International Relations

Name: Paul S. Adams
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: padams@pitt.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Bringing the Outside In: The European Commission’s Influence in Shaping European Union Relations with Non-Member European States
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The issue of potential British exit from the European Union has spawned innumerable theories as to of what, if Brexit occurs, the future relationship of British-Union relations consist? Many policymakers and policy pundits point to the relations between the EU and Switzerland or with Norway as possibilities. However, while these relations are being touted by pro-exit crowds, the current status of these relationships with the Union are quite in doubt. The Swiss-EU Bilateral relationship has been strained by both immigration and taxation issues and unless the Swiss revise the outcome of the February 2014 referendum, the entire bilateral system will hang in the balance. Further, the European Economic Area (EEA) between the EU and Norway and Iceland is also under threat as the Commission has increasingly criticized the system for being too slow to implement new EU law and policy. Critical here is the effort by the Commission over the past decade to more strenuously erode the currency of the existing Bilaterals and EEA agreements for their lack of enforceability and efficiency in adoption and implementation of EU law and directives. These must be individually bargained in the Swiss Bilateral case but are also argued to be slowly and more haphazardly codified and enforced even under EEA. This case highlights the power of the Commission in dominating EU policy with the non-EU European states like Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. This research shall demonstrate not only are the Bilateral and EEA systems in peril from increasing pressure and criticism by the EU, but that in this and similar areas the pressure for changes and reforms is mostly being generated from the Commission itself which is responsible for ensuring adoption, implementation, and enforcement of EU law and directives. Hence it is institutionally interested in more legally binding EU treaties and regimes with non-member states – especially in Europe.


Name: Jordy Barry
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: jordy.barry@rutgers.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Rutgers University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: 'Progressive' Politics and 'Barbaric' Behaviors: The Detachment of the South African Constitution and its Protections Against Female Genital Mutilation
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The South African constitution is often praised as one of the most progressive in the world, particularly with regard to its protections of the rights of girls and women. It grants its citizens specific, concrete freedoms and rights in this document, including the establishment of a society based upon social justice and fundamental human rights. The creation of the South African Human Rights Commission and the Commission for Gender Equality reflect a commitment toward ensuring girls and women are protected under the law. The South African Parliament also passed the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000, which explicitly outlaws unfair discrimination of the ground of gender, including female genital mutilation (FGM). However, despite the impressive laws on paper, South Africa has the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world. Although the World Health Organisation deems South Africa to be free of female genital mutilation within its borders, local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and international nonprofits that work on FGM have collected first hand accounts of women from indigenous and migrant communities that have undergone the practice. My research project poses the question: What role are local nongovernmental organizations playing in empowering South Africans to eliminate female genital mutilation in the absence of state support? This question is framed through a discussion of why the strong legal protections against female genital mutilation are not enforced in South Africa. Through fieldwork hosted by Sonke Gender Justice, an international nonprofit based in Cape Town, South Africa, my paper does the following: (1) provides a background of the South African constitution and its legal promises to eliminate and prosecute FGM practices: (2) explains how the language of ‘mutilation’ as opposed to ‘cutting’ or ‘modification’ can impact the type of information one can gain access to: and (3) analyzes my preliminary findings from interviews with government officials at the local and state level, as well as grassroots organizers. My objective is to gain insight into the disconnect between South Africa’s constitutional and legal commitment to upholding the human rights of girls and women, and the reality of the persistence of the practice of female genital mutilation.


Name: Scott Bledsoe
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: asb668@nyu.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: New York University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Beyond Butchery: The Development of Islamic State Propaganda and the Creation of Legitimacy
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The growth and prominence of the Islamic State has presented a tremendously important and puzzling problem on the world stage. Why has such a violent, barbaric terrorist organization been so successful in generating support for their regime? Through a method of historical process tracing, this paper argues that the inclusion of a legitimizing narrative in Islamic State propaganda has brought the group a measure of political legitimacy that previously eluded them. By analyzing Dabiq, the Islamic State’s English-language online magazine, a distinct shift in the tone of ISIS propaganda is illustrated. This change in the narrative is shown to more closely align with Iraqi political preferences, which are gathered from the World Values Survey. Finally, reports on the ground in Islamic State territory are utilized to demonstrate that there is at least a measure of acceptance of ISIS established institutions, a clear sign that there are some who believe the terrorist organization has the right to exercise power.


