Browsing by Author "Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-"
Now showing 1 - 20 of 54
Results Per Page
- ItemA Cooperative Theory of Success for INGOs in Developing Countries(2012) Clark-Brown, Aubrey; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-
- ItemA Slippery Slope: State Approaches to Water Management and Development Policies(2013) Garcha, Rupinder K.; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-A river knows no boundaries. The world’s rivers and water basins do not fall in line with states’ borders and often border multiple states. There are approximately 261 international river basins covering 46% of the Earth’s land area and nearly 40% of the world’s population lives in river basins shared by more than two countries. However, the world’s water resources are vulnerable now more than ever to major shifts caused by human activity and natural processes. Climate change, pollution and population growth contribute to a depletion of water resources. As water becomes a scarce resource, states try to ensure they have access to an adequate supply but one state’s use of shared waters affects the quality and quantity of a river’s flow. Such actions can have an adverse effect on other states. Consequently, when one state perceives another state to be exploiting, threatening or degrading shared water resources, states can find themselves in disputes. The expansive literature on hydropolitics focuses largely on issues of water conflict and cooperation but understanding hydropolitics extends beyond simple conflict or cooperation. The goal of this thesis will be to develop a framework for understanding why states located at different points along the same river approach their water management and development policies differently. The various explanations for differences in states’ water policies examined in this study include: physical geography, relative power, economic interdependence, domestic politics, historical regional relations and water security. Studying the nuances of water policy‐making will allow us to see what values states prioritize, will equip us with the tools to predict future interactions in river basins and may even allow us to propose feasible policy recommendations.
- ItemAl-Qaeda: Who, What, Why? : Database Applications for the Al-Qaeda Statements Index(2010) Mendenhall, Rose; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-This paper is written in correlation with a project that aims to provide a distinctly new perspective to current trends in terrorism research by allowing for a new and more nuanced study of statements made by al-Qaeda. This project, the Al-Qaeda Statements Index (AQSI) database project at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, is one example of how new innovations can continue to provide new insight. Unlike previous projects, the Al-Qaeda Statements Index project, when complete, will aid researches in developing a more thorough understanding of al- Qaeda's rhetoric by creating a searchable network to show complex connections among the web of various statements, keywords and ideas professed by al-Qaeda, spanning a period from the 1990s up to the present day. The AQSI will serve as both an advanced annotated bibliography for scholars seeking a starting point to study specific statements more in depth, while at the same time allowing for a quantitative analysis of the intricate connections and relationships among statements which would otherwise not be readily quantifiable or apparent
- Item“An Arena for Men from the West and Men from the East” : American Military Intervention and Nonintervention in Lebanon, 1958-2006(2013) Boal, Peter; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-This thesis examines the circumstances and motivations underlying the decisions to intervene in Lebanon in 1958 and 1982 and two other case studies (1975‐6 and 2006) where the U.S. could have intervened in Lebanon but chose not to. The paper proposes a framework for analyzing intervention from a holistic perspective, taking into account systematic factors, state‐level influences, and target state characteristics. I conclude that the U.S. should pursue alternatives to direct military intervention if possible; sending weapons, training soldiers, and providing economic aid all have the potential to help U.S. interests in the target country and region without nearly the same level of involvement. Preemptive aid to Lebanon (or another target state) would also be an effective way to prevent conflict from erupting, although the U.S. tends to become involved in Lebanon only after violence has started.
- ItemAtomic Autocrats: Authoritarian Regime Type and the Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons(2013) Cebul, Matthew D.; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-In this thesis, I seek to explain why some authoritarian states choose to pursue nuclear weapons development while others do not. In particular, I probe one potential explanation for nuclear proliferation that has been largely neglected by decades of scholarship on nuclear proliferation: regime type. I argue that the variation in institutional structures across authoritarian regime types can help account for differing policy outcomes, as regime structure directly impacts a leader’s cost-benefit analysis when deciding whether or not to pursue nuclear weapons. Specifically, military regimes that feature high levels of personalism (strongman regimes) are the most likely to pursue nuclear weapons development; dictators in these regimes are often in need of a combative, nationalist foreign policy to foster domestic support and regime legitimacy, and are also personally safe from many of the political and economic costs commonly associated with illicit nuclear development. To prove this argument, and to further explore the relationship between military institutions, personalism, and nuclear proliferation, I employ a quantitative analysis of proliferation patterns across all authoritarian regimes from 1950-1992, as well as a qualitative historical analysis of both the North Korean and the Libyan nuclear programs. I conclude by using insights gleaned from the case studies to make recommendations for future American counter-proliferation efforts.
- ItemBack from the Abyss: How the Taliban Resurged After Major Loss(2021) Wymard, Thompson; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-In 2003, the Taliban in Afghanistan were largely crushed; their attacks were down severely, they lost more than 90% of the land that they held in the 1990s, including all major towns and cities. It appeared the Taliban had become a spent force, but the Taliban recovered; as of 2019, it regrew its manpower, launches attacks frequently, controls 14.5% of the country while contesting another 29.2%. Moreover, in 2020 it secured the United States commitment to withdraw the American forces from Afghanistan without making any significant concession beyond declaring that the country would not be used as a base to launch attacks against America. The case of the Taliban is not unique. Over the years, many armed non-state actors (ANSA) have faced severe decline and catastrophic losses that threatened their survival. Despite this, not every group has folded, and some have even managed to rebound and rebuild, be that in terms of their ground forces, land held, or influence. Why is it then that some armed non-state actors canrecover after major loss while others do not? What explains the resilience of some groups? To explain this variation, I surveyed existing literature to find five hypotheses explaining an ANSAs resurgence. The first is that an ANSA can recover because of a let-up in pressure against them. If the suppressor pulls back, intentionally, or otherwise, then the ANSA will be able to rebuild. Secondly, an ANSA is better able to recover from major loss if it has a safe haven from persecution. If the ANSA can escape to an area beyond the reach of the pursuing force, a resurgence is likely. Third, a decentralized ANSA will be able to recover better than one where power or authority rests in the hands of an individual or a small group of individuals. My fourth hypothesis was that a group could recover if it has popular support: ideational legitimacy, the support of people it claims to represent, etc. Lastly fifth, an ANSA's ability to recover is dependent on its ability to accumulate financial resources. Whether these be by engaging in the "legitimate" economy, illicit activities, or by soliciting donations, groups with financial backing will better be able to resurge. I tested these explanations by doing a case study of the Taliban's resurgence in Afghanistan. The group's recovery since it was thrown from power in 2001 is evidence ofgreat resilience and resurgence. Indeed, in 2006 the Taliban carried out double as many attacks as in the year before. Similarly, the number of suicide attacks jumped from 27 in 2005 to 139 in 2007. Furthermore, the Taliban holds a significant chunk of territory in Afghanistan and competes with the government over far more. Today the group controls about 19% of Afghan districts and contests another 49% of them. Population-wise, 43% of the Afghan population lives in outright central government-controlled areas, 14% lives in outright Taliban-controlled areas, and the remaining 43% lives in the contested districts. As recent negotiations between Taliban leaders and American officials show, after 20 years, they have not been defeated after all. In all, the Taliban provide a fascinating instance of resurgence. I found that the Taliban were able to recover due to a myriad of factors, with the chief being that the United States and the Afghan government completely failed to stop them and that safe haven in Pakistan allowed the group torecover and relaunch. In 2001, the Taliban were absolutely defeated, but not to the point of no return. Instead of complicating any sort of comeback by undermining the group or creating a strong Afghan state, the U.S. became disinterested and failed to centralized power. Given the American role in ejecting the Taliban from power in the first place and destabilizing the Afghan state, this was a major misstep that later impacted other reasons for the group's resurgence. As to Pakistan, the Taliban were able to immediately re-assemble their leadership group in safety across the Afghan border only months after their ejection from the government. From this safe haven, leadership was able to recruit new members, gather resources, and plan offensive in relative peace. These two explanations, ineffective countermeasures and safe haven were paramount to resurgence. However, the group also benefited from strong popular support in the Pashtun community and funding generated largely from the opium trade. This being stated, these two factors were exacerbated by safe haven and the actions taken by the invading forces and the installed Afghan government. The hypothesis that a decentralized actor would be more adept at a resurgence was not supported by this case, as the Taliban were ledby a top-down order composed of members of the old guard during the timeline of their resurgence.
- ItemCooperation in Counterinsurgencies: Examining the Uneven Partnership of a Host Nation and a Foreign Power.(2018) McGettigan, Andrew; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-The purpose of this thesis was to identify a viable explanation for the presence or absence of cooperation within a counterinsurgency partnership between a host nation and a foreign power. Before the completion of this thesis, no scholar has exclusively focused on the question of counterinsurgency cooperation. This thesis intended to build a nascent theoretical framework to explain cooperation between counterinsurgency partners. The thesis chose to specifically focus on the cooperative relationship between a strong foreign nation and a weak host nation because it is a common type of counterinsurgency partnership in the modern security environment, and because explaining cooperation across a range of different counterinsurgency partnership dynamics was too large of a task for a single study. Four hypotheses for effective and ineffective cooperation between a host nation and a foreign power were presented in the thesis. The first hypothesis was that a build-up of trust between the host nation and the foreign power positively affects cooperation. Under this hypothesis, greater trust between counterinsurgency partners would increase the willingness on both sides to mutually align preferences in order to achieve mutual benefits. In political behavior and international relations literature, trust between actors was found to be associated with shared characteristics, which is why this thesis selected cultural similarity as one of the sub-variables that could be explanatory of more or less trust between counterinsurgency partners. The three main indicators for cultural similarity were shared ethnicity, shared faith, and value sharing. Insurgent disruption was the other identified sub-variable. Insurgent disruption’s relation to trust was determined from literature on counterinsurgency where counterinsurgency actors were found to lose morale and the will to cooperate through the stagnation of the security environment and the prevalence of insider attacks. The three main indicators for insurgent disruption were green on blue violence, green on green violence, electoral violence, and overall foreign power casualties. The second hypothesis was that a stronger host nation chain of command positively affects cooperation, meaning that more cooperation will be expected given greater institutional control on the part of the host nation. The thought process here was that a weak chain of command would result in the inability to execute the mutual adjustment of preferences that may have been agreed upon at the administrative level. There were no sub-variables for chain of command, and the indicators for chain of command were corruption levels, government legitimacy, and desertion rates. The third hypothesis for cooperation was that strategic preference closeness between the host nation and the foreign power positively affects cooperation. Strategic preference closeness was assessed by identifying how unharmonious preferences of the host nation and the foreign power were, via a counterfactual analysis where stated preferences were 100% manifested in state behavior. In this hypothesis, it was expected that mutually closer preferences in regard to the means of executing the counterinsurgency would make it easier to mutually adjust preferences since compromising would be less difficult. The fourth hypothesis for cooperation was that the absence or de-emphasis of a patron client relationship between the host nation and a foreign power positively affects cooperation. A patron client relationship is a different cooperative relationship that relies on an exchange of autonomy for aid. However, the exchange of autonomy in the patron client relationship conflicts with the goal of building competent sustainable host nation institutions within the counterinsurgency relationship. Indicators for the existence of a parallel patron client relationship between the host nation and the foreign power were the construction or continued activity of foreign power oversight organizations, and stipulations that erode autonomy of the host nation within legal cooperative agreements. Hypotheses were tested in a single case study of the counterinsurgency partnership between Afghanistan and the United States from 2003-2014. Since only one case study was used throughout the thesis, the case was divided into three time frames in order to achieve a more comparative analysis: 2003-2006, 2007-2010, and 2011-2014. Cooperation was assessed in three sectors according to the three pillars of counterinsurgency identified by David Kilcullen. These pillars are Security, Politics, and Economics. For each sector, a qualitative analysis combined with a simple empirical scoring method was used to assess the cooperative relationship in each sector of counterinsurgency through each of the three time frames. Cooperation was scored from (0-2), with 0 corresponding to no cooperation, 1 corresponding to some cooperation, and 2 corresponding to strong cooperation. An overall qualitative methodological approach was also used to assess the independent variables and indicators associated with the hypotheses. However, there were some quantitative aspects of this section of the analysis as well, such as Afghan National Army desertion rates, and American casualties from each year of the war (part of the chain of command hypothesis and trust building hypothesis respectively). The results of the study reject the trust building hypothesis and strategic preference hypothesis, partially reject the chain of command hypothesis, and accept the patron client hypothesis as explanatory of observed cooperation. The sub-variables associated with the trust building hypothesis actually appeared to increase efforts on the part of the United States to cooperate, and generally acted as barriers to success of the overall counterinsurgency, rather than impeding the cooperative relationship in a significant manner. Alternatively, the parallel patron client relationship in Afghanistan was used to accelerate counterinsurgency success, particularly in the first time frame of the case study, but damaged long-term cooperation by creating Afghan institutions that relied on U.S. funding and leadership. These institutions undermined their own ability to act as independent institutions in order to maintain the aid for autonomy exchange of the patron client relationship, contributing to observed cooperative failures within the counterinsurgency partnership.
