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  • Author: Dina Smeltz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the past 12 months, there have been more discussions between South Korean, US, and North Korean officials about Pyongyang’s potential denuclearization than at any time since the Six-Party Talks in 2006 and 2007. Exactly where those discussions are headed is unclear. But in South Korea, the public generally sees an improvement in the South Korean security situation according to a just-completed Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey. As a result, support for South Korea developing its own nuclear weapon appears to have waned, though a slight majority remains in favor. Despite what seems to be a slight sense of relief, the South Korean public is skeptical that either Moon or Trump can convince Kim Jong Un to fully denuclearize
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dana Stroul, Hanin Ghaddar
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Apart from its military intervention, Tehran has pursued a wide range of economic and social tactics for increasing its sway in Syria, but Washington can still push back with targeted assistance, innovative sanctions, and strategic messaging. This PolicyWatch is the first in a two-part series on how to counter Iran’s expanding activities in Syria amid talk of U.S. military withdrawal. Part 2 will discuss the array of Iranian-backed armed groups currently operating there
  • Topic: International Affairs, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu hopes to capture his fifth term in the April 9 national elections, and polls show he has a clear lead over other candidates, retaining support from approximately a quarter of the electorate. Yet it is insufficient to merely have the most votes; to govern, the winner must subsequently cobble together a majority of at least 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset. Netanyahu is also under the shadow of potential corruption indictments pending a hearing that would occur after the elections.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: David Pollock
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the United States prepares to withdraw its 2,000 troops from Syria, it has one last essential mission to accomplish. Those U.S. forces have fought successfully, hand in hand, with 60,000 Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against Islamic State terrorists for the past four years. And President Trump’s latest statement about this, on January 2, noted his desire to protect these Kurds. So, despite all obstacles, the United States should still try to protect that brave and loyal militia in the short term, and secure a safer medium-term future for the Syrian Kurds and their local partners.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Jerusalem seeks to mitigate the potential risks of the president’s decision by shaping its implementation and obtaining U.S. security guarantees, though long-term concerns still loom. Israeli officials have been careful not to publicly criticize President Trump’s recent announcement that all U.S. military forces will be pulled out of Syria. Below the surface, however, they have exuded dissatisfaction, concern, and a desire to make the best out of the situation. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s initial public response was lukewarm, stating that Israel will continue to take care of its security and “will not abide Iranian entrenchment in Syria.” He followed those remarks with hectic bilateral discussions on the matter, holding a phone call with President Trump, meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the sidelines of a gathering in Brazil, and hosting National Security Advisor John Bolton in Jerusalem. These discussions elicited U.S. public assurances about Israel’s security and, so it appears, opened opportunities to affect the manner in which Trump’s decision is implemented.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jana Juzová
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The Visegrad countries have since their own accession to the EU been one of the most active European actors advocating for further EU enlargement towards South- Eastern Europe. On the joint Visegrad-level as well as in their own foreign policies, the Western Balkans have a special position; the V4 countries provided them support on their path of European integration with transfer of know-how based on the V4’s own successful experience with economic and political transformation, regional cooperation and Euro-Atlantic integration. However, the Visegrad approach towards the Western Balkans is now being undermined and is losing its legitimacy due to several factors outlined in this paper. In spite of the positive impact of the Visegrad policy towards Western Balkans1, recent trends, such as worsening state of democracy in Hungary, Hungarian PM Orbán’s connections to autocratic leaders in the region (recently granting the asylum to former Macedonian PM Gruevski who escaped to Hungary from a jail sentence at home) are weakening not only Visegrad’s legitimacy as advocate for transformation of the region and its integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures, but also the normative power of the EU. Other V4 countries’ indifference towards this trend coupled with Poland’s new involvement in the Berlin Process framework, another EU member states’ initiative focused on the Western Balkans, only contribute to raising doubts about the commitment and legitimacy of Visegrad’s Western Balkan policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The conflict in Sudan is now between two competing visions: where Bashir believes no political change is needed to address the crisis, the protestors are adamant that it can only be resolved with his departure. The question is which of these two positions will be victorious.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Sudan
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Trump’s decision leaves the Kurdish nationalists of the KDP defenceless and, with their patron gone, will likely cause splits among Arab forces allied with Kurdish militiamen. Regionally, it sends a message to US allies in the Gulf about the Trump’s commitment to the Iran-containment strategy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Kurdistan
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Israel's April elections draw near and Palestinians continue looking toward presidential and legislative votes of their own, it is the responsibility of pollsters to identify changes in public attitudes on both sides and in the wider Arab arena. To discuss what recent surveys can tell us about the Israeli-Palestinian political climate, the prospects for renewed momentum toward peace, and related issues, The Washington Institute is pleased to host a Policy Forum with three renowned pollsters, Nader Said, Tamar Hermann, and David Pollock.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Gentiola Madhi
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Gentiola Madhi authored, within the Think Visegrad Non-V4 Fellowship programme, an analysis on the state of the affairs of regional cooperation in the Western Balkans.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elena DeLozier
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: By benefiting from questionable wartime revenue streams and outright corruption, both the Houthi rebels and the U.S.-supported Hadi government are inhibiting a transition to peace. The latest UN Panel of Experts report on Yemen raises new red flags about potential threats to near-term conflict resolution and stabilization. In addition to questioning the cohesiveness of government and rebel forces, it anecdotally details the rise of a robust, mafia-like war economy that creates disincentives for peace on both sides. The panel’s conclusions include a new, particularly damning assessment of Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government and its local affiliates, while also reiterating extant concerns about the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels.
