Going Rogue

Kevin Lewis

May 15, 2010

Foreign Aid Versus Military Intervention in the War on Terror

Jean-Paul Azam & Véronique Thelen
Journal of Conflict Resolution, April 2010, Pages 237-261

This article presents a theoretical framework and some empirical results showing that the level of foreign aid received reduces the supply of terrorist attacks from recipient countries, while U.S. military interventions are liable to increase this supply. Due account is taken of endogeneity problems in producing these results. They suggest that Western democracies, which are the main targets of terrorist attacks, should invest more funds in foreign aid, with a special emphasis on supporting education, and use military interventions more sparingly.


The American Federation of Teachers in the Middle East: Teacher Training as Labor Imperialism

Mayssoun Sukarieh & Stuart Tannock
Labor Studies Journal, June 2010, Pages 181-197

The American Federation of Teachers' (AFT) international program is one of the largest of any labor union in the United States, running operations in countries around the world, from Bolivia to Burma and Kenya to Kazakhstan. In this article, the authors analyze the AFT's recent interventions in the Middle East and, in particular, Lebanon. Contrary to the AFT's high-minded rhetoric of global labor solidarity, philanthropic goodwill, and democracy promotion, the authors argue that the AFT's Middle East programs serve U.S. government foreign policy interests in maintaining and extending American control and influence over the region.


A Supervised Machine Learning Procedure to Detect Electoral Fraud Using Digital Analysis

Francisco Cantu & Sebastian Saiegh
University of California Working Paper, April 2010

This paper introduces a naive Bayes classifier to detect electoral fraud using digit patterns in vote counts with authentic and synthetic data. The procedure is the following: (1) we create 10,000 simulated electoral contests between two parties using Monte Carlo methods. This training set is composed of two disjoint subsets: one containing electoral returns that follow a Benford distribution, and another where the vote counts are purposively "manipulated" by electoral tampering - a percentage of votes are taken away from one party and given to the other; (2) we calibrate membership values of the simulated elections (i.e. clean or fraudulent) using logistic regression; (3) we recover class-conditional densities using the relative frequencies from the training set; (4) we apply Bayes' rule to class-conditional probabilities and class priors to establish the membership probabilities of authentic observations. To illustrate our technique, we examine elections in the province of Buenos Aires (Argentina) between 1932 and 1942, a period with a checkered history of fraud. Our analysis allows us to successfully classify electoral contests according to their degree of fraud. More generally, our findings indicate that Benford's Law is an effective tool for identifying fraud, even when minimal information (i.e. electoral returns) is available.


Avalanches and Olive Branches: A Multimethod Analysis of Disasters and Peacemaking in Interstate Rivalries

Seden Akcinaroglu, Jonathan DiCicco & Elizabeth Radziszewski
Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Multimethod analysis of earthquakes' effects in two enduring rivalries demonstrates that natural disaster can promote rapprochement, political steps toward warmer relations that make it difficult for interstate rivalry to continue. Public expression of compassion and support for rapprochement create audience costs for leaders who otherwise would maintain hostile policies toward the rival state. However, routine violence, including communal violence, discourages public support for postdisaster cooperation and rapprochement. Content analysis and time-series analysis of rivalry change in two cases, India-Pakistan and Greece-Turkey, demonstrate these phenomena, and comparative case study analysis shows that communal violence helps account for divergent outcomes between the two cases.


The Accountability Effects of Political Institutions and Capitalism on Interstate Conflict

Sally Anderson & Mark Souva
Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Selectorate theory posits that leader accountability increases with the size of the winning coalition. Recent research contends that capitalism also increases leader accountability because leaders are more dependent on the public for revenue in more capitalist economies. The authors argue that extant tests of accountability arguments of interstate conflict initiation and targeting are flawed. Accountability theories of foreign policy expect leaders to selectively initiate disputes based on their probability of winning. Accountability arguments, then, expect a conditional relationship between the accountability mechanism and the balance of power. For example, if capitalism produces peace through accountability, then more capitalist states should be less likely to initiate militarized disputes as their power advantage decreases. The authors find that this is not the case. At the same time, the authors find robust support for selectorate theory's contention that larger winning coalitions are more selective about using military force. Political institutions induce accountability; capitalism does not.


The Dispossessed: A Labor-Market Analysis of Extreme Political Violence

Eva Meyersson Milgrom
Stanford Working Paper, January 2010

Highly-educated individuals are over-represented among violent operatives of insurgent organizations in the Middle East. This suggests four inter-related questions: (1) Why do those who seem to have good prospects willingly endanger their own lives? (2) What incentives drive these highly educated individuals to terrorist organizations in particular? (3) Why do sub-state welfare organizations turn violent? (4) Why do these organizations send so many highly educated, thoroughly dedicated members to their deaths instead of employing them in some other way? We answer these questions using a multidisciplinary approach, organized in a supply-demand framework, to study the market for violent operatives. We show how the conditions of a failing state give extra salience to personal significance for highly educated but dispossessed individuals and raise their value as violent operatives, creating gains from trade between them and the leaders of extremist organizations.


Treaty Compliance and Violation

Beth Simmons
Annual Review of Political Science, 2010, Pages 273-296

International law has enjoyed a recent renaissance as an important subfield of study within international relations. Two trends are evident in the recent literature. First, the obsession with theoretical labels is on the decline. Second, empirical, especially quantitative, work is burgeoning. This article reviews the literature in four issues areas-security, war, and peace; international trade; protection of the environment; and human rights-and concludes we have a much stronger basis for assessing claims about compliance and violation now than was the case only a few years ago. Still, the literature suffers from a few weaknesses, including problems of selection and endogeneity of treaties themselves and an enduring state-centric focus, despite the fact that researchers recognize that nonstate and substate actors influence treaty behavior. Nonetheless, the quality and quantity of new work demonstrates that international law has regained an important place in the study of international politics.


