Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science

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Author: Stephen Van Evera

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801454441

Category: Political Science

Page: 144

View: 2930

Stephen Van Evera greeted new graduate students at MIT with a commonsense introduction to qualitative methods in the social sciences. His helpful hints, always warmly received, grew from a handful of memos to an underground classic primer. That primer evolved into a book of how-to information about graduate study, which is essential reading for graduate students and undergraduates in political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, and history—and for their advisers. •How should we frame, assess, and apply theories in the social sciences? "I am unpersuaded by the view that the prime rules of scientific method should differ between hard science and social science. Science is science." •A section on case studies shows novices the ropes. •Van Evera contends the realm of dissertations is often defined too narrowly “Making and testing theories are not the only games in town. . . . If everyone makes and tests theories but no one ever uses them, then what are they for?" •In "Helpful Hints on Writing a Political Science Ph.D. Dissertation," Van Evera focuses on presentation, and on broader issues of academic strategy and tactics. •Van Evera asks how political scientists should work together as a community. “All institutions and professions that face weak accountability need inner ethical rudders that define their obligations in order to stay on course."

The Oxford Handbook of Political Science

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Author: Robert E. Goodin

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191619795

Category: Political Science

Page: 1312

View: 2008

Drawing on the rich resources of the ten-volume series of The Oxford Handbooks of Political Science, this one-volume distillation provides a comprehensive overview of all the main branches of contemporary political science: political theory; political institutions; political behavior; comparative politics; international relations; political economy; law and politics; public policy; contextual political analysis; and political methodology. Sixty-seven of the top political scientists worldwide survey recent developments in those fields and provide penetrating introductions to exciting new fields of study. Following in the footsteps of the New Handbook of Political Science edited by Robert Goodin and Hans-Dieter Klingemann a decade before, this Oxford Handbook will become an indispensable guide to the scope and methods of political science as a whole. It will serve as the reference book of record for political scientists and for those following their work for years to come.

Endurance and War

The National Sources of Military Cohesion

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Author: Jasen J. Castillo

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804790728

Category: Political Science

Page: 328

View: 1955

Scholars and military practitioners alike have long sought to understand why some country's militaries fight hard when facing defeat while others collapse. In Endurance and War, Jasen Castillo presents a new unifying theory—cohesion theory—to explain why national militaries differ in their staying power. His argument builds on insights from the literatures on group solidarity in general and military effectiveness in particular, which argue that the stronger the ties binding together individuals in a group of any kind, the higher the degree of cohesion that a group will exhibit when taking collective action, including fighting in war. Specifically, he argues that two types of ties determine the cohesion, and therefore the resilience, of a nation's armed forces during war: the degree of control a regime holds over its citizens and the amount of autonomy the armed forces possess to focus on training for warfighting. Understanding why armed forces differ in their cohesion should help U.S. military planners better assess the military capabilities of potential adversaries, like Iran and North Korea. For scholars of international politics, cohesion theory can help provide insights into how countries create military power and how they win wars.

Warring Friends

Alliance Restraint in International Politics

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Author: Jeremy Pressman

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801467128

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 1821

Allied nations often stop each other from going to war. Some countries even form alliances with the specific intent of restraining another power and thereby preventing war. Furthermore, restraint often becomes an issue in existing alliances as one ally wants to start a war, launch a military intervention, or pursue some other risky military policy while the other ally balks. In Warring Friends, Jeremy Pressman draws on and critiques realist, normative, and institutionalist understandings of how alliance decisions are made. Alliance restraint often has a role to play both in the genesis of alliances and in their continuation. As this book demonstrates, an external power can apply the brakes to an incipient conflict, and even unheeded advice can aid in clarifying national goals. The power differentials between allies in these partnerships are influenced by leadership unity, deception, policy substitutes, and national security priorities. Recent controversy over the complicated relationship between the U.S. and Israeli governments-especially in regard to military and security concerns-is a reminder that the alliance has never been easy or straightforward. Pressman highlights multiple episodes during which the United States attempted to restrain Israel's military policies: Israeli nuclear proliferation during the Kennedy Administration; the 1967 Arab-Israeli War; preventing an Israeli preemptive attack in 1973; a small Israeli operation in Lebanon in 1977; the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982; and Israeli action during the Gulf War of 1991. As Pressman shows, U.S. initiatives were successful only in 1973, 1977, and 1991, and tensions have flared up again recently as a result of Israeli arms sales to China. Pressman also illuminates aspects of the Anglo-American special relationship as revealed in several cases: British nonintervention in Iran in 1951; U.S. nonintervention in Indochina in 1954; U.S. commitments to Taiwan that Britain opposed, 1954-1955; and British intervention and then withdrawal during the Suez War of 1956. These historical examples go far to explain the context within which the Blair administration failed to prevent the U.S. government from pursuing war in Iraq at a time of unprecedented American power.

Rational Theory of International Politics

The Logic of Competition and Cooperation

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Author: Charles L. Glaser

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400835133

Category: Political Science

Page: 328

View: 2916

Within the realist school of international relations, a prevailing view holds that the anarchic structure of the international system invariably forces the great powers to seek security at one another's expense, dooming even peaceful nations to an unrelenting struggle for power and dominance. Rational Theory of International Politics offers a more nuanced alternative to this view, one that provides answers to the most fundamental and pressing questions of international relations. Why do states sometimes compete and wage war while at other times they cooperate and pursue peace? Does competition reflect pressures generated by the anarchic international system or rather states' own expansionist goals? Are the United States and China on a collision course to war, or is continued coexistence possible? Is peace in the Middle East even feasible? Charles Glaser puts forward a major new theory of international politics that identifies three kinds of variables that influence a state's strategy: the state's motives, specifically whether it is motivated by security concerns or "greed"; material variables, which determine its military capabilities; and information variables, most importantly what the state knows about its adversary's motives. Rational Theory of International Politics demonstrates that variation in motives can be key to the choice of strategy; that the international environment sometimes favors cooperation over competition; and that information variables can be as important as material variables in determining the strategy a state should choose.

