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  • Author: Kathleen M. Vogel
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In September 2011, scientists in the Netherlands announced new experimental findings that would not only threaten the conduct and publication of influenza research, but would have significant policy and intelligence implications. Ron Fouchier, an influenza virologist at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, declared at the Fourth European Scientific Working Group on Influenza in Malta that his research group had created a modified variant of the H5N1 avian influenza virus (hereafter the H5N1 virus) that was transmissible via aerosol between ferrets. Until that point, the H5N1 virus, which can be lethal to humans, was known to be transmissible only through direct, physical contact with infected animals.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Netherlands
  • Author: Burak Kadercan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Why are some states more willing to adopt military innovations than others? Why, for example, were the great powers of Europe able to successfully reform their military practices to better adapt to and participate in the so-called military revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries while their most important extra- European competitor, the Ottoman Empire, failed to do so? The conventional wisdom suggests that cultural factors, including religious beliefs and a misplaced sense of superiority, blinded Ottoman rulers to the utility of innovations stemming from this military revolution, which involved radical changes in military strategy and tactics. The implication is that these rulers were almost suicidal, resisting military reforms until the early nineteenth century despite suffering continuous defeats for more than two hundred years. Such thinking follows not from a close reading of the historical and sociological literature on the Ottoman Empire, but from an Orientalist view of non-Western political organizations that plagues not only international relations theory but also military history.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Todd H. Hall, Jia Ian Chong
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A century has passed since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo set in motion a chain of events that would eventually convulse Europe in war. Possibly no conflict has been the focus of more scholarly attention. The questions of how and why European states came to abandon peaceful coexistence for four years of armed hostilities—ending tens of millions of lives and several imperial dynasties—have captivated historians and international relations scholars alike.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, East Asia
  • Author: Jack Snyder
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: One reason why Europe went to war in 1914 is that all of the continental great powers judged it a favorable moment for a fight, and all were pessimistic about postponing the fight until later. On its face, this explanation constitutes a paradox. Still, each power had a superficially plausible reason for thinking this was true.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Keren Yarhi-Milo
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: How do policymakers infer the long-term political intentions of their states' adversaries? This question has important theoretical, historical, and political significance. If British decisionmakers had understood the scope of Nazi Germany's intentions for Europe during the 1930s, the twentieth century might have looked very different. More recently, a Brookings report observes that “[t]he issue of mutual distrust of long-term intentions . . . has become a central concern in U.S.-China relations.” Statements by U.S. and Chinese officials confirm this suspicion. U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke noted “a concern, a question mark, by people all around the world and governments all around the world as to what China's intentions are.” Chinese officials, similarly, have indicated that Beijing regards recent U.S. policies as a “sophisticated ploy to frustrate China's growth.”
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe
  • Author: David A. Lake
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The United States has maintained extensive international hierarchies over states on the Caribbean littoral for more than a century and over Western Europe for nearly seven decades. More recently, it has extended similar hierarchies over states in the Middle East, especially the Persian Gulf. International hierarchy is based on authority relations between states; once they took the form of empires but today are restricted to informal political relationships such as spheres of influence and de facto protectorates. Authority, in turn, is a form of legitimate power that entails a right to command by the dominant state and an obligation or duty to comply by the subordinate. This raises a series of key questions. How does the United States build and sustain legitimacy for itself in subordinate countries? In this postcolonial age, the dominant state must rule indirectly through client regimes. How does the United States ensure legitimacy for such collaborationist regimes? Most important, how does the United States sustain this "double game" of legitimating both its rule and that of its clients, given norms of the sovereign equality of states and, increasingly, of popular sovereignty and democracy? How one answers these questions is relevant not only to theories of international relations but also to current policy debates, especially those on the role of the United States in the Middle East. If the United States cannot legitimate its role in the region, as I argue it cannot for reasons explained below, it should consider following its imperial forefather and withdraw "East of Suez."
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Central America
  • Author: Erik Gartzke, Yonatan Lupu
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A close look at the events leading up to World War I reveals that the war was not a failure of economic integration as many scholars have claimed. The conflict began in a weakly integrated portion of Europe, and the more integrated powers were roped in through their alliances. Before the war, the interdependent powers were able to resolve crises without bloodshed, but they were also incentivized to increase their commitment to the less interdependent powers. Had globalization pervaded Eastern Europe, or if the rest of Europe had been less locked into events in the east, Europe might have avoided a “Great War.”
