23 Dec

Patterns of Political Ideology and Security Policy

Article forthcoming in Foreign Policy Analysis

Foreign Policy Analysis (Oxford University Press) has accepted the article “Patterns of Political Ideology and Security Policy” (with Tim Haesebrouck) for publication.

A Pre-Print of the article is available here. Replication data will be made available on the Foreign Policy Analysis Dataverse upon publication of the article.

The article examines the relationship between the ideology of political parties and their general support for military missions. Empirically, the study confirm a curvilinear relationship: with support peaking among center-right parties and dropping the further one moves to the far-left and far-right. However, when looking at actual military participation the pattern is different. Here, left-of-center parties have deployed to military missions more often than their rightist counterparts.

Founded in 2005, Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) aims to serve “as a source for efforts at theoretical and methodological integration and deepening the conceptual debates throughout this rich and complex research tradition”. The journal is published by Oxford University Press under the auspices of the International Studies Association (ISA).

Abstract: Recent studies on political ideology suggest the existence of partisan divides on matters of foreign and security policy – challenging the notion that “politics stops at the water’s edge”. However, when taken as a whole, extant work provides decidedly mixed evidence of party-political differences outside domestic politics. This article first conducts a systematic empirical analysis of the relationship between parties’ left-right positions and their general attitude towards peace and security missions, which suggests that right-leaning parties tend to be more supportive of military operations. Yet, the results also show that the empirical pattern is curvilinear: centrist and center-right parties witness the highest level of support for military missions, while parties on both ends of the political spectrum show substantially less support. The second part of our analysis examines whether the stronger support of rightist parties for peace and security missions translates into a greater inclination of right-wing governments to actually deploy forces to military operations. Strikingly, our results suggest that leftist governments were actually more inclined to participate in operations than their right-leaning counterparts. The greater willingness of left-wing executives to deploy military forces is the result of their greater inclination to participate in operations with inclusive goals.

12 Dec

Vortrag an der TU Chemnitz

Parlamentarische Kontrolle und Streitkräfteinsätze

Am 12. Dezember 2019 habe ich am Institut für Politikwissenschaft der Technischen Universität Chemnitz im Rahmen der Vorlesung “Einführung in die Außenpolitikanalyse” von Prof. Dr. Kai Oppermann einen Vortrag zum Thema “Parlamente in der Sicherheitspolitik: Erfüllungsgehilfen oder Vetospieler?” gehalten.

Der Vortrag bot einen Überblick über die jüngere Forschung zu parlamentarischen Kontrollrechten bei Streitkräfteneinsätzen (Mello & Peters 2017; 2018) sowie eine Erörterung der These des “parlamentarischen Friedens” (Dieterich et al. 2015; Wagner 2018). Zudem wurde die  Entwicklung einer neuen politischen Konvention parlamentarischer Beteiligung in Großbritannien anhand von Abstimmungen und Debatten zu Militäreinsätzen unter der Regierung Cameron (2010-2016) nachgezeichnet (Mello 2017). Zuletzt wurde die parlamentarische Beteiligung in Deutschland und Kanada während der Afghanistan-Einsätze verglichen, unter Berücksichtigung von öffentlicher Meinung und Medienberichterstattung (Lagassé & Mello 2018).

Informationen zu aktuellen Veranstaltungen der Professur Internationale Politik der TU Chemnitz finden sich hier. Vielen Dank für die Einladung nach Chemnitz!

18 Nov

Workshop on Defense Transformation, Bologna

Defense Transformation in Germany, Italy, and Japan

On November 14-15, 2019 I took part in the Workshop “Reluctant Military Powers: Defense Transformation in Germany, Italy, and Japan“, co-organized by Francesco Niccolò Moro (Bologna), Fabrizio Coticchia (Genoa), and Matteo Dian (Bologna). The two-day workshop took place at the Department of Political and Social Science of the Università di Bologna, situated in the Palazzo Hercolani.