- ItemDoes it Matter if the Cat is Black or White? Examining Varying Levels of Violence Among Ethnic Minorities in China(2017) Faust, Eliot; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-Violence, specifically ethnic violence is not a new phenomenon, but has recently gained the attention over the past few decades of academia. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the resulting ethnic conflicts furthered this discourse for psychologists, historians, economists, and political scientists looking at where this violence stems from and what ultimately causes it to manifest. This paper draws on these pervious studies to examine ethnic violence China. Specifically looking at why violence as occurred among certain ethnic groups and not others. There are 56 officially recognized ethnic groups in China with the majority being Han who make up 91.5% of the population. What is quite puzzling about China in regards to ethnic violence is the range in the amount of violence that is seen from the 55 minority groups. Out of these 55 minority groups, four groups were selected. The Hui and the Mongols have all been less violent while the most violence has been seen with the Uyghur and Tibetans. This selection not only allows for difference under the dependent variable, but also provides geographic diversity. Most literature on ethnic violence largely looks violence that takes the form of civil war where there are two main sides two in conflict with one another. This examination of a less investigated aspect of ethnic violence may provide insight to similar types of ethnic conflict in other multi-ethnic nations. Four different explanations for ethnic violence were examined by the case studies. These four explanations are economic inequalities, ties to the majority, ethnic kin outside of the state, and treatment by the state. The first independent variable is economic inequalities. One such condition that is being examined is the relative economic status of the regions in which these groups are located such as GDP per capita. Additionally, the opportunity for one to better one’s economic situation through the ability to find a job is also examined. The next independent variable is the strength of the ties to the state. These ties include how the groups perceive their identity, how ethnically close they are to the Han, and their historical relationship with the Han. This variable has either the value of weak or strong. These values are established by examining each group’s history as a part of the creation of the state. Strong ties mean that the ethnic group has a strong connection to the Han majority; this may be due to a number of factors including historical relationships, linguistics, and geographical location. Less adversarial historical relationships as well as common identity characteristics will result in stronger ties, while that groups who have historically been at odds and have no identity commonalities will have weaker ties. The next independent variable is transnational ethnic groups, this means that the ethnic minority has ethnically related kin located in other countries. This ethnic kin can be found in both states just across the borders and states that are much further away. The final independent variable is treatment by the state (central government). This is how the state treats and views the ethnic minority, both in what the laws say and how these policies are enacted. The laws that are being examined here are China’s laws relating to ethnic minorities, religion, and cultural traditions. The values for the final independent variable are positive and negative. Positive treatment means that the state is accommodating to the ethnic group, seen through the granting of autonomy and special benefits and privileges. Negative treatment is defined as assimilationist or repressive policies, such as travel restrictions and forced migration. Based of the results of the cases studies, state treatment appears to play a significant role in determining the level of violence. Through this examination of the case studies, it is clear that the Chinese Central Government aims to create a common nationality through the assimilation of ethnic minorities. This policy has been much more successful with the Hui then with the Uyghurs. Both the Uyghurs and Tibetans have resisted these assimilation efforts, resulting in the state taking repressive measures. This indicates that it is not purely just treatment by the state, but also how the ethnic minority responds and the resulting feedback loops that effect the level of violence. The reasoning behind the Central Government’s assimilation policies is that it views ethnic minorities distinct characteristics as threats to the stability of the nation. The lack of strong ties between these ethnic groups at the state is what drives that state to take assimilations steps in the first place. Accommodation is observed only when the state has been able to successfully make an ethnic minority place its Chinese nationality above any other identity. The Hui largely accepted assimilation and now have greater accommodation for their religious practices. Unlike the Uyghurs, the Hui do not face as many restrictions on the exercise of their religion. From this it appears that ties to the state might play a precursory role as the state bases its action off of what ties it has to the ethnic minority group. The states in ability to trust these ethnic groups partly come from the being part of the periphery and not socially integrated into society. While an overall look at the independent would indicate that economic inequalities do not alone explain the varying levels of violence, the changing situation of the Mongols suggests that they in fact influence the level of violence. An increasing amount of violence is appearing as the economy of Inner Mongolia experiences a boom where benefits are mainly going to the Han. As it is likely that more violence will continue to occur between the Han and the Mongols in the coming future, it is quite possible that the level of violence will switch to a value of high. This indicates the possibility that economic inequality grievances are a precondition to an increase in violence.
