Contemporary Security Policy

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 1352-3260
Publications
Article
This essay explores how the expansion of information technology may affect two defining features of democracy: how power and accountability are structured at the apex of the political system, and how government and governed interact. Offensive information warfare may carry consequences for democracy at two levels. First, by rendering ambiguous the very definition of warfare, it makes it harder to ensure democratic controls over its conduct. Second, tools of offensive information warfare may seek to influence an adversary's will and capacity to fight through 'perception management'. As this often means manipulating the adversary's perceptions with a view to distorting his view of reality, it may convey the distortions to a domestic audience, undermining the public's ability to form an autonomous judgment of government actions and to hold it accountable for these actions. Defensive information warfare poses a different threat, that of civil liberties. Government's efforts to ferret out threats to critical information infrastructures may involve a level of monitoring and surveillance that threatens Fourth Amendment protections and other norms limiting governmental intrusiveness into the lives of its citizens. The broad concerns crystallize into the following three problems: (1) the implications of information warfare for decisions to initiate war, (2) its potential to distort judgments that are at the roots of public control of its leaders, and (3) the possibility that the requisites of defensive information warfare may lead to excessive government intrusiveness into the lives of its citizens.
 
Article
This article is concerned with the linkage social-constructivist theory makes between threat and alliances. It constitutes a theoretical and empirical inquiry into the postulated origins of something known as the 'democratic alliance', that is, an ideal type security arrangement whose most concrete manifestation many constructivists say has been NATO. Although NATO's future has received a great deal of their attention, constructivists have, with some notable exceptions, been reticent about the role played by 'threat' in the formative stages of the democratic alliance; mostly they appear to take it as given that NATO's charter members must have needed a traditional threat (supplied by the Soviet Union) to have forged their alliance. In reality, there are two constructivist schools on the question of NATO's beginnings. The majority advances what might be branded the 'weak' thesis on NATO's origins, one that is nearly indistinguishable from a realist account; but a small minority, of whom Thomas Risse is the most noteworthy, dare to venture a 'strong' thesis, one whose implications make it a radical departure from realism. It is the strong thesis that serves as the point of departure for the critique I make in this article.
 
Article
Students of Middle Eastern policy and policy-makers in Europe and the United States have traditionally addressed the two Middle East subsystems â-“ the Persian Gulf and the Levant â-“ separately. This assumption was challenged by the July War from 12 July to 14 August 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah, largely seen as a proxy contest between Israel and Iran. This article examines the historical relationship between Tel Aviv and Tehran and its deterioration into proxy war. Particular attention is given to the creation of Hezbollah in 1982. The article also identifies the major changes in the emerging security environment in the Middle East following the 2006 war. The experience of the war shows that military means no longer are sufficient to end Middle East conflict. Although the war occurred largely as part of a reaction against the Middle East peace process, the experience reaffirms the overwhelming importance of a long-term solution that establishes a genuine peace between Israel and its neighbours and creates rapprochement with Iran.
 
Article
The question 'what NATO is and does' has not received a definitive answer. The answer is emphatic because the solution to the political problem posed by NATO will affect the manner in which we theorize, and the way we practise European security. The article shows the tensions within the analytical frameworks that either support or criticize NATO's existence and enlargement, and analyses the manner in which contradictory conceptions of NATO and European security coexist, clash, and transform. In conclusion, the article attempts to articulate an understanding of NATO as a vision and practice that has the potential to significantly change the manner in which we think about European security and alliance politics.
 
Article
The article analyzes the operational conduct of German forces in northern Afghanistan and the making of German strategy in the context of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) since the expansion of the Afghan insurgency to northern Afghanistan in 2007. It is argued that the German contribution to ISAF is characterized by a severe mismatch between politico-strategic planning and decision-making in Berlin on the one hand and operational conduct and requirements on the ground on the other. Since 2007, however, politico-strategic insistence that the German engagement in Afghanistan constitutes a contribution to a post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction effort is steadily eroding. Analysis of German operational conduct in northern Afghanistan makes evident the existing mismatch between strategy and operations, but also reveals that the deterioration of the security situation on the ground has lead to a bottom-up-development of counterinsurgency doctrine, capabilities, institutions, and modus of operandi. Operations have been driving the making of German strategy, not vice-versa, which has severely hampered German efforts to counter insurgents' progress in the north of Afghanistan.
 