The first day of the workshop was devoted to comparing and contrasting historical trajectories in the security policies and defense transformations in Germany, Italy, and Japan with various country experts.

I was invited to talk about the transformation of German security policy and its armed forces since the end of the Cold War, identifying major moments of change, institutional reforms, and shifts in the character of military missions, allocation of resources, and strategic narratives on German foreign and security policy. The second day of the workshop saw a wider group of participants discussing the outlines of a publication project. Thanks to the workshop organizers for their kind invitation to Bologna!

10 Nov

QCA: Research Design & Application

Image: Georgetown University Press

Textbook on Qualitative Comparative Analysis

My book Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Research Design and Application provides a hands-on introduction to Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) – emphasizing research design, practical application, and real-life examples from published studies. Beginners are taken through each step in the research process so as to apply the procedures to their own projects. Experienced users will refresh their knowledge of QCA, including discussions of best practices, the critical reception of QCA, recent trends, and new ways to apply the method. Both groups will profit from many illustrated examples across the social sciences, and a compendium of suggestions to improve QCA research design, the interpretation of findings, and the presentation of results. The book is complemented by a concise R Manual.

The book is under contract with Georgetown University Press, Washington, DC.

Pre-prints of selected chapters: Introduction, Set Theory, Calibrating Sets, Measures of Fit (versions: July 2019).

Supplementary Online Material (R scripts, data sets) will be made available upon publication (scheduled for 2020).

26 Oct

Guest Course at Charles University, Prague

Photo: Ryan Lum / Unsplash

The Politics of Multinational Military Operations

On November 6-8, 2019 I teach a Guest Course on “The Politics of Multinational Military Operations” at the Department of International Relations at Charles University Prague (Syllabus here). Thanks to Head of Department Jan Karlas and Deputy Michal Parízek for the kind invitation!

The three-day course introduces participants to current topics surrounding the politics of international security, and specifically political debates about countries’ participation in multinational military operations, taking a comparative perspective.

It draws on work from a Special Forum in Contemporary Security Policy, which I co-edited together with Steve Saideman, as well as articles that appeared in in the European Journal of International Security, and West European Politics, the British Journal of Politics and International Relations (a Special Issue co-edited with Dirk Peters and an article co-authored with Philippe Lagassé), among others.

The content is split into six sessions, starting with (1) a general introduction to gain an overview over recent political and academic debates surrounding these topics. Individual sessions will focus on (2) party politics and security policy, (3) parliamentary involvement in decision-making on the use of military force, (4) the British parliament and war involvement, (5) coalition and alliance dynamics, including coalition formation, burden-sharing, and coalition withdrawal, and (6) national restrictions in multinational military operations.

19 Sep

DVPW-Tagung zu Methoden der Außenpolitikanalyse

Photo: Universität Erfurt

Methoden der Außenpolitikanalyse: Ansätze, Daten und Perspektiven

Am 26. und 27. September 2019 findet im Internationalen Begegnungszentrum der Universität Erfurt die Tagung „Methoden der Außenpolitikanalyse: Ansätze, Daten und Perspektiven“ statt.

Die Tagung wird von Dr. Patrick A. Mello, Gastwissenschaftler an der Willy Brandt School of Public Policy der Universität Erfurt und Dr. Falk Ostermann von der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen gemeinsam organisiert und ausgerichtet im Rahmen der Themengruppe Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik der Deutschen Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft (DVPW).

Die theoriegeleitete Außenpolitikforschung (Foreign Policy Analysis) hat sich als eigenständiges Feld innerhalb der politikwissenschaftlichen Disziplin Internationale Beziehungen etabliert. Aus methodologischer Sicht fehlt bislang jedoch eine eingehendere Auseinandersetzung mit vorhandenen Ansätzen, zugrundeliegenden Daten und Entwicklungsperspektiven zur Erforschung von Außenpolitik. Für welche Forschungszwecke sind welche methodischen Ansätze geeignet und was sind die Voraussetzungen für deren Anwendung? Mit welchen qualitativen und quantitativen Daten arbeitet die Außenpolitikanalyse und wie wirkt sich die technologische Entwicklung auf die Datengewinnung aus? Und welche Perspektiven bestehen für die weitere Entwicklung des vorhandenen Methodenspektrums?

