Articles

195 Items

In this photo taken on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, members of the Kurdish internal security forces stand on their vehicle in front of a giant poster showing portraits of fighters killed fighting against the Islamic State group, in Manbij, north Syria. Manbij, a mixed Arab and Kurdish town of nearly 400,000, was liberated from Islamic State militants in 2016 by the YPG fighters with backing from U.S-led coalition airstrikes. With Turkey's threats, the town has become the axle for U.S. policy in Syria, threate

(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Political Power of Proxies: Why Nonstate Actors Use Local Surrogates

| Spring 2020

Unlike state sponsors, which value proxies primarily for their military utility, nonstate sponsors use proxies mainly for their perceived political value. An analysis of three case studies—al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the People’s Protection Units in Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon—illustrates this argument.

Exterior of court building

(AP Photo/Mike Corder)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Deterring Wartime Atrocities: Hard Lessons from the Yugoslav Tribunal

    Author:
  • Jacqueline R. McAllister
| Winter 2019/20

International criminal tribunals are more likely to deter violence against civilians when they have prosecutorial support and when combatant groups are both centralized and supported by liberal constituencies.

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Journal Article

Lines, Flows and Transnational Crime: Toward a Revised Approach to Countering the Underworld of Globalization

| Dec. 16, 2019

In this article, we develop a new framework for combating transnational criminal activity. We argue that global illicit flows, perpetrated by organized crime, in the interstices of lawful trade and travel, embody a critical and debilitating non-state security threat in today’s world, one that the Westphalian international system of sovereign states remains ill-equipped to confront. Accordingly, we seek to generate a wider discussion in the field regarding a revised approach to this threat that is situated within a global framework of collaborative law enforcement which incorporates, in appropriate fashion, certain military and counter-terrorist strategies.

The propositions we advance in support of a revised approach to countering transnational crime and its globalized web-enabled criminals include: (a) terrorism is one species of transnational crime; (b) the criminal justice model of arrest, prosecution, conviction and incarceration is a partial and insufficient response to transnational crime; (c) national security and law enforcement functions should be viewed analytically as a “public security” continuum rather than disciplines separated by bright lines; (d) countering transnational criminal organizations effectively may require development of a hybrid law enforcement/military capacity and new strategic and tactical doctrines, including safeguards against abuse, to govern its deployment; (e) joint border management within nations and between them, coordinated with the private sector, is required and inter-agency cooperation and multilateral institutions must be strengthened in accordance with new international norms and (f) North America, a region construed as extending from Colombia to the Arctic and from Bermuda to Hawaii, could develop in the future, together with the European Union, as an initial site for a model pilot of the new approach.

U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (from left) greet South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem at Washington National Airport

DoD/Department of the Air Force

Journal Article - Small Wars Journal

Bernard Fall as an Andrew Marshall Avant la Lettre (Part II)

| Dec. 09, 2019

SWJ interview with Nathaniel L. Moir, Ph.D., an Ernest May Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Policy at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Moir is completing a book manuscript on Bernard Fall for publication.

Nigerian schoolgirls sitting in presidential palace

(AP Photo/Azeez Akunleyan)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

“We Have Captured Your Women”: Explaining Jihadist Norm Change

| Summer 2019

In Pakistan and Nigeria, jihadist entrepreneurs have capitalized on external trigger events not only to successfully challenge established religious doctrine and norms, but to adopt radically new norms, including the use of gendered violence.

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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.