Article
Gangs are popularly considered to be the major security threat facing the Central American region. In focusing on the origins and dynamics of gangs in the region, this article seeks to broaden conceptualizations of non-state armed groups by expanding the theoretical optic from a narrow focus on war and post-war contexts to a wider spectrum of settings, actors, and motivations. It highlights a category of actors that does not explicitly seek to overthrow the state, but rather progressively undermines or assumes certain state functions. The article also reveals how efforts to contain and regulate gangs flow from their imputed motives, with interventions influenced by whether they are conceived as a criminal or political threat. At the same time, coercive regulation tend to be favoured even when such repressive interventions exacerbate gang violence, for reasons that reveal the deeper underlying political, social, and economic challenges facing the Central American region
 
Article
This article reflects on application of the concept of strategic culture to supply analytical and policy-relevant guidance to those who ponder the future of security relations in the Asia-Pacific. Argued here is that, notwithstanding some obvious problems with the concept, there is utility in the application of strategic culture to the analysis of regional security challenges. To claim that strategic culture may not be equally applicable to all states in the Asia-Pacific region is not the same as saying it has no applicability at all, especially if the states to which it is applicable are important regional actors. This article suggests that both an old approach derivative of national character, and a new one associated with path dependence, might together prove fruitful for policy analysts and policy-makers alike, as they wrestle with what many assume to be the fundamental question of the coming half-century in the Asia-Pacific, namely whether a great power war in the region can be averted. Although there is much variation in the manner with which authors apply the master concept of strategic culture to their specific Asia-Pacific cases, each takes seriously the utility of a cultural approach to national strategic choice. So while the quest for reliable causality and predictive capability on a region-wide basis may remain that of the will-o’-the-wisp, there can be no gainsaying that, on a case-by-case basis, the authors show that the approach can demonstrate valuable insights into the policy dilemmas of cultural provenance and content confronting the Asia-Pacific.
 
Article
Reflecting the culturalist turn in security studies, this special issue shows how one of the most powerful tools of security studies illuminates the origins and implications of the region's difficult issues, from the rise of China and the American pivot, to the shifting calculations of other regional actors. Strategic culture sometimes challenges and always enriches prevailing neorealist presumptions about the region. It provides a bridge between material and ideational explanations of state behaviour and helps to capture the tension between neoclassical realist and constructivist approaches. The case studies survey the role of strategic culture in the behaviours of Australia, China, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and the United States. They show the contrast between structural expectations and cultural predispositions as realist geopolitical security threats and opportunities interact with domestic elite and popular interpretation of historical narratives and distinctive political-military cultures to influence security policies. The concluding retrospective article devotes special attention to methodological issues at the heart of strategic cultural studies, as well as how culture may impact the potential for future conflict or cooperation in the region. The result is a body of work that helps deepen our understanding of strategic cultures in comparative perspective and enrich security studies. As disputes intensify over territory and resources, as regional militaries develop and leaders adjust their strategic calculus and defence commitments, the dovetailing of culture and politics in the Asia-Pacific shows through.
 
Article
This article adopts an historical socio-cultural lens to analyse the United States' strategic cultural tendencies. It traces the roots of the mutually constitutive relationship between technology and political structures in the United States to explain the dominant tendency of the United States to substitute technology for strategy in war as a predisposition of national strategic culture. This predisposition was seen particularly in network-centric warfare and effects-based operations. I conclude that the United States risks strategic failure due to the limitations of its ethnocentric security paradigm. Over-reliance on technology obscures strategic understanding of the people and cultures of the world, including those of the Asia-Pacific region. The development of the AirSea Battle is a case in point, a direct application of technology to strategic concerns in the Asia-Pacific region. The strategic pivot towards the Asia-Pacific may be characterized as reflecting more historical continuity than change in America's strategic calculus. The emerging Asia-Pacific security dynamic is no different a challenge for American policy-makers in that regard than challenges presented elsewhere in the world. Perhaps the biggest challenge for American leaders is to overcome institutional intransigence or the lure of ideological conformity when addressing military requirements and budgetary commitments.
 