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ulrich Krotz, Jean-Yves Haine, Norrin M. Ripsman, Sebastian Rosato, Richard Maher, David M. McCourt, Andrew Glencross, Mark S. Sheetz
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In "Europe's Troubles," Sebastian Rosato argues that the high water mark of European integration has passed and that the fate of the European Union (EU) is increasingly uncertain. The European project, he claims, had a geostrategic imperative during the Cold War: unable to match Soviet power individually, the small and medium powers of Western Europe sought to balance the Soviet Union through economic integration. The Soviet collapse and the end of the Cold War removed the strategic rationale for preserving the community that European governments had built over many decades. At best, according to Rosato, Europe will continue to muddle along. At worst, the entire European project will collapse.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Brendan Rittenhouse Green
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Realist, liberal, constructivist, and hybrid theories of international relations agree that the United States made historic commitments to the defense of Europe shortly after World War II. These commitments, however, were neither as intense nor as sweeping as many claim. Initially, Washington sought withdrawal from Europe through a strategy of buck-passing.Only after a decade and a half did it adopt the familiar balancing grand strategy providing for a permanent presence in Europe. This shift suggests the need for a new theory to explain U.S. grand strategy, both past and present.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington
  • Author: M.E. Sarotte
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: For the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), erasing the memory of the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Square massacre remains a full-time job. The party aggressively monitors and restricts media and internet commentary about the event. As Sinologist Jean-Philippe Béja has put it, during the last two decades it has not been possible "even so much as to mention the conjoined Chinese characters for 6 and 4" in web searches, so dissident postings refer instead to the imaginary date of May 35. Party censors make it "inconceivable for scholars to access Chinese archival sources" on Tiananmen, according to historian Chen Jian, and do not permit schoolchildren to study the topic; 1989 remains a "'forbidden zone' in the press, scholarship, and classroom teaching." The party still detains some of those who took part in the protest and does not allow others to leave the country. And every June 4, the CCP seeks to prevent any form of remembrance with detentions and a show of force by the pervasive Chinese security apparatus. The result, according to expert Perry Link, is that in to-day's People's Republic of China (PRC), "Most young people have barely heard about the events of 1989."
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: China, Europe
  • Author: Sebastian Rosato
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: For a decade after the end of the Cold War, observers were profoundly optimistic about the state of the European Community (EC). Most endorsed Andrew Moravcsik's claim that the establishment of the single market and currency marked the EC as “the most ambitious and most successful example of peaceful international co - operation in world history.” Both arrangements, which went into effect in the 1990s, were widely regarded as the “finishing touches on the construction of a European economic zone.” Indeed, many people thought that economic integration would soon lead to political and military integration. Germany's minister for Europe, Günter Verheugen, declared, “[N]ormally a single currency is the final step in a process of political integration. This time the single currency isn't the final step but the beginning.” Meanwhile, U.S. defense planners feared that the Europeans might create “a separate 'EU' army.” In short, the common view was that the EC had been a great success and had a bright future.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Risa Brooks
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Are Muslims born or living in the United States increasingly inclined to engage in terrorist attacks within the country's borders? For much of the post-September 11 era, the answer to that question was largely no. Unlike its European counterparts, the United States was viewed as being relatively immune to terrorism committed by its residents and citizens-what is commonly referred to as "homegrown" terrorism-because of the social status and degree of assimilation evinced by American Muslims. In 2006, in the long shadow cast by the Madrid 2004 and London 2005 attacks perpetrated by European homegrown terrorists, there was a perceptible shift in the characterization of the threat posed by American Muslims. Public officials began to speak more regularly and assertively about the potential threat of some Muslims taking up terrorism, elevating it in their discussions alongside threats from foreign operatives and transnational terrorist organizations. By 2009, in part catalyzed by a surge in terrorist-related arrests and concerns that they could portend a growing radicalization of the American Muslim population, policymakers and terrorist analysts seemed increasingly worried about homegrown terrorism. When U.S. Special Forces killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011, some members of Congress and other commentators argued that the threat of homegrown terrorism would become even more important.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Jennifer Lind, Bruce W. Bennett
