Articles

141 Items

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Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

Sovereignty Rupture as a Central Concept in Quantitative Measures of Civil War

| May 27, 2019

Empirical studies of the causes or consequences of civil war often use measures that do not correspond to theory and results are sensitive to small changes in the coding of civil wars. Civil war is an instance of “sovereignty rupture” and is inherently a polity-level phenomenon, but that understanding of civil war is not reflected in data in which civil war is coded as a dyadic conflict—the state fighting a domestic challenger. We demonstrate the consequences of conceptual ambiguity about which conflicts to code as civil war and when to code the start and end of a civil war. Using a new data set of civil wars from 1945 to 2016 that is consistent with the concept of sovereignty rupture, we replicate several studies and find that their results are often overturned or weakened when we use our data. We advocate for greater deliberateness in data selection in civil war studies, focusing on the fit between the question of interest and the concept of civil war that is underlying a given data set.

A funeral ceremony in Kobani, Syria

Wikicommons

Journal Article - E-International Relations (E-IR)

Societal (In)Security in the Middle East: Radicalism as a Reaction?

| Apr. 24, 2019

Societal insecurity, stemming from historical and functional realities has emboldened the identity-based gap of states vs. societies in the Arab region. The division of the Ottoman Empire into new states without much attention to identity lines, created a historical identity challenge in those states. On the other hand, Arab ruling elites’ efforts to enforce state-centred identities failed to prevent the challenge of conflicting identities. Later on, their functional inefficiencies emboldened the identity dichotomy.

As a result of threats perceived by Arab societies against their collective identity as well as separate challenges facing each state, the state-society gap continues to challenge state identities. Collectively perceived threats create and strengthen collective frameworks intended to address those threats. And among other frameworks come radical and terrorist organisations.

Donald Trump throws a hat into the audience

AP/Andrew Harnik, File

Magazine Article - China.org.cn

China, US Not in 'Cold War', but Cooperative Rivalry

    Authors:
  • Li Huiru
  • Li Xiaohua
| Jan. 11, 2019

Despite the opposition that appears now in China-U.S. relations, cooperation is far more important, underscored prominent U.S. political scientist Dr. Joseph S. Nye during an exclusive interview with Wang Xiaohui, editor-in-chief of China.org.cn, on Jan. 10, 2019.

A narrow road along a lush mountain slope in Ethiopia

Clay Knight, via Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Wars within Wars: Why Windows of Opportunity and Vulnerability Cause Inter-rebel Fighting in Internal Conflicts

    Author:
  • Costantino Pischedda
| Summer 2018

Inter-rebel wars can be calculated moves to gain dominance or prevent deterioration, as shown through two insurgencies in Ethiopia. 

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Magazine Article - Vanity Fair

"Trial By Fire”: Will John Bolton Push Trump Toward War in Syria?

| Apr. 09, 2018

According to Nicholas Burns, a former U.S. ambassador who served Bill Clinton and in both Bush administrations, Trump’s approach in Syria has more in common with Obama’s than either would likely admit. “I think that the president’s tweet yesterday was specific enough that he has effectively drawn a red line as well. I think that the president needs to respond to this.”