Article
This article draws on fourth generation strategic culture debates to show the gap between the rhetoric of Australian defence and the more modest reality. Our analysis shows that these limits derive from tensions between national strategic culture and organizational strategic subcultures. There are serious debates in the nation regarding the preferred course of the Australian military and security policy. This article frames these debates by examining the ‘keepers’ of Australia's national strategic culture, the existence of several competing strategic subcultures, and the importance of norm entrepreneurs in changing defence and national security thinking. Strategic subcultures foster compartmentalization, constraints, and bureaucratic silos that narrow national conceptions of security threats and opportunities, and impinge on the formation of coherent foreign and defence policy in relation to the Asia-Pacific region. This analysis shows that a distinct national strategic culture and organizational strategic subcultures endure beyond individual governments, placing potential limits on Australia's interface with other Asia-Pacific strategic cultures in the future.
 
Article
Philippine strategic culture has traditionally been characterized by its emphasis on internal security through asymmetrical warfare in confronting military challenges and a reliance on alliance in addressing the country's strategic inadequacies. Philippine strategic culture is rooted in the country's archipelagic geography and isolation from continental Asia, its colonial history, and liberal-democratic political system. It is a culture long shaped by the strategic decisions of a small group of elites – about 400 families that have dominated local politics, economy, and society since the Philippines became independent in 1946. Their preferences have been reflected in the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) seven-decade campaign against insurgent groups, lack of conventional capabilities, low defence budget, and dependence on the United States for military assistance and security guarantees. The changing dynamics of security in the Asia-Pacific region and strained Philippine–China relations due to the South China Sea dispute suggest the possibility of erosion of these strategic preferences. The doctrinal shift from internal security to territorial defence has gained momentum. Careful analysis of the Aquino administration's efforts to refocus the AFP from internal security to external defence shows greater continuity than discontinuity in Philippine strategic culture. Despite grand claims, government plans to acquire a new weapons system and to build up the navy and the air force are designed only to achieve a modest deterrence posture. Philippines policy remains consistent with deeply embedded strategic cultural orientations.
 
Article
The end of war does not necessarily signal a return to peace. The organization of a ceasefire or peace agreement, or even the implementation of processes such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) or weapons reduction, does not necessarily guarantee improvements in the safety of either civilians or former combatants. In fact, many so-called 'post-conflict' environments yield even more direct and indirect threats to civilians than the 'armed conflicts' that preceded them. The 'post-conflict' designation actually disguises a vast array of threats facing many societies emerging from war, as recent experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti and the Great Lakes of Africa so painfully illustrates. The hubris that once accompanied the signing of peace accords and the shift to 'post-conflict' reconstruction has now been replaced by a weary pessimism. However, there are grounds for cautious optimism. Where DDR and weapons reduction are adequately prepared and implemented, societies are less likely to remain dangerous places.
 
Article
This article analyses the counter-terrorist operations carried out by Captain (later Major General) Orde Wingate in Palestine in 1938, and considers whether these might inform current operations. Wingate's Special Night Squads were formed from British soldiers and Jewish police specifically to counter terrorist and sabotage attacks. Their approach escalated from interdicting terrorist gangs to pre-emptive attacks on suspected terrorist sanctuaries to reprisal attacks after terrorist atrocities. They continued the British practice of using irregular units in counter-insurgency, which was sustained into the postwar era and contributed to the evolution of British Special Forces. Wingate's methods proved effective in pacifying terrorist-infested areas and could be applied again, but only in the face of 'friction' arising from changes in cultural attitudes since the 1930s, and from the political-strategic context of post-2001 counter-insurgent and counter-terrorist operations. In some cases, however, public opinion might not preclude the use of some of Wingate's techniques.
 
Article
Japan has shown three distinct strategic cultures since its emergence as a modern state in the 19th century: isolationist and non-military, militarist, and post-World War II strategic culture characterized by great reluctance to use military power abroad, even in collective self-defence. This article examines Japan's strategic culture and the potential for a fourth distinct strategic culture through the broader framework of security identity, arguing that this is evolving but has not changed as much as one might expect due to institutionalized antimilitarism and political support for the security practices it has engendered. Contemporary Japanese strategic culture can be understood through debates over recent Japanese security policy as well as actual changes in security practice. Domestic politics and a changing international environment are likely to lead Japan to a somewhat more active military role in the near term, but an analysis based on the dynamics of Japan's dominant security identity suggests that its strategic culture will continue to show a reluctance to use or develop military power beyond very limited scenarios, despite vocal efforts by some political actors to increase military activity abroad.
 
