23 Apr

Gastvortrag, Zeppelin Universität

Am 22. April 2021 habe ich an der Zeppelin Universität am Lehrstuhl für Global Governance von Prof. Andrea Schneiker einen virtuellen Gastvortrag zum Thema “Democracy and War Involvement” gehalten. Nach einem Überblick zu Kriegsbeteiligungen westlicher Demokratien in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten lag der Schwerpunkt auf meiner vergleichenden Studie zum Abzug aus dem Irakkrieg, welche Bedingungen für den Abzug bzw. Verbleib westlicher Regierungen im Irak identifiziert (51 Regierungen aus 29 Demokratien im Zeitverlauf, 2003-2008).

Herzlichen Dank an Prof. Andrea Schneiker und das Lehrstuhlteam für die Einladung und an die teilnehmenden Studierenden für die sehr engagierte Diskussion!

Der Artikel im European Journal of International Security ist 2020 erschienen und frei verfügbar (open access). Eine Zusammenfassung findet sich im EJIS-Blog.

12 Apr

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!

Persistence and Resilience of International Organizations


Methods Café: Foreign Policy Analysis - Methods and Approaches


Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in International Relations


Statecraft in the 21st Century

11 Mar

QCA Textbook with Georgetown UP

Georgetown University Press has finalized the cover for my forthcoming textbook Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An Introduction to Research Design and Application, to be published later this year. More information about the book can be found here.

21 Jan

QCA Workshop, University of Lausanne

Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)

On January 14-15, I jointly co-taught a workshop on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) at the University of Lausanne, together with Benoît Rihoux of UC Louvain. Course participants were PhD students of the CUSO network of Western Switzerland (Universities of Lausanne, Fribourg, Genève, and Neuchâtel).

Many thanks to the people at CUSO for the invitation and organization of the event and to the participants for a constructive workshop!

08 Jan

Summer School in Social Science Methods, Lugano 2021

Qualitative Comparative Analysis at the 25th Summer School in Social Science Methods, 2021

The workshop program was announced for the 25th Summer School in Social Science Methods, organized by the Swiss Foundation for Social Science Research (FORS) and the Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI). The school is hosted at USI in beautiful Lugano, Switzerland.

For the third time, I am offering a one-week intensive course on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) at the Swiss Summer School. The course runs from August 23-27, 2021.

The course is based on my QCA textbook Qualitative Comparative Analysis: An Introduction to Research Design and Application (Georgetown University Press).

Course registration will open at the end of January/early February 2021. The opening will be announced through the summer school’s newsletter (sign-up on the registration page).

Workshop contents

This workshop gives a thorough introduction to the method of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), with an emphasis on research design and practical application. Since its inception (Ragin 1987), QCA has gained recognition among social scientists as a case-based research method that is ideally suited to capture causal complexity. This essentially describes a situation where an outcome results from multiple pathways and different combinations of conditions. Moreover, QCA entails a rigorous and systematic comparison of selected cases and their configurations through Boolean logic and a software-based analytical protocol.

Throughout this workshop, participants will be introduced to the building blocks of QCA, while the course structure follows an ideal-typical research process. The introduction opens with empirical illustrations to show how and for what purposes QCA is being used, before summarizing the method’s key characteristics. This is followed by sessions on causation, causal complexity, and research design, to provide a foundation for thinking about empirical applications. The ensuing sessions engage with the use of QCA as an analytical approach, starting with set theory and concepts like necessary and sufficient conditions, Boolean algebra, truth tables, and fuzzy sets. In calibrating sets, we look into approaches to transform empirical raw data into crisp and fuzzy sets. Next, the course examines various measures of fit that help in evaluating QCA results. The session on set-theoretic analysis puts all of the elements together and shows how empirical data is analyzed and interpreted with QCA. Finally, the workshop closes with sessions on advanced topics, which can be tailored based on participants’ background and research interests. Potential topics include multi-method research design, QCA variants, addressing critiques, and recent developments. The workshop sessions are complemented by illustrations and exercises, using the R Software environment and relevant R Packages.

07 Jan

BJPIR Most Cited Article

The British Journal of Politics and International Relations (BJPIR) highlights our article “Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence” (with Dirk Peters, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt) as the most cited article in this journal in the last 3 years (as of January 7, 2021). Notably, 5 of the 10 most cited articles stem from our special issue on parliaments and security policy. Thanks to all our contributors for turning this collective project into such a success!

Abstract: While parliaments have long been neglected actors in the analysis of security policy, a research literature on the subject is growing. Current research is focused primarily on how parliaments, relying on formal legal competences, can constrain governmental policies. However, this research needs expansion in three areas. First, informal sources of parliamentary influence on security policy deserve more systematic attention as the significance of parliaments often hinges on contextual factors and individual decision-makers. Second, we still lack a systematic understanding of the effects of parliamentary involvement on security policy. Finally, the role of parliaments for the politics of security is almost completely uncharted territory. When parliaments become involved in security policy, does it foster transparency and contribute to the politicisation of security policy so that security policy becomes a ‘normal’ political issue? The article reviews current research, derives findings from the contributions to this Special Issue, and spells out their wider implications.

Introduction to the special issue:

Mello, Patrick A., and Dirk Peters (2018) ‘Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745684.

Contributing articles:

Strong, James (2018) ‘The War Powers of the British Parliament: What Has Been Established and What Remains Unclear?’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745767.

Kaarbo, Juliet (2018) ‘Prime Minister Leadership Style and the Role of Parliament in Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745679.

Kriner, Douglas L. (2018) ‘Congress, Public Opinion, and an Informal Constraint on the Commander-in-Chief’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745860.

Rosén, Guri, and Kolja Raube (2018) ‘Influence Beyond Formal Powers: The Parliamentarisation of European Union Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117747105.

Schade, Daniel (2018) ‘Limiting or Liberating? The Influence of Parliaments on Military Deployments in Multinational Settings’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117746918.

Oktay, Sibel (2018) ‘Chamber of Opportunities: Legislative Politics and Coalition Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745680.

Wagner, Wolfgang (2018) ‘Is There a Parliamentary Peace? Parliamentary Veto Power and Military Interventions from Kosovo to Daesh’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745859.

Lagassé, Philippe, and Patrick A. Mello (2018) ‘The Unintended Consequences of Parliamentary Involvement: Elite Collusion and Afghanistan Deployments in Canada and Germany’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745681.

Raunio, Tapio (2018) ‘Parliament as an Arena for Politicization: The Finnish Eduskunta and Crisis Management Operations’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745682.

Hegemann, Hendrik (2018) ‘Towards ‘Normal’ Politics? Security, Parliaments and the Politicisation of Intelligence Oversight in the German Bundestag’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745683.

06 Jan

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.

22 Dec

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.”

26 Sep

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.

18 Mar

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)