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  • Author: Matt Grossmann
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Matt Grossmann analyzes the policy consequences of increasing Republican control of U.S. state governments since the 1990s. He finds that Republican states have enacted some new conservative policies, but many other liberal policy revolutions have continued unabated. He argues that conservative policymaking is difficult because federal policy and electoral incentives incentivize continued government expansion.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Conservatism, Political Science
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: David Crow, James Ron
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: David Crow and James Ron look at how global publics view the relationship between human rights organizations and the U.S. government. They argue that ordinary people across various world regions do not perceive human rights groups as “handmaidens” of U.S. foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Human Rights, Non-Governmental Organization, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Alexander B. Downes
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The rapid-fire overthrow of the theocratic Taliban regime in Afghanistan (2001) and Saddam Hussein’s Baathist dictatorship in Iraq (2003) by the United States—and the disastrous aftermaths of those and other recent interventions (such as the ouster of Libya’s Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011)— has sparked popular and scholarly interest in the causes and consequences of foreign-imposed regime change (FIRC). One of the enduring puzzles about FIRCs is that, as highlighted in Melissa Willard-Foster’s terrific book Toppling Foreign Governments, three-quarters of them are carried out by great powers against minor powers in situations of extreme power asymmetry. “Though this asymmetry of power makes an imposed change feasible,” writes Willard-Foster, a political scientist at the University of Vermont, “it should also make that change unnecessary” because “militarily weak leaders who are bereft of allies should back down when confronted by stronger states” (pp. 2–3). The 133 regime changes in Willard-Foster’s study, however, testify that the weak regularly defy the strong—and pay the price for it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Regime Change, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America
  • Author: Ryan D. Williamson
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: In 2017, then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan broke the record for most closed rules in a single session. Ironically, this feat came only two years after vowing to lead the House in a more open and inclusive manner than his recent predecessors had. This about-face was not new or unique to Ryan, though. Indeed, he was simply the next in a string of Speakers over the previous few decades to promise greater debate, only to renege shortly thereafter. Chronicling this decline of deliberation in Congress is the focus of Donald R. Wolfensberger’s work. The former Republican staff director for the House Rules Committee offers a detailed yet accessible insight into how Congress has evolved in recent history. Beginning with a brief discussion of the history of majoritarian politics in Congress, Wolfensberger specifically looks at a litany of case studies from the last two decades. Topics cover a wide range, including health care reform, budgets and deficits, and the Iran nuclear deal, to name a few. Within each, a common theme pervades—the majority party must “rely on extraordinary consultation, pressures, and compromises within its own ranks, as well as on a creative use of the rules, to eke out a victory on contentious legislation” (p. 57).
  • Topic: Government, Book Review, Political Science
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Risa Brooks
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The U.S. military’s prevailing norms of military professionalism are poorly suited to meet today’s civil-military challenges. These norms, based on Samuel Huntington's objective civilian control model, argue that the military should operate in a sphere separate from the civilian domain of policymaking and decisions about the use of force. Yet, these norms also undermine the military’s nonpartisan and apolitical ethos, weaken civilian leaders' control of military activity, and undercut the country’s strategic effectiveness in armed conflict.
  • Topic: Government, Military Affairs, Public Policy, Norms
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Christophe Abi Nassif
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: When protests broke out across Lebanon on 17 October 2019, very few people anticipated the political, economic, and financial consequences that the country finds itself facing today. In an unprecedented buildup of events, a government resigned, a monetary crisis sharply accelerated, and uncertainty about the future of a nation spiked. And while the first few weeks have been particularly raging, a relative status quo between protesters and the government seems to have prevailed. This article makes the case for four essential changes that the Lebanese revolution may want to consider to avoid stagnation and potential decay and ultimately achieve results and a significant breakthrough in political representation.
  • Topic: Government, Social Movement, Crisis Management, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Raffaello Pantucci, Abdul Basit, Kyler Ong, Nur Aziemah Azman, V. Arianti, Muh Taufiqurrohman
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has redefined almost all spheres of modern life. While states around the world are redeploying their financial resources, energies and military capabilities to cope with the challenge of the coronavirus, terrorist groups across the ideological spectrum have positioned themselves to exploit the gaps created by these policy re-adjustments. Terrorist groups are milking people’s fears amid confusion and uncertainty to promote their extremist propagandas. The rearrangement of global imperatives will push counter-terrorism and extremism down the priority list of the international community. Anticipating these policy changes, existing counter-terrorism frameworks and alliances should be revisited to devise cost-effective and innovative strategies to ensure continuity of the fight against terrorist groups. With these considerations in mind, this special issue of the Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses (CTTA) features four articles that identify and assess important security risks around COVID-19, given its far-reaching social, economic and geopolitical impact. In the first article, Raffaello Pantucci reasons that COVID-19 will have a deep-seated and prolonged impact across government activity, both in terms of the categorisation of risks, as well as the resources available to tackle other issues. Perceptions of risk around terrorist threats may shift, with states grappling with stark economic, social and political challenges. At the same time, security threats continue to evolve, and may even worsen. According