Article
The strategic culture of the Republic of Korea (ROK or South Korea) is based on three pillars: attaining prosperity and strength as an enduring national purpose and objective; countering the existential North Korean threat; and maintaining a strong alliance with the United States. This strategic culture is grounded in history, especially in Koreans' sense of themselves as an ancient and homogeneous people, the minjok, and in a constructed martial heritage. Keepers of strategic culture include the national security establishment, the National Assembly, the media, the public, and the United States, but the most important keeper is the president, who ultimately defines South Korea's strategic interests and how they should be attained or guarded. Contemporary illustrations of South Korean strategic culture in action include defence reform measures, shifts in the American alliance, and the ‘crisis of 2013', which included a North Korean nuclear test and extreme threats of war. This article reinforces the view that while strategic culture may be a universal concept, in its operationalized and practised form, the true value of the concept is that the unique and particularistic characteristics that define each specific strategic cultural tradition are placed at the centre of analysis. South Korea's strategic culture is unique, but if there is an aspect that can be applied to other nations it is that shared historical memory and public historiography are crucial factors that inform that nation's strategic culture.
 
Article
The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) marks an important political moment when European integration has been extended to the issue of defence. Understandably, there has been extensive commentary on the ESDP, most of which has focused on the ESDP's institutional, industrial or military deficiencies. These commentaries have been illuminating but by concentrating on the manifest weaknesses of the ESDP, scholars have perhaps neglected to discuss explicitly how a coherent ESDP could develop. Drawing on recent work by Ben Tonra, this paper discusses the social conditions which are likely to be necessary if the ESDP is to develop into a robust policy. Above all else, a coherent ESDP depends upon the development of a binding sense of mutual obligation between France, Germany and Britain. These nations need to commit themselves to collective defence goals. The paper goes on to argue that for this collective commitment to be developed between these nations, the ESDP requires missions. Only through missions, in which these nations together experience a shared threat, will enduring collective interests and the political will to address them be developed. The future of the ESDP will thus be finally determined by the actions which are carried out in its name. In the end, this may mean that a European defence identity develops not through an independent ESDP but through NATO.
 
Article
This article considers the recent debates over the possible creation of a European defence identity, focusing in particular on the links, if any, such an organisation might have with the European Union and its institutions. It is divided into three sections. The first considers discussions concerning such a European defence organisation prior to the end of the Cold War. The second examines the debates which led to the signing of the EUT and examines the content of that Treaty. Finally, the article investigates debates on European defence in the framework of the current review of the Maastricht Treaty. It demonstrates that, since the early 1950s, defence has featured sporadically, if at all, on the agenda of European integration. It goes on to argue that whilst, especially in the aftermath of the EUT, some commentators expressed confidence that a corner had been turned and that Europe was on the way to providing itself with a defence identity of its own, less than month into the IGC called to review the Maastricht Treaty, it appears that European union will not succeed in providing itself with such an organisation.
 
Article
During the past decade, concerns about energy security have reached levels not witnessed in the developed democracies since the 1970s and early 1980s. In good part because of such concerns, each of the largest of these countries - Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and the United States - has conducted a major review of energy policy, initiated significant policy changes, or both. Also like the 1970s, recent years have seen a variety of proposals for international cooperation to promote energy security. That is where the similarities with the past largely end, however. In contrast to the earlier period, when the principal sources of concern in these countries were high oil prices and uncertain oil supplies, recent worries about energy security have been much more diverse. This paper describes these differences and explores their implications. It argues that the disparities in today’s energy security concerns and policy preferences in the major developed democracies are due in part to the divergent policies pursued in response to the oil shocks of the 1970s. It also argues that the present differences will make meaningful cooperation by these countries to promote energy security, which was never easy in the past, yet more difficult.
 
Logistic Regressions of Latent Variable Models
Changes in Probabilities for "Iran Will Become a Nuclear State"
Interview Allocations
Article
This article explores data relating to public support for Iran’s nuclear program, using data from 2006 collected by Fair working with a consortium of institutional partners. The authors evaluate a few general hypotheses from the literature regarding support for nuclear programs using these new data from Iran. Before presenting empirical results, they first provide some background to this poll and some of the challenges that the team encountered. This discussion illuminates both the strengths and weaknesses of the data that undergrid this study. Second, they address some of the questions about the relevance and integrity of data collected by the consortium and used in this analysis. They address forthrightly whether or not public opinion matters in a country like Iran and whether polling of Iranians is a useful exercise given the degree of coercion which is ascribed to the regime. They present the top-line results of questions germane to Iranian support for its country’s program and some reasons cited for this support as well as results from logistic regressions, which focuses on key outcome measures which allows them to identify independent variables that explain variation in selected dependent variables. They proffer several analytical lessons that can be drawn from this exercise.
 
PROPOSALS FOR A GLOBAL NATO OR A 'CONCERT OF D EMO CRACIES' 2 3
Article
The article puts the contemporary debate on NATO ‘going global’ into its historical and conceptual perspective. Pressure to expand alliance responsibilities is not new, rather it is a fundamental problem of alliance goal setting and legitimacy. The pedigree of concepts like Global NATO can be traced back to earlier attempts at liberal order-building, efforts that have oscillated between universal and exclusive varieties. Recent proposals for the globalization of NATO or the creation of a global organization of democracies may best be understood as an institutional culmination of the liberal critique of universal multilateralism. While going global, taking on ever greater roles and responsibilities, is inconceivable to many alliance members, the liberal tradition makes expansion of alliance roles increasingly hard to resist. Contrary to prevailing continental European wisdom, the article concludes that the existence of a robust reformist tier within NATO as well as major strategic trends will keep the vision of a Global NATO on the agenda of Western security policy. It argues that exploring NATO's contested global question is crucial for the development and definition of the emerging role of the alliance and collective security.
 
Article
President Obama came to office promising to make abolition of nuclear weapons a central policy goal. Conventional explanations for the arguably poor progress made here (explanations which focus on political and bureaucratic processes) fail to capture an important part of the story. This is that the president comes from a political tradition marked by exceptionalist assumptions. This tradition encompasses a distinctly American attempt to converge idealism and realism; it seeks change, but also constrains aspirations within conservative limits. His conception of exceptionalism is based on a presumption of American moral leadership integrated with a requirement for continued American strategic primacy. As a result, his view of abolition requires global acceptance of American conventional military superiority, reinforcing doubts about the vision's prospects.
 
Article
The tendency for rising powers to seek control of resource markets is being repeated in Southern Africa, where rising powers led by China are competing for strategic minerals. This could lead to market failure, shutting out Western companies. However, competition does not mean that armed conflict will occur. The global reach of the United States is such that it can take measures short of war to guarantee the flow of minerals. China will be at a strategic disadvantage for some time in relation to the United States and cannot assert control over the flow of minerals. The Southern Africa case shows that even in the era of globalization, monopolization and nationalization of resources will still be attempted, but those efforts are likely to be countered by global forces in favour of free markets. Rising powers like China may temporarily monopolize resources found on their own territory, but strong global forces will ensure that the flow of most resources continues. Monopolization is unlikely to work outside the territory of rising powers, because they still must rely on sea lanes to transport those minerals. The United States still has the ultimate trump in its navy, which can stop the flow of resources to any would-be monopolist.
 
Article
The comparative regional analysis of American foreign policy in the era of unipolarity provides a reality check to the academic debate on American primacy after 11 September. There is disagreement among scholars on whether a liberal or neoimperial logic of global order will emerge in the 21st century, but the debate between supporters and opponents of both logics has largely ignored South America and South Asia. Whether the United States has become the global hegemon cannot be debated in the abstract, or only in relation to the traditional areas of US dominance: Europe and East Asia. Using a neo-Gramscian definition of international hegemony the article argues that the United States exercises flexible and somewhat contested hegemonies in different parts of the world. Brazil's independent foreign policy and great power status pretensions have complicated American attempts to exercise hegemony in South America. In South Asia, India has established a strategic partnership with the United States, but its strong commitment to strategic autonomy and its penchant for an independent foreign policy may become incompatible with post-11 September American grand strategy. The comparative analysis of American policy toward both regions has important implications for international relations theory, showing the need to go beyond realist explanations in order to understand American foreign policy today. The conclusion examines alternative scenarios and policy options for the United States, arguing that a post-11 September new liberal grand bargain can only be established if the United States abandons the drive for global dominance and becomes a 'normal' great power in a genuinely multilateral framework, respecting the rules of the international society of states while listening to other voices in the planet.
 
Article
Over the last 15 years, human rights concerns and development issues have been increasingly integrated with security matters on the international agenda. There is a growing understanding that justice, growth in welfare, and sustainable peace are goals that are deeply entwined. This new understanding of development – as encompassing human rights and security concerns to an equal extent – is reflected in the notion of the responsibility to protect. The responsibility to protect (R2P) represents a holistic approach to the challenges of international security, and one that enables human rights violations to be conceived of as a security issue. The arms embargo and humanitarian intervention in Libya and subsequent debate over intervention in Syria brought the issues of R2P into the heart of the Arab world. The Arab world has long been immune to these debates, but the historic changes in Tunisia and Egypt and the humanitarian intervention in Libya have shifted the debate and brought about a paradigm shift.
 
