Mapping the International

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Published On 2022

This article introduces CShapes 2.0, a GIS dataset that maps the borders of states and dependent territories from 1886 through 2019. Our dataset builds on the previous CShapes dataset and improves it in two ways. First, it extends temporal coverage from 1946 back to the year 1886, which followed the Berlin Conference on the partition of Africa. Second, the new dataset is no longer limited to independent states, but also maps the borders of colonies and other dependencies, thereby providing near complete global coverage of political units throughout recent history. This article explains the coding procedure, provides a preview of the dataset and presents three illustrative applications.

Journal

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Published On

2022

Volume

66

Issue

1

Page

144-161

Authors

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Position

Professor Department of Government & Peace Research Institute Oslo

H-Index(all)

60

H-Index(since 2020)

48

I-10 Index(all)

0

I-10 Index(since 2020)

0

Citation(all)

0

Citation(since 2020)

0

Cited By

0

Research Interests

Conflict

international relations

democratization

statistical methods

political science

University Profile Page

Other Articles from authors

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Governance

Judiciary institutions and violent crime in American Indian nations

In many American Indian nations the security situation is dire. While scholars have studied how institutions shape economic development in American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) nations, the role of AIAN institutions for security and violent crime has received much less attention—despite the extensive literature highlighting the important role of effective and legitimate institutions in the long‐term decline of violence. We analyze how varying types of American Indian polities and judiciary institutions fare in tackling violent crime using data across 146 American Indian polities. Our findings indicate that more autonomous American Indian criminal justice institutions with specialized court systems are associated with lower violent crime. However, customary justice institutions do not appear to be effective in reducing violent crime, highlighting the problem of cultural mismatch between traditional and formal justice …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

European Journal of International Relations

Clouds with silver linings: how mobilization shapes the impact of coups on democratization

There is a long-standing debate over the impact of coups on democratization. Some argue that coups can help promote transitions to democratic rule. Yet, others contend that coups often spur increased repression and autocratization, undermining hopes of democratic reform. We argue that both democratic and autocratic changes are more likely after a coup and that popular mobilization plays a crucial role in shaping the post-coup trajectory. Democratization is more likely when coups occur in the presence of significant popular mobilization. A coup reveals cracks within a regime, and the combination of pressure from within and threat from below during popular mobilizations fosters greater incentives to promise democratic reform. In the absence of popular mobilization, autocratic rule is more likely, especially when a coup is successful. We test our argument on the combined effect of popular mobilization and coups …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

PLoS one

Local deprivation predicts right-wing hate crime in England

We argue that community deprivation can increase the risk of right-wing radicalization and violent attacks and that measures of local deprivation can help improve forecasting local hate crime rates. A large body of research stresses how experiences of deprivation can erode the perceived legitimacy of political leaders and institutions, increase alienation, and encourage right-wing radicalization and hate crime. Existing analyses have found limited support for a close relationship between deprivation and radicalization among individuals. We provide an alternative approach using highly disaggregated data for England and show that information on local deprivation can improve predictions of the location of right-wing hate crime attacks. Beyond the ability to predict where right-wing hate crime is likely, our results suggest that efforts to decrease deprivation can have important consequences for political violence, and that targeting structural facilitators to prevent far-right violence ex ante can be an alternative or complement to ex post measures.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Peace Research

Going, going, gone? Varieties of dissent and leader exit

We examine how popular dissent affects the likelihood that political leaders lose power, distinguishing between types of dissent in terms of nonviolent/violent primary tactics as well as the level of individual participation. We posit that protests threaten leaders both directly through the governance costs of citizen non-compliance, and indirectly through the increased risk of elite defections in the ruling coalition. In a series of propositions we detail how the type of dissent and the magnitude of participation influence the odds of leaders surviving in office. We argue that mass nonviolent challenges tend to be more threatening to a leader’s rule than violent dissent, given the characteristics of movements likely to choose nonviolent tactics. Moreover, the effectiveness of the challenge increases in the scale and size of the dissident campaign, and movements that can mobilize larger numbers have a comparative advantage in …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

