry in judgments of soldiers at war
Hanne Watkins & Geoffrey Goodwin
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, forthcoming

How should we judge a soldier who is fighting for an unjust cause? Is such a soldier the moral equal of a soldier fighting for an opposing, just cause? According to traditional just war theory (Walzer, 2006), soldiers on either side of a war are moral equals, regardless of the justness of the cause for which they fight (the “principle of combatant equality”). According to revisionist just war theory, however, the justness of the soldiers’ causes should inform moral judgments of their actions; on this view, our judgments of soldiers on either side of a just versus unjust war should therefore be asymmetric (McMahan, 2009). Despite intense philosophical debate regarding these 2 theories, little work has examined whether lay moral judgments accord with the principle of combatant equality. Assessing lay moral judgments is important because people’s attitude toward soldiers may have a variety of consequences, ranging from their support for war, to their acceptance, rejection, or valorization of individual combatants. Across 9 studies, we find consistent evidence that ordinary individuals’ judgments of soldiers’ actions are influenced by the justness of the soldiers’ causes, contrary to the principle of combatant equality. Two factors partially explain this effect: First, people implicitly presume that soldiers identify with the cause for which they fight, which influences moral judgments of their actions; second, people implicitly align themselves with the just side of a war, treating combatants on the just side as part of their ingroup, thus rendering more favorable moral judgments of them. Several other possible explanations were not supported.

Love the Tree, Love the Branch: Beijing's Friendship with Lee Kuan Yew, 1954–1965
Philip Hsiaopong Liu
China Quarterly, forthcoming

Chinese national identity has long been considered to have been an obstacle to Singapore's nation-building efforts. This is mainly because China was suspected of using its ethnic links to encourage Singapore's communist rebellions during the 1950s and 1960s as Lee Kuan Yew was working towards establishing the city state. This study reviews Lee's exchanges with Beijing and argues that he gave China the impression that he was building an anticolonial, pro-China nation. Beijing therefore responded positively to Lee's requests for support. Reiterating its overseas Chinese policy to Lee, Beijing sided with him against his political rivals and even acquiesced in his suppression of Chinese-speaking “communists.” In addition, China boosted Lee's position against Tunku Abdul Rahman, supported Singapore's independence and lobbied Indonesia to recognize the territory as a separate state. China thus actually played a helpful role in Singapore's nation building.

The Uncertainty Trade-off: Reexamining Opportunity Costs and War
William Spaniel & Iris Malone
International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Conventional wisdom about economic interdependence and international conflict predicts that increasing opportunity costs make war less likely, but some wars occur after costs grow. Why? We develop a model that shows that a nonmonotonic relationship exists between the costs and probability of war when there is uncertainty over resolve. Under these conditions, increasing the costs of an uninformed party's opponent has a second-order effect of exacerbating informational asymmetries about that opponent's willingness to maintain peace. We derive conditions under which war can occur more frequently and empirically showcase the model's implications through a case study of Sino-Indian relations from 1949 to 2007. This finding challenges how scholars traditionally believe economic interdependence mediates incentives to fight: instruments such as trade have competing effects on the probability of war.

Mutual Optimism and Costly Conflict: The Case of Naval Battles in the Age of Sail
David Lindsey
Journal of Politics, forthcoming

Mutual optimism theory holds that mutually optimistic beliefs about outcomes cause international conflict. Because beliefs are unobservable, this theory is difficult to test systematically. Here, I present a clean test of theory that relies exclusively on observable variables by exploiting novel features of naval battles in the age of sail, most notably an admiral’s ability to avoid battle by simply sailing away. Using a formal model, I show that the outcome of mutual naval battles, where either side could avoid battle by sailing away, should not be predictable from observable capability indicators. The outcome of unilateral battles, where only one side could sail away to avoid fighting, should be predictable from these same indicators. I test these predictions against all squadron-level British naval battles from 1650 to 1833. I show that observable strength indicators are substantially less predictive in mutual battles, confirming the core key theoretical prediction.

Who’s Prone to Drone? A Global Time-Series Analysis of Armed Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Proliferation
Michael Horowitz, Joshua Schwartz & Matthew Fuhrmann
University of Pennsylvania Working Paper, July 2019

What determines whether countries pursue and obtain armed drones? Although this question has received growing attention in scholarship, studies have yet to account for recent trends in drone proliferation. This is a significant limitation because ten countries – over half of all states that possess armed drones today – obtained this technology between 2015 and 2017. There are now a sufficient number of cases to permit rigorous analysis of armed drone proliferation. Using an original time-series dataset, we analyze the spread of armed drones from 1994 to 2017. We develop and test two main arguments. First, we theorize that regime type shapes the proliferation process in ways that vary over time. From 1994-2010, regime type should not be a strong predictor of armed drone proliferation. However, non-democracies should become significantly more likely to pursue and obtain armed drones from 2011-2017 due to the concurrence of three shocks in time, the most important of which asymmetrically eased supply-side constraints for non-democracies. Second, we argue that status-seeking states are more likely to pursue armed drones. The findings support these arguments, suggesting that we must look beyond security factors to fully explain the spread of armed drones. Our results also contribute to the broader academic literature on proliferation by demonstrating how supply and demand shocks can lead to changes in proliferation trends, and lend further credence to the importance of prestige in international politics.

Prediction, Proxies, and Power
Robert Carroll & Brenton Kenkel
American Journal of Political Science, July 2019, Pages 577-593

Many enduring questions in international relations theory focus on power relations, so it is important that scholars have a good measure of relative power. The standard measure of relative military power, the capability ratio, is barely better than random guessing at predicting militarized dispute outcomes. We use machine learning to build a superior proxy, the Dispute Outcome Expectations (DOE) score, from the same underlying data. Our measure is an order of magnitude better than the capability ratio at predicting dispute outcomes. We replicate Reed et al. (2008) and find, contrary to the original conclusions, that the probability of conflict is always highest when the state with the least benefits has a preponderance of power. In replications of 18 other dyadic analyses that use power as a control, we find that replacing the standard measure with DOE scores usually improves both in‐sample and out‐of‐sample goodness of fit.

Economic Sanctions and Government Spending Adjustments: The Case of Disaster Preparedness
Elena McLean & Taehee Whang
British Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Economic sanctions research suggests that sanctioned countries’ overall economic costs tend to be low. This article argues that, despite this, sanction costs can force the governments of these countries to reallocate budget resources from low-priority spending categories to other categories in an effort to minimize their political costs. One such low-priority category is disaster preparedness and mitigation. The authors show that economic sanctions lead to reduced disaster preparedness spending and, as a result, increase the scale of economic and human losses generated by natural disasters in sanctioned countries.

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