Articles

26 Items

Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

International Peacekeeping and Positive Peace: Evidence from Kosovo

| November 2017

To what extent can international peacekeeping promote micro-foundations for positive peace after violence? Drawing on macro-level peacekeeping theory, the authors' approach uses novel experimental methods to illustrate how monitoring and enforcement by a neutral third party could conceivably enhance prosocial behavior between rival groups in a tense, postconflict peacekeeping environment.

Journal Article - World Affairs

Was Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament a Blunder?

| September 2016

"Ukraine's denuclearization had been a controversial issue even as it was negotiated, leaving bitter traces in the country's political and public discourse. As a student of political science in Kyiv in the mid-1990s, I remember being outraged by the sense of injustice: how could the states that rely on their own nuclear deterrents demand the nuclear disarmament of others? More so that one of these states, Russia, has never fully come to terms with Ukraine's independence. Since then, I came to research a doctoral dissertation on the denuclearization of post-Soviet successor states and, in the process, learned a great deal about Ukraine's nuclear disarmament that dispelled many of my preconceptions."

2010 Nabucco and South Stream

Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Problems of Post-Communism

Revisiting the Nabucco Debacle: Myths and Realities

| August 11, 2016

This paper provides an overview of the debate surrounding the Nabucco pipeline’s cancellation. Conventional wisdom holds that Nabucco failed for political reasons, but the real cause of its failure was the emergence of two more economically viable pipeline plans.

President Gerald Ford meets in the Oval Office with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller to discuss the American evacuation of Saigon, Oval Office, White House, Washington D.C., April 28, 1975.

White House

Magazine Article - Foreign Affairs

The Case for Offshore Balancing: A Superior U.S. Grand Strategy

| July/August 2016

"For nearly a century, in short, offshore balancing prevented the emergence of dangerous regional hegemons and pre­served a global balance of power that enhanced American security. Tellingly, when U.S. policymakers deviated from that strategy—as they did in Vietnam, where the United States had no vital interests—the result was a costly failure."

U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mohammad Reza Shah in Tehran, Iran, 1959.

Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective

Viewpoint Iran: The Past and Present of the U.S.-Iran Standoff

| October 2013

"While Americans understand relations with Iran in terms of its nuclear program and incendiary anti-Israel homilies, Iranians see the relationship as part of a long and troubling history of foreign intervention and exploitation that reaches back into the nineteenth century. Iranian leaders argue that if interactions between Iran and the United States are to improve, this history will have to be addressed and rectified."

Magazine Article - The European

'Iran is the Main Beneficiary of the Iraq War'

| March 20, 2013

"Iran has always been a major power in that region. Under Saddam however, Iran and Iraq were bitter enemies who fought a long war and were strongly opposed to one another. There was almost a rough balance of power between the two countries. By reducing Iraq's power and by allowing the Shia to become the dominant political force in Iraq, the US removed the main country balancing Iran, and helped bring to power a government that has at least some sympathies and links to Iran. So, Iran is by far the main strategic beneficiary of the Iraq War, which made it even more difficult for the US and its allies to deal with the country."

(R-L) Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov, General Secretary of the Communist Party Josef Stalin, & German Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop signing the German-Soviet non-aggression pact in Moscow, Aug 23, 1939.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Preventing Enemy Coalitions: How Wedge Strategies Shape Power Politics

| Spring 2011

States use wedge strategies to prevent hostile alliances from forming or to dis­perse those that have formed. These strategies can cause power alignments that are otherwise unlikely to occur, and thus have significant consequences for international politics. How do such strategies work and what conditions promote their success? The wedge strategies that are likely to have significant effects use selective accommodation—concessions, compensations, and other inducements—to detach and neutralize potential adversaries. These kinds of strategies play important roles in the statecraft of both defensive and offensive powers. Defenders use selective accommodation to balance against a primary threat by neutralizing lesser ones that might ally with it. Expansionists use se­lective accommodation to prevent or break up blocking coalitions, isolating opposing states by inducing potential balancers to buck-pass, bandwagon, or hide. Two cases—Great Britain’s defensive attempts to accommodate Italy in the late 1930s and Germany’s offensive efforts to accommodate the Soviet Union in 1939—help to demonstrate these arguments. By paying attention to these dynamics, international relations scholars can better understand how balancing works in specific cases, how it manifests more broadly in interna­tional politics, and why it sometimes fails in situations where it ought to work well.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Curve and the Structure of International Politics: A Neorealist Synthesis

    Author:
  • Davide Fiammenghi
| Spring 2011

Realist scholars have long debated the question of how much power states need to feel secure. Offensive realists claim that states should constantly seek to increase their power. Defensive realists argue that accumulating too much power can be self-defeating. Proponents of hegemonic stability theory contend that the accumulation of capabilities in one state can exert a stabilizing effect on the system. The three schools describe different points along the power con­tinuum. When a state is weak, accumulating power increases its security. This is approximately the situation described by offensive realists. A state that con­tinues to accumulate capabilities will eventually triggers a balancing reaction that puts its security at risk. This scenario accords with defensive realist as­sumptions. Finally, when the state becomes too powerful to balance, its oppo­nents bandwagon with it, and the state’s security begins to increase again. This is the situation described by hegemonic stability theory. These three stages delineate a modified parabolic relationship between power and secu­rity. As a state moves along the power continuum, its security increases up to a point, then decreases, and finally increases again. This modified parabolic re­lationship allows scholars to synthesize previous realist theories into a single framework.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Graceful Decline? The Surprising Success of Great Power Retrenchment

| Spring 2011

There is broad scholarly consensus that the relative power of the United States is declining and that this decline will have negative consequences for interna­tional politics. This pessimism is justified by the belief that great powers have few options to deal with acute relative decline. Retrenchment is seen as a haz­ardous policy that demoralizes allies and encourages external predation. Faced with shrinking means, great powers are thought to have few options to stave off decline short of preventive war. Contrary to the conventional wis­dom, however, retrenchment is not a relatively rare and ineffective policy in­strument. A comparison of eighteen cases of acute relative decline since 1870 demonstrates that great powers frequently engage in retrenchment and that re­trenchment is often effective. In addition, we find that prevailing explanations overstate the importance of democracies, bureaucracies, and interest groups in inhibiting retrenchment. In fact, the rate of decline can account for both the ex­tent and form of retrenchment, even over short periods. These arguments have important implications for power transition theories and the rise of China.