Foreign Entanglements

Kevin Lewis

October 09, 2010

Both sides retaliate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Johannes Haushofer, Anat Biletzki & Nancy Kanwisher
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Ending violent international conflicts requires understanding the causal factors that perpetuate them. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israelis and Palestinians each tend to see themselves as victims, engaging in violence only in response to attacks initiated by a fundamentally and implacably violent foe bent on their destruction. Econometric techniques allow us to empirically test the degree to which violence on each side occurs in response to aggression by the other side. Prior studies using these methods have argued that Israel reacts strongly to attacks by Palestinians, whereas Palestinian violence is random (i.e., not predicted by prior Israeli attacks). Here we replicate prior findings that Israeli killings of Palestinians increase after Palestinian killings of Israelis, but crucially show further that when nonlethal forms of violence are considered, and when a larger dataset is used, Palestinian violence also reveals a pattern of retaliation: (i) the firing of Palestinian rockets increases sharply after Israelis kill Palestinians, and (ii) the probability (although not the number) of killings of Israelis by Palestinians increases after killings of Palestinians by Israel. These findings suggest that Israeli military actions against Palestinians lead to escalation rather than incapacitation. Further, they refute the view that Palestinians are uncontingently violent, showing instead that a significant proportion of Palestinian violence occurs in response to Israeli behavior. Well-established cognitive biases may lead participants on each side of the conflict to underappreciate the degree to which the other side's violence is retaliatory, and hence to systematically underestimate their own role in perpetuating the conflict.


Investigating the Lee thesis: How bad is democracy for Asian economies?

Carl Henrik Knutsen
European Political Science Review, November 2010, Pages 451-473

This paper discusses the hypothesis that democracy hurts economic growth and development, also known as the Lee thesis, and discusses why one could expect dictatorship to be particularly beneficial for growth in the Asian context. Three general theoretical arguments in support of the Lee thesis are then presented. However, the empirical results, based on panel data analysis on more than 20 Asian countries, do not support the hypothesis that dictatorship increases economic growth in Asia. There is no significant, average effect of democracy on growth. Asian dictatorships do invest a larger fraction of their GDP than democracies, but they are worse at generating high enrollment ratios in education after primary school.


From toys to warships: Interdependence and the effects of disaggregated trade on militarized disputes

Cullen Goenner
Journal of Peace Research, September 2010, Pages 547-559

The United States recently proposed to sell Saudi Arabia advanced weaponry worth 20 billion dollars over the next 10 years. The volume of trade, while significant, is second in the news headline that the United States would provide Saudi Arabia with precision-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighters, and new naval vessels. Trade of strategic commodities, such as armaments, suggests a strong interdependence between countries, which may influence international relations differently than the same volume of toys traded between nations. The author posits the volume and pattern of commodities that countries trade with each other are both relevant to interstate conflict. Commodities are heterogeneous and thus vary in terms of their strategic importance, substitutability, and ease of expropriation. This heterogeneity, along with the volume of trade, influences the opportunity cost of lost trade caused by conflict. This article empirically examines whether the pattern of trade is relevant to conflict for the period 1962-2000. The results from both single and simultaneous equations models indicate that increasing the share of bilateral trade in energy, non-ferrous metals, and electronics increases conflict, whereas for chemicals and arms it reduces conflict. Differences in these strategic commodities' elasticity of import demand and export supply, along with their ease of expropriation, contribute to the heterogeneous effects.


Foreign Policy at the Ballot Box: How Citizens Use Foreign Policy to Judge and Choose Candidates

Shana Kushner Gadarian
Journal of Politics, October 2010, Pages 1046-1062

This paper uses the elections of 1980 to 2004 to illustrate that political candidates from opposing parties face different incentives in mentioning foreign policy during campaigns and in taking foreign policy positions. The paper demonstrates that citizens connect their own foreign policy views clearly to their evaluations of Republican candidates, but these same foreign policy opinions are much less likely to affect evaluations of the Democratic party and Democratic candidates. In addition, this paper reveals another significant asymmetry - in a threatening environment, Americans reward candidates and parties perceived to hold hawkish positions but even more severely punish candidates perceived to be dovish. Using two datasets, I find that Americans' opinions on defense spending and diplomacy mattered significantly for the type of political leadership the public preferred at election time.


Technology Diffusion and Postwar Growth

Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn
NBER Working Paper, September 2010

In the aftermath of World War II, the world's economies exhibited very different rates of economic recovery. We provide evidence that those countries that caught up the most with the U.S. in the postwar period are those that also saw an acceleration in the speed of adoption of new technologies. This acceleration is correlated with the incidence of U.S. economic aid and technical assistance in the same period. We interpret this as supportive of the interpretation that technology transfers from the U.S. to Western European countries and Japan were an important factor in driving growth in these recipient countries during the postwar decades.


Can Trade Really Hurt? An Empirical Follow-Up on Samuelson's Controversial Paper

Jürgen Bitzer, Holger Görg & Philipp Schröder
Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

This paper investigates Samuelson's [Samuelson, P. A. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 18(3), 2004, 135-46] argument that technical progress of the trade partner may hurt the home country. We illustrate this prospect in a simple Ricardian model for situations with outward knowledge spillovers. Within this framework Samuelson's Act II effects may occur. Based on industry level panel data for 17 OECD countries for the period 1973-2000 we show econometrically that the outflow of domestic knowledge via exports or foreign direct investment (FDI) to the rest of the world may have a negative impact on industry output in the home country. This is particularly so when exporting to technologically less advanced countries and, more specifically, China.


The Rise of the Nation-State across the World, 1816 to 2001

Andreas Wimmera & Yuval Feinsteina
American Sociological Review, October 2010, Pages 764-790

Why did the nation-state proliferate across the world over the past 200 years, replacing empires, kingdoms, city-states, and the like? Using a new dataset with information on 145 of today's states from 1816 to the year they achieved nation-statehood, we test key aspects of modernization, world polity, and historical institutionalist theories. Event history analysis shows that a nation-state is more likely to emerge when a power shift allows nationalists to overthrow or absorb the established regime. Diffusion of the nation-state within an empire or among neighbors also tilts the balance of power in favor of nationalists. We find no evidence for the effects of industrialization, the advent of mass literacy, or increasingly direct rule, which are associated with the modernization theories of Gellner, Anderson, Tilly, and Hechter. Nor is the growing global hegemony of the nation-state model a good predictor of individual instances of nation-state formation, as Meyer's world polity theory would suggest. We conclude that the global rise of the nation-state is driven by proximate and contextual political factors situated at the local and regional levels, in line with historical institutionalist arguments, rather than by domestic or global structural forces that operate over the long durée.


Backdoor Nationalism

Jon Fox & Peter Vermeersch
European Journal of Sociology, August 2010, Pages 325-357

Contrary to expectations, the EU's eastward expansion in 2004 did not sound the death knoll of nationalism in the region; rather, it signalled its reinvention and, in some respects, reinvigoration. In this paper, we examine three ways in which nationalism has been redefined in Hungary and Poland in the context of EU enlargement. First, consensus on the desirability of European unification has lessened the importance of left/right party divisions; in its place, the "nation" has provided a fulcrum for inter-party contestation. Second, EU integration has provided nationalists in the region with a backdoor for realising old nationalist ambitions of national reunification across the porous borders of the EU. Third, we examine the way radical nationalist organisations in Hungary and Poland increasingly define themselves in opposition to the EU.


Does Globalization Breed Ethnic Discontent?

Susan Olzak
Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

This article examines how different components of globalization affect the death toll from internal armed conflict. Conventional wisdom once held that the severity of internal conflict would gradually decline with the spread of globalization, but fatalities still remain high. Moreover, leading theories of civil war sharply disagree about how different aspects of globalization might affect the severity of ethnic and nonethnic armed conflicts. Using arguments from a variety of social science perspectives on globalization, civil war, and ethnic conflict to guide the analysis, this article finds that (1) economic globalization and cultural globalization significantly increase fatalities from ethnic conflicts, supporting arguments from ethnic competition and world-polity perspectives, (2) sociotechnical aspects of globalization increase deaths from ethnic conflict but decrease deaths from nonethnic conflict, and (3) regime corruption increases fatalities from nonethnic conflict, which supports explanations suggesting that the severity of civil war is greater in weak and corrupt states.


International System and Technologies of Rebellion: How the End of the Cold War Shaped Internal Conflict

Stathis Kalyvas & Laia Balcells
American Political Science Review, August 2010, Pages 415-429

Because they are chiefly domestic conflicts, civil wars have been studied primarily from a perspective stressing domestic factors. We ask, instead, whether (and how) the international system shapes civil wars; we find that it does shape the way in which they are fought-their "technology of rebellion." After disaggregating civil wars into irregular wars (or insurgencies), conventional wars, and symmetric nonconventional wars, we report a striking decline of irregular wars following the end of the Cold War, a remarkable transformation of internal conflict. Our analysis brings the international system back into the study of internal conflict. It specifies the connection between system polarity and the Cold War on the one hand and domestic warfare on the other hand. It also demonstrates that irregular war is not the paradigmatic mode of civil war as widely believed, but rather is closely associated with the structural characteristics of the Cold War.


Estimating the Effects of Human Rights Treaties on State Behavior

Daniel Hill
Journal of Politics, October 2010, Pages 1161-1174

Though research suggests that international regimes that coordinate economic and security policy can alter state behavior, research examining the effect of human rights treaties on state behavior has found that these agreements do little to curb repressive practices. However, those studies neglect to account for the fact that several of the state-level characteristics which are known to affect repressive practices also influence the likelihood of a state making a formal commitment to the human rights regime. States that commit and states that do not are likely to have different domestic institutional features. Systematic heterogeneity across ratifiers and nonratifiers makes it difficult to infer the level of repression that would have been observed in a state had it not committed to the treaty in question. This paper employs matching techniques that address this problem and allow for more valid inferences about the effects of human rights treaties on repressive practices. The impact of human rights treaties is examined in the context of three of the five core UN human rights treaties. The results are quite interesting; ratification of the CAT and, to a lesser extent, the ICCPR is associated with reduced respect for physical integrity rights while ratification of the CEDAW has a positive impact on observance of women's rights. These findings suggest that more treaty-specific theory building is needed.


The Practice and Theory of US Statebuilding

David Lake
Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, September 2010, Pages 257-284

The United States has employed three models of statebuilding over the last century, each animated by a different political theory. Statebuilding 1.0, developed and used from the late 1890s through the end of the Cold War, emphasized building loyal and politically stable subordinate states. Privileging American geopolitical and economic interests over those of local populations, the model was premised on the theory of realpolitik. Statebuilding 2.0 arose under and, in many ways, came to characterize attempts by the United States to construct a New World Order after 1990. The key shift was from seeking loyalty to building legitimate states. Under this model, the United States attempted to build broad-based popular support for nascent states by creating democratic institutions and spearheading economic reforms. In this 'end of history' moment, liberalism reigned triumphant in statebuilding practice and theory. Statebuilding 3.0 is now being 'field-tested' in Iraq and Afghanistan. This new model seeks to build legitimacy for new states by providing security and essential public services to their populations. It rests on social contract theory, and its core tenet that legitimacy follows from providing effectively for the basic needs of citizens. Successive sections summarize the practice of statebuilding under each model and discuss its implicit political theory. A critique of each model then flows naturally into the practice and logic of the next. The conclusion outlines why a statebuilding 3.1 is necessary, and what such a strategy might entail.


Voice and silence: Why groups take credit for acts of terror

Aaron Hoffman
Journal of Peace Research, September 2010, Pages 615-626

Terrorism is designed to draw attention to particular issues and causes. Yet, the incidence of credit-taking (announcing one's responsibility for acts of terror) varies even though anonymity can undermine the clarity of the intended messages. This article offers an explanation of the variation in credit-taking that emphasizes how the competitive context in which groups operate shapes terrorists groups' need to cultivate support for their activities. Increasing numbers of terrorist organizations make it difficult for the supporters of terrorism to reward the perpetrators of particular attacks with their backing. Since such support is critical to the proper functioning of terrorist organizations, groups use claims of responsibility to distinguish themselves from those that had no hand in the violence. Consequently, variation in the probability of credit-taking fluctuates as a function of the number of active terrorist groups in a given theater of operations. This argument is contrasted with theories that suggest credit-taking is influenced by: the ideological mix of terrorist organizations; the willingness of governments to respond to terrorism using military force; state sponsorship; the depth of communal grievances; and the use of suicide attacks. The results, based on an analysis of transnational terrorism events conducted in the Israeli theater of operations between 1968 and 2004, suggest that competitive context is a consistently strong predictor of credit-taking. By implication, the results point to the utility of counter-terrorism strategies that interfere with the transmission of information between terrorist organizations and their supporters.


When Is Shuttle Diplomacy Worth the Commute? Information Sharing through Mediation

Mark Fey & Kristopher Ramsay
World Politics, October 2010, Pages 529-560

The authors study the conflict mediation problem, sometimes called "shuttle diplomacy," when the mediator acts as a go-between and must gather information from the disputants. In the context of a general model of information mediation, they show that the incentive that disputants have to lie to the mediator undoes any advantage that might be gained by adding communication with a third party. In fact, the main result shows that any equilibrium outcome that is achievable through mediation is also achievable as an equilibrium outcome of a game with unmediated preplay communication. This is true even when the mediator is allowed to have arbitrary preferences or biases. The authors then test their empirical prediction on dispute management efforts between 1937 and 1985. The analysis supports the hypothesis that information mediation has no effect in environments where the mediator has no independent source of information.


United States-Mexico: The Convergence of Public Policy Views in the Post-9/11 World

Brandon Valeriano & Matthew Powers
Policy Studies Journal, November 2010, Pages 745-775

This article explores the state of public policy preferences between the United States and Mexico in the realm of foreign policy in the context of the post-9/11 world, democratic change within Mexico, and the immigration protests within the United States. Specifically, we will analyze the differences and possible convergence of public policy views on the issues of terrorism, immigration, free trade agreements, drug trafficking, and foreign policy. We find that although there are differences of opinion, particularly in the application of force in Iraq and on the benefits of free trade, there still remains a significant degree of positive convergence within the policy issues of terrorism, immigration, and drug trafficking. Although there are institutional impediments to progressive policy change, future relations between the United States and Mexico do not need to be contentious as long as the focus is on the similarities, rather than the differences, in public preferences between the populations of the two states.


Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950

Suzy Kim
Comparative Studies in Society and History, October 2010, Pages 742-767

All social revolutions in modern history, from the Russian Revolution of 1917 to the Cuban one of 1959, have attempted to address the status of women as a critical element of social change.1 North Korea was no different. With Japan's defeat in World War II, Korea was liberated from its thirty-five-year colonial rule, and as in many postcolonial nations after the war, revolution was in the air.2 When the Cold War came early to the peninsula, Korea took two divergent paths. Divided at the 38th parallel into separate occupation zones, with the United States in the south and the USSR in the north, social reforms were carried out swiftly in the north, aided and abetted by the Soviets, while in the south, the American occupiers saw most Korean political movements as too radical and suppressed them. In what follows, I focus on the formative years of early North Korean history, the five-year period between the end of Japanese colonial rule in 1945 and the start of the Korean War in 1950. I show how North Korea from the outset attempted to meld the old and the new through the figure of the revolutionary mother as a uniquely feminine revolutionary subjectivity. This sets the North Korean case apart from other historical examples of social revolutions and their handling of "the woman question."


Economic growth and ethnic violence: An empirical investigation of Hindu-Muslim riots in India

Anjali Thomas Bohlken & Ernest John Sergenti
Journal of Peace Research, September 2010, Pages 589-600

Most studies of Hindu-Muslim riots in India have tended to emphasize the effects of social, cultural, or political factors on the occurrence of ethnic violence. In this article, the authors focus on the relationship between economic conditions and riots. Specifically, this article examines the effect of economic growth on the outbreak of Hindu-Muslim riots in 15 Indian states between 1982 and 1995. Controlling for other factors, the authors find that just a 1% increase in the growth rate decreases the expected number of riots by over 5%. While short-term changes in growth influence the occurrence of riots, this study finds no evidence of a relationship between the levels of wealth in a state and the incidence of ethnic riots. Moreover, by including state fixed effects, the authors determine that the negative relationship found between economic growth and riots is driven primarily by the relationship between growth and riots within a state over time rather than across states. These results are robust to controlling for a number of other factors such as economic inequality, demographic variables, political competition, temporal lags, spillover effects from adjacent states, and year effects. Finally, to address potential concerns that economic growth could be a consequence rather than a cause of violence or that other unobserved factors could confound the relationship between economic growth and the occurrence of Hindu-Muslim riots, the authors also employ instrumental variables (IV) estimation, using percentage change in rainfall as an instrument for growth. The results with IV estimation are similar to the results with non-IV estimation in terms of sign and significance, indicating that the negative effect of economic growth on riots is not due to reverse causality or omitted variables bias.


Instrumental Philanthropy: Trade and the Allocation of Foreign Aid

Erik Lundsgaarde, Christian Breunig & Aseem Prakash
Canadian Journal of Political Science, September 2010, Pages 733-761

"Trade, not aid" has long been a catchphrase in international development discourse. This paper evaluates whether the "trade, not aid" logic has driven bilateral aid allocations in practice. Using a dataset that covers development assistance from 22 donor countries to 187 aid recipients from 1980 to 2002, we find that donor countries have dispersed bilateral aid in ways that reinforce their extant bilateral commercial ties with recipient countries. Instead of "trade, not aid," bilateral aid disbursement has followed the logic of "aid following trade." The policy implication is that bilateral aid allocation patterns have reinforced the disadvantages of poor countries that have a limited ability to participate in international trade due to a variety of factors such as geography and a lack of tradable resources.


The Defense-Growth Relationship: An Economic Investigation into Post-Soviet States

Bruce McDonald & Robert Eger
Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, 2010

An important question stemming from the collapse of the Soviet Union is how defense spending has influenced the economic performance of the 15 member states since their establishment as market economies. This study furthers the understanding of the relationship between defense spending and economic growth using data from the states of the former Soviet Union from 1992 to 2007. A nonlinear production function was used for direct effects, and models of investment and employment were employed for indirect effects. Contrary to expectations, the findings show that continued reliance on the defense sector in post-Soviet states has helped overall economic growth. Similarly, the growth effect of defense spending has remained nearly constant since the collapse of the Soviet Union.


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