Name: Jason Charrette
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: JasonFCharrette@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Connecticut
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: The Meek Shall Inherent the Earth: the Rise of a Religious World Order in the 21st Century
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Despite the growing importance of religious actors to international politics, IR scholars still largely analyze them through a Westphalian lens. This article argues that religious actors are reconfiguring world order in the 21st century. Organizations such as the Islamic State are forcibly challenging states to once again consider religious ideas in the constitution of the global space. A framework that theoretically levels the playing field between religious and political actors is needed to understand the potential trajectory of this order. This paper presents the logic of sociologist Niklas Luhmann’s modern systems theory as a means of explaining the hegemonic potential of religious actors. Luhmann argues that world society is made up of separate but equal functional communication systems. Within this functionally differentiated world society, the dominance of the political has given way to equality among ordering principles. This article re-examines the actions of the Islamic State, the Taliban, the Catholic Church, Evangelical Protestants, and Hindu nationalists through this new theoretical perspective. While not all religious actors act outside the boundaries of the state or foment for a new world order, that some do is a reminder of the historical contingency of the Westphalian system.


Name: Matthew Crosston
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: matt.crosston@bellevue.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Bellevue University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: THAAD MAD BAD: The Battle of Competing Narratives over the South China Sea
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The focus of this paper begins with the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missile system as a backdrop for animosity and misperception between America and China in the South China Sea. The germination for the paper stems from a series of newspaper interviews given to a major Chinese news daily, where the daily sought to explain to the Chinese people why there were ‘American attitudes of hostility towards China in the South China Sea.’ The activities currently being undertaken across the South China Sea are being characterized in radically divergent ways, based on diametrically opposed geopolitical narratives, involving more than half a dozen states. This paper breaks these narratives down to their core strategic assumptions and objectives to ascertain which side is more justified in its accusations of ‘aggression and hostility’ toward the other. The dominant narrative in the West is decidedly Americo-centric. This analysis examines how much of that narrative is objectively accurate versus how much of it is agenda-based according to American national interests.


Name: John D'Attoma
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: john.dattoma@eui.eu
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Institution: European University Institute
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: More Bang For Your Buck: An Experimental Comparative Analysis of Tax Compliance
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Co-author info: Sven Steinmo
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In many ways taxation is the linchpin between democratic accountability and responsibility. No one really enjoys paying taxes, but we do it to ensure our public institutions, infrastructure, and programs are funded well enough to function properly. Paying taxes is also used as a means to keep our politicians accountable; they are spending our money, and therefore, they should spend it wisely. However, there is large variation in both the quality and quantity of public services countries provide and how well public institutions are perceived. To a large extent these are correlated. If I perceive my institutions as providing good quality services, then I will be more likely to pay my taxes and vice versa. On the other hand, If individuals pay their taxes, governments are better able to provide quality public services. This situation is what I call a low-trust/low-efficiency or high-trust/high-efficiency feedback loop which can either foster tax compliance or tax non-compliance. Using comparative historical analysis, I examine how this low-trust/low-efficiency environment can form using the case of Italy. I further test how Italians, Swedes, Brits, and Americans behave given the exact same institutional environment and tax system. In end the end, I unearth that that quality of public institutions and an efficient/effective tax administration is more important to tax collection, than individual and personal characteristics.


Name: William Davis
Section:
Professional Email: wdavis@walsh.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Walsh University
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Paper Title: Realism and the Waltzean Straw Man
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Wohlforth (2011) states that Robert Keohane’s Neorealism and its Critics along with other critiques of neorealism by conflating classical realists such Robert Gilpin unfairly sidelined Gilpin’s realism. For example, Keohane, he says “portrayed Waltz, not Gilpin, as definitive of contemporary realism and as the preferred foil for the development of scholarship, including Keohane’s own work” (2011, 500). This sidelining of Gilpin in favor of Waltz allowed critics to unfairly characterize realism to the detriment of International Relations (IR) scholarship. In this paper I argue that the conflation and mischaracterization of realist concepts was to such an extent that the grand theory had essentially been reduced to a straw man. I outline a solution to this problem in the form of a dual likelihood model.