- ItemExploring China and Russia's Delegation to Cyber Proxies(2019) Crowley, Abigael; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-Why do China and Russia adopt different institutional arrangements for the use of cyber proxies, defined as a "non-state actor that conducts cyber operations to achieve political objectives on behalf of the patron state". One would assume that since both states are authoritarian and have similar perceptions of cybersecurity that they would delegate to cyber proxies similarly. The reality is that China and Russia have different degrees of delegation and in some instances, with different types of cyber proxies.
- ItemExploring Dissimilar Behaviors of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Wilaya in Africa(2017) Heyrich, Samantha; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is often presented as a uniform and homogeneous terrorist organization. But in reality there are important differences in the way ISIS’ provinces (wilaya) operate. This research aims to understand the causes of ISIS wilaya dissimilar behavior. The central research question of this thesis is: why do ISIS wilaya operate in dissimilar ways? What makes this question so puzzling is the expectation that all wilaya should function in similar ways due to their affiliation with ISIS. ISIS is a Salafi militant organization based out of Syria and Iraq that aims to establish and expand a Caliphate. ISIS uses wilaya as the organizational strategy to expand the groups’ geo-political reach. A wilayat is a “province outside its (Islamic State) core territory in Syria and Iraq”. I distinguish between “ISIS Core” and “ISIS local”. ISIS Core is defined as the stronghold of territory in Iraq and Syria in addition to the top tier of leadership. ISIS local is defined as the wilaya and the ISIS appointed leadership of individual wilaya. I have selected two Case Studies: Case Study I: Wilayat Sinai, Siani Peninsula and Case Study II: Wilayat Gharb Ifqiyya, Nigeria. In this thesis, I examine the ISIS local leadership and ISIS Core interests in each Case. This research will fill a gap in the literature pertaining to understanding ISIS wilaya, wilaya behavior and expand the knowledge on terrorism franchising. It also will contribute to better understanding the group as a global threat and how policy makers can craft better policies to eliminate ISIS. Additionally, examining how ISIS expands and the structures implemented in wilaya can aid leaders in learning how to break down ISIS on a localized level. Finally, this research will contribute to deconstructing the dominant narrative that ISIS is a uniform and homogenous terrorist organization. The methodological framework of this research is comprised of a dependent variable and two independent variables. The dependent variable categorizes wilaya behavior in two ways: governance and security. Governance is defined as the structures, processes and administrative initiatives to maintain order, structure and rule. Wilaya governance is operationalized in three distinct ways: building institutions, services, law and order (including the policing of morality). Security is defined as armed operations against external foes and is operationalized as military operations. These operations are further categorized into options on the dependent variable as protective, expansive, presence demonstration or subversion. The values applied to the dependent variable are high and low. The independent variables are capabilities and leadership interests. Capabilities are operationalized in three ways: material and human resources and knowledge. Wilaya either have a direct or indirect relationship with capabilities. Leadership interests are operationalized in two ways: ISIS Core and ISIS local. These levels of governance and leadership can either have divergent or convergent interests. The leadership interests of ISIS Core manifest as the intrinsic value of wilaya (which includes the evaluation of natural resources and ideological significance) and the strategic importance of the wilaya (which is defined as the geo-political value of territory). ISIS local leadership interests manifest as the level of loyalty to ISIS Core and the local interests of leaders and the group. Loyalty to the Core is determined by proof of carrying out ISIS Core goals and local interests are determined by evidence of executing goals established prior to the absorption into ISIS. The values placed on leadership interests are high and low. Overall, the methodological framework enables the evaluation of wilaya behavior. I argue that ISIS wilaya operate in dissimilar ways due to ISIS local leadership interests. This research reveals disconnect between local loyalty to the Core, high levels of ISIS local leadership interests and the implementation of governance in wilaya. This finding can also be attributed to ISIS’ use of the absorption model. The absorption model is the process in which an organization expands by developing relationships with other organizations; the junior partner in the relationship relinquishes their previous identity in exchange for adopting the new partner’s identity, organizational structure and goals. This expansion strategy encourages the development of local group and leadership interests by providing wilaya with autonomy and little supervision, resulting in interest divergence and dissimilar behaviors. I also argue that the presence of competition in wilaya, wither internal ISIS divisions or external competitors or enemies also deeply influences wilaya behavior. Expanding the Case Studies section to include more wilaya is a potential opportunity for future research. It would be interesting to see if a wider data set would influence the findings and conclusions. I also believe that revisiting Case Study II: Wilayat Gharb Ifqiyya is another opportunity for continued research. Wilayat Gharb Ifqiyya’s recent division of loyalty in local ISIS leadership would be interesting to study and follow any further divisions within the wilayat and how these divisions impact the wilayat’s relationship with the Core.
