Articles

150 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.

Visitors walk across the Yalu River Broken Bridge, right, next to the Friendship Bridge connecting China and North Korea in Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province.

(AP Photo/Emily Wang)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Conflict and Chaos on the Korean Peninsula: Can China’s Military Help Secure North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons?

    Author:
  • Oriana Skylar Mastro
| Fall 2018

China’s military could play a vital role in securing or destroying Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons if the North Korean regime collapsed.

People at Seoul Train Station watch a a local news program reporting about a North Korean missile launch. Aug. 30, 2017 (Lee Jin-man/Associated Press).

Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

Journal Article - The RUSI Journal

North Korea’s Missile Programme and Supply-Side Controls: Lessons for Countering Illicit Procurement

| Oct. 17, 2018

Despite one of the most extensive sanctions regimes in history, including an embargo on missile technologies, North Korea has taken huge steps forward in its ballistic missile programme. Daniel Salisbury explores the limitations of, and challenges of implementing, supply-side approaches to missile nonproliferation. Considering North Korea’s recent progress and efforts to evade sanctions, the article highlights the continuing need to strengthen efforts to counter illicit trade in missile-related technologies.

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Solving the Jurisdictional Conundrum: How U.S. Enforcement Agencies Target Overseas Illicit Procurement Networks Using Civil Courts

| September 2018

Over the past two decades, the United States has increasingly turned to targeted sanctions and export restrictions, such as those imposed against Iran and North Korea, in order to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction. One vexing problem, however, is how to contend with jurisdictional hurdles when the violations occur overseas, in countries that are unable or unwilling to assist US enforcement efforts. To solve this problem, US prosecutors are turning to strategies with significant extraterritorial implications—that is, exercising legal authority beyond national borders. One such tool is to use civil legal procedures to seize assets linked to sanctions or export-control violations in jurisdictions that lack cooperative arrangements with US enforcement agencies. While this may be an attractive strategy to bolster enforcement efforts against overseas illicit procurement, using such tools is not without consequence. This article explores the political, legal, and technical implications of enforcing extraterritorial controls against overseas non-state actors by exploring the recent uses of civil-asset forfeiture against Iranian and North Korean procurement networks.

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.