Name: Ginger Denton
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: Ginger.L.Denton@uscga.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Indian Perceptions of the United States and China
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This paper compares the economic, diplomatic, and military relationships between India and the United State and China. Indian alignment has become increasingly relevant in recent years as the country has grown as a regional power. This research uses two alternate methods to examine the relationships and potential alignment between these three countries. At the aggregate level, trade data is analyzed to determine whether economic relations impact diplomatic relations. Next, individual survey data gathered from citizens in India is used to ascertain how different demographic or socioeconomic groups within India perceive their country's potential alignment with either the US or China. Answers to the question of what facilitates a country's alignment with India could have policy implications for both the US and China. Understanding how individual Indians view these two world powers and their military could also determine which segments of Indian society the US or China might target if seeking to alignment with India.


Name: Chris Dolan
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: chrisdolan635@gmail.com
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Lebanon Valley College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: U.S. Foreign Policy and NATO in the Evolving European Security Order
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This study examines the evolving and expanding roles of NATO in U.S. foreign policy toward Europe designed to balance and deter Russia in response to its annexation of Crimea and intervention in eastern Ukraine. The paper will review the academic literature on alliance structures and maintenance and then describe the contemporary state of collective security issues and challenges in transatlantic relations It will then assess the recent moves by the transatlantic alliance to engage in a military buildup in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with the European Reassurance Initiative, which is designed to improve military training, rotate multinational forces, and improve infrastructure and weaponry. In addition, the paper will examine the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) on research and development in cyber and space warfare, stealth technology, drones, precision-guided weaponry, 3-D printing, advanced navigation, networking, and communications in order to counter military modernization programs undertaken by Russia. However, the most significant challenges that will determine and shape the future of transatlantic relations include burden sharing in NATO, the increasing roles played by the alliance beyond Europe, and maintaining a unified front within the alliance against Russian expansion.


Name: Rosetta Dweh
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: rmdweh@comcast.net
Professional Status: Administrator
Institution: Rutgers University Graduate
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Impact of Presidential Leadership Styles on Their Foreign Policy Decision Making.
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A comparative analysis of several case studies using qualitative content analysis to examine the impact of presidential leadership styles on foreign policy decision making. Four U.S. presidents including President Barack Obama, William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan will be evaluated to determine what effect did this had on their foreign policy decisions.


Name: Eric Fleury
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: efleury4118@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: College of the Holy Cross
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Terrorism as Absolute War: The Contemporary Dimensions of Clausewitz's 'Trinity'
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This paper draws upon Carl von Clausewitz’s theory of war to outline a corresponding theory of terrorism. Although several commentators have noted the relevance of Clausewitz to the study of terrorism, no systematic effort has been made to elaborate how the fundamental principles of armed conflict, which Clausewitz applied to the battles of the Napoleonic era, to modern terrorist and counter-terrorist campaigns. Specifically, this paper will explain that terrorism aims to turn “absolute war,” which Clausewitz understood as an abstract standard, into a reality. It will detail how the Clausewitzian ‘trinity’ of primordial violence, calculation of probabilities, and political objectives applies to terrorist organizations as well as states, and explain the resultant dynamics of conflict between them as they utilize shared concepts on behalf of fundamentally different purposes. Such a project is worthwhile in many respects. Interpreting terrorism as a form of armed conflict helps to generate a more comprehensive definition of terrorism, furthering our understanding of the common logic driving various organizations. It also lays the ground for a counter-terrorism strategy that not only exploits the strategic vulnerabilities of terrorism, but also utilizes the moral advantages of conventional warfare so as to win the battle of ideas.


Name: Amalia Fried Honick
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: ahonick@goucher.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Goucher College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: AIPAC, J Street, and The Iranian Nuclear Agreement
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Since its inception in 2008, J Street Has Been Challenging AIPAC’s long established status as the leading Israel lobby in Washington. The debate over what it means to be pro-Israel , who best represents American Jewish public opinion on Israel, and how to achieve peace in the Middle East was never more prominent than during the deliberations over the Iranian nuclear agreement. Disputes over the Iran nuclear deal revealed not only fundamental differences between AIPAC and J Street, but also raised questions about the enduring effectiveness of the Israel lobby, particularly AIPAC, which was strongly opposed to the agreement. While this may have been a setback for AIPAC, the negotiations over the Iranian deal increasingly became a referendum on President Obama’s initiative to change the direction of U.S. foreign policy towards Iran. Given the President’s political and personal investment in the nuclear agreement, AIPAC’s ability to mobilize support in the Congress to defeat the deal was impeded by the pressures and demands of the President and his allies. AIPAC’s standard operating practices for ensuring bipartisan support in the Congress and navigating the executive branch through contacts at the State Department, the Pentagon, and within the intelligence community faltered in the face of a chief executive whose authority diminished the efficacy of the leading Israel lobby.