International Studies Review

Challenges to Scholarship and Policy During Crises

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic influence on mortality and public health and generated much speculation on potential impacts on international politics. Fast-moving crises such as the COVID pandemic and 2008 financial crises entail many challenges for scholarship; events evolve rapidly, our prior knowledge base is limited, it is unclear whether existing theories or analogies apply, and new research findings emerge quickly but also erratically. Researchers face demands to engage with policy and general audiences when normal standards of scholarship may be difficult to apply. Crises can also have a dramatic impact on how we conduct research and interact with other scholars. The forum introduction outlines how crises pose challenges for scholarship and policy and the value of approaching crises such as COVID-19 in comparative perspective. Milner highlights the important differences …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy

This Research has Important Policy Implications…

The COVID 19 pandemic has generated much interest in the relationship between research and policy. It has drawn new attention to the limitations of a linear model, where policy is based on first observing prior scientific research and then designed in response to this. Conflict researchers often motivate the importance of their work by claiming that their “research has important policy implications”, but the proposals offered are often at best incomplete. I identify a number of common limitations in claims about policy implications, including a lack of discussion of objectives and priorities, stating objectives themselves as if they were policies, claims about targeting factors without discussing the effectiveness of possible interventions, and a failure to consider uncertainty and potential tensions with other objectives or unintended effects. Research can potentially inform policy discussions and improve decisions, but the …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Political Research Quarterly

A double-edge sword? Mass media and nonviolent dissent in autocracies

It is often assumed that nondemocratic regimes will control mass media and suppress independent information, but in many autocracies the media are partially free and imperfectly controlled. We argue that partial media freedom can increase the prospects for mass nonviolent dissent. We develop a theory emphasizing how even less than perfectly free media outlets can increase the ability of individuals to coordinate and mobilize, and provide an informational endowment that can help non-state actors overcome collective mobilization barriers. We further argue that this informational endowment amplifies the effect of other influences spurring mass protests in autocracies, in particular protest contagion and elections. We find empirical support for our argument in an analysis of all autocracies between 1955 and 2013. A case study of the Georgian Rose revolution provides further support for the postulated mechanisms.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Political Geography

Michael D. Ward (1948–2021) and the road to space, networks and geography

We were very sad to learn of the passing of our mentor, friend, and collaborator Michael D. Ward on 9 July 2021. Mike made important contributions to political geography, and he served on the editorial board of Political Geography from 2002 to 2013 as well as the advisory board for the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Sciences at the University of California Santa Barbara. Above all, he played a key role in disseminating insights on the role of geography and spatial concepts and methods to his home discipline, political science.In this intervention, we have gathered scholars who worked with Mike at different times in his career to reflect on themes in his research and the enduring relevance of his contributions. Our introduction gives a brief account of how Mike’s interest in geography and space evolved.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

International Studies Quarterly

One without the other? Prediction and policy in international studies

Like many others, I have spent much time since March 2020 reviewing and reflecting on research on COVID-19 and the policy responses to the pandemic. This has in turn inspired me to reflect on research and policy in my own field. The crisis over Russian demands on Ukraine in early 2022 and the subsequent Russian invasion of Ukraine is at the time ofCentre for Advanced Studies, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo, on May 11–12. I would like to dedicate this article to my late supervisor, close collaborator, and personal friend Michael D. Ward. We had many useful discussions on forecasting, and his work on conflict prediction has had a major influence on the field. I hope he would have enjoyed this presidential address.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

International Studies Quarterly

Ties that bias in international conflict: A spatial approach to dyadic dependence from alliance ties and inbetweenness

Much of international behavior is linked spatially and temporally. Yet, analyses of interstate interactions generally either assume independence among units or resort to technical solutions to dependence that “throw away” relevant information. We detail a more informative and satisfying approach to modeling spatial dependence from extra-dyadic linkages in alliance ties and geographical proximity as specific pathways of conflict contagion. Beyond deterrence, the purpose of alliances is to draw other parties into dyadic contests, but most existing research on conflict onset generally only considers alliance ties within an individual dyad or external intervention in the same dispute. We develop new measures on third- and fourth-party alliance ties, demonstrating direct and indirect spatial effects of alliances on conflict onset. Similarly, ongoing contests can spread geographically, but dyads in some locations are …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

The Journal of Development Studies

Can education reduce violent crime? Evidence from Mexico before and after the drug war onset