- ItemFight or Flight: Insurgents Switching Sides during Conflict(2013) Donahue, Bailee; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-
- ItemFor Country or Caliphate? : Why Maghrebi Terrorist Groups Join al-Qaeda's Global Jihad(2010) Lotito, Nicholas; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-Given the ideological differences between the traditional Maghrebi Islamists and Bin Laden's radical anti-American vision, this situation is a puzzle. Why do revolutionary Islamist groups in the Maghreb join al-Qaeda's global jihad? And if some do join, why do others decline? A first proposition is that organizational or leadership factors may contribute to the decision. Second, there is a precedent for al-Qaeda to accept affiliates of various kinds. In the next chapter, we will see the different kinds of relationships al-Qaeda forms with like-minded organizations.
- ItemFrom Harmony to Hostility: Understanding the Drivers of the Volatile Relationship Between China and Taiwan(2023) Mathis, Daniel; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-During the period from 2008 to 2016, China-Taiwan relations reached historic highs. Total trade between the two sides had grown from under one billion dollars in 1986 to nearly $180 billion in 2016. A series of agreements, such as the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, served to ease tensions, strengthen cooperation, and normalize relations. This period culminated in a 2015 meeting between then Republic of China (Taiwan) President Ma Ying-jeou and People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping. This was the first official meeting between the leaders of the two governments since the Chinese Civil War. However, less than a decade later, relations have collapsed. Today, cross-strait relations are characterized by harsh rhetoric and regular displays of military force by China. My thesis addresses this puzzle by analyzing the causes of improvements and deteriorations in the modern cross-strait relationship (the post-1979 period). My analysis highlights eight pivotal moments in the cross-strait relationship from 1979 to present: the 1979 end to intermittent shelling; the 1993 Koo-Wang Summit; the 1995 Third Taiwan Strait Crisis; the 1999 Chinese violation of the Median Line; the 2004 Taiwanese Cross-Strait Relations Referendum; the 2008 Opening of the Three Links; the 2016 Power Transition in Taiwan; and the 2022 Forth Taiwan Strait Crisis. For each of these cases, I test three possible hypotheses that possibly explain the driver of the pivotal moment. These hypotheses are as follows: H1 The perceived alignment or contradiction of American policy with Chinese notions of sovereignty is the primary driver of improvements or deteriorations in cross-strait relations. H2 The perceived transition of relative power between the United States and China is the primary driver of improvements or deteriorations in cross-strait relations. H3 Relations deteriorate when China feels the need to use coercive diplomacy to ‘recharge’ deterrence against Taiwan, while relations improve when China feels that deterrence is maintained. Each hypothesis is derived from International Relations theory literature. I find that H2 and H3 are the most compelling explanations based on the evidence, with their applicability varying based on the time period. While H1 is a compelling explanation, it is refuted by the facts of some of my cases and I find that H2 and H3 provide better explanations for the cases in which H1 is supported. H1 is refuted by the the 1993 and 1999 cases. Additionally, the US has sold weapons to Taiwan during every period of both improving and deteriorating relations. I find that H3 provides the best explanation for the driver of cross-strait relations in the 1990s. H3 is the only explanation that is supported by each of the three pivotal moments analyzed from the 1990s. China demonstrates clear adherence to a coercive diplomacy playbook by issuing a tactic ultimatum in the 1993 Case, using turning of the screw coercive diplomacy in 1995, and issuing another tacit ultimatum in 1999. However, China does not use coercive diplomacy during the period from 2000 to 2008 despite Taiwan taking actions that should have provoked China to restore deterrence. I find that this is best attributable to H2, the power transition explanation. China’s export driven growth was dependent on a peaceful international environment in the 2000s. China sought to avoid confrontation with the US over Taiwan during this time. This was different from the 1990s, when the US initially sent mixed messages about its support for Taiwan. The US initially did not respond to Chinese military displays near Taiwan in the 1990s before deploying carrier battle groups to show its commitment. The combination of the US’ demonstration of commitment to Taiwan and China joining the WTO in 2000 led China to back down and bide its time in the early 2000s. However, once China began to approach power parity with the US around 2016, I find that China returns to the coercive diplomacy playbook it initially used in the 1990s. This means the H3 provides the best explanation for relations in the 1990s and the post-2016 period, while H2 best explains the interim period. Taiwan ceased to embrace the One China principle in 2016 and started making moves towards independence. This led China to move to establish deterrence against Taiwan moving away from the One China principle. China was emboldened to do so by its rise in power relative to the United States. China adopted a turning of the screw coercive diplomacy approach that has not yet ended as Taiwan still refuses to accept the One China principle. This explains China’s military escalations with 2016 to present. The implications of my findings are that cross-strait relations could once again return to detente if Taiwan were to return to publicly embracing the notion of One China. However, doing so would risk Taiwan’s long term autonomy. Taiwan therefore faces a choice between capitulating to China, and having peaceful relations, or facing tense relations while maintaining its autonomy. Domestic politics in Taiwan seem to favor the latter.
- ItemFrom Many, One: European Union Foreign Policy Decision-Making(2013) West, Lowell; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-The literature on European Union foreign policy decision-making is fairly new and incomplete. This thesis seeks to fulfill a gap in the literature, which ignores the role of external great powers in EU foreign policy decision-making. It seeks to demonstrate this gap and how bringing in the role of external great powers can be helpful by examining the following question: What determines the use of EU sanctions? The thesis first reviews the literature on EU foreign policy decision-making and shows the gap that recurs in the variety of explanations. It then modifies these explanations to include the influence of external great powers in explaining why the EU decides to sanction certain states and not others. It then tests these explanations against four case studies: the sanctions against Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian, anti-regime resistance group; the lack of sanctions against Hezbollah, a Lebanese resistance group supported by Iran; the sanctions against Belarus for suppressing the opposition after the 2006 presidential election; and the lack of sanctions against the Ukraine after the jailing of opposition figures in 2011. Through these case studies, it was demonstrated that EU member states made sanctions based on the effect on relationships with Iran in the MEK and Hezbollah cases and Russia in the Belarus and Ukraine cases. It concluded that this most manifests itself in EU member states reluctance to show any disunity with respect to these external great powers, in spite of consequences that sanctions decisions might have for their relationship with those great powers.
- ItemGeopolitics in the Arctic: Why Do Some Nations Have a Militarized Strategic Emphasis while Others Diplomatic?(2020) Wiper, Michael Williams; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-My research explores why state strategy has changed in the Arctic Circle in light of the geopolitical calculus being altered by climate change. In this region, rising global temperatures have caused the ice to recede at higher rates every year. This trend will likely continue in the future as the quantity of ice throughout the year will continue to decline and, eventually, be non-existent for part of the year. For Arctic countries, this drastically alters the geopolitical calculus. Firstly, great opportunity is coming available in the economic realm as vast amounts of natural resources and highly advantageous trade routes are becoming increasingly accessible. However, the increasing ability to navigate the Arctic Ocean also creates security vulnerabilities for the littoral states as the lack of ice is making the waters more and more open for militarization. Additionally, economic interests have made interaction in the region more contentious. In light of these changes, states have developed new strategies and policies focused on the region. In my examination of these, a clear distinction exists between more militarized strategies and others inclined towards diplomacy both between states and within states over time. My literature review yielded 5 plausible causal explanations to account for strategic discrepancies: threat perception, capabilities, strategic culture, regime type, and domestic politics. To test for the impact for each of these possible independent variables, I used the cases of Norway, Finland, Russia, and the United States.
- ItemGhosts of Afghanistan: Lessons From the Return of the Arab Afghans in the post-Soviet Period(2008) Till, Brian; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-
- ItemGo Ahead, Make My Day: How Ethnic Discrimination Shapes Counterterrorism Policy(2012) Williams, Rob; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-
- ItemGreat Powers to the Left of Me, Small States to the Right...Explaining the foreign policy behavior of states "stuck in the middle"(2020) Carolan, Aine; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-In principle, ‘international relations' is the study of the foreign policy behavior, commitments, interactions, and power dynamics of all states in the existing international order. In practice, however, this subject has focused almost exclusively on five or six great powers, which are the basis for most seminal theories about state behavior. These theories posit non-great powers lack the resources needed to assert themselves on an international stage, and thus deem them irrelevant actors. Existing research characterizes a group of secondary – or more commonly "middle" – powers. These states are expected to act as a homogenous block because of their similarly limited capabilities. Why, then, does the foreign policy behavior of middle powers vary widely in reality? My thesis addresses this question by developing a theoretical framework for "middle power behavior." The framework is two-part: first, it tests the legitimacy of the "secondary state" distinction itself, establishing a small group of middle powers defined by their shared participation in international collective action. Second, it determines middle power behavior is motivated by existing commitments (alliances), state status, and future expectations of status. The research presented below is highly theoretical; future work should test the framework in both quantitative and further qualitative studies.
- ItemInfrastructure Jihad: Understanding the Islamic State's Use of "Economic War"(2022) Cahn, Sarah; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-Why does the Islamic State wage "Economic War"? By analyzing every issue of Al-Naba, the organization's magazine published in Arabic, I constructed a dataset of the organization's attacks on critical infrastructure as part of its "Economic War." I estimate that the Islamic State has carried out 558 attacks in this strategy, increasing by 670% between January 2016 and March 2022. I define "Economic War" as a strategy in which armed-non-state actors attack critical infrastructure with the goals of weakening a local regime's power, attacking the global economy, and targeting Western economic interests. This thesis investigates the factors shaping the Islamic State's use of "Economic War." As the Islamic State expands its Wilayat, or provinces, around the world, more critical infrastructure sites may be targeted, threatening the global economy and international security. To date, there have been no official academic studies that provide succinct data regarding the Islamic State's implementation of "Economic War." My research hopes to fill this critical gap and provide information for more scholars to advance our understanding of the implications of this strategy. After examining existing literature on armed non-state actor strategy and on insurgent and terror attacks on critical infrastructure, I frame my analysis around four hypotheses. First, I hypothesize that the Islamic State uses "Economic War" as part of an attritional strategy to weaken local regimes. Next, I argue that the Islamic State uses "Economic War" as it is "cheap," especially as the group's capabilities have been more limited since 2019. I also hypothesize that the Islamic State uses "Economic War" to damage Western economic interests. Finally, I hypothesize that the Islamic State uses "Economic War" as a method to reduce the possibility of backlash from local communities, as attack on critical infrastructure cause limited causalities. I was able to confirm the first hypothesis that the Islamic State uses "Economic War" as an attrition strategy to damage local regimes in the areas the organization operations. I also confirm that the organization is motivated by the strategy's cheapness, especially as its capabilities have been limited since 2019. I did not confirm that the Islamic State utilizes "Economic War" to target Western economic interests or that it uses the strategy to avoid a reduction in popular support. Ultimately, this thesis provides a nuanced analysis of the factors shaping the Islamic State's use of "Economic War," demonstrating the organization's ability to innovate and resilience in the face of significant challenges.
- ItemInnovation in Terrorist Financing: Interrogating Varying Levels of Cryptocurrency Adoption in al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Islamic State(2019) Eaddy, Andrew; Mendelsohn, Barak, 1971-Since their inception in 2009, cryptocurrencies have been used to carry out unlawful activities around the world. More recently however, various terrorist organizations have begun to become practitioners of this technology, albeit to varying extents. My thesis, Innovation in Terrorist Financing: Interrogating Varying Levels of Cryptocurrency Adoption in al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Islamic State, endeavors to better understand the catalysts and obstacles associated with the impending adoption of cryptocurrencies by terrorist organizations. To address this question six hypotheses are proposed. First, terrorist organizations based in regions with high computing power will be more likely to use cryptocurrencies. Second, if there is less infrastructure present to facilitate the conversion of cryptocurrencies into fiat currency, terrorist organizations will be less likely to adopt the technology. Third, if cryptocurrency prices are volatile, terrorist organizations will be less likely to adopt the technology. Fourth, the more radical a terrorist organization is, the more likely it is to adopt cryptocurrencies. Fifth, the more anti-Western sentiment that exists in a terrorist organization’s doctrines, the less likely they are to adopt cryptocurrencies. And finally, sixth, if terrorist organization’s traditional means of financing their operations seem to be operating well, they will be less likely to adopt cryptocurrencies.These three hypotheses are tested in three case studies: al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Islamic State. Analysis of these cases demonstrates a favorable outcome for only the sixth hypothesis, which has important and reformist implications for United States counter-terrorism policy.