Name: Jordan Gentile
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: jgentile91@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Concordia University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Can’t have Politics Without the Party: The Relationship Between Political Parties and Regional Integration
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In my paper I examine the relationship between political parties and regional integration. Since this a fairly broad subject I narrow it down by focusing on France within the European Union. The research question I answer is; Does how French political parties vote in the European Parliament from May 2014 until present day, on issues of regional integration, vary by issue area and what does this mean for regional integration? I take a basic definition for regional integration to capture the most possible examples. The reason I do this is because I want the focus to be on the effects of political parties and not the nuanced definition of regional integration. The reason my timeline is so small is because I am using data from VoteWatch which is a new and innovative tool from Europe that only has data as of 2014. I then proceeded to use process tracing and counted each vote by each French MEP broken down by political party to see how they voted on bills relating to regional integration. The results demonstrate that parties on either extreme of the political spectrum tended to oppose regional integration while those in the centre mostly voted in favour of it. These results and my study help to fill a gap in the current literature in this area.


Name: Mark Gentry
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: mgentry@francis.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Saint Francis University
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Paper Title: Trade Enforcement Actions of the U.S Trade Representative, 2001-2016: Continuity and Change in U.S. Trade Policy
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This paper aims to explain the selection of trade disputes by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) brought to the World Trade Organization’s trade dispute resolution process. The paper compares the USTR’s trade dispute actions in the WTO during the administrations of President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. Prior research into U.S. trade policy enforcement actions have identified several variables affecting the selection of cases to pursue either unilaterally through U.S. trade enforcement laws or through the WTO since its founding in 1995. These variables include the influence of domestic interest groups, the trade partner’s type of political system, size and nature of bilateral trade balance with the trading partner, international trade norms and principles, the competitive or complementary nature of the trade relationship, type of industry affected by the trade issue and importance of the trading partner’s market for U.S. exports. This study will build on this prior research through an analysis of more recent cases, addressing these variables, as well as new ones such as the nature of the security relationship between the U.S. and the trade partner, the post-911 security environment and the influence of the political ideology of chief executive concerning trade policy.


Name: Olga Gerasimenko
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: olgager@udel.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Delaware
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: "What is state sovereignty after all?" (V. Putin) The Evolution and Role of Russia's Rhetoric in the UNGA Statements since 1991
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This paper aims to trace the evolution of Russia's political rhetoric in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) speeches since 1991. UNGA statements serve as an interesting way to measure or plot the transformation of Russia's perceptions about the world, and its place in it. Thirty statements help study the development of Russia's identity from that of a post-Soviet republic to that of an overconfident and aggressive moralist employing a range of rhetorical techniques to legitimize its behavior. Changes in rhetoric reflect Russia's response to such events as 9/11, and the Wars in Iraq and Syria. While Russia's GA rhetoric has changed dramatically in the last 25 years, no relevant research has been done. I examine the use of moral categories like democracy and freedom in Russian rhetoric and also Russia’s changing posture towards the US: both reflect how Russia’s role and self-image have changed since 1991. My findings show that Russia was speaking about freedom/democracy more often during the first years as an independent state. The discourse on the US was originally more positive. Today, Russia is focusing on specific regions of the world and attempts to alter common perceptions of essential concepts, such as democracy and sovereignty.