Existing theories relate higher education to lower crime rates, yet we have limited evidence on the crime-reducing effect of education in developing countries. We contribute to this literature by examining the effect of education on homicide in Mexico, where homicide rates decreased by nearly 55 percent from 1992 to 2007, before the surge of drug-related violence. We argue that a large amount of this reduction followed a compulsory schooling law at the secondary level in 1993, when the government undertook key education reforms to promote development and economic integration. We employ different empirical strategies that combine regression analysis, placebo tests, and an instrumental variable approach, and find that attendance in secondary and tertiary schools has a negative effect on homicide rates before the onset of the Drug War, although the evidence for secondary enrolment is more robust. This effect …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Mapping the International

This article introduces CShapes 2.0, a GIS dataset that maps the borders of states and dependent territories from 1886 through 2019. Our dataset builds on the previous CShapes dataset and improves it in two ways. First, it extends temporal coverage from 1946 back to the year 1886, which followed the Berlin Conference on the partition of Africa. Second, the new dataset is no longer limited to independent states, but also maps the borders of colonies and other dependencies, thereby providing near complete global coverage of political units throughout recent history. This article explains the coding procedure, provides a preview of the dataset and presents three illustrative applications.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Mapping the international system, 1886-2019: the CShapes 2.0 dataset

This article introduces CShapes 2.0, a GIS dataset that maps the borders of states and dependent territories from 1886 through 2019. Our dataset builds on the previous CShapes dataset and improves it in two ways. First, it extends temporal coverage from 1946 back to the year 1886, which followed the Berlin Conference on the partition of Africa. Second, the new dataset is no longer limited to independent states, but also maps the borders of colonies and other dependencies, thereby providing near complete global coverage of political units throughout recent history. This article explains the coding procedure, provides a preview of the dataset and presents three illustrative applications.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

In Memoriam: Michael D. Ward (1948–2021)

We were deeply saddened by the passing of our mentor, friend, and colleague Michael D. Ward on 9 July 2021. Mike served on the editorial board of Defence and Peace Economics from the start of 1990 until 2015, and made important contributions to the study of military expenditures, the economics of peace and militarized conflict, as well as modeling and statistical methods in the social sciences. We extend our deep sympathies to Mike’s family Sandra and Chris. Born in Japan to a military family, Mike had a long academic career, at many institutions and multiple countries. He received a PhD in Political Science from Northwestern University in 1977, with a doctoral dissertation on the political economy of inequality, which was later published as The

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Conflict Resolution

From claims to violence: Signaling, outbidding, and escalation in ethnic conflict

Do radical political demands increase the risk of ethnic civil conflict? And why do ethnic movements make radical demands in the first place? We contend that when movements are fragmented, individual organizations use far-reaching claims relative to the status quo to attract attention from the government, boost intra-organizational discipline, and outbid rivals. Yet, such radical claims also increase the risk of conflict escalation. We test our arguments at both the ethnic group and organizational levels, using a new dataset on ethno-political organizations and their political demands. Our results show that the scope of demands increases the more organizations exist within an ethnic movement and that radical demands increase the risk of civil conflict onset. This effect is specific to the dyadic government-movement interaction, irrespective of other ethnic groups in the country. Moreover, at the organizational level …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

The Economics of Peace and Security Journal

Accounting for numbers: Group characteristics and the choice of violent and nonviolent tactics

Scholars have shown that nonviolent movements tend to be more successful than violent movements. A key explanation is that nonviolent movements have a mobilization advantage over violent campaigns. As nonviolent movements have lower barriers to active participation, they can expand quickly by mobilizing much larger numbers than violent movements. We argue that such a mobilization advantage is not universal, and that different movements are likely to have a comparative advantage in one tactic over another. We develop a simple model emphasizing how the ex ante potential for mobilization and prospects for success steer the choice of dissident tactics. Nonviolent tactics can be relatively more effective when a movement can mobilize more active participants than with violence, but movements with limited mobilization potential can have feasible prospects for violent dissent and a nonviolent mobilization disadvantage. We examine the implications of the model against empirical data for different types of dissident tactics and on resort to nonviolent and nonviolent dissent. We demonstrate very different actor profiles in nonviolent dissent and violent conflict, and show how each of the two types of dissent are more likely under very different settings. To compare success by types of dissent we must account for how differences in potential numbers or mobilization shape tactical choices.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Terrorism and Political Violence

Better the devil you know? How fringe terrorism can induce an advantage for moderate nonviolent campaigns

Fringe terrorism is common during nonviolent campaigns. We examine how this can modify the strategic environment between dissident groups and the state in ways that present both challenges and opportunities to moderate factions. Terrorism is intended to promote violent escalation in a conflict, but we argue that fringe terrorist activities in a nonviolent campaign under certain conditions can induce an advantage for well-organized moderate factions. The risk of escalation following terrorism can give the government more incentives to offer concessions to moderate campaign leaders if the movement can credibly prevent armed escalation. The ability to control and prevent violence is more likely when nonviolent movements have a hierarchical structure and a centralized leadership, as such campaigns are better able to prevent shifts by supporters towards violent fringes. Using new data on terrorist attacks by …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Mobilization

Ticked off, but scared off? Riots and the fate of nonviolent campaigns

Research on the relationship between nonviolent and violent dissent has focused on explicit shifts in organized strategies, disregarding less-organized forms of violence such as riots. Even though disorganized violence is common, we know little about how it influences the onset and fate of antigovernment nonviolent campaigns. Activists frequently argue that nonviolent discipline is essential and disorganized violence is counterproductive for effective large-scale mobilization. However, others emphasize how disorganized violence could have a mobilizing effect on large-scale protest and revitalize a nonviolent campaign. We detail these competing perspectives on how riots can influence the onset and outcomes of nonviolent campaigns. We then evaluate these contending claims empirically by examining how riots affect the initial emergence of nonviolent campaigns and the likelihood that campaigns will terminate …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

International Journal of Qualitative Methods

Preregistering qualitative research: A Delphi study

Preregistrations—records made a priori about study designs and analysis plans and placed in open repositories—are thought to strengthen the credibility and transparency of research. Different authors have put forth arguments in favor of introducing this practice in qualitative research and made suggestions for what to include in a qualitative preregistration form. The goal of this study was to gauge and understand what parts of preregistration templates qualitative researchers would find helpful and informative. We used an online Delphi study design consisting of two rounds with feedback reports in between. In total, 48 researchers participated (response rate: 16%). In round 1, panelists considered 14 proposed items relevant to include in the preregistration form, but two items had relevance scores just below our predefined criterion (68%) with mixed argument and were put forth again. We combined items where …

Other articles from Journal of Conflict Resolution journal

Marius Mehrl

Marius Mehrl

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Secret Police Organizations and State Repression

Secret police are generally viewed as key institutions in autocrats’ repression apparatus. However, we lack clear empirical evidence on the link between secret police and repression. Instead, recent studies indicate that the surveillance provided by secret police reduces physical human rights abuses. This paper re-examines the relationship between secret police and physical state repression. We identify four mechanisms linking these variables, deterrence, targeting, organizational practices, and institutional self-preservation. These mechanisms provide contrasting expectations for the overall relationship but also contextual expectations on when secret police may (not) increase repression. To test these expectations, we collect data on the global existence of secret police. Results indicate that secret police are associated with increased physical repression, particularly when they must develop a reputation to deter …

Peter Schram

Peter Schram

Vanderbilt University

Journal of Conflict Resolution

The shadow of deterrence: Why capable actors engage in contests short of war

Defense policy makers have become increasingly concerned about conflict in the “gray zone” between peace and war. Such conflicts are often interpreted as cases of deterrence failures, as new technologies or tactics—from cyber operations to “little green men”—seem to increase the effectiveness of low-intensity aggression. However, gray zone conflict could also be a case of deterrence success, where challengers adopt a constrained form of aggression in response to a credible escalation threat. We develop a model that formalizes both scenarios and identifies distinct empirical patterns across the two cases. We use the model’s findings to empirically analyze Russian gray zone activity since the 1990s, finding that Russian activity appears, in part, to be restrained by NATO’s deterrent threat. Our model also shows that developing gray zone conflict capabilities can lead to more peace but could also backfire and …

Dominic Tierney

Dominic Tierney

Swarthmore College

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Us and Them: Foreign Threat and Domestic Polarization

