Category: Foreign Policy Analysis

  • Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA)

    From March 28 to April 2, 2022, the Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA) took place in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. I participated virtually, serving as discussant on the panel “Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy” for the Junior Scholar Symposia, with contributions on a range of phenomena linked to international security, including military assistance, battlefield performance, and the relationship between leaders’ childhood experiences and their foreign policy behavior once in office.

    Beyond that, the DVPW group on Foreign and Security Policy held an informal meeting at ISA (see the group’s Twitter account) and the Foreign Policy Analysis Methods Café saw its 4th installment as part of the conference program.

  • Article Published in European Political Science Review

    Incentives and Constraints: A Configurational Account of European Involvement in the anti-Daesh Coalition

    The European Political Science Review (Cambridge University Press) published my article “Incentives and Constraints: A Configurational Account of European Involvement in the anti-Daesh Coalition“. Supplementary material to the set-theoretic analysis, including the results of robustness tests, can be accessed here.

    Abstract: In 2014, the USA initiated the formation of a multilateral military operation against Daesh in Syria and Iraq. Eventually, more than 70 states joined the anti-Daesh coalition. However,contributions to the military effort have been characterized by great variance, especially among EU member states. While some states took leading roles in the airstrikes, others provided training for Iraqi and Kurdish forces, and still others did not get involved beyond voicing their support for the policy. Against this backdrop, this article makes a two-fold contribution to the literature on military coalitions and security policy. Empirically, the article provides a mapping of the then 28 EU member states’ military engagement in the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq. Analytically, fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) is applied to account for the observed pattern of military involvement, using an integrative framework that combines international and domestic factors. The results demonstrate that multiple paths led towards EU military involvement in the anti-Daesh coalition. At the same time, international level incentives, such as external threat and/or alliance value feature prominently in all three identified paths. The analysis further underscores the value of a configurational perspective, because neither an external threat nor alliance value are sufficient on their own to bring about the outcome. Across the set-theoretic configurations, these conditions either combine with other ‘push’ factors or with the absence of constraints against military involvement. In line with the latter, the article highlights the policy relevance of institutional constraints, especially legislative veto rights, since most of those countries that were involved in the airstrikes of the anti-Daesh coalition did not have formal parliamentary involvement on matters of military deployment policy.

    Corrigendum: The published article contains erroneous illustrations. A correction notice will be published on the EPSR website. Meanwhile, a correct preprint version of the article can be accessed here.

  • Parliamentary debates and decision-making on Afghanistan

    The January 2022 issue of Orient: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Politik, Wirtschaft und Kultur des Orients/ German Journal for Politics, Economics and Culture of the Middle East features my article on “German Parliamentary Debates and Decision-Making on Afghanistan”. The piece reviews German engagement in Afghanistan with a focus on parliamentary involvement. The article can be accessed here.

    Abstract: The fall of Kabul in August 2021 marked the end of 20 years of German civilian and military engagement in Afghanistan. Over this time, more than 90,000 Bundeswehr soldiers were deployed in Afghanistan, 59 of whom died there. At a cost of about EUR 12.3 bn, the engagement in the Afghanistan missions amounted to the largest and most costly military operation in the history of the Bundeswehr. This contribution reflects upon parliamentary involvement throughout this period, placing emphasis on the initial political decisions and turning points of the Afghanistan engagement.

  • Foreign Policy Change in Europe

    Foreign Policy Change in Europe

    Palgrave just published the edited volume Foreign Policy Change in Europe Since 1991, co-edited by Jeroen Joly (Saint-Louis University Brussels) and Tim Haesebrouck (Ghent University). The book analyzes foreign policy change and continuity across 11 European countries throughout the past three decades. I contributed a chapter on German Foreign Policy to the volume.

    Many thanks to the editors for inviting me to contribute to this project!

  • ISA Annual Convention 2021

    Photo: Ryan Hafey / Unsplash

    62nd Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, April 6-9, 2021

    At this year’s Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), I had four program appearances. The conference had initially been scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, but the COVID-19 pandemic made a shift to a virtual format necessary.

    Together with Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt, Omar Serrano Oswald, and Anna Novoselova, we presented a paper on “Survival and Resilience of the UN Joint Inspection Unit“, based on our DFG research project, in a panel on the “Persistence and Resilience of International Organizations”, chaired and discussed by Orfeo Fioretos. I further contributed to the “Foreign Policy Analysis Methods Café“, chaired by Falk Ostermann, and I took part in the roundtable “Qualitative Comparative Analysis in International Relations“, chaired by Tobias Ide. Finally, I also served as chair and discussant in the panel “Statecraft in the 21st Century” (for details on the panels and roundtables, see below).

    Besides these contributions, I also took part in the Business Meeting of ISA’s Foreign Policy Analysis Section and the Editorial Board Meeting of the section’s journal Foreign Policy Analysis (Oxford University Press).

    Overall, the virtual platform worked seamlessly and many of the panels were incredibly well-attended, with about 45 participants in the Methods Café and 30 participants in the panel on International Organizations. Nonetheless, the in-person interaction is surely missing, so let’s hope that next year’s ISA can take place as planned, in Nashville, Tennessee, March 2022!

