East Meets West

Kevin Lewis

September 25, 2010

The CIA's Covert Predator Drone War in Pakistan, 2004-2010: The History of an Assassination Campaign

Brian Williams
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, October 2010, Pages 871-892

This article provides the first overview of the CIA's secret drone campaign against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan's tribal areas from its origins in 2001's Operation Enduring Freedom to the end of 2010. In the process it addresses the spatial dimensions of the campaign (where are the strikes being directed and where do the drones fly from), Pakistani reactions to this threat to both their sovereignty and an internal Taliban enemy, technological developments and Taliban and Al Qaeda responses to this unprecedented airborne assassination campaign. While the debate on this issue has often been driven by the extremes which either support the campaign as the most effective tool in killing terrorists or condemn it for driving Pakistanis to new levels of anti-Americanism, this article points out a third path. Namely, that many Pakistani Pashtun tribesmen living in the targeted areas support the strikes against the Taliban who have terrorized them in recent years.


The Myth of American Isolationism

Bear Braumoeller
Foreign Policy Analysis, October 2010, Pages 349-371

International relations scholarship often describes America's foreign policy tradition as having isolationist tendencies or an isolationist dimension, a characterization derived most directly from American security policy in the 1920s and 1930s. 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. In short, American isolationism is a myth.


"The Children Cry for Burger King": Modernity, Development, and Fast Food Consumption in Northern Honduras

Aeleka Schortman
Environmental Communication, September 2010, Pages 318-337

While food prices are on the rise in Honduras (and throughout much of the world), many northern Hondurans report consuming fast food at international chain restaurants in San Pedro Sula (SPS). What follows is an analysis of fast food consumption amongst relatively impoverished residents of peri-urban towns on the outskirts of SPS. This paper-based on ethnographic investigation and analysis of newspaper advertisements-explores how foreign-based fast food establishments are perceived, used, and discussed, and the ways in which they are accepted and contested. The author argues that fast food consumption represents an important social activity and a topic around which debates about the meanings of modernity and development have arisen. While fast food consumption has been accepted as a sign of modernity and progress by some, others disparage such consumption, which they see as a dangerous turn away from more traditional Honduran values and foods. Because fast food consumption also has far-reaching political-economic effects and implications, the essay concludes with a brief discussion of such larger issues. In particular, the author highlights the global, national, and regional political-economic forces that foster unequal competition in a "free trade" context. The essay draws attention to the actors and forces which make international fast food chains in northern Honduras the only restaurants in their price range capable of offering clean, high-quality dining atmospheres complete with children's entertainment.


Pirational Choice: The Economics of Infamous Pirate Practices

Peter Leeson
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, forthcoming

This paper investigates the economics of infamous pirate practices. Two closely related economic theories--- the theory of signaling and the theory of reputation building--- explain these practices. First, I examine the pirate flag, "Jolly Roger," which pirates used to signal their identity as unconstrained outlaws, enabling them to take prizes without costly conflict. Second, I consider how pirates combined heinous torture, public displays of "madness," and published advertisement of their fiendishness to establish a reputation that prevented costly captive behaviors. Pirates' infamous practices reduced their criminal enterprise's costs and increased its revenues, enhancing the profitability of life "on the account."


The Past and Future of War

Richard Ned Lebow
International Relations, September 2010, Pages 243-270

An original data set of wars from 1648 to the present indicates that security and material interest are rarely the principal motives for war for rising, great or dominant powers. These states far more often go to war for reasons of standing. The empirical evidence offers no support for power transition, balance of power, Marxist or rationalist theories of war. The frequency of war between and among rising, great and dominant powers is likely to decline precipitously because the most important motives for war in the past - standing, security, revenge, material interests and domestic politics - are, for the most part, no longer served effectively by war. Changes in ideas, not changes in material conditions, are primarily responsible for this transformation.


Incoherent Narrator: Israeli Public Diplomacy During the Disengagement and the Elections in the Palestinian Authority

Shaul Shenhav, Tamir Sheafer & Itay Gabay
Israel Studies, Fall 2010, Pages 143-162

Israeli public diplomacy surrounding the disengagement from Gaza and the general elections in the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 2005 reflects a problematic misconstruction of Israel's messages in English regarding its relations with the Palestinians. Based on content analysis of official documents, such as official announcements, press releases, and speeches by Israeli government officials (the PM and the foreign ministry), we point to the incompleteness of Israeli public messages aimed at non-Hebrew speakers in terms of major framing functions. Incorporating narrative analysis, we further claim that the problem of missing framing functions is part of a larger problem of misconstruction of the state's foreign policy narrative. At the core of this problem lies a discontinuity between the definition of the problem faced by Israel, the characterization of those who are responsible for the problem, and the proposed solutions to the problem. While the definition of the problem tends to rest quite heavily on internal disputes within Israel, namely the dispute between the government and the settlers, the Palestinians are those who are held responsible for the problem, and the solution is defined as a confrontation with the Palestinians. This incoherence between the definition of the problems and the solutions offered has damaged the internal logic of Israeli public diplomacy. The article discusses these findings against the backdrop of the traditional Israeli approach toward public diplomacy as reflected by the concept of "explanation" (hasbara). It suggests that these incoherencies played a key role in the explanation of why Israel failed to achieve significant improvement in its international image following the disengagement.