Europe United

Power Politics and the Making of the European Community

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Author: Sebastian Rosato

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801461460

Category: Political Science

Page: 280

View: 2092

The construction of the European Community (EC) has widely been understood as the product of either economic self-interest or dissatisfaction with the nation-state system. In Europe United, Sebastian Rosato challenges these conventional explanations, arguing that the Community came into being because of balance of power concerns. France and the Federal Republic of Germany-the two key protagonists in the story-established the EC at the height of the cold war as a means to balance against the Soviet Union and one another. More generally, Rosato argues that international institutions, whether military or economic, largely reflect the balance of power. In his view, states establish institutions in order to maintain or increase their share of world power, and the shape of those institutions reflects the wishes of their most powerful members. Rosato applies this balance of power theory of cooperation to several other cooperative ventures since 1789, including various alliances and trade pacts, the unifications of Italy and Germany, and the founding of the United States. Rosato concludes by arguing that the demise of the Soviet Union has deprived the EC of its fundamental purpose. As a result, further moves toward political and military integration are improbable, and the economic community is likely to unravel to the point where it becomes a shadow of its former self.

The Migration of Constitutional Ideas

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Author: Sujit Choudhry

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139460774

Category: Law

Page: N.A

View: 5186

The migration of constitutional ideas across jurisdictions is one of the central features of contemporary constitutional practice. The increasing use of comparative jurisprudence in interpreting constitutions is one example of this. In this 2007 book, leading figures in the study of comparative constitutionalism and comparative constitutional politics from North America, Europe and Australia discuss the dynamic processes whereby constitutional systems influence each other. They explore basic methodological questions which have thus far received little attention, and examine the complex relationship between national and supranational constitutionalism - an issue of considerable contemporary interest in Europe. The migration of constitutional ideas is discussed from a variety of methodological perspectives - comparative law, comparative politics, and cultural studies of law - and contributors draw on case-studies from a wide variety of jurisdictions: Australia, Hungary, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.

Collateral Damage

Sino-Soviet Rivalry and the Termination of the Sino-Vietnamese Alliance

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Author: Nicholas Khoo

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231521634

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 6520

Although the Chinese and the Vietnamese were Cold War allies in wars against the French and the Americans, their alliance collapsed and they ultimately fought a war against each other in 1979. More than thirty years later the fundamental cause of the alliance's termination remains contested among historians, international relations theorists, and Asian studies specialists. Nicholas Khoo brings fresh perspective to this debate. Using Chinese-language materials released since the end of the Cold War, Khoo revises existing explanations for the termination of China's alliance with Vietnam, arguing that Vietnamese cooperation with China's Cold War adversary, the Soviet Union, was the necessary and sufficient cause for the alliance's termination. He finds alternative explanations to be less persuasive. These emphasize nonmaterial causes, such as ideology and culture, or reference issues within the Sino-Vietnamese relationship, such as land and border disputes, Vietnam's treatment of its ethnic Chinese minority, and Vietnam's attempt to establish a sphere of influence over Cambodia and Laos. Khoo also adds to the debate over the relevance of realist theory in interpreting China's international behavior during both the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. While others see China as a social state driven by nonmaterial processes, Khoo makes the case for viewing China as a quintessential neorealist state. From this perspective, the focus of neorealist theory on security threats from materially stronger powers explains China's foreign policy not only toward the Soviet Union but also in relation to its Vietnamese allies.

The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (Updated Edition)

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Author: John J. Mearsheimer

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393076240

Category: Political Science

Page: 576

View: 4748

"A superb book.…Mearsheimer has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the behavior of great powers."—Barry R. Posen, The National Interest The updated edition of this classic treatise on the behavior of great powers takes a penetrating look at the question likely to dominate international relations in the twenty-first century: Can China rise peacefully? In clear, eloquent prose, John Mearsheimer explains why the answer is no: a rising China will seek to dominate Asia, while the United States, determined to remain the world's sole regional hegemon, will go to great lengths to prevent that from happening. The tragedy of great power politics is inescapable.

Reform Without Justice

Latino Migrant Politics and the Homeland Security State

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Author: Alfonso Gonzales

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190203269

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 8867

Placed within the context of the past decade's war on terror and emergent Latino migrant movement, Reform without Justice addresses the issue of state violence against migrants in the United States. It questions what forces are driving draconian migration control policies and why it is that, despite its success in mobilizing millions, the Latino migrant movement and its allies have not been able to more successfully defend the rights of migrants. Gonzales argues that the contemporary Latino migrant movement and its allies face a dynamic form of political power that he terms "anti-migrant hegemony". This type of political power is exerted in multiple sites of power from Congress, to think tanks, talk shows and local government institutions, through which a rhetorically race neutral and common sense public policy discourse is deployed to criminalize migrants. Most insidiously anti-migrant hegemony allows for large sectors of "pro-immigrant" groups to concede to coercive immigration enforcement measures such as a militarized border wall and the expansion of immigration policing in local communities in exchange for so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Given this reality, Gonzales sustains that most efforts to advance immigration reform will fail to provide justice for migrants. This is because proposed reform measures ignore the neoliberal policies driving migration and reinforce the structures of state violence used against migrants to the detriment of democracy for all. Reform without Justice concludes by discussing how Latino migrant activists - especially youth - and their allies can change this reality and help democratize the United States.