Name: Dorle Hellmuth
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: hellmuthd@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: The Catholic University of America
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: What’s the Inside Scoop? Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Programs in the United States
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This paper offers an in-depth analysis of local, state, and federal programs on countering violent extremism (CVE) in the United States. While the U.S. federal government got a late start to Jihadi counterradicalization (designed to prevent radicalization in the first place) and deradicalization measures (designed to help deradicalize those who have embraced violent thoughts and/or actions) remain sporadic and improvised, quite a few CVE programs have emerged at local and state levels, including, for example, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, California, and New York. What is the nature of these CVE programs; are they mainly looking to prevent or are also engaged in more ambitious deradicalization measures; who do they target; and to what extent do they employ security and/or soft measures? This kind of comprehensive analysis does not yet exist and thus not only contributes to the growing literature on counter-/deradicalization and foreign fighters, but has important implications for policymakers. Understanding what responses have been formulated, and also why, can facilitate cooperation and provide useful insights for future nation-wide CVE programs.


Name: Christopher Herrick
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Professional Email: herrick@muhlenberg.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Muhlenberg College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
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Paper Title: Realist Considerations or Constructed Identities: the Evolution of the South China Sea Territorial Disputes
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The ongoing dispute between China and Southeast Asian states regarding territorial claims to the South China Sea has the potential to escalate into broader open conflict. This broader conflict could involve not just China and the Southeast Asian states making direct claims to the territory but also states, such as Japan, which have disputed marine territorial claims with China, as well as states such as the United States and India, which view China’s position as a direct challenge to wider international norms concerning title to ocean space. How do we best explain the evolution of that dispute? This paper will explore the extent to which a realist perspective or a constructivist perspective may provide a more satisfying explanation for the development of that dispute over time. Initial sections of the paper will focus upon direct power considerations highlighted by a realist perspective. These include specific calculi on the part of China and contending states regarding the extent to which resources contained in the area will directly contribute to an increase in economic power and/or energy and food security as well as more amorphous considerations of the significance of obtaining dominance of chokepoints sea lanes of communication. It will also analyze contrasting general considerations of power, such as balance of power orientations (on the part of the United States and selected Asian regional powers) and a perceived need to rein in the overreach of a hegemonic power (on the part of China). The second section of the paper will examine the extent to which constructed identities, such as guardian of the international legal status quo, guardian of sovereign rights, champion of the right of states previously damaged by unequal conditions created by Western imperialism to redress those conditions, and the perceptions engendered by these identities on the part of China, Southeast Asian states, neighboring regional states, and the United States may provide a contrasting explanation for the policies adopted by these states. This would include the priority given to the issue by each of these states, the broad approach to addressing the issue (multilateral negotiation, bilateral negotiation, intransigence) as well as the direct tactics (including construction artificial landmass in support of asserted claims, intimidation and counter intimidation through military means) employed by the states in support of their position. The paper will conclude with an assessment of which of the two approaches might provide a more robust explanation for the evolution of the dispute.


Name: Kunihiko Imai
Section:
Professional Email: kunihikoimai88@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Elmira College
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Paper Title: Autocratic Peace vs. Democratic Peace
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Co-author info: Robert Nalbandov, Utah State University (robert.nalbandov@gmail.com)
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“While the ‘democratic peace’ thesis has been studied by many scholars, relatively little attention has been paid to the interactions between autocracies. By using the Militarized Interstate Dispute (MID) data, we attempt to fill the gap in the literature by empirically testing to see if there is a statistically significant difference between autocracies, as opposed to between autocracies and democracies, regarding both the probability of going to war against each other and the intensity of the hostilities between them. We also seek to deepen understanding of the relative impact of the factors that are external as well as internal to the states upon the probability, and the intensity, of the hostilities. Such factors include the states’ a) relationships with one or more of the major powers, b) openness to the outside world, c) proximity between the antagonists, d) levels of economic development, and e) regime types, among others.”


Name: Carlyn Jorgensen
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: cmjorgensen@gmail.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: Broward College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: "What A Tutsi Woman Tastes Like": Sexual Dehumanization in the Rwandan Genocide
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During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, around 250,000-500,000 Tutsi women were subjected to mass rape, which was an act of genocide. The women were hypersexualized prior to the genocide, and Hutu militias took advantage of the stereotypes of the women to rape and humiliate them. Women were repeatedly raped, as well as raped with foreign objects, which caused permanent damage to their bodies. This paper examines the role sexual dehumanization played in facilitating the mass rape of women, and argues that rape needs to be seen as an act of genocide, rather than a separate act that occurs during genocide.


Name: Jeffrey G. Karam
Section: Politics & History
Professional Email: jkaram@brandeis.edu
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Institution: Brandeis University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
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Paper Title: Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iraqi Coup, 1958
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On 14 July 1958, a group of Iraqi Free Officers staged a coup and removed the monarchy. My paper revisits the coup, one of the most important junctures in Iraq’s modern history, by examining recently declassified intelligence and diplomatic cables, as well as different secondary accounts and memoirs in Arabic to explain why it was a U.S. intelligence failure. I argue that two factors explain failure. First, the U.S. Embassy and CIA Station in Iraq relied primarily on human sources of intelligence in the regime and monarchy to make sense of the internal situation. Second, a survey of American diplomatic cables, intelligence reports, and memoranda of conversations reveals that members of the Eisenhower Administration and stationed U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers in Iraq refused to change their assessments of the regime’s stability in spite of credible and new information on the unpopularity of the Hashemite monarchy. Put differently, poor methods of collection and analysis are the most decisive factors that explain why American officials in Baghdad and Washington were surprised by coup and later revolution in Iraq on 14 July.


Name: Yukinori Komine
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: yukinorikomine@hotmail.com
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Institution: Associate in Research, The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
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Paper Title: The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Disputes in the U.S.-Japan-China Strategic Triangle: Explanations from Analytical Eclecticism
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This study adopts an eclectic approach to explaining the principal implications of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands disputes in the East China Sea, as they pertain to U.S.-Japan-China triangular relations. In particular, based on the growing trend of analytical eclecticism in International Relations (IR), it employs three major theories (Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism), to explore the military, political, economic, and cultural-normative implications of the Senkaku/Diaoyu issue. This study presents six possible scenarios in the development of the Senkaku/Diaoyu situation. Realist approaches focus on the balance of power in the U.S.-Japan-China security/diplomatic triangle. Realists assess that the enhancement of the U.S.-Japan alliance (including realignment of U.S. bases within Japan, Japan’s defense build-up, and the promotion of U.S.-Japan defense cooperation) could either deter China’s naval expansion or trigger China’s assertive responses. Liberal analyses explain the role of complex interdependence among the world’s three largest economic powers. Specifically, Liberalists highlight that the reported potential reserves of natural resources (oil and natural gas) in the East China Sea could promote energy security or become a major flashpoint of regional energy disputes. Constructivist proponents explore how nationalism, especially the search for greater prestige, has become a major driving force in the re-emergence of Sino-Japanese rivalries in East Asia. The two old Asian rivals seek to boost their prestige, namely the reputation for power, in their respective leading roles in East Asia. The U.S., as an offshore balancer, faces the risk of entrapment into Sino-Japanese conflicts over tiny inhabitant rocks. Alternatively, the three major powers may attempt to develop mutual understandings to discuss regional challenges in the long-term. In essence, the employment of analytical eclecticism could contribute to making the on-going territorial issue an unintended ‘geopolitical center’ in U.S.-Japan-China strategic triangle. The study concludes by providing policy relevant suggestions to better comprehend the linkage among material and normative factors of the Senkaku/Diaoyu situation in East Asian security.


Name: Sergei Kostiaev
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: sergey.kostyaev@fulbrightmail.org
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Financial University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Ramifications of U.S. Sanctions on Crimea's Development
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The research problem addressed by this paper is revealing the ramification of U.S. and E.U. sanctions on development of Crimea. Due to lack of official statistical data, in-depth interviews with crimean businessmen were used as primary research method for solving the problem. The findings of the research are following. First, sanctions broke pre-existing economic relations. Second, they serve as a deterrent for investments, e.g. even big Russian corporations are reluctant to invest in Crimea