  • Topic: Civil War, International Security
  • Political Geography: Yemen
  • Author: Joseph Braude
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A new opportunity has emerged to roll back generations of antisemitic and rejectionist messaging in Arab media, mosques, and schools. It stems from the convergence of interests between Israel and Arab powers, a youthful Arab grassroots trend in favor of a “peace between peoples,” and new Israeli and American Jewish capacities to engage Arab public discussions from the outside in. But prospects for change remain severely constrained: In addition to the effects of the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, the legacy of antisemitic brainwashing endures in many Arab institutions and draws further energy from Iranian and jihadist information operations. Meanwhile, proponents of a positive shift lack coordination, planning, and adequate support. In Reclamation: A Cultural Policy for Arab-Israeli Partnership, Joseph Braude documents the opportunity as well as the obstacles, and then proposes a strategy to accelerate progress. He explains how to engage Arab allies in a coordinated communications reform effort, support independent Arab champions of civil relations with Israel and Jews, expand the “outside-in” capacities, and degrade Iranian and jihadist channels of indoctrination within the region.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The federal government remains in a partial shutdown, the longest in US history, as President Trump and Democrats in Congress are deadlocked over funding for expanding the border wall with Mexico. A just-completed Chicago Council Survey shows that both sides have the backing of their public constituencies, but the President’s insistence on this topic has not boosted support for the expansion among the general public. Overall more Americans now oppose expanding the US-Mexico border wall since last asked in 2016.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The extraordinary criticism that Saudi Arabia is under holds the potential for the US Congress enacting legislation against OPEC. Anti-trust legislation would have turbulent impact on the global energy market in that such pressure could lead members withdrawing from OPEC.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Since 2017, the decline of social capital in Morocco represents a tree that hides a forest. We are now at an interlocking point of two negative trends in this decline: one is political vertical, and the other is societal horizontal.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Anna Jacobs
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Morocco’s migration policy reflects of the interconnectedness of foreign policy priorities, desired reform and the reality of domestic politics. Morocco has positioned itself as a counterterrorism and migration ally for Europe; while leaning toward the African Union, and African markets.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration, International Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fatima Al-Smadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The sanctions affect Iran in many ways, not only in economic terms. This paper examines the impact of sanctions on Iran’s domestic and foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Qiyuan Xu
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Chinese economy rebounded more significantly than expected. There is now general anticipation that growth in 2018 will fall slightly compared with that of 2017, but that it will remain stable at 6.5 percent or above. However, there are some factors that could lead to downward pressure on investment and consumption in 2018
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Ville Sinkkonen, Mika Aaltola
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Finnish Institute for International Affairs
  • Abstract: Donald Trump’s first year as President has been marked by continuity in US security policy, a partial challenge to the global principles of free trade, and a sea change in commitments to the liberal international order. These reflect a view of the international system as a zero-sum competitive realm.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Political Theory, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This LSE IDEAS Special Report - with senior contributors from politics, journalism, and academia - looks at the internal causes and consequences of the return of the 'Middle Kingdom'. It explores the extent to which Deng's momentous economic reforms in 1978 have shaped modern China, what the country's expanded international role under Xi means, and who really makes Chinese foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Samantha Custer, Elizabeth M King, Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Lindsay Read, Kabir Sethi
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Today, 650 million children around the globe are at risk of being left behind as they fail to learn basic skills. Inequitable access to education is part of the problem, but even when children are in school, they may not be learning. In Uganda, for instance, barely half of grade 6 children read at a grade 2 level (Uwezo, 2016). In India, just one in four children enrolled in grade 5 can read a simple sentence or complete simple division problems (ASER Centre, 2017).
  • Topic: Education, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Johannes Lang, Rens van Munster, Robin May Schott
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Disagreements on how to define “autonomy” are stalling formal UN discussions on the compliance of autonomous weapons with international humanitarian law. A pragmatic approach that focuses on the weapon’s critical functions, such as target selection and firing, can help move discussions forward in the future.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jean Pascal Zanders
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: This Policy Forum issue analyses both progress made by and challenges facing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). It does so in order to explore under what conditions and to what extent these two conventions might help build a zone in the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery vehicles (DVs). Finally, the issue presents some options for the future and a major long-term initiative towards this ambitious goal.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ana Karen Negrete-García
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the existence and nature of constraints prevailing among Mexican microenterprises. It provides inter‐temporal insights by relying on firm‐level data span‐ning from 1994 to 2012. A performance index is defined based on firm levels of capital stock and monthly profits, and is used to estimate the empirical probability of a business’s success. The predicted values are used to classify every microenterprise into one of three categories: upper, middle, or lower segment. Overall, the study provides evidence of con‐ strained productivity and capital misallocation. Specifically, middle‐segment firms exhibit entrepreneurial features and their average marginal returns are 15 percent. Because this segment faces mainly external constraints, cost‐effective interventions are plausible. Re‐garding the lower‐segment firms, it is estimated that their average monthly marginal re‐ turns are 30 per cent, compared to 1 per cent for the upper segment. It is also shown that, over time, the share that middle‐segment firms represent relative to all microenterprises increased from 16 to 22 percent. Lastly, the sources of variation in monthly profits among segments are explored using the Oaxaca‐Blinder decomposition method.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Hernan Flom
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In many developing countries with weak formal institutions, sectors within the state protect organized criminal activities, allowing illicit markets to thrive. This article posits that how state actors regulate drug trafficking affects the levels of violence associated with such criminal activity. I argue that political competition influences coordination within the police and leads to different types of regulatory regimes. On the one hand, coordinated forces implement protection rackets that contain violence. On the other, uncoordinated police carry out particularistic negotiations with drug traffickers that exacerbate criminal violence. I illustrate this argument with a subnational comparison of two Argentine provinces, Buenos Aires and Santa Fe, during a period in which both witnessed a surge in drug trafficking but only one (Santa Fe) suffered a dramatic increase in criminal violence. These cases show how corrupt states can obtain relative order in highly fragmented drug markets, and how the police shape the evolution of drug dealing in metropolitan areas.
  • Topic: Corruption, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Argentina
  • Author: Alain Tschudin, Albert Trithart
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: While the importance of good governance to sustaining peace is widely recognized, the focus tends to be on national governance. This overlooks the crucial role of local governance actors, particularly when the central government is fragmented or lacks broad legitimacy. These actors include not only formal institutions like municipal governments but also a mix of other actors that could range from traditional chieftaincies to community-based organizations to religious institutions.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nadav Shragai
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: A new survey, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion among the Arabs of east Jerusalem, indicates an increasing desire among the city’s Arab population to participate in upcoming municipal elections.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Nadav Shragai
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: A plan to build a Jewish residential neighborhood in Givat Hamatos (Airplane Hill) in southern Jerusalem was approved in 2014, but has been frozen for four years due to pressure from the U.S. and EU countries. The area is adjacent to a main traffic artery of west Jerusalem.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Nadav Shragai
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital puts into deep-freeze plans for a division of the city.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Jerusalem
  • Author: Dahlia Scheindlin
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Fresh thinking for old problems: comparing conflicts to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Israel's Policy toward the Far-Right Party in Austria, Summary of a Knesset Meeting.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The Collapse of Israel's Foreign Service, Summary of a Knesset Conference, February 2018
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The Crisis in Israel-Jordan Relations, Summary of a Knesset Conference, January 2018
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nimrod Goren, Roee Kibrik
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Voting Patterns in UN Institutions Regarding Israel, 2009-2017, Dr. Roee Kibrik & Dr. Nimrod Goren
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The 2017 annual conference of the Mitvim Institute was held on 1 November 2017 in Jerusalem, in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. As part of the conference, a public panel was held on opportunities for Israel’s foreign relations towards 2018. It featured Helit Barel, Prof. Elie Podeh, Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, and Eran Etzion who spoke about issues related to the Iran nuclear deal, Israel-US relations, Israel in the Middle East, the involvement of Israel’s Arab citizens in foreign affairs, Israeli-European relations, and the status of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Niklas Bremberg
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Research suggests that states and societies around the world are increasingly confronted by climate-related security risks. These risks are unavoidably transnational in character, and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) are instrumental in developing policy solutions and enhancing international cooperation. However, previous research highlights that knowledge about the conditions under which IGOs address climate security risks, and when they do so effectively, is incomplete. There is a need for further in-depth analysis of relevant IGOs in the field of climate security.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jaïr van der Lijn
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Multilateral peace operations are increasingly confronting a set of interrelated and mutually reinforcing security challenges that are relatively new to them, that do not respect borders, and that have causes and effects which cut right across the international security, peacebuilding and development agendas. As a result, the New Geopolitics of Peace Operations III: Non‑Traditional Security Challenges initiative seeks to enhance understanding about peace operations and non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism and violent extremism, irregular migration, piracy, organized crime and environmental degradation. As a part of this initiative, this SIPRI Background Paper explores the ‘non-traditional’ security challenges that organized crime presents to multilateral peace operations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The United States remains committed to its role as a global leader on humanitarian issues and will continue seeking to avert crises that spawn the need for humanitarian aid, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eleanore Ardemagni, Umberto Profazio
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Th e reaction of the Arab armies to the 2011 uprisings is a subject that has been frequently examined, but the evolution and reform of Arab armies is a neglected topic.2 In times of global interdependence, the Atlantic Alliance must be ready to understand and interact with a changing Middle East, since NATO Arab partners’ security is more and more NATO’s security, in terms of shared objectives, common threats and cooperative security. Arab armies have entered a new era: traditional obstacles to military reform, mostly due to their politicization, persist; other variables emerge from the interaction of domestic, foreign and transnational threats.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maria Demertzis, Stavros Zenios
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Since the financial crisis, EU countries' economies have recovered to the point that they are exiting their adjustment programmes. Institutional stability mechanisms have been improved at the European level, with the promotion of the banking union and the establishment of a European Monetary Fund, for instance. However, the authors argue that such crisis contingencies should include markets in their risk-sharing, which would require better coordination with institutions.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kyle L Marquardt
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Many datasets use experts to code latent quantities of interest. However, scholars have not explored either the factors affecting expert reliability or the degree to which these factors influence estimates of latent concepts. Here we systematically analyze potential correlates of expert reliability using six randomly selected variables from a cross-national panel dataset, V-Dem v8. The V-Dem project includes a diverse group of over 3,000 experts and uses an IRT model to incorporate variation in both expert reliability and scale perception into its data aggregation process. In the process, the IRT model produces an estimate of expert reliability, which affects the relative contribution of an expert to the model. We examine a variety of factors that could correlate with reliability, and find little evidence of theoretically-untenable bias due to expert characteristics. On the other hand, there is evidence that attentive and condent experts who have a basic contextual knowledge of the concept of democracy are more reliable.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matthew Blackwell, Adam Glynn
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Repeated measurements of the same countries, people, or groups over time are vital to many fields of political science. These measurements, sometimes called time-series cross-sectional (TSCS) data, allow researchers to estimate a broad set of causal quantities, including contemporaneous and lagged treatment effects. Unfortunately, popular methods for TSCS data can only produce valid inferences for lagged effects under very strong assumptions. In this paper, we use potential outcomes to define causal quantities of interest in this settings and clarify how standard models like the autoregressive distributed lag model can produce biased estimates of these quantities due to post-treatment conditioning. We then describe two estimation strategies that avoid these post-treatment biases—inverse probability weighting and structural nested mean models—and show via simulations that they can outperform standard approaches in small sample settings. We illustrate these methods in a study of how welfare spending affects terrorism.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Robinson, Marcus Tannenberg
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: The study of popular support for authoritarian regimes, and the comparative study of political attitudes, has long relied on the assumption that survey respondents provide truthful answers on surveys. However, when measuring regime support in closed political systems there is a distinct risk that individuals are less than forthright due to fear that their opinions may be made known to the public or the authorities. In order to test this assumption, we conducted a novel web-based survey in China in which we included four list experiments of commonly used items in the comparative literature on regime support. We find systematic bias for all four measures as a result of selfcensorship; substantially more individuals state that they support the regime with direct questioning than do when presented with our anonymous, indirect list experiments. The level of self-censorship, which ranges from 16 to 22 percentage points, is considerably higher than previously thought. Selfcensorship is further most prevalent among the wealthy, urban, female and younger respondents. These findings indicate that prior studies that have found high levels of support for the Chinese regime using these particular measures likely overestimate the true level of support. Further, crossnational studies which compare popular support across regime type may be systematically biased if responses are not subject to the same level of falsification across regime types.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carl Henrik Knutsen
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: The Historical Varieties of Democracy Dataset (Historical V-Dem) is a new dataset containing about 260 indicators, both factual and evaluative, describing various aspects of political regimes and state institutions. The dataset covers 91 polities globally – including most large, sovereign states, as well as some semi-sovereign entities and large colonies – from 1789 to 1920 for many cases. The majority of the indicators are also included in the Varieties of Democracy dataset, which covers the period from 1900 to the present – and together these two datasets cover the bulk of “modern history”. Historical V-Dem also includes several new indicators, covering features that are pertinent for 19thcentury polities. We describe the data, the process of coding, and the different strategies employed in Historical V-Dem to cope with issues of reliability and validity and ensure inter-temporal- and cross-country comparability. To illustrate the potential uses of the dataset we provide a descriptive account of patterns of democratization in the “long 19th century.” Finally, we perform an empirical investigation of how inter-state war relates to subsequent democratization.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Håvard Hegre, Michael Bernhard, Jan Teorell
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: The democratic peace is one of the most robust findings in international relations. Yet it suffers from two important limitations. First, even those who fully embrace the democratic peace have difficulty precisely identifying which facet of democracy drives the result. Second, the vast majority of studies have relied on a single measure of democracy – the Polity index. This paper reassesses interstate conflict on several new measures of democracy and their disaggregated components from the Varieties of Democracy project in a global sample of 173 countries from 1900–2010 (www.v-dem.net). We theorize three distinct mechanisms of constraint that may explain why some countries do not engage in military conflict with each other: formal vertical (e.g. elections), informal vertical (e.g. civil society activism), and horizontal accountability (e.g. interbranch constraint on the executive). We find that the formal vertical channels of accountability provided by elections are not as crucial as horizontal constraint and the informal vertical accountability provided by a strong civil society.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Armand M Leroi et al
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Sometimes the normal course of events is disrupted by a particularly swift and profound change. Historians have often referred to such changes as "revolutions" and, though they have identied many of them, they have rarely supported their claims with statistical evidence. Here we present a method to identify revolutions based on a measure of the multivariate rate of change called Foote Novelty. We dene revolutions as those periods of time when the value of this measure, F, can, by a non-parametric test, be shown to be signicantly greater than the background rate. Our method also identies conservative periods when the rate of change is unusually low. Importantly, our method permits searching for revolutions over any time scale that the data permit. We apply it to several quantitative data sets that capture long-term political, social and cultural changes and, in some of them, identify revolutions, both well known and not. Our method is a general one that can be applied to any phenomenon captured by multivariate time series data of sufficient quality.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Shoag, Stan Veuger
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: We report three findings. First, using evidence from chain bankruptcies and data on 12 million to 18 million establishments per year, we show that large retailers produce significant positive spillovers. Second, local governments respond to the size of these externalities. When a town’s boundaries allow it to capture a larger share of retail spillovers, it is more likely to offer retail subsidies. Third, these subsidies partially crowd out private sector mechanisms that also subsidize large retailers, such as shopping malls. These facts provide powerful evidence of the Coase theorem at work and highlight a concern for local development policies even when externalities can be targeted.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: John Higginbotham, Jennifer Spence
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The opening of the Arctic Ocean and the forces of globalization it will unleash pose both pressing challenges and exciting opportunities for the largest and most autonomous of the Arctic regions, the North American Arctic (NAA) — Greenland, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska. However, a broad pan-Arctic cooperation is not always the best approach to address these issues; neither are international interests always well aligned with the priorities of Northerners.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: North America
  • Author: Alessandro Colombo, Paola Magri
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: Under the pressure of the new US administration’s aggressive rhetoric, 2017 has revealed that traditional dynamics among great powers are back in the international context of the XXI century. Contrary to the most optimistic predictions and discourses of the early post-Cold War period, the “game of big powers” is regaining centre stage. This is mainly due to three intertwined processes: the growth and renewed assertiveness of potential United States’ global competitors such as Russia and China; the enduring crisis of multilateralism and global co-existence; and even more, the breakdown of the regional order into increasingly autonomous arenas, where regional powers are on the rise. The ISPI 2018 Report reflects upon this change, only partly offset by positive news coming from the global economy over the past year. The first part of the volume focuses on the global context; the second investigates the role Europe can play in a “world of big powers”; the last part addresses Italian foreign policy.
  • Topic: Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John Mark Shorack
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: PalThink For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States government under President Trump recently announced the withdrawal of monetary aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, commonly referred to as UNRWA. This is a major blow to UNRWA’s finances considering the United States’ yearly contribution’s amounted to one-third of their budget. Since UNRWA’s founding it has been a leading force providing support of Palestinian refugees across the Middle East region mainly providing education and emergency medical assistance.
  • Topic: Education, International Affairs, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Middle East