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many signs suggest that Kim Jong-il's regime in North Korea is entering a difficult stage in which its future may be in doubt. Although the historical record shows, and many scholars have noted, that authoritarian regimes can repress their populations and retain power for decades, the Kim regime is embarking on the most difficult challenge that such regimes face: succession. The last time power changed hands in Pyongyang, Kim Il-sung spent fifteen years preparing for the transfer, carefully consolidating support for his son Kim Jong-il. By contrast, Kim Jong-il, who suffered a stroke in 2008, has only recently anointed his inexperienced, twenty-seven-year-old third son, Kim Jong-un, as his heir. Kim Jong-il's sudden death or incapacitation could trigger a power struggle and government collapse in North Korea. As previous revolutions in the Middle East and Eastern Europe demonstrate, the transition from apparent stability to collapse can be swift.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In East Asia the United States cultivated a "hub and spokes" system of discrete, exclusive alliances with the Republic of Korea, the Republic of China, and Japan, a system that was distinct from the multilateral security alliances it preferred in Europe. Bilateralism emerged in East Asia as the dominant security structure because of the "powerplay" rationale behind U.S. postwar planning in the region. "Powerplay" refers to the construction of an asymmetric alliance designed to exert maximum control over the smaller ally's actions. The United States created a series of bilateral alliances in East Asia to contain the Soviet threat, but a congruent rationale was to constrain "rogue allies"- that is, rabidly anticommunist dictators who might start wars for reasons of domestic legitimacy and entrap the United States in an unwanted larger war. Underscoring the U.S. desire to avoid such an outcome was a belief in the domino theory, which held that the fall of one small country in Asia could trigger a chain of countries falling to communism. The administrations of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower calculated that they could best restrain East Asia's pro-West dictators through tight bilateral alliances rather than through a regionwide multilateral mechanism. East Asia's security bilateralism today is therefore a historical artifact of this choice.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Mary Elise Sarotte
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Washington and Bonn pursued a shared strategy of perpetuating U.S. preeminence in European security after the end of the Cold War. As multilingual evidence shows, they did so primarily by shielding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from potential competitors during an era of dramatic change in Europe. In particular, the United States and West Germany made skillful use in 1990 of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's political weakness and his willingness to prioritize his country's financial woes over security concerns. Washington and Bonn decided "to bribe the Soviets out," as then Deputy National Security Adviser Robert Gates phrased it, and to move NATO eastward. The goal was to establish NATO as the main post-Cold War security institution before alternative structures could arise and potentially diminish U.S. influence. Admirers of a muscular U.S. foreign policy and of NATO will view this strategy as sound; critics will note that it alienated Russia and made NATO's later expansion possible. Either way, this finding challenges the scholarly view that the United States sought to integrate its former superpower enemy into postconflict structures after the end of the Cold War. For Academic Citation: Mary Elise Sarotte. "Perpetuating U.S. Preeminence: The 1990 Deals to "Bribe the Soviets Out" and Move NATO In." International Security 35, no. 1 (Summer 2010): 110-137.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Stacie Goddard
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: From 1864 to 1871, Prussia mounted a series of wars that fundamentally altered the balance of power in Europe. Yet no coalition emerged to check Prussia's rise. Rather than balance against Prussian expansion, the great powers sat on the sidelines and allowed the transformation of European politics. Traditionally, scholars have emphasized structural variables, such as mulitpolarity, or domestic politics as the cause of this "underbalancing." It was Prussia's legitimation strategies, however -- the way Prussia justified its expansion -- that undermined a potential balancing coalition. As Prussia expanded, it appealed to shared rules and norms, strategically choosing rhetoric that would resonate with each of the great powers. These legitimation strategies undermined balancing coalitions through three mechanisms: by signaling constraint, laying rhetorical traps (i.e., framing territorial expansion in a way that deprived others states grounds on which to resist), and increasing ontological security (i.e., demonstrating its need to secure its identity in international politics), Prussia effectively expanded without opposition. An analysis of Prussia's expansion in 1864 demonstrates how legitimation strategies prevented the creation of a balancing coalition.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Prussia