Name: Kyrie Kowalik
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: Kyrie_Kowalik@student.uml.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Defining Refugees in Terms of Justice: An Evaluation of the European “Migrant” Crisis and Undocumented Immigrants in the United States
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Throughout history political philosophers have offered various competing views on domestic and global justice. Beginning with Plato, political philosophers have built upon the ideas of justice that came before them, adjusting the terms of the debate to suit the controversies and political needs of their time. Today, the justice debate has turned to one of the most pressing controversies of the 21st century, the concept and definition of refugees. Currently, the United Nations defines a refugee as someone who experiences fear of persecution in their homeland. Some prominent political philosophers defend the current UN definition, arguing that only those with a well-founded fear of dying should be considered refugees. Others, however, believe this definition is too narrow. The reality is that it matters a great deal who gets defined as a refugee. Refugee status can determine a state’s obligation to assist or the benefits for which an individual is eligible. Many countries are therefore hesitant to expand the definition of refugees, but how can it be considered just to not accept those who are facing dire circumstances, if a country can economically support them? This paper will critically analyze two case studies: the European Union and United States-Mexico border. Both cases provide examples of migrants fleeing dire circumstances that do not meet the narrow criteria for refugee status, but should nonetheless be considered refugees under international law. This paper will argue that this is because they face a similar likelihood of death as those currently recognized as refugees under the UN definition and because we are committed to the principle of equal moral consideration.


Name: Kathryn Lambert
Section:
Professional Email: kmlambert@comcast.net
Professional Status: Practitioner
Institution: American Public University Systems; Terrorism Risk Consultants, Owner
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Security Vulnerability Assessment Methodology for International Non-Government Organizations Operating in Conflict Zones
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In this paper, I will apply risk assessment theory to International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGO) operating in conflict areas for the purpose of developing a Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) methodology. INGOs are subject to exploitation by terrorist and insurgent groups as these actors seek to influence governments, recruit members, fund-raise or move money, personnel, or weapons through conflict zones. An SVA model will be created that measures both internal and external factors. Examples of the internal factors of the SVA include the robustness of accountability procedures in the host country, the financial stewardship of the INGO, and characteristics such as number of employees and scope of activities. Examples of external factors in the SVA include political stability of the host country, frequency of attacks against INGOs in the host country, degree of control that terror or insurgent groups have over the area in which the INGO operates, degree to which the host government regulates access to the conflict zone, prohibitions against cooperation with terror and insurgent groups by the host government, amount of international media coverage of the conflict, and the size of the network to which the INGO belongs. These factors contribute to a vulnerability score that would indicate the degree of susceptibility of an INGO to exploitation by terror or insurgent groups.


Name: Steven Livingston
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: livingston.steven@gmail.com
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Middle Tennessee St. University
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Paper Title: ‘Factors of Production’ as an Analytic Tool in Political Economy: How Much Can They Really Tell Us?
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Factors of production, whether those derived from Stolper-Samuelson or the so-called “Ricardo-Viner” model, are increasingly employed to explain the origins of policy preferences in studies of the political economy of trade and of money. This paper argues that whatever the value of this concept for abstract models of IPE, they are not testable and are of very little value for empirical work. Variables constructed to proxy factors of production suffer from a number of empirical and logical problems. Importantly, empirical trade flows do not correlate well with the predictions derived from these models. At a deeper level, theories constructed as a 2x2 model become incoherent when stretched to a world of many factors and many countries. The utility of using factors of production to analyze empirical issues in political economy is limited, and findings based upon them should be taken with some skepticism.


Name: Xing Lu
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: xl1312@nyu.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: New York University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: What Do the Numbers Say? — An Empirical Study on the Rationale behind China’s OFDI
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This study aims to address the question of what determines China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI), and how to interpret the existing investment preferences in light of the “going global” strategy. Drawing upon the international business and political economy literatures, I first construct a theoretical framework that incorporates economic, political and social considerations, deciphering the determinants of China’s OFDI. Then I derive a set of hypotheses in line with the framework and test them using probit regression and random effect generalized least squares (GLS) regression with a gravity model using two panel datasets of China’s OFDI flows during the time period of 2003-2014. My findings suggest that both economic and political considerations demonstrate a high level of significance, but they might influence the investment flows in different directions when it comes to the decision on location choice and the size of investments. On the one hand, the results concerning the determinants of location choices diverge from the expectations significantly, suggesting the idiosyncratic features of China’s OFDI. On the other hand, the hypotheses derived from the framework concerning the determinants of the size of China’s OFDI are mostly confirmed, indicating that the investors’ rationale in this regard is in accordance with the investment development path that developed economies took decades ago.􀀁