Im Rahmen der Tagung (Programm) soll diesen Fragen über fünf Panels und 16 Beiträge nachgegangen werden. Abgedeckt werden dabei so unterschiedliche Themen wie Narrativanalyse, Big Data und Social Media, Normen und Diskurs, quantitative und vergleichende Ansätze als auch historische und pragmatische Ansätze.

Die Tagung wird durch die Willy Brandt School of Public Policy und die Forschungsförderung der Universität Erfurt unterstützt.

Die Veranstaltung steht allen Interessierten offen. Aufgrund der begrenzten Plätze wird um vorherige Anmeldung unter aussenpolitik2019@mailbox.org gebeten.


26 Aug

Swiss Summer School, Lugano 2019

Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)

Methods Course at the 23rd Swiss Summer School in Social Science Methods

From August 19-23, 2019 I taught a one-week intensive course on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), organized by FORS, the Swiss Foundation for Social Science Research and the Università della Svizzera Italiana in beautiful Lugano, Switzerland.

The course drew on my textbook Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Research Design and Application, under contract with Georgetown University Press.

From the course description: “The course provides participants with a thorough introduction to Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), both as a research approach and as a data analysis technique. In recent years, this set-theoretic method has gained recognition among social scientists as a methodological approach that holds specific benefits for comparative studies. The course begins by familiarizing participants with the foundations of set theory and the basic concepts of the methodological approach of QCA, including necessary and sufficient conditions, Boolean algebra, and fuzzy logic. The next step is devoted to the calibration of empirical data into crisp and fuzzy sets. Once these essentials are in place, the course moves on to the construction and analysis of truth tables as the core of the QCA procedure. Here, we will also spend time to discuss typical challenges that arise during a truth table analysis, and techniques to overcome such problems. Finally, the course will introduce consistency and coverage as parameters of fit, as well as additional measures to assess the robustness of QCA results.

Besides the technical introduction of QCA and its variants, the course will provide opportunities to discuss general aspects of comparative research design, including criteria for concept building and case selection, and data-related issues. Participants will be given the opportunity to present their own work and to receive individual feedback on their projects.

Throughout the course, participants will conduct set-theoretic analyses within the R software environment (packages “QCA” and “SetMethods”). The software will be introduced on the first day and used for exercises and examples throughout the course, so that participants gain a level of proficiency that enables them to conduct their own QCA analyses upon the completion of the course. Participants are encouraged to bring their own qualitative and/or quantitative data for course exercises (if available, preliminary data is fine). In addition, datasets from published studies will be made available and used for in-course exercises.”

14 Jun

Paths towards Coalition Defection

Article Published in the European Journal of International Security

The European Journal of International Security (Cambridge University Press) has published a first view version of “Paths towards Coalition Defection: Democracies and Withdrawal from the Iraq War“.

The open access article PDF is available here. Replication data is hosted a Harvard Dataverse (R script, data, supplement).

The article examines democratic war involvement in Iraq across 51 leaders from 29 democracies. It is the first set-theoretic study that covers the entire time frame of coalition operations, from 2003 until 2010. Its counter-intuitive findings document the existence of multiple paths towards coalition defection, emphasizing the importance of casualties and prior commitment.

The European Journal of International Security (EJIS), founded in 2016, aims to publish “the cutting-edge of security research”, taking a cross-disciplinary approach that seeks to cover all areas of international and global security. EJIS is a journal of the British International Studies Association (BISA).

Abstract: Despite widespread public opposition to the Iraq War, numerous democracies joined the US-led multinational force. However, while some stayed until the end of coalition operations, and several increased their deployments over time, others left unilaterally. How to explain this variation?

While some studies suggest that democratic defection from security commitments is primarily motivated by electoral incentives or leadership change, scholars have not reached a consensus on this issue. To account for the complex interplay between causal factors, this article develops an integrative theoretical framework, using fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) on original data on the Iraq War involvement of 51 leaders from 29 democracies.

The findings document the existence of multiple paths towards coalition defection. Among others, the results show that: (1) leadership change led to early withdrawal only when combined with leftist partisanship and the absence of upcoming elections; (2) casualties and coalition commitment played a larger role than previously assumed; and (3) coalition defection often occurred under the same leaders who had made the initial decision to deploy to Iraq, and who did not face elections when they made their withdrawal announcements.

14 Apr

ECPR Joint Sessions, Mons 2019

47th ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops at UCL Mons, Belgium

From 8-12 April 2019, UCL Mons hosted the 47th ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops. I took part in the workshop “Formal and Informal Intergovernmental Organisations in Time: Explaining Transformations in Global Governance”, chaired by Eugénia Heldt (TU Munich) and Duncan Snidal (University of Oxford). The three-day workshop featured 22 research papers from 27 contributors from the USA, Australia, and all across Europe.

Our research team presented first empirical results from the ongoing DFG project “International Bureaucracies as ‘Runaway Agents’? How Organizational Structure Affects Agency Slack” (2018-2021, grant volume 488.000 €), based on a paper co-authored with Eugénia Heldt, Omar Ramon Serrano Oswald, and Anna Novoselova (all from the Bavarian School of Public Policy, TU Munich).

Details on the DFG research project can be found here. For Information on the ECPR Joint Sessions in Mons see this link.

06 Mar

ISA Toronto 2019

60th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, 27-30th March 2019, Toronto

At the Annual Convention of the ISA in Toronto, I have three program appearances. I contribute a paper  [PDF] to a panel on “Democratic Alliance Reliability and the Global Coalition Against the Islamic State“, chaired and organized by Justin Massie, with Olivier Schmitt as discussant. The panel includes papers from Marina E. Henke, Rasmus Brun Pedersen, Yf Reykers, Jonathan Paquin, Stéfanie von Hlatky, and Justin Massie  – a great lineup of scholars, many of which also contributed to our CSP Special Forum 2019 on “The Politics of Multinational Military Operations“, which I co-edited with Steve Saideman.

I also take part in the second installment of the “Methods Café: Foreign Policy Analysis – Methods and Approaches“. At ISA 2018 in San Francisco the methods café was nominated as ISA Innovative Panel and due to the popularity of the format Marijke Breuning, Falk Ostermann, and I decided to submit a similar panel for ISA Toronto.

We are honored to have an excellent lineup of scholars for the Methods Café, including Klaus Brummer, Rose McDermott, Stephen Benedict Dyson, Stefano Guzzini, Ted Hopf, Mark Schafer, Burcu Bayram, and Soumita Basu join us for the Methods Café! The café brings together scholars that represent diverse methods and approaches in foreign policy analysis. The format provides an informal setting where participants can meet panelists at separate tables to discuss methods-related questions. Please join us for the methods café!

Finally, I am part of a roundtable on “Teaching Foreign Policy Analysis at the Undergraduate Level“, chaired and organized by Baris Kesgin. We will be joined by Marijke Breuning, Ozgur Ozdamar, Cristian Cantir, Raul Salgado Espinoza, Jeffrey Lantis, Kai Oppermann, Nicolas Blarel, Bertjan Verbeek, and Akan Malici to discuss our approaches to teaching FPA and the practicalities of classroom settings. The roundtable is sponsored by the Foreign Policy Analysis section of the International Studies Association.

The conference website for ISA Toronto 2019 can be found here. There is even an official welcome letter from PM Justin P.J. Trudeau!

Democratic Alliance Reliability and the Global Coalition Against the Islamic State

Methods Café: Foreign Policy Analysis - Methods and Approaches

Teaching FPA at the Undergraduate Level