to the author, some of the tools developed to deal with the pandemic can potentially be useful in tracking terrorist threats. However, resource constraints will require states, on a global scale, to think far more dynamically about how to adequately buffer much-needed security blankets both within and beyond their borders. In the second article, Abdul Basit outlines the opportunities and potential implications that COVID-19 has created for terrorist groups across the ideological divide. According to the author, terrorist groups have exploited the virus outbreak to spread racial hatred, doomsday and end-of-times narratives. Among jihadist groups, IS has taken a more totalitarian view of the coronavirus pandemic, while Al-Qaeda (AQ) and the Taliban have used it as a PR exercise to gain political legitimacy. Far-right groups in the West have spun it to promote native nationalism, border restoration and anti-immigration policies. Terrorist groups have increased their social media propaganda to radicalise and recruit vulnerable individuals. At the same time, these groups have urged their supporters to carry out lone-wolf attacks and use the coronavirus as a bioweapon. In the post-COVID-19 world, revisiting existing counter-terrorism frameworks to devise more adaptable and cost-effective strategies would be needed to continue the fight against terrorism. In the next article, V. Arianti and Muh Taufiqurrohman observe that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a varied impact on Indonesia’s security landscape. On the one hand, it has emboldened IS-affiliated Indonesian militant groups to step up calls for attacks, with the government seen as weakened amidst a worsening domestic health crisis. On the other, ongoing indoctrination and recruitment activities of militant groups have also faced disruptions. According to the authors, counter-terrorism strategies will need to be reoriented as circumstances evolve, particularly in dealing with the arrest of militants and the subsequent processes of their prosecution and incarceration. Finally, Kyler Ong and Nur Aziemah Azman examine the calls to action by far-right extremists and the Islamic State (IS), which reveals varying degrees of organisational coherence in the respective movements. According to the authors, such variations influence these two groups’ preferred techniques, tactics and procedures adopted in seeking to exploit the health crisis. For its part, IS has a more organised hierarchical structure, even if it has increasingly granted autonomy to its affiliates to plan and execute attacks. In comparison, the absence of a central authority, or command structure in the far-right, can lead to a fragmentation of interests. These factors invariably create uncertainties in how, when and where extremists of both ilk may seek to operationalise an attack.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Health, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Chuks Ede, Nokukhanya Noqiniselo Jili
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (CESRAN)
  • Abstract: One of the bequests of the current democratic dispensation in South Africa is the choice by the citizenry to express their feelings without let or hindrance. Since 1994, the people of South Africa have recouped much power as to expressing their grievances towards their government in some of the worst viciously known manners ever recorded among black Africans within the continent-. Since recent times, South Africans have aggravated their protest revolts over what they perceive as government’s failure in the delivery of vital (basic) services, such as electricity, water and sanitation, with some other protests flanking on the provision of quality higher education at affordable cost or possibly no cost at all. With incidents of violent protests almost becoming frequent occurrences, the main aim of this article is to explore the main question that is still remaining “Do South African mega cities really stand to lose much more for not doing enough for their constituencies”? Attempts at providing answers to this question have resulted in an in-depth reviewing of literature into the antecedents of service delivery protests in South Africa. The article reveals that the cost of unaccountability by the failure of megalopolises’ authorities to render adequate municipal services to their people, outweighs by far the very cost of remedying the situational consequences accruing therefrom. Therefore, South African cosmopolitan authorities must be able to deliver based on the expectations of their masses who elect them into power; they also need to put adequate security measures in forceful place to clampdown on civilian protestors in their megalopolises.
  • Topic: Government, Social Movement, Democracy, Protests
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Hamza Al
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bilgi
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: Türkiye, 2017 yılında, 1876 yılından beri uygulamada olan Parlamenter hükümet sistemine son vererek, Başkanlık sistemine geçti. Uzun süreden beri yaşanan politik, ekonomik ve toplumsal sorunlar, Başkanlık sistemine geçişin gerekçesi olarak sunuldu. Parlamenter sistemden Başkanlık sistemine geçiş sürecinde, yeterli olmasa da, konu tartışıldı. Birçok konuda olduğu gibi bu konuda da baskın iki görüş ortaya çıktı. Başkanlık sisteminden yana olanlar, genellikle Türkiye’de yürürlükteki Parlamenter sistemin sonuçları üzerinden konuya yaklaştılar. Parlamenter sistemden yana olanlar ise Başkanlık sisteminin özellikle Latin Amerika’daki uygulamaları üzerinden konuyu ele aldılar. Artık Türkiye, Başkanlık sistemine geçtiğine göre yapılması gereken, Başkanlık sisteminin zayıf noktalarına ve yürürlükteki Cumhurbaşkanlığının eksiklerine odaklanmaktır. Böylece yürürlükteki sistem, daha güçlü hale gelebilir ve sistemden kaynaklanan sorunlar bir nebze olsun giderilebilir. Bu bağlamada çalışmada, hükümet sistemlerinin doğuşu, aralarındaki farklar, yaygınlıkları ele alındıktan sonra Başkanlık sisteminin zayıf noktaları ortaya konularak yürürlükteki Cumhurbaşkanlığı sisteminin eksiklikleri üzerinde durulmuştur. Buna göre, daha önceki Hükümet sistemi gibi, yeni Hükümet sisteminin de zayıf halkası yasama organıdır. Bu bağlamda Türkiye, yasama organını güçlendirilerek, muhtemel sorunların üstesinden gelebilir.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Presidential Elections
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Al-Chukwuma Okoli, Chigozie Joseph Nebeife, Markus Arum Izang
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Institution: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Abstract: This study examines elections and democratic deficit in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. The essence is to interrogate the seemingly ironic reversals of democratic tenets in the processes of politics and governance, even as the country democratizes. The paper contends that Nigeria’s experience with democracy has largely amounted to nominal civilianizing, in view of the fact that what is on course has not fulfilled minimal requirements of the democratic order
  • Topic: Government, Elections, Democracy, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria