News

Bringing War Back in: Victory and State Formation in Latin America

Author: Schenoni, Luis

Scholars have often dismissed the effect of war on state formation in regions like Latin America, where mobilization for war is deemed insufficiently intense and international conflict fails to out‐select weaker states. Against this conventional wisdom, I contend that wars can affect state‐building trajectories in a postwar period through the different state institutions that result from...

What is QAnon, the baseless conspiracy spilling into US politics?

Author: Anieka Johnson

In mid August, Marjorie Taylor Greene won the primary election in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, which is likely to vote red in November. Two weeks later, she was invited to attend President Donald Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention. Jo Rae Perkins of Oregon and Lauren Boebert of Colorado also won Republican primary elections this summer. What do these candidates have in common? They are among several aspiring lawmakers who have promoted QAnon.

ARTICLE || The Future of the U.S. Marine Corps

Author: Webb, Jim

On September 4, 2002, five months before the invasion of Iraq, this writer warned in an editorial for the Washington Post that “China can only view the prospect of an American military consumed for the next…

Peacemakers or Iron Ladies?

Conventional wisdom suggests that when women attain high political office they are more likely to act as peacemakers than their male counterparts. In contrast, this article argues that... 

Politics Podcast: Can COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories Be Stopped?

As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, so have conspiracy theories about the origin and severity of the virus that causes it. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, political scientist and conspiracy theory researcher Joseph Uscinski joins Galen Druke and senior science writer Maggie Koerth to discuss why these theories develop and whether they can be stopped.

How do we escape these partisan death spirals? Devolve more power to the states | Opinion

Author: Joseph Parent

Are Americans doomed to an indefinite future of extreme partisan conflict? The Senate impeachment trial is off to a rancorous start, and it appears that the process will make the most polarizing president on record even more polarizing. Meanwhile, the Democratic presidential candidates debate a raft of polarizing proposals: Medicare for all, free college, universal basic income, adding seats to the Supreme Court, and a wealth tax on the super-rich. These moves and countermoves have produced what Representative Justin Amash calls a "partisan death spiral". How to pull out of this downward spiral? There are few good options.

ARTICLE | Trump threatens to "hit" Iranian cultural sites if they retaliate over Soleimani assassination

Author: Rozsa, Matthew

"The danger that we face is twofold," Michael Desch, a professor of political science at Notre Dame University who specializes in American foreign policy and American national security policy and directs the Notre Dame International Security Center, told Salon on Sunday. "One is that any response, particularly against non-military sites or sites where there's a high likelihood of collateral damage (particularly among civilians), could be self-defeating in the sense that a lot of the rest of the world would regard it as..

Article | Defensive Defense: A Better Way to Protect US Allies in Asia

Author: Eugene Gholz

US strategy in East Asia is defensive—seeking to maintain the territorial status quo and to preserve open trade and investment. The military component of that strategy largely involves helping allies defend their territories against China as the PRC grows richer and spends more on its military. But current US military operational plans in service of that strategy are largely offensive: in case of war, they would send US military assets close to China and launch conventional strikes against the Chinese homeland. This “offensive defense” is more expensive, more dangerous, and less effective than an alternative: “defensive defense.” 

ARTICLE | Trump Didn’t Shrink U.S. Military Commitments Abroad—He Expanded Them

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to extract the United States from costly foreign conflicts, bring U.S. troops home, and shrug off burdensome overseas commitments. “Great nations do not fight endless wars,” Trump declared in his 2019 State of the Union address. “We’re bringing our troops back home,” he boasted during a cabinet meeting in October. “I got elected on bringing our soldiers back home.” But after nearly three years in office, Trump’s promised retrenchment has yet to materialize. The president hasn’t... 

ARTICLE | Market structure and economic sanctions: the 2010 rare earth elements episode as a pathway case of market adjustment

Author: Eugene Gholz

Studies identify cost as a key factor determining the effectiveness of economic sanctions. We argue that failing to account for market dynamics in the sector in which sanctions are imposed undermines the validity of estimates of the economic costs imposed on target countries, and we propose that market structure powerfully conditions sanctions effectiveness. To examine the effect of market structure, we trace the causal path through...

New Book | Tempting Fate: Why Nonnuclear States Confront Nuclear Opponents

Author: Avey, Paul

Why would countries without nuclear weapons even think about fighting nuclear-armed opponents? A simple answer is that no one believes nuclear weapons will be used. But that answer fails to consider why nonnuclear state leaders would believe that in the first place. In this superb unpacking of the dynamics of conflict under conditions of nuclear monopoly, Paul C. Avey argues that the costs and benefits of using nuclear weapons create openings that weak nonnuclear actors can exploit.