Can foreign threats reduce domestic polarization, and if so, under what conditions? This is an important question for the United States given the severity of internal division and the emergence of China as a potentially unifying external peril. We offer a novel theoretical argument about when external danger will rally Americans based on the nexus between the vividness of foreign danger and bipartisan elite agreement about the threat. We test our theory through a series of pre-registered survey experiments. We find that vivid foreign threats, in isolation, do not reduce domestic polarization and therefore the danger from China alone may not be sufficient to spur domestic unity. However, vivid foreign threats in combination with policymaker agreement about the threat does significantly reduce domestic polarization. This reduction in polarization comes at a cost: increased public willingness to violate use of force norms …

Kelly Morrison

Kelly Morrison

University of Pittsburgh

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Named and Shamed: International Advocacy and Public Support for Repressive Leaders

Do international naming and shaming campaigns reduce public support for repressive leaders? International advocacy can provide domestic audiences with new information about human rights abuses and shift perspectives about repression. When effective, these tactics reduce repression by marring a leader’s reputation with the public. Recent research has begun to analyze this causal pathway but has yet to consider the impact of international advocacy on support for repressive leaders across different groups. I argue that the impact of advocacy on individual support for repressive leaders varies with individuals’ relationship to repression victims, identification with repressive leaders, and trust in campaign sources. Using a representative survey experiment in the United States, I find that naming and shaming increases opposition to repressive leaders among those who view victims as non-threatening and those …

Rochelle Terman

Rochelle Terman

University of Chicago

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Transatlantic shakedown: Presidential shaming and NATO burden sharing

Does “shaming” work in NATO? More precisely, does publicly using negative language criticizing allies’ defense spending improve burden-sharing, or is it counterproductive, leading to lower spending? We evaluate the effectiveness of public shaming language; specifically, whether it increases allies’ defense spending or whether other considerations like external threat, domestic budgets, economic growth, or unemployment rates are better predictors of contributions. Using an original dataset of presidential statements and NATO defense spending data disaggregated across the four categories tracked by the alliance, we conclude that negative language toward allies’ spending is at best ineffective and may even adversely affect burden-sharing in the long run. These findings have important implications for the political economy of alliances and both theories and policies on the use of rhetorical pressure to elicit …

Jordan Becker

Jordan Becker

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Transatlantic shakedown: Presidential shaming and NATO burden sharing

Does “shaming” work in NATO? More precisely, does publicly using negative language criticizing allies’ defense spending improve burden-sharing, or is it counterproductive, leading to lower spending? We evaluate the effectiveness of public shaming language; specifically, whether it increases allies’ defense spending or whether other considerations like external threat, domestic budgets, economic growth, or unemployment rates are better predictors of contributions. Using an original dataset of presidential statements and NATO defense spending data disaggregated across the four categories tracked by the alliance, we conclude that negative language toward allies’ spending is at best ineffective and may even adversely affect burden-sharing in the long run. These findings have important implications for the political economy of alliances and both theories and policies on the use of rhetorical pressure to elicit …

Luca Panaccione

Luca Panaccione

Sapienza Università di Roma

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Exploiting Ultimatum Power When Responders Are Better Informed− Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Conflict Resolution

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francesca alice marazzi

francesca alice marazzi

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Exploiting Ultimatum Power When Responders Are Better Informed− Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Conflict Resolution

In dyadic ultimatum bargaining proposers, who are privately informed about the pie size, can exploit their “moral wiggle room” by engaging in unfairness which is unobservable by responders. Our setup instead assumes better informed responders and, as a consequence, limits ultimatum power and questions conflict resolution via acceptance of ultimatum proposals. In addition to testing the game theoretic solution, based on common opportunism, we assess whether two different market framings boost benchmark behavior. Our results confirm nearly universal responder opportunism. Although the benchmark proposer demand is modal, proposer choices display substantial variation, even in later rounds and even in the range in which lower demands would let both parties expect to earn more. Nevertheless, such inefficiently large demands become less frequent across rounds. Our results also show that market …

Paul Poast

Paul Poast

University of Chicago

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Transatlantic shakedown: Presidential shaming and NATO burden sharing

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Scott Williamson

Scott Williamson

New York University

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Do Proxies Provide Plausible Deniability? Evidence From Experiments on Three Surveys