Article
Saudi Arabia is one of the most proliferate military spenders in the world, and this article assesses the multiple reasons for Saudi Arabian defence spending. Possible motives include arming against external threats, buying internal loyalty, gaining national prestige, and soliciting support from important external patrons, especially the United States. The article argues that while Saudi Arabia does seek to improve its military capability through increased defence spending, and gain prestige and internal support, the most significant reason for the increased investment for arms sales is to gain political support in the United States, as Saudi military money preserves some defence sector jobs in the American defence industry, potentially replacing American employment that would otherwise drop because of expected US defence budget reductions. By contributing in a small but targeted way to the American economy, Saudi Arabia can try to leverage American support for its security and foreign policy requirements.
 
Article
It has long been assumed that progress toward arms control and disarmament is possible only after constituting legal frameworks from which such an action could be initiated. Although the legal framework regarding a particular weapon might be questioned for its effectiveness, the related practices of legalization themselves are rarely interrogated. This article problematizes practices of legalization in the field of arms control and disarmament. It builds upon innovations by critical security studies scholars to scrutinize the ICRC's engagement with the problem of conventional weapons, especially landmines. Study of practices of legalization demonstrate the embeddedness of legal discourses in the regulation and prohibition of weapons. It compels, state and non-state actors to represent their interests in legal terms and represents their efforts as attempts towards developing existing legal frameworks. This article acknowledges the experiences with practices of legalization in the preceding half-century of arms control and disarmament negotiations. A reflection on these experiences exposes the limitations and possibilities of practices of legalization and encourages alternative approaches to regulating and prohibiting weapons.
 
Article
Changes in how we think about nuclear weapons cannot strip them of their strategic value. Only a transformation of the nature of international politics or the emergence of an alternative means of strategic deterrence can do that. The structural realist analysis that I present argues that there are two basic constraints on the role that nuclear weapons play in international politics. The first constraint stems from the anarchic and competitive nature of the international system, which leads to insecurity and encourages states to acquire the most effective weapons possible as part of their quest for security. The second constraint stems from the material characteristics of nuclear weapons; these characteristics, most notably their destructive power, mean that nuclear weapons can serve as, but are also limited to the role of, a strategic deterrent. Together, these constraints mean that nuclear weapons will continue to be valued as a strategic deterrent. Any devaluing that occurs in the foreseeable future will be limited and will not extend to ‘deep devaluing’ and the elimination of nuclear weapons. Two common counter-arguments – lessons from chemical and biological disarmament, and the imperative from disarmament thought to stem from nuclear proliferation – do not challenge this conclusion. The key question we face is not how to devalue and eliminate nuclear weapons, but what sort of nuclear world maintains sufficient deterrence while minimizing the possibility of nuclear use.
 
Article
The collapse of the Soviet Union raised concerns about the fate of its nuclear weapons and led the United States to fund what came to be known as Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR). This includes programs that fight the proliferation of weapons expertise by providing short-term income and eventual re-employment of former Soviet WMD experts in civilian fields. Using case studies, based on archival research and extensive interviews, this article argues that CTR's three main 'knowledge non-proliferation' efforts have largely failed at their given task. Although programs have worked with many former Soviet WMD experts, few have been re-employed. Each program has also come to emphasize the number of people engaged rather than re-directed and to have less regard for their WMD skills. Moreover, this shift in goals, and the metrics each program uses to measure progress, led to serious political disputes between Moscow and Washington. Besides being unable to demonstrate success at their original non-proliferation goals, these programs use metrics that threaten to upset the fragile US domestic political consensus for future work in Russia.
 