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    [fruitful_tab title=”Persistence and Resilience of International Organizations”]

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    [fruitful_tab title=”Methods Café: Foreign Policy Analysis – Methods and Approaches”]

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    [fruitful_tab title=”Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in International Relations”]

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    [fruitful_tab title=”Statecraft in the 21st Century”]

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  • Open Access FPA Article

    Open Access Funding Approved

    Our recent Foreign Policy Analysis article “Patterns of Political Ideology and Security Policy” (with Tim Haesebrouck, Ghent University) has been turned into Gold Open Access by Oxford University Press. The PDF can now be freely accessed. We thank the University of Erfurt for approving our funding application.

    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.

  • Leadership Traits and Political Beliefs in German Foreign Policy

    Book review published in German Politics

    On December 21, 2020, German Politics (Taylor & Francis) published my book review of Entscheidungsträger in der deutschen Außenpolitik: Führungseigenschaften und politische Überzeugungen der Bundeskanzler und Außenminister (Nomos) by Christian Rabini, Katharina Dimmroth, Klaus Brummer, and Mischa Hansel.

    From the review: “In sum, this book offers a compelling account of German leaders and their foreign policies, based on meticulous research and a systematic application of leadership profiling. The book’s methods should stimulate wide application in the field of foreign policy analysis, and beyond.”

  • Patterns of Political Ideology and Security Policy

    Article published in Foreign Policy Analysis

    The October 2020 issue of Foreign Policy Analysis (Oxford University Press) includes the article “Patterns of Political Ideology and Security Policy” by Tim Haesebrouck and me. In the article, we examine the relationship between the ideology of political parties and their general support for military missions.

    Empirically, the study confirms 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.

  • Democracies and Withdrawal from Iraq

    Open Access Article Published in EJIS

    The February 2020 issue (5:1) of the European Journal of International Security (Cambridge University Press) features the article “Paths towards Coalition Defection: Democracies and Withdrawal from the Iraq War“. The study examines democratic war involvement in Iraq across 51 leaders from 29 countries. The article is the first QCA study that covers the entire period of coalition operations in Iraq, from 2003 until 2010, across all democratic governments that were involved in the multinational coalition.

    Among other findings, the article challenges some previous studies’ results on the effects of leadership turnover and electoral incentives (here and here). The set-theoretic analysis documents causal heterogeneity, where multiple paths lead towards coalition defection and leadership turnover only brought about the outcome of coalition withdrawal when combined with specific other conditions. For electoral incentives, contrary to expectations derived from prior studies, it could not be shown that upcoming elections were associated with coalition defection. Finally, the article documents the importance of casualties and prior commitment as factors that had previously been neglected. Replication data is hosted a Harvard Dataverse (R script, data, supplement).

    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.

    Reference:

    Mello, Patrick A. (2020) Paths towards Coalition Defection: Democracies and Withdrawal from the Iraq War, European Journal of International Security 5 (1): 45-76 (https://doi.org/10.1017/eis.2019.10)

  • Von der Bonner zur Berliner Republik

    Von der Bonner zur Berliner Republik

    Sammelband der DVPW-Themengruppe Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik

    In der  bei Nomos erscheinenden Buchreihe “Außenpolitik und Internationale Ordnung” (Herausgeber: Hanns W. Maull und Sebastian Harnisch) ist der von Klaus Brummer und Friedrich Kießling herausgegebene Sammelband Zivilmacht Bundesrepublik? Bundesdeutsche außenpolitische Rollen vor und nach 1989 aus politik- und geschichtswissenschaftlichen Perspektiven erschienen.

    Die Publikation ist der dritte bisher erschienene Sammelband in der “Edition Themengruppe Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik“. Weitere Bände sind Chinesische Seidenstraßeninitiative und amerikanische Gewichtsverlagerung (Hansel/Harnisch/Godehardt, Hrsg. 2018) sowie Sonderbeziehungen als Nexus zwischen Außenpolitik und internationalen Beziehungen (Harnisch/Brummer/Oppermann, Hrsg. 2015).

    Weiterführende Informationen zur Themengruppe Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik gibt es auf der DVPW-Webseite. Dort ist auch die Anmeldung zur Mailingliste der Themengruppe möglich. Der Twitter-Account ist @dvpw_aussenpol.

    Mein Kapitel “Von der Bonner zur Berliner Republik” (PDF) untersucht für den Zeitraum 1990 bis 2018  parlamentarische Debatten zu 40 Auslandseinsätzen der Bundeswehr im Hinblick auf deren Resonanz mit dem rollentheoretischen Konzept der “Zivilmacht”. Die quantitative Textanalyse zeigt im Zeitverlauf eine deutliche Abnahme der Verwendung zivilmachtstheoretischer Rhetorik:

    “Während die Debatten Anfang der 1990er Jahre noch von einer hohen Resonanz mit dem Zivilmachtkonzept geprägt waren, so zeigt sich seither eine kontinuierliche Abnahme. Dies kann als Anzeichen für einen „Wandel“ in der deutschen Außenpolitik und ihrer politischen Rechtfertigung gesehen werden. Zweitens konnte die Analyse Unterschiede zwischen den Einsatztypen identifizieren. So zeigen die Plenardebatten zu NATO-Einsätzen eine höhere Übereinstimmung mit dem Zivilmachtkonzept auf als UN- oder EU-Missionen. Statistisch signifikant sind dabei die Zivilmacht-Werte der Debatten zu EU-Einsätzen, welche im Vergleich zur Gesamtheit der untersuchten Plenardebatten erheblich niedriger liegen” (Mello 2019: 310).