Name: Timothy Marple
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: temarple@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: A Network Approach to Post-Crisis Change in Government Debt Holdings
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This project investigates time-series differences in the network of government debt holdings after the financial crisis of 2008. It attempts to offer an answer to the question of what has changed, if anything, in global financial governance since the financial crisis. Following the logic of scholars who claim that markets are the source of financial governance, such as Friedman (1999) and Mosely (2003), I ask how the differences across network topologies of public sector debt holdings and changes in prominence of the largest actors in this network are indicative of changes in global financial governance. I follow in the footsteps of Oatley, Pennock, Winecoff, and Bauerle-Danzman, who operationalize the same dataset to investigate how hierarchical this debt network is before and after the global crisis (Oatley et al, 2013). Building on their analysis, this project analyzes network topology measures and respective prominent actors over time to investigate the differences and possible similarities across these measures both before and after the financial crisis. I introduce novelty to line of analysis with the use of more nuanced measures of network topology and actor prominence.


Name: Lenore Martin
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: martinl@emmanuel.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Emmanuel College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government: Are There Lessons for Turkey in Northern Syria
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Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government: Are there Lessons for Turkey in Northern Syria? Just prior to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq Turkey made it very clear that it would not tolerate an independent Kurdistan. For four years following that invasion Turkey refused to deal with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Northern Iraq. Ankara and Erbil now have a warm working relationship. The paper will analyze the factors that enabled that change in the relationship and explore what, if any, lessons can be learned that will be instructive as Turkey sees the growing possibility of the new Kurdish entity, Rojava, continuing as a political reality in Northern Syria despite Ankara’s strong objection. Thus the first section of the paper will examine the background of the Turkey – KRG relationship before and after the US invasion of Iraq. It will then analyze the economic and political ties that have developed since 2007. This economic section of the paper will have a neo-liberal focus. The second section of the paper will then look at the possibilities of a change of policy by Turkey towards the Kurdish region in Northern Syria by analyzing the political differences between the KRG and Rojava and most especially the role of Turkey’s Kurdistan Worker’s Party in Turkey, Iraq and Syria. This issue has strong significance for the international relations of the Middle East and the US coalition’s war in Syria as the unresolved issues of Kurdish nationalism continue to challenge the stability of the region.


Name: Matthew Munday
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: mwmunday@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Texas at Dallas
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Turning the Guns on Revolution: A Causal Explanation for Violent Transitions during the Arab Spring
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Academics and policymakers alike were struck by the sudden onset of unrest and revolt in the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring. A wealth of literature emerged to explain the factors influencing events in the region. One of the biggest puzzles lacks a satisfactory answer: when unrest struck, why did certain regimes turn their guns on the revolution while others did not? This paper advances the argument that institutional conditions within individual militaries significantly influenced the presence or absence of violence. I test this argument by developing a formal model to measure internal military conditions. Through regression analysis, I contrast this hypothesis with other prominent explanations in the literature. This research, by closely examining the situations of 17 Middle Eastern and North African countries, provides a new layer of scholarly inquiry into an evolving area of important academic study.


Name: Robert Nalbandov
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: robert.nalbandov@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Utah State University
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Paper Title: US Foreign Policy in the Caucasus
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The paper presents an analysis of the U.S. involvement in the turbulent geopolitical settings in the region of the Caucasus. Russia's against Georgia in 2008 marked the re-drafting of the Caucasian map followed by mostly unexpected resumption of hostilities between Azerbaijan and the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh in Spring of 2016. Suffering from significant territorial and moral losses, in just six years with its new and more dovish government in place, Georgia has already pivoted towards Russia. Armenia is under tremendous political and economic influence of Russia but starts feeling uneasy with the recent protests over the corrupt operations of the Russian electric monopolists in the country. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, enjoys rather warm reception from Russia. The inputs of the latter in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the side of the Armenians in the early 1990s and most recently, on the side of Azerbaijan, by selling it military equipment, are used by domestic policy actors in both Caucasian countries to draw the attention of the public to the Russian politics in the region. The attention of the United States towards the Caucasus is geared by its desire to strengthen their democratic governance and to stimulate their institutional stability with the ultimate aim of prevention of possible large-scale conflicts in this highly fickle geopolitical environment. Another aspect of the U.S. foreign policy lays in its practical support to the energy security of Europe through fostering the security of the Caspian pipelines spreading across the Caucasus. Finally, the closeness of the region to the hot spots in the Middle East, as well as its traditional geopolitical role of a nexus between Europe and Asia presupposes its unique role to the U.S. foreign policy interests.