A purported advantage of secrecy in international politics is its ability to reduce pressures for conflict escalation by obscuring responsibility for hostile actions. Delegating these actions to proxies is one strategy states use to retain plausible deniability and limit escalation risks. Yet, proxies often have strong ties to sponsoring states, raising questions about their ability to influence blame and demands for retaliation. This paper tests these effects by analyzing American responses to hypothetical attacks by Chinese, Russian, and Iranian actors through experiments administered on three surveys. The results show that using proxies for these attacks modestly reduced how much Americans blamed the respective foreign governments, while also limiting demands that their senior leadership be sanctioned. However, the use of proxies did not affect Americans’ attitudes toward more forceful responses by the US government …

Khusrav Gaibulloev

Khusrav Gaibulloev

American University of Sharjah

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Do Failed or Weak States Favor Resident Terrorist Groups’ Survival?

Employing two alternative measures of state failure, we investigate how state weakness influences resident terrorist groups’ survival. Theoretically, state failure favors resident terrorist groups’ survival, while state territorial control fosters resident groups’ termination until some control threshold. Empirically, we uncover a robust negative relationship between a country’s weakness and its control of terrorism through the lens of the resident terrorist groups’ survival prospects. The discovered relationship withstands a host of robustness tests – e.g., alternative estimates and samples. We apply an instrument designed to address endogeneity concerns. In particular, our novel instrument for failed states consists of the interaction between natural disasters and ethnic fractionalization. As a state’s percentage of territorial control increases, resident terrorist groups are more prone to ending until some threshold control percent …

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Juta Kawalerowicz

Stockholms universitet

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Gentrification and Social Unrest: The Blitz, Urban Change and the 2011 London Riots

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James Piazza

James Piazza

Penn State University

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Do Failed or Weak States Favor Resident Terrorist Groups’ Survival?

Employing two alternative measures of state failure, we investigate how state weakness influences resident terrorist groups’ survival. Theoretically, state failure favors resident terrorist groups’ survival, while state territorial control fosters resident groups’ termination until some control threshold. Empirically, we uncover a robust negative relationship between a country’s weakness and its control of terrorism through the lens of the resident terrorist groups’ survival prospects. The discovered relationship withstands a host of robustness tests – e.g., alternative estimates and samples. We apply an instrument designed to address endogeneity concerns. In particular, our novel instrument for failed states consists of the interaction between natural disasters and ethnic fractionalization. As a state’s percentage of territorial control increases, resident terrorist groups are more prone to ending until some threshold control percent …

Erik Gartzke

Erik Gartzke

University of California, San Diego

Journal of Conflict Resolution

The shadow of deterrence: Why capable actors engage in contests short of war

Defense policy makers have become increasingly concerned about conflict in the “gray zone” between peace and war. Such conflicts are often interpreted as cases of deterrence failures, as new technologies or tactics—from cyber operations to “little green men”—seem to increase the effectiveness of low-intensity aggression. However, gray zone conflict could also be a case of deterrence success, where challengers adopt a constrained form of aggression in response to a credible escalation threat. We develop a model that formalizes both scenarios and identifies distinct empirical patterns across the two cases. We use the model’s findings to empirically analyze Russian gray zone activity since the 1990s, finding that Russian activity appears, in part, to be restrained by NATO’s deterrent threat. Our model also shows that developing gray zone conflict capabilities can lead to more peace but could also backfire and …

Corinne Bara

Corinne Bara

Uppsala Universitet

Journal of Conflict Resolution

What is in a Mandate? Introducing the UN Peace Mission Mandates Dataset

UN peace missions are constantly evolving. Yet, we lack a detailed understanding of the shifting types and objectives of peace missions beyond broad categorizations that distinguish for instance between observer, traditional, multidimensional, and peace enforcement missions. To address this gap, we present the UN Peace Mission Mandates (UNPMM) dataset. With global coverage, 30 years of data between 1991 and 2020, a broad scope that includes peacekeeping and political missions, and information on 41 mandate tasks, the UNPMM represents one of the most detailed and up-to-date datasets on UN peace mission mandates. We use it to highlight how mission types, objectives, and specific tasks have changed since the end of the Cold War, and to analyze what factors influence the kind of missions the UN is willing to authorize. The descriptive statistics and empirical analysis reaffirm the need for a greater …

Brandon Bolte

Brandon Bolte

Penn State University

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Right-Wing Populist Leaders, Nationalist Rhetoric, and Dispute Initiation in International Politics

The global rise of right-wing populist (RWP) leaders has raised concerns about the threat they pose to a cooperative international order, but there is little systematic evidence linking RWP leaders to military aggression. Are RWP leaders more prone to initiating international disputes? If so, when and why? We argue that a RWP leader’s hyper-nationalist rhetoric can galvanize popular support for militant internationalism, but this only leads to pressures for the leader to follow through on their belligerent rhetoric by initiating international disputes in participatory democracies. Using survey experiments fielded in India and Japan, we find strong support for our claims about the effects of RWP rhetoric on civilian attitudes. Statistical results from original data on populist leaders worldwide (1886-2014) then show that RWP leaders in participatory democracies are more likely to initiate militarized disputes. Our results are …

Jon R. Lindsay

Jon R. Lindsay

University of Toronto

Journal of Conflict Resolution

The shadow of deterrence: Why capable actors engage in contests short of war

Defense policy makers have become increasingly concerned about conflict in the “gray zone” between peace and war. Such conflicts are often interpreted as cases of deterrence failures, as new technologies or tactics—from cyber operations to “little green men”—seem to increase the effectiveness of low-intensity aggression. However, gray zone conflict could also be a case of deterrence success, where challengers adopt a constrained form of aggression in response to a credible escalation threat. We develop a model that formalizes both scenarios and identifies distinct empirical patterns across the two cases. We use the model’s findings to empirically analyze Russian gray zone activity since the 1990s, finding that Russian activity appears, in part, to be restrained by NATO’s deterrent threat. Our model also shows that developing gray zone conflict capabilities can lead to more peace but could also backfire and …

Sarah Kreps

Sarah Kreps

Cornell University

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Transatlantic shakedown: Presidential shaming and NATO burden sharing

Does “shaming” work in NATO? More precisely, does publicly using negative language criticizing allies’ defense spending improve burden-sharing, or is it counterproductive, leading to lower spending? We evaluate the effectiveness of public shaming language; specifically, whether it increases allies’ defense spending or whether other considerations like external threat, domestic budgets, economic growth, or unemployment rates are better predictors of contributions. Using an original dataset of presidential statements and NATO defense spending data disaggregated across the four categories tracked by the alliance, we conclude that negative language toward allies’ spending is at best ineffective and may even adversely affect burden-sharing in the long run. These findings have important implications for the political economy of alliances and both theories and policies on the use of rhetorical pressure to elicit …

Peter White

Peter White

Auburn University

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Rebel, Remain, or Resign? Military Elites’ Decision-Making at the Onset of the American Civil War

A critical element in civil wars is military fragmentation. Yet, we have a limited understanding of why military elites fight in civil wars and on what side. In this article I develop a theory of the economic and professional motivations of military elites. I test this theory using the case of West Point graduates in the American Civil War. I argue that in addition to home state, economic and professional interests were a major influence on West Pointers. Graduates with connections to Southern cash crops were less likely to fight for the Union and more likely to fight for the Confederacy. Higher ranking graduates were more likely to fight for both sides, as they were better positioned to compete for promotion. I test this argument using a new dataset of more than 1000 West Point graduates’ wartime allegiances and antebellum careers and find strong evidence in support of my expectations.

Michael Jensen

Michael Jensen

University of Maryland, Baltimore

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Choosing Where to Fight: Do Social Networks Distinguish American ISIS Foreign Fighters from ISIS-Inspired Terrorists?

Why did some American citizens choose to travel to fight in Syria and Iraq rather than engage in Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-inspired terrorism in the United States? We conducted a social network analysis (SNA) on a sample (n = 224) of extremists who either plotted ISIS-inspired attacks within the United States or attempted to travel to Syria or Iraq to join the group between 2013-2020. We test how network size, network interconnectedness, and the importance of trusted network members impact the choice of American ISIS offenders to travel or plot terrorist attacks. Our results show that Americans were more likely to choose to travel to fight when they had access to large, dense networks that were embedded with trusted associates. Those without access to similar networks abandoned their preferences for foreign fighting and instead plotted attacks within the United States. The findings provide pertinent …