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  • 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
  • Author: Khalid Homayun Nadiri
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since September 11, 2001, Pakistan has pursued seemingly incongruous courses of action in Afghanistan. It has participated in the U.S. and international intervention in Afghanistan at the same time as it has permitted much of the Afghan Taliban's political leadership and many of its military commanders to visit or reside in Pakistani urban centers. This incongruence is all the more puzzling in light of the expansion of indiscriminate and costly violence directed against Islamabad by Pakistani groups affiliated with the Afghan Taliban. Pakistan's policy is the result not only of its enduring rivalry with India but also of historically rooted domestic imbalances and antagonistic relations with successive governments in Afghanistan. Three critical features of the Pakistani political system—the militarized nature of foreign policy making, ties between military institutions and Islamist networks, and the more recent rise of grassroots violence—have contributed to Pakistan's accommodation of the Afghan Taliban. Additionally, mutual suspicion surrounding the contentious Afghanistan-Pakistan border and Islamabad's long record of interference in Afghan politics have continued to divide Kabul and Islamabad, diminishing the prospect of cooperation between the two capitals. These determinants of Pakistan's foreign policy behavior reveal the prospects of and obstacles to resolving the numerous issues of contention that characterize the Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship today.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Taliban
  • Author: Sumit Ganguly
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide, Gary Bass convincingly argues that the Nixon administration did little to rein in its ally Pakistan from perpetuating genocide against its own population largely because of Islamabad's vital role in facilitating U.S. diplomatic contact with the People's Republic of China. He also shows how the low strategic significance of South Asia for much of the global community, combined with an inordinate regard for the norm of sovereignty, led to a lack of support for the principle of humanitarian intervention. The Blood Telegram partially affirms the proposition that acts of genocide can stem from the choices of a handful of individuals who are determined to achieve a political goal using all available means.
  • Topic: Genocide
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, South Asia
  • Author: Jon R. Lindsay, Lucas Kello
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Jon R. Lindsay responds to Lucas Kello's fall 2013 International Security article, "The Meaning of the Cyber Revolution: Perils to Theory and Statecraft."
  • Topic: Security
  • Author: Bojan Vranic
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: This paper is an attempt to defend the thesis of essential contestedness against the criticism of its logical inconsistency. The author believes that such criticism results from a misconception of whether Gallie's thesis of essential contestedness can be applied to terms such as politics, law, or history. On the example of politics, the author attempts to demonstrate that this term cannot be essentially contested for at least two reasons: firstly, politics is not a concept, but a general term; secondly, it is the appraisals of the concept that are essentially contested, not the concepts themselves. The author of the paper believes that these claims will dispel the doubts about the logical consistency of the idea of essential contestability.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Author: Narek Mkrtchyan
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: The paper deals with the processes of overcoming Russian 'colonial' impediments to the creation of symbolic spaces for the emergence of a new national self - consciousness in Kazakhstan. The paper highlights the importance of Nazarbaev's decision to transfer to and construct a new capital Astana in fostering the ideas of national identity and ethnic belonging. Therefore, an attempt has been made to observe the phenomena of urbanization and reformulation of state symbols in explaining both ethnic and civic mec hanisms of influences on people's consciousness. Additionally, the works of various Kazakh intellectuals and cultural figures have been taken into consideration to examine the notion of Kazakhness and its' contribution to the development of the Kazakh nati onal identity. Content analysis of architectural design of Astana and state symbols is essential to understand the vision of Kazakhstan's imagined future.
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Jelena Cupac
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: The article examines the impact of emerging international norms on the behavior of states, thus endeavoring to fill a gap within the constructivist IR scholarship which has mostly focused on the relationship betwee n fully - fledged, inter - subjective and internalized norms and the behavior these norms encourage. The main argument it advances is that emerging norms should not be considered as legitimate. Instead, they should be understood in terms of the (morally charge d) legitimacy claims that sustain them and have the ability to prompt states to consider compliance due to a fear of international shaming, exclusion or some other losses. Empirically, the article makes an inquiry into China's approach to the “responsibili ty to protect” (R2P) principle by examining its recent voting strategies in the UN Security Council, namely its abstention on the Resolution tackling Libyan crisis and three subsequent vetoes in relation to Syrian uprising.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: China, Libya, Syria
  • Author: Oya Dursun-Ozkanca
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: Despite the fact that the public in Britain had predominantly negative attitudes towards the Easter n enlargement of the European Union (EU) in 2004, the British government endorsed this policy . Since the legitimacy of elite actions on EU affairs depends on the level of public support, it is important to study the formation of public opinion and the poli tical communication processes in the European context. Using Flash Eurobarometer survey data, this article first tests the determinants of public support for EU enlargement in Britain. It then examines the nature of the relationship between elites and publ ic opinion on the 2004 enlargement. It concludes that the public discussion about enlargement in Britain was fuelled by hysteria rather than facts, and that the British policymakers failed to both provide the worried public with clear facts on the possible effects of enlargement and take substantive policy decisions to alleviate popular concerns.
  • Topic: Government, Communications
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe