Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Current Projects (Updated July 2010)

An Awkward Parternship: Irish-American Organizations and the Republican Movement after the Belfast Agreement (Field research under way).
Considerable scholarly attention has been paid over the last two decades to the role of Irish-America in the Northern Ireland conflict and the impact of Irish-Americans and Irish-American organizations on the peace process. Relatively unexplored, however, has been the role of such groups in the decade following the Belfast Agreement and the extent to which their activities have contributed to the establishment of a sustainable peace. In this project, I examine the nature of the relationship between Republican political parties and movements in Northern Ireland and Irish-American organizations in the United States, and how those relationships have affected and been affected by the ongoing peace process over the last decade. The study is based on field research being conducted in the United States and Northern Ireland during the spring and summer of 2010.

No Sympathy for Terrorists (Unless We Agree with Them): American Public Attitudes toward Terrorists and Terrorist Organizations (Under review).
In this paper, I show that the American public has an ambivalent attitude toward terrorism, political violence, and specific terrorist groups. While the public as a whole cannot be said to embrace terrorism or groups that employ such methods, a generally small but not insignificant percentage of the American public also acknowledges that there are circumstances under which terrorism or other forms of politically motivated violence may be justified. There is also a recognition that terrorists may have legitimate grievances that justify their actions, and that those motivations differentiate violent political activists from common criminals. This may explain the low but meaningful levels of support and approval which specific terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda, have consistently received in public opinion surveys, even after 9/11.

Running on Foreign Policy: Examining the Role of Foreign Policy Issues in the 2000, 2002 and 2004 Congressional Campaigns
(Co-authored with David A. Dulio; revise and resubmit at Foreign Policy Analysis)
While there is a long, rich tradition of scholarship on the impact of foreign policy on presidential campaigns and elections, the question of the role of foreign policy concerns in congressional elections has been left largely unexplored. In this project we examine the role of foreign policy issues in recent congressional campaigns, paying particular attention to that subset of of legislators that Carter and Scott identify as foreign policy entrepreneurs. We perform statistical analysis on television campaign advertising data to determine the extent to which foreign policy issues were featured in congressional candidates' campaign strategies, and the factors driving candidates' decisions to include or avoid foreign policy in their appeals to potential voters.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Publications (Updated March 2011)

(2011 forthcoming) "Neither Cheerleaders nor Critics but a Little Bit of Both: American Newspaper Coverage of the US Invasion of Panama," in Howard Hensel and Nelson Michaud, eds., Global Media Perspectives on the Crisis in Panama.
In this chapter, part of an edited volume examining international reaction to the 1980 US invasion of Panama, I seek to discover whether American newspapers acted as critics or cheerleaders of US policy. I also highlight differences in how nationally focused newspapers covered the invasion compared to the coverage provided by major regional daily newspapers across the United States, as well as offering a comparison between newspaper reporting and that provided by the major television networks. I find that newspaper coverage was in general more critical of US policy and actions in Panama than were the television networks, and that there were important differences in patterns of coverage between national newspapers and their regional competitors.

(2010) "Transnational Mergers and Acquisitions: The Impact of FDI on Human Rights, 1981-2006," Journal of Peace Research. Co-authored with Dong-Hun Kim.
We examine the relationship between one aspect of economic globalization, foreign direct investment, and human rights performance. But we go beyond existing studies of the human rights impact of foreign direct investment, which generally lumps all forms of FDI into a single aggregate indicator, by focusing on one specific form of FDI, transnational mergers and acquisitions. This is a particularly important area to o explore given the human rights literature's emphasis on multinational corporations as both potential violators of human rights as well as catalysts for improvements in human rights performance. We examine the impact of cross-border M&As. The results of our statistical analysis shows that transnational mergers and acquisitions have a positive impact on human rights conditions across several indicators, including physical integrity rights, empowerment rights, workers' rights, and women's economic rights. This positive impact is particularly pronounced in developing countries.

(2009) "
Running on Iraq or Running from Iraq? Conditional Issue Ownership in the 2006 Midterm Elections," Political Research Quarterly. Co-authored with David A. Dulio.
We examine the role of Iraq as a campaign issue in the 2006 congressional midterm elections, analyzing more than 400 television advertisements produced by ninety-four candidates in forty-seven competitive races for the U.S. House of Representatives. We find that the issue of the war was not as central an element of candidate appeals as the conventional wisdom and media storyline leading up to Election Day implied. We find considerable evidence that on key issues, challengers pursued different issue strategies than either incumbents or open-seat candidates of the same party.

(2008) "Sharing Power to Settle Civil Wars," International Studies Review. (Book Review)

(2007) "Human Rights Rogues: Aggressive, Dangerous, or Both?" in Robert I. Rotberg (ed.), Worst of the Worst: Dealing with Repressive and Rogue Nations, Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. Co-authored with Mary Caprioli.
Since the end of the Cold War American foreign policy analysts and decision makers have stigmatized a small group of countries as rogue states and devised various policies intended to contain and confront them. These policies were driven by the assumption that rogue states represent aggressive military threats to their neighbors and their regions. Yet our own earlier research has shown that rogue states, as defined in US foreign policy terms, behave no differently in their international conflict behavior than other states. By contrast, we offer a definition of rogue states that hinges on observance of recognized international human rights norms. In this project we ask whether human rights rogues are more likely to engage in aggressive and/or dangerous international behavior.

(2007) "The Democrats are Back in Charge. So What?" The Oakland Journal. Co-authored with David A. Dulio.
In this essay we explore the impact of the Democrats' return to power in the 2006 congressional elections. We conclude that despite running on pledges to effect significant changes in both domestic and foreign policy, the Democrats' ability to deliver on those promises will be limited by their slim majority and the Congress' own rules.

(2006) "Special Data Feature: First Use of Violent Force in Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1980-2001," Journal of Peace Research. Co-authored with Mary Caprioli.
We introduce and describe a new variable for interstate conflict research for use in conjunction with the Militarized Interstate Disputes (MID) dataset. This variable, First Use of Violent Force (FUVF), covers the period 1980-2001 and identifies which state involved in a violent militarized interstate dispute was the first to actually use violence rather than threatening or displaying force. This article introduces the variable, which, along with all of the supporting documentation, is now publicly available, describes its creation, discusses its utility, and uses both multivariate regression and measures of association to draw attention to theoretically interesting patterns in first use of violent force that are worthy of further exploration.

(2006) "Human Rights Rogues in Interstate Disputes, 1980-2001," Journal of Peace Research. Co-authored with Mary Caprioli.
Rogue states have typically been characterized as those states that consistently violate accepted international norms of behavior. While US foreign policymakers and policy analysts have identified rogue states as those violating a narrow set of international norms of external conduct, specifically terrorism sponsorship and illicit pursuit of banned weapons, this article proposes an alternative understanding of rogue state status that harks back to earlier notions of international pariah states, isolated from the rest of international society, owing to their egregious treatment of their own citizens. Building on Galtung's concept of structural violence and feminist insights concerning the interconnectedness of violence at all levels of human society, the authors develop a rogue state index to identify human rights rogues, based on ethnic and gender discrimination and the violation of personal integrity rights.

(2006) "Teaching Theories of International Political Economy from the Pit: A Simple In-Class Simulation," International Political Perspectives. Co-authored with Mark A. Boyer and David O. Fricke.
Helping students understand abstract theories and concepts and how they apply to their everyday lives and the world around them is one of the most difficult tasks confronting a college teacher. Taking the task a step further by trying to demonstrate the ways in which the theoretical lenses used by analysts color their analyses and conclusions about real-world events is even more difficult. Using the family card game Pit as the tool, students can get a relatively realistic feel for how the structure of trading relationships, as reflected in theoretical constructs, determine (or at least condition and direct) the outcomes of international exchange and who wins and who loses in the international system. This article lays out the basic logic of the game and then develops the substance of the simulation for international relations courses.

(2005) "Rhetoric vs. Reality: Rogue States in Interstate Conflict. 1980-2001," Journal of Conflict Resolution. Co-authored with Mary Caprioli.
The term rogue state has become part of the common language of American foreign policy, and the assumptions made by policy makers about the international conduct of these actors—that they represent aggressive threats to international peace and security—have become entrenched at the center of U.S. foreign and defense policies. The central assumption of rogue state aggressiveness, however, has not been empirically tested. This project fills that gap. The authors first identify those states that, since 1980, have consistently been described as rogues by policy makers, as well as other states that evince the objective characteristics said to qualify a state for rogue status. When we examine these states' interstate conflict behavior as a group, they find that they are no more likely to become involved in militarized interstate disputes, no more likely to initiate militarized action, and no more likely to use force first than non-rogue states.

(2003) "Victors or Aggressors? Ethno-Political Rebellion and Use of Force in Militarized Interstate Disputes," International Studies Quarterly.
Current scholarship on the international relations of ethnic conflict holds that such domestic-level conflict can spread to become interstate conflict. Empirical research, theoretical discussions, and case studies have concluded that states suffering from violent ethnic conflict, specifically ethno-political rebellion, can be either the victims of aggression or themselves the aggressors when ethnic conflict spreads to the international level. This paper examines the behavior of states involved in militarized interstate disputes to test two possibilities: first, that states contending with ethnic rebellion are more likely to be the victims of aggression by outside actors. Alternatively, that states contending with ethnic rebellion are more likely to take aggressive action against outside states. Statistical analysis of ethnic rebellion data and militarized interstate dispute data covering the period 1980–1992 finds that states suffering from ethnic rebellion are more likely to use force and use force first when involved in international disputes than states without similar insurgency problems.

(2003) "Identifying Rogue States and Testing their Interstate Conflict Behavior," European Journal of International Relations. Co-authored with Mary Caprioli.
We explore and define the concept of a `rogue' state based on a state's domestic patterns of behavior. We combine measures of domestic gender equality, ethnic discrimination and state repression to identify characteristics of rogue states. Once we have identified rogue states, we perform logistic regression to predict whether rogue states are more likely to be the aggressors during international disputes — whether they are more likely to use force first during interstate conflict, controlling for other possible causes of state use of force.

(2003) "Ethnic Discrimination and Interstate Violence: Testing the International Impact of Domestic Behavior," Journal of Peace Research. Co-authored with Mary Caprioli.
We seek to discover whether rebellion is the only meaningful link between ethnic discrimination and international violence. This analysis builds upon the literature linking domestic gender inequality and state aggression to other inequalities created and/or sustained by the state. Using the Minorities at Risk (MAR) and Militarized Interstate Disputes (MID) datasets, the authors test whether states characterized by higher levels of discrimination against ethnic minorities are more likely to exhibit higher levels of hostility or to use force first when involved in international disputes. We find that states characterized by domestic inequality with regard to ethnic minorities are more likely to exhibit higher levels of hostility and to use force first when involved in an interstate conflict.

(2001) "Electoral Politics as Domestic Ratification in International Negotiations: Insights from the Anglo-Irish Peace Process," Irish Studies in International Affairs.
In this project I examine the role that electoral politics played in the Anglo-Irish peace process of the 1980s and 1990s. I find that the British government was insulated from public pressure on the Northern Ireland issue because the question of Northern Ireland policy was excluded from the normal course of UK electoral politics. By contrast, the Irish government's ability to reach accommodation with the British government on the status and future of Northern Ireland was highly constrained by the dynamics of electoral politics.

(2000) "International Crisis Decision-making as a Two-level Process," Journal of Peace Research. Co-authored with Mark A. Boyer.
Inspired by work in the two-level games approach to the larger question of foreign policy behavior, we broaden the two-level approach by examining the impact of domestic factors on decision-making across regime types and how they relate to the use and extent of violence in international crisis. We use the 895 foreign policy crisis cases of the International Crisis Behavior (ICB) dataset for our analysis, which entails an examination of process and decision-making structural variables using cross-tabulations and a series of logistic regression models. We find that democracies exhibit many behaviors similar to non-democracies in crisis. The prevalent effects of action-reaction processes that result from the initial impact of the crisis-trigger suppress cross-regime type differences, at least in the initial stages of a crisis. Differences across regime types manifest themselves when looking at the entire crisis time period.

(1998) "Public Opinion as a Domestic Constraint in International Negotiations: Two-level Games in the Anglo-Irish Peace Process," International Studies Quarterly.
This article aims to broaden the theoretical foundations of the two-level games approach to understanding international negotiations by considering the conditions under which public opinion can act as a domestic constraint on the ability of international negotiators to reach agreement. In determining the role that public opinion plays, three factors are of central importance: (1) the preferences of the public relative to those of decision makers and other domestic constituents; (2) the intensity of the issue under negotiation; and (3) the power of the public to ratify a potential agreement. Evidence from the last decade of Anglo-Irish negotiations over the future and status of Northern Ireland shows that public opinion acts as a constraint on negotiators when the public has the power to directly ratify an international agreement. When the public's power to ratify an agreement is indirect, the intensity of the issue under negotiation will play a critical role in determining whether public preferences serve as a constraint on decision makers.