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  • Author: Michael Bratton
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: If you ask any lay person—or most scholars of comparative politics—about the motivation for party formation in Africa, they are likely to offer the same answer: ethnicity. In a welcome antidote to this orthodoxy, Sebastian Elischer argues that African political parties and party systems are much more diverse than that. He relies upon seminal analysis by Larry Diamond and Richard Gunther to propose a typology of five ideal varieties: the mono-ethnic party, the multi-ethnic alliance, the catch-all party, the programmatic party, and the personalistic party. While the first two types arise from ethnic foundations, the last three are distinctly non-ethnic. If nothing else, this book will discourage future analysts from lazily conflating all forms of party organizations in Africa under an ethnic label. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19342#sthash.LW64K7fo.dpuf
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Craig Arceneaux
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Peacekeeping appears to offer a golden ticket to civilian supremacy in democ­ratizing states. These missions allow the armed forces in cash-strapped coun­tries to participate in military operations, and they send soldiers overseas, far away from the politics of their home countries. Arturo Sotomayor offers a careful, systematic, and ultimately persuasive critique of this conventional wisdom, with case studies of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. He clearly addresses three questions: Does peacekeeping help civilians reform the mili­tary? Does peacekeeping instill attitudes and beliefs in soldiers that comple­ment democracy and civilian control? Does peacekeeping craft bridges across defense and foreign policy establishments? While the conventional wisdom offers a cursory “yes” to these questions, Sotomayor responds with an astute “it depends.” And it is here that the value of his study shines. Peacekeeping can appear in a variety of forms, from observation, to enforcement, to peacebuild­ing. Peacebuilding really is more like an internal mission, and thus can actually reinforce adverse patterns of civil–military relations. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19343#sthash.9DMzoId6.dpuf
  • Topic: United Nations, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay
  • Author: Tom Ginsburg
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Latin America is something of a constitutional graveyard, in which formal texts have been replaced frequently over the past two centuries. Focusing especially on the period of relative political stability after 1978, Gabriel Negretto has produced a masterful book that helps us to understand constitutional politics in the region and beyond. Integrating quantitative analysis with a series of case studies, Negretto's innovative analysis makes this book required reading for students of constitutional design. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19344#sthash.T6DRR8OT.dpuf
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Latin America
  • Author: Tanisha M. Fazal
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Isabel Hull's analysis of international law during World War I is a welcome and valuable contribution to an emerging body of scholarship on the laws of war. This is not to undercut its place in the historiography of World War I. Hull rightly points out that most histories of the war have tended to gloss over or even dismiss the role of international law in the war. Hull corrects this bias by delving into British, French, and particularly German archives to show that international law was very much on the minds of all parties to the conflict. Indeed, she argues that preserving the existing structure of international law was a major reason for the outbreak of war. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19345#sthash.HizIRkHF.dpuf
  • Topic: International Law, War
  • Political Geography: France, Germany
  • Author: Mark Zachary Taylor
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: This dense, powerful volume offers profound insights into the U.S. innovation system and its driving forces. The driving forces are Americans' twin desires for technology-based military supremacy (which demands government action) and small government (which militates against it). These twin forces have produced a highly successful, ever-evolving, and unique set of federal institutions and policies, which Linda Weiss calls the “national security state” (NSS). The NSS is the secret to American innovation. Since World War II, it has dominated high-risk innovation, revolutionary technological change, and the formation of new S industries. Weiss's book also reveals that the NSS is not static, but changes in response to changes in perceived geopolitical threats and to shifts in popular anti-statist sentiments. The book explains why the NSS came about, how it works, and glimpses its future. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19346#sthash.kIPIPtW6.dpuf
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Todd S. Sechser
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: At around 5,000 total warheads, the U.S. nuclear stockpile today is a fraction of its former self. One therefore might presume that U.S. nuclear doctrine has undergone an equally significant transformation since the end of the Cold War. Thomas M. Nichols disabuses readers of this notion, showing how the machinery of “mutual assured destruction” remains predominant even though the world that spawned this doctrine disappeared with the Soviet Union. But this doctrine is now obsolete, Nichols argues. Deterrence no longer requires—if it ever did—an expansive nuclear inventory with diverse delivery platforms, a launch-on-warning alert posture, and convoluted targeting plans. In Nichols's view, a pocket-sized nuclear deterrent would be adequate. Yet U.S. strategy remains saddled with the costly baggage of an arms competition that ended a quarter-century ago. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19347#sthash.Giq99dtz.dpuf
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union
  • Author: Max Page
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Saving, living in, and visiting historic places is perhaps the most-common way in which people consciously interact with the past. And yet, only in the last several decades has the movement received the sustained scholarly attention that it deserves, from historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and architects. Political scientists focusing on this key strategy of urban development in worldwide urban development, however, have been scarce. The Fragmented Politics of Urban Preservation is, therefore, an invaluable addition to the literature that should bring more attention to the central questions that preservationists ask: why is the effectiveness of preservation efforts so different in cities around the world? What accounts for success and failure in preservation struggles? Most preservationists have preferred to rely on limited answers about the relative significance of the buildings or landscapes to be preserved, or relative effectiveness of the advocacy coalition. In fact, Yue Zhang argues that we must understand not only the fragmented politics that define cities, but also the particular kind of fragmentation that is dominant in a given city. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19348#sthash.BjImlmBj.dpuf
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Paris, Beijing, Chicago
  • Author: Nuno P. Monteiro, Alexandre Debs
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: What causes nuclear proliferation? What role do security threats play in driving states to acquire nuclear weapons? Intuitively, security is the most important factor driving nuclear acquisition. Yet existing security theories of proliferation, while accounting for why some states with grave security concerns have developed nuclear weapons, are unable to explain why others have not. Today only nine states have the bomb, a number much lower than the pessimistic predictions made by early security-based arguments on the causes of proliferation. Clearly, the view that "security is the only necessary and sufficient cause of nuclear proliferation" is not borne out by the history of the nuclear age. This limitation of existing security theories has exposed them to criticism on several fronts. Initially, a burgeoning scholarship emerged focusing on the nonsecurity "sources of the political demand for nuclear weapons." More recently, "supply-side" arguments on proliferation view states' demand for nuclear weapons (for security or other reasons) as largely irrelevant, claiming instead that the odds of nuclear acquisition depend on the availability of international nuclear assistance.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: G. John Ikenberry, Adam P. Liff
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the post–Cold War period, scholars have considered the Asia Pacific to be ripe for military competition and conflict. Developments over the past decade have deepened these expectations. Across the region, rising military spending and efforts of various states to bolster their military capabilities appear to have created an increasingly volatile climate, along with potentially vicious cycles of mutual arming and rearming. In this context, claims that China's rapid economic growth and surging military spending are fomenting destabilizing arms races and security dilemmas are widespread. Such claims make for catchy headlines, yet they are rarely subject to rigorous empirical tests. Whether patterns of military competition in the Asia Pacific are in fact attributable to a security dilemma–based logic has important implications for international relations theory and foreign policy. The answer has direct consequences for how leaders can maximize the likelihood that peace and stability will prevail in this economically and strategically vital region. A systematic empirical test derived from influential theoretical scholarship on the security dilemma concept assesses the drivers of bilateral and multilateral frictions and military competition under way in the Asia Pacific. Security dilemma–driven competition appears to be an important contributor, yet the outcome is not structurally determined. Although this military competition could grow significantly in the near future, there are a number of available measures that could help to ameliorate or manage some of its worst aspects.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Lee J. M. Seymour
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Side switching by armed groups is a prominent feature of many civil wars. Shifts in alignment have far-reaching consequences, influencing key outcomes such as civil war duration and termination, military effectiveness, levels of civilian victimization, and state-building prospects. In Sudan's wars, ideological and ethnic cleavages have not influenced factional alignments nearly as much as one might expect given the prominence of clashing political projects and ethnically organized violence in southern Sudan and Darfur. Recent explanations highlighting the role of territorial control, factional infighting, or relative power considerations also have limited value. In many wars fought in weak states characterized by low barriers to side switching, two mechanisms explain patterns of collaboration and defection: first, political rivalries that lead actors to collaborate in exchange for military support in localized struggles; and second, patronage-based incentives that induce collaboration for material gain. A nested analysis drawing on original data from wars in southern Sudan and Darfur supports this argument. The findings have implications for understanding alignments in civil wars, the role of weak states in counterinsurgency, and ethnic politics more generally, as well as policy relevance for factionalized civil wars.
  • Topic: Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Sudan, Darfur