Article
Strategic-cultural studies continue to proliferate, but scholars still cannot agree on fundamental matters like what a strategic culture is and what it does. This article examines the debates about strategic culture at the philosophical level – especially the debate between Alistair Iain Johnston, who prefers a positivist approach, and Colin Gray, who champions interpretivism – and finds that most conceptual models suffer from one of two general problems (and some models exhibit both). Existing models tend to be stated in a manner which is too coherent, meaning they can't account for occasional strategic-behavioural inconsistencies, and/or they suggest too much continuity and cannot thereby adequately account for changes in strategic policy over time. Instead, a model is offered which treats a singular strategic culture as containing multiple co-existing strategic subcultures. These subcultures each present a different interpretation of a state's international social/cultural context – who a state's ‘friends’ and ‘foes’ are – which in turn affects how that state interprets the material variables – geography, relative power, technological change, etc. – relevant to strategic decision-making. These different paradigms compete in public discourse for influence over strategic decision-making. This synthesis solves both the ‘too-coherent’ and the ‘too-much-continuity’ problems.
 
Article
This article examines Iranian proliferation behaviour through the lens of nuclear hedging. Defined as ‘nuclear latency with intent’, hedging is an area of proliferation behaviour that has not been fully explored. The Iranian case presents an outstanding example of the questions and types of evidence required to judge whether a nuclear programme is engaged in a hedging strategy. By examining a nuclear programme from three distinct angles – technical, narrative and diplomatic – key elements of strategic hedging can be identified. Applied to Iran, evidence supports a diagnosis of hedging. But this assessment is further complicated by Iran's domestic political context, which has engendered an approach that is as much ‘hedging by default’ as it is ‘hedging by design’. This approach allows Tehran to reconcile restraint with domestic consensus on nuclear advancement. In this regard, our analysis shows that international exposure of Iran's undeclared nuclear activities had an enormous impact on the direction of Iran's nuclear programme, placing important constraints on Iran's nuclear progress. The article argues that any solution to the Iranian nuclear challenge must be based on realistic goals. The international community should focus on containing Iranian advancements rather than rollback, with a view to restricting hedging to a low level of latency.
 
Article
Current literature on the foreign policy process focuses almost entirely on elite packaging of foreign policy prospects with little attention to why the general population accepts or rejects their choices. A more complete understanding of the democratic foreign policy process requires knowing the conditions when people will accept elite guidance. We use prospect theory – model of decision-making that suggests people are inclined to escalate risks to avoid or recover losses – in order to understand the way in which context and emotions shape perceptions and support of foreign policy options. Prospect theory helps to explain the significance of elite behaviours such as threat inflation, which are designed to link discrete foreign policy actions to conditions related to intensely emotional events in order to advance a preferred policy. To illustrate the utility of prospect theory to the foreign policy process, we turn to the Iraq War policy process, and why the Bush administration found a receptive audience to its public sale of the war. This study concludes that perceived losses in the security condition of the United States caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks provided a context used to frame the decision for war with Iraq. The public sale of the war involved efforts by senior officials to link Saddam Hussein to terrorism and 9/11, casting a particular frame that was more likely to win acceptance of risk-seeking behaviour by the public. This, combined with a collapse in elite opposition that could counter-frame the option for war, contributed to an alignment in public perceptions of terrorist threats and support for offensive war with Iraq as a prospect to escape the threat of terrorism.
 
The table provides an estimate of the number of U.S. domestic government, U.S. diplomatic, and government-aligned media tweets associated with each narrative element based on the associated search terms.
The table provides an estimate of the number of Chinese domestic government, Chinese diplomatic and state-owned media tweets associated with each narrative element based on the associated search terms.
Article
Recent research has explored how the Sino-American narrative struggle around COVID-19 might affect power shift dynamics and world order. An underlying assumption is that states craft strategic narratives in attempts to gain international support for their understandings of reality. This article evaluates such claims taking a mixed-methods approach. It analyzes American and Chinese strategic narratives about the pandemic, and their global diffusion and resonance in regional states that are important to the U.S.-led world order: Australia, India, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. While the article confirms that strategic narratives remain a highly popular policy instrument, it argues that their efficacy appears limited. Overall, the five states in question either ignored the Sino-American narrative power battle by disseminating their own strategic narratives, or they engaged in “narrative hedging.” Moreover, even China’s narrative entrepreneurship was enabled and constrained by pre-existing master narratives integral to the current U.S.-led world order.
 
Article
It is often said that “diseases know no borders,” but COVID-19 has once again shown that policy responses certainly do. Governments have implemented bordering practices in a variety of ways to ensure that their own citizens are protected, even when in direct contravention to the International Health Regulations (IHR) of 2005. The IHR and the World Health Organization (WHO) have a strong preference for borders to remain open. Yet, we argue here, non-compliance by WHO member states is not the only problem with the IHR’s treatment of borders. Bringing insights from critical border studies and exploring the varied ways in which the response to the COVID-19 crisis has been “bordered,” we argue that a much broader understanding of “borders” is required in the IHR and by the WHO, given that much of the exclusionary bordering we find takes place away from physical points of entry.
 