Groupthink, Iraq, and the War on Terror: Explaining US Policy Shift toward Iraq

Dina Badie
Foreign Policy Analysis, October 2010, Pages 277-296

Existing scholarship on the Iraq War decision-making process generally treats the event as a logical extension of pre-existing ideas and policies. This paper considers the Bush administration's decision to absorb Iraq into the broader War on Terror as a deviation from long-held views of Saddam Hussein. I argue that the decision to incorporate Iraq into the wider post 9/11 mission was pathologically driven by groupthink, which caused a shift in the administration's view of Saddam from a troubling dictator to an existential threat to US security. Therefore, groupthink can simultaneously explain the defects in the decision-making process and the shift from cautious restraint to accelerated urgency with respect to US relations with Iraq.


"Dumb" Yet Deadly: Local Knowledge and Poor Tradecraft Among Islamist Militants in Britain and Spain

Michael Kenney
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, October 2010, Pages 911-932

Islamist militants frequently lack a talent for tradecraft. In recent attacks in Britain and Spain, terrorists made numerous mistakes: receiving traffic citations while traveling in "enemy" territory, acting suspiciously when questioned by the police, and traveling together during missions. Militants' preference toward suicide operations restricts their ability to acquire practical experience, particularly when they lose their lives during attacks. And their unyielding devotion to their cause blinds them to opportunities to improve their operations. This is good news for counterterrorism officials. Terrorists' poor tradecraft provides alert law enforcers with critical leads they can use to identify their attackers, unravel their plots, and-sometimes-disrupt their operations before they cause additional harm.


Everybody's coming back a hero: Reflections and deflections of heroism in the Gulf

Alena Papayanis
Journal of War and Culture Studies, September 2010, Pages 237-248

This article examines the construction of the Gulf War veteran as a ‘hero' in the immediate post-Gulf War period (considered here as February 1991 to August 1991) and his relationship to gender, American national identity and the Vietnam War. President Bush and members of the media constructed the Gulf veteran as inherently masculine, moral and professional. This image replaced the violent Vietnam veteran stereotype, as well as the subsequent feminized, victimized figure. The article closely examines the relationship of the Gulf veteran to these Vietnam stereotypes. With an allegedly ideal sense of duty and morality, the Gulf veteran was characterized as a reluctant warrior, a man who did not like violence but, out of necessity, was willing (but not eager) to use it. He lacked the feminine qualities associated with the ‘veteran as victim' trope of popular Vietnam War representations, being positioned in between the extremes of masculinity and femininity. He represented a United States that was transformed from its Vietnam predecessor: the silent, impotent or paralysed Vietnam veteran now appeared articulate, virile and physically robust, with many public figures referring to General H. Norman Schwarzkopf as an example of this model of masculinity. Finally, the article scrutinizes some challenges to the heroic discourse of the time. Although many Gulf soldiers did not feel that their personal experience in the war warranted a heroic label, it dominated the public narrative. What were these men objecting to? How did the non-combative nature of the war present a challenge to the construction of heroism? In what ways were women and femininity excluded from this construction? The article scrutinizes the construction of the Gulf War as a masculine rite of passage that healed a broken American masculinity from the Vietnam era and ‘made' heroes out of American soldiers.


Problems, Politics, and Policy Streams: A Reconsideration US Foreign Aid Behavior toward Africa

Rick Travis
International Studies Quarterly, September 2010, Pages 797-821

This article is designed to explore the usefulness of an alternative conceptualization of the foreign assistance policy process. The common assumption is that US foreign aid outputs are rationally determined in response to external stimuli such as US security or economic interests or human need in a country. Yet, consistent with the logic of two-level games, foreign aid policy can become ensnared in domestic politics, especially those of a partisan distinction. In this article, I build an interactive model of foreign policy where external stimuli and domestic partisan differences are coupled to explain foreign assistance behavior toward Africa over the fiscal 1982-2003 period. I find that shifts in party control of the Presidency and the Congress lead to different valuations of the importance of external factors in making economic assistance policy. This interaction of domestic and foreign inputs serves to offer a fundamental reassessment of explanations concerning foreign assistance policy specifically, and foreign policy generally.


Dancing with the devil: Country size and the incentive to tolerate money laundering

Hinnerk Gnutzmann, Killian McCarthy & Brigitte Unger
International Review of Law and Economics, September 2010, Pages 244-252

The incidence of money laundering, and the zeal with which international anti-money laundering (AML) policy is pursued, varies significantly from country to country, region to region. There are, however, quite substantial social costs associated with a policy of toleration, and this begs the question as to why such a variance should exist. In this paper we claim that, due to the globalisation of crime, if a single country should break the "chain of accountability", then it will provide a safe haven for criminals and attract the total financial proceeds of crime. Because smaller economies are best able to insulate themselves from the costs of crime, we argue that smaller countries bear only a tiny share of the total costs relative to the potential benefits of investment that money laundering offers, and so have a higher incentive to tolerate the practice compared to their larger neighbours. As such, we claim that the existence of a money laundering market is due to a policy of AML ‘defection', and that the degree of ‘defection' depends largely on the size of the country. We present a simple model of policy competition which formalises this intuition, and conclude by exploring a number of policy recommendations which flow from this.


Political Competition as an Obstacle to Judicial Independence: Evidence From Russia and Ukraine

Maria Popova
Comparative Political Studies, October 2010, Pages 1202-1229

A large literature attributes independent courts to intense political competition. Existing theories, however, have a previously unrecognized boundary condition- they apply only to consolidated democracies. This article proposes a strategic pressure theory of judicial (in)dependence in electoral democracies, which posits that intense political competition magnifies the benefits of subservient courts to incumbents, thus reducing rather than increasing judicial independence. The theory's predictions are tested through quantitative analysis of electoral registration disputes adjudicated by Russian and Ukrainian courts during the 2002-2003 parliamentary campaigns. Selection models show that in Ukraine, progovernment candidates have a higher than average probability of winning in court, whereas in Russia the political affiliation of the plaintiff does not predict success at trial. Thus, the data show that judicial independence is lower in the more competitive electoral democracy (Ukraine) than in the less competitive electoral democracy (Russia).


Emigration for Higher Education: The Case of Palestinians Living in Israel Studying in Jordan

Khalid Arar & Kussai Haj-Yehia
Higher Education Policy, September 2010, Pages 358-380

This study explored reasons for the rapid increase in the number of Palestinian Arabs from Israel (PAI) studying higher education (HE) in Jordan. Four hundred and sixty PAI studying in Jordan answered a questionnaire assessing factors related to HE in both countries. Lenient admission requirements and cultural-language similarity explain Jordan's popularity. Nevertheless, PAI view Jordan HE as a constrained solution, preferring to study in Israel despite difficulties in an Israeli-Jewish environment. Studying in Jordan has unique advantages for PAI women. This flow of PAI students is undesirable and long-term consequences may not be beneficial. Affirmative action and establishment of an Israeli-Arab university may constitute alternatives.


Human Rights and Economic Liberalization

Art Carden & Robert Lawson
Business and Politics, July 2010

Using several case studies and data from the Economic Freedom of the World annual report and from the CIRI Human Rights Data Project, we estimate the effect of human rights abuses on economic liberalization. The data suggest that human rights abuses reduce rather than accelerate the pace of economic liberalization.


Reading Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on the Armenian genocide of 1915

Fatma Ulgen
Patterns of Prejudice, September 2010, Pages 369-391

The debate on where Mustafa Kemal Atatrk, the founder of modern Turkey and universally known as the 'Father of the Turks', stood in regard to the colossal violence committed against Armenians during the First World War has become a fiercely contested part of the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process, especially within the past few years. Ulgen aims to clear away the clouds of dust surrounding Kemal by delving into his texts and examining his role in the reification of Turkish denial of the destruction of Ottoman Armenians. Based on a textual analysis of his entire corpus, including Nutuk-the Great Speech of 1927 and the master-narrative of modern Turkish history and national identity-her article examines and documents how his charismatic leadership helped to consolidate both the myth of 'murderous Armenians' and that of the Turks as an 'oppressed nation' (mazlum millet), monumentalizing both in official Turkish historiography. Ulgen argues that Kemal's portrayal of Armenians and the Armenian Question was generally consistent across the years and in various political documents, as well as being consistent with contemporary Turkish representations of the events of 1915. What really tips the balance towards Turkish innocence in Kemal's representation of the conflict is not his framing of the issue per se but the stark difference in the rhetoric he deploys in depicting Armenian and Turkish atrocities and, hence, Armenians and Turks. The undeniable authority of this discursive regime is central to the resilience of Turkish denial today.


Regime type and civil war - A re-evaluation of the inverted U-relationship

Daniel Stockemer
Global Change, Peace & Security, October 2010, Pages 261-274

Previous studies nearly unanimously agree that civil conflicts are more likely to occur in semi-democracies than in either autocracies or democracies. Through multinomial regression analysis, this article re-evaluates this claim by testing the relationship between regime type and civil conflict for the post-Cold War period. Controlling for the material wealth of a country, the heterogeneity of the population, income inequalities and the size of the state, this research finds that the occurrence of minor intrastate wars (25 to 1000 deaths) and major civil wars (more than 1000 deaths) does not differ between hybrid regimes and autocracies. Only democracies have a significantly lower probability of experiencing intrastate fighting and warfare.

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