Does democracy produce quality of government?

Nicholas Charron & Victor Lapuente
European Journal of Political Research, June 2010, Pages 443-470

This article analyses the effects of political regimes over state capacity or the quality of government (QoG): Do democratic states perform better than authoritarian ones? Previous studies point to a nonlinear relationship between democracy and government quality. It is argued here that QoG is a function of both forces of supply (leaders who have the power to make reforms) and demand (citizens' desire for mid- to long-term investments over short-term needs), the latter of which is a function of economic development. In democratic states, leaders have stronger incentives to improve QoG after a certain degree of wealth is reached, while in poorer countries they have little incentive for long-term bureaucratic investments. Thus it is predicted that the relationship between democracy and QoG is conditional, based on economic development. With over 125 countries in the sample, this hypothesis is tested using time-series panel data and spatial models, and strong empirical support is found.


Class, Status, and Party: The Changing Face of Political Islam in Turkey and Egypt

Sebnem Gumuscu
Comparative Political Studies, forthcoming

This article argues that socioeconomic changes within Islamist constituencies are critical parts of understanding of how moderate Islamists emerge and succeed. The diverging paths of economic reform in Turkey and Egypt have generated different effects on the Islamist constituencies in these two countries. Economic liberalization has played both a constitutive and a causal role in transformation of political Islam in Turkey by facilitating the growth of a strong devout bourgeoisie with vested interests in liberalism and democracy. With the growing support of this rising devout bourgeoisie, the moderate Islamists managed to transform Islamism into a democratic conservative party. In Egypt, in contrast, the way the state implemented economic reform prevented the formation of as strong and independent a devout bourgeoisie that could be assertive in political Islam. Instead, the lower-middle-class professionals, losers of reform, populated the Islamist constituency and entrenched Islamism in ideological positions rather than pragmatism. This ultimately led to the marginalization of the moderates in Egypt.


Reassessing the Standard of Living in the Soviet Union: An Analysis Using Archival and Anthropometric Data

Elizabeth Brainerd
Journal of Economic History, March 2010, Pages 83-117

This article uses anthropometric and archival data to reassess the standard of living in the Soviet Union. In the prewar period, the population was small in stature and sensitive to the political and economic upheavals experienced in the country. Significant improvements in child height, adult stature, and infant mortality were recorded from approximately 1945 to 1970. While this period of physical growth was followed by stagnation in heights, the physical growth record of the Soviet population compares favorably with that of other European countries at a similar level of development in this period.


Lost Chance or Lost Horizon? Strategic Opportunity and Escalation Risk in the Korean War, April-July 1951

Colin Jackson
Journal of Strategic Studies, April 2010, Pages 255-289

This article examines three questions surrounding American attempts at war termination in 1951. Was there a militarily feasible 'lost chance' for UN forces to advance to the narrow neck of the Korean peninsula? If so, why did American decisionmakers decline to pursue it? What effect might such operations have had on the course of the war and subsequent American thinking on limited war? It concludes that the US missed a critical opportunity to conclude the war on more favorable terms; that the American decision to forgo amphibious operations in June 1951 had less to do with military calculations than with the domestic political firestorm that followed MacArthur's relief; and that the 'lost chance' not only increased the cost and duration of the Korean War, but encouraged subsequent decision makers to overstate the risks of intra-war escalation and understate the risks of premature, de-escalation.


Height and living standards in North Korea, 1930s-1980s

Sunyoung Pak, Daniel Schwekendiek & Hee Kyoung Kim
Economic History Review, forthcoming

The adult stature of 6,512 North Korean refugees born from the 1930s to the 1980s was employed as an indicator of living standards in North Korea. The height of North Koreans born before the division of the Korean Peninsula exceeded that of their South Korean peers. All North Korean cohorts born thereafter were shorter than their South Korean counterparts. North Koreans did not experience a meaningful secular increase in height during 60 years of communism. A consistent and positive effect of about 1-2 cm for high educational status was found when height was regressed on birth decades, education, regional origin, and occupation.


Visualizing the invisible hands: The shadow economy in North Korea

Hyung-min Joo
Economy and Society, February 2010, Pages 110-145

The outside world is well aware of the totalitarian side of North Korea. Much less well-known is the shadow economy of the country which has enveloped the everyday lives of ordinary North Koreans for the last fifteen years or so. Based on refugee testimonies, this article aims to shed light on this heretofore unexamined aspect of the country, by visualizing the invisible hands of the ever-growing shadow economy in North Korea. In particular, we will investigate who the main actors are (the agency question), how they obtain their items (the supply mechanism), how they move items from one place to another (the distribution mechanism) and who consumes these items (the consumer question) in contemporary North Korean society.


Abu Ghraib, the security apparatus, and the performativity of power

Steven Caton & Bernardo Zacka
American Ethnologist, May 2010, Pages 203-211

The critical discourse on U.S. military detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison has been dominated by Weberian-style arguments (a bureaucracy gone wrong, insufficient or badly applied administrative rules, or individuals acting as cogs in a machine). We argue that Michel Foucault's "security apparatus" provides a more insightful model for understanding the Abu Ghraib phenomenon. According to this model, the prison becomes a nodal point in an information-gathering nexus confronting unforeseen, emergent, and unclear events, a place where power is less disciplinary than improvisational, exercised through practical judgments about uncertain situations. The performance of such power at Abu Ghraib included the use of photography and acts that, we claim, resemble M. M. Bahktin's negative carnivalesque.


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