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic quickly led to the closure of universities and colleges around the world, in hopes that public health officials’ advice of social distancing could help to flatten the infection curve and reduce total fatalities from the disease. Drawing on Copenhagen school securitization theory and analyzing 25 declarations of emergency eLearning at American universities, I argue that in addition to COVID-19 being framed as a general threat, face-to-face schooling was also presented as a threat through these policies. A review of securitization theory—with particular attention to the question of advocacy and the relationship of desecuritization to emancipation—grounds the investigation theoretically. I argue that securitization theory is an important tool for educators not only for observing (and understanding) the phenomenon of emergency eLearning, but also for advocating the desecuritization of schooling after the COVID-19 crisis passes.
 
Article
This research on suicide terrorism and arms control focuses on use of the human body as a weapon and the intersection of the body with technology. Through the case of the French terrorist group Action directe (Direct Action) the article analyzes the impact of suicide terrorism on conventional terrorists, the possibility that conventional terrorists become more violent when another group with similar or identical goals turns to suicide terrorism, and asks whether conventional terrorists turn to suicide terrorism once an example is set by another group. The article concludes that contemporary suicide fosters a perception of strength and of the vulnerability of conventional forces. In this light, suicide terrorism and the role that the body plays with an exploding prosthetic, are a major new challenge to how arms control is analyzed and discussed.
 
Issues addressed in relation to Russia over time.
Ideology and attitudes toward Russia.
Article
The connection between Russia and European political parties has been in the scholarly and popular spotlight recently. While scholars focus on the connection between the far right (and populist) parties and Russia, they have all but ignored the rapidly increasing literature on the role of political parties in foreign policy. This article provides an attempt to bridge these literatures. After analyzing a corpus of party manifestos, the results suggest that there is temporal variation in how European parties have seen Russia since the end of the Cold War. European parties tended to be mostly positive in their views of Russia prior to 2015. Geography and ideology were much less important as a factor in explaining party positions. While some ideological groups share attitudes across different borders, the overall influence of ideology on attitudes toward Russia is minimal.
 
Article
Strategic uncertainty remains a significant challenge for defence planners and national leaders responsible for developing and acquiring future military capabilities. Concerns in the United States over missile proliferation during the 1990s were embodied in the 1999 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which predicted the emergence of a long-range ballistic missile threat by 2015. Comparing the NIEs predictions with the actual evolution of the threat reveals not only an overly pessimistic evaluation but also politicization of the intelligence assessment. At the time of its release, the report added to a growing sense of vulnerability and further encouraged policy-makers to make suboptimal missile defence acquisition decisions. In particular, the worst-case scenario thinking exemplified by the 1999 NIE contributed to an unnecessarily rushed testing programme, the premature deployment of homeland missile defence and an oversized system in Europe. Although missile defence may have strategic value, the rush to deploy has resulted in a costly and less effective military capability due to unfounded fears of strategic surprise and entrenched notions of the ballistic missile threat. Strategic uncertainty will always be a challenge, but focusing solely on developing capabilities with less regard to the actual threat environment is a recipe for costly and ineffective weapons systems.
 
Typology of entrapment risks. 
Article
Recent tensions between Russia and the United States have sparked debate over the value of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). One controversy surrounds the extent to which NATO raises the risk of war through entrapment—a concept that scholars invoke to describe how states might drag their allies into undesirable military conflicts. Yet scholars have advanced different, even conflicting arguments about how entrapment risks arise. I offer a typology that distinguishes between the mechanisms through which entrapment risks allegedly emerge on the basis of their institutional, systemic, reputational, and transnational ideological sources. I use the 2008 Russo-Georgian War to illustrate how the purported mechanisms of entrapment fare in elucidating that conflict. In analyzing why entrapment risks emerge, and thinking counterfactually about the 2008 War, I argue that scholars need to disentangle the various mechanisms that drive both alliance formation and war to make sure that entrapment risks do indeed exist.
 
Top-cited authors
Trine Flockhart
  • University of Kent
Rosanne Anholt
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Robert Muggah
  • Igarapé Institute
Keith Krause
  • Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Wolfgang Wagner
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam