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Theses - Politics and International Studies


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  • ItemControlled Access
    Monetary statecraft and the making of modern macroeconomic governance in Britain, 1947-1997
    Meade, Christopher
    This thesis explores the political origins of a regime of macroeconomic control in the UK. Using archival evidence and other primary sources, it argues that by the end of the twentieth century an idiosyncratic structure of macroeconomic governance had emerged centred around the Bank of England’s policy rate, which was transmitted through variable rate mortgages and the flexible exchange rate. This novel structure was grounded in fundamental socio-economic and institutional changes, including the spread of homeownership, the liberalisation of financial markets, and the dismantling of institutionalised labour power. The new governing regime and the transformations that brought it about were both a consequence of political agency and inextricably bound up with the legitimacy and authority of Britain’s political class. To trace the origins of this regime and the processes of institutional change from which it emerged, the thesis uses the historical institutionalist method. Accordingly, it focuses on mechanisms of institutional reproduction and critical junctures. Yet it argues that many accounts of these same historical processes are overly reliant on structural-functional determinants of institutional change and fail to recognise the importance of political agency. It develops the concept of ‘monetary statecraft’ as a heuristic device for understanding the impact of political agency on institutional change. It makes the claim that in modern capitalist societies, monetary institutions are a uniquely important site of strategic and pragmatic political action. The thesis shows how we can conceive of actors as simultaneously shaping, but also being structured by, the institutional context. It then demonstrates how modern modes of macroeconomic policy and the intensifying financialisation of British capitalist development in the second half of the twentieth century emerged from the monetary statecraft strategies of political and financial elites. In doing so, the thesis makes both theoretical contributions to the historical institutionalist literature and empirical contributions to British political economy scholarship. It highlights frequently neglected features of the British political economic landscape and the ways in which they are inextricably linked with party politics.
  • ItemEmbargo
    European Integration and the Political Transformation of the British Labour Party and the German SPD from the Mid-1980s until the 2010s
    Tekiner, Uğur
    This thesis aims to examine the impact of the British Labour Party and the *Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands* ('Social Democratic Party of Germany' or the SPD)’s engagement in European integration on their political transformation. Labour and the SPD, two of the most prominent centre-left parties in Europe, have always been in the spotlight. Research has offered multiple accounts to explain their change over time, but generally neglected one factor: European integration. In an attempt to fill this gap, this study asks the following question: To what extent did Labour and the SPD’s involvement with the European project affect their domestic political evolution and attitudes to the European Communities (EC)/European Union (EU) based on their own experiences? This complex effect is investigated on the basis of party politics, policy-making, and ideological dimensions for the period covering from the mid-1980s until the 2010s. Centring on their experiences, this study locates Labour and the SPD as active agents rather than passive recipients in their handling of the European challenge. In line with the multiple-case study design, semi-structured qualitative interviews and archival research were employed to collect the data. 32 senior political elites from Labour and the SPD (16 participants each), alongside three distinguished professors, were interviewed. Moreover, several selected physical and digital archives on Labour and the SPD’s European vocations were covered. To analyse the collected data, the reflexive thematic analysis (RTA) method was used, drawing on Peter Mair’s Europeanisation, party change, and cartel party theories as the main theoretical framework. Based on this analysis, this thesis demonstrates that Labour and the SPD’s involvement with European integration exerted a remarkable impact on their political transformation. These findings indicate that although this process yielded different results in terms of party politics, there emerged more or less similar results regarding policy-making and ideological dimensions for both parties. The significance of this study is that it designates European integration as a salient factor in terms of party change in the particular context of the two parties.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The U.S. Opioid Crisis and the Affordable Care Act (ACA): The Politics of Health Policy Decision-Making by Republican Governors, Senators, and States
    Kuenning, Gerard
    The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 represented the most significant expansion of access to healthcare and health insurance in the modern United States. Support for the ACA, as well as a major component Medicaid expansion, was significantly dictated by partisan affiliation; Republicans largely opposed the bill while Democrats largely supported it. Nevertheless, a significant number of Republican-led states took up ACA expansion throughout the 2010s; in 2017, Republican efforts to repeal the ACA were ultimately unsuccessful with the legislation failing in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate. Concurrent with these political debates, the most significant drug epidemic in the history of the United States was under way in the form of the opioid crisis. At its onset white non-Hispanic individuals (WNH), frequently of lower- or middle- socioeconomic class, were most heavily impacted by substance use disorder and opioid use disorder (SUD/OUD). This demographic also overlapped significantly with the Republican party’s demographic base. Using process tracing and semi-structured interview methods, this research seeks to understand decision-making by both Republican governors and Democratic governors in conservative states (determined utilising Cook Partisan Voting Index data) concerning implementation of ACA expansion throughout the 2010s. It also seeks to understand how political incentives influenced voting by the Republican senators who dissented from their party leadership during the 2017 ACA repeal vote. Finally, it will explore perceptions of whether Medicaid expansion helped create or fuel the opioid epidemic, as well as impressions of the ACA’s relevance to current SUD/OUD treatment systems. The dissertation finds that the opioid epidemic likely had little effect on Republican state decision-making concerning ACA expansion through the 2010s, with the exception of Ohio where it was a significant driver of ACA adoption. The epidemic had a more significant impact on political decision-making in the 2017 ACA repeal effort, with several Republican senators electing to vote against repeal partly due to impacts the elimination of Medicaid expansion would have on their states’ ability to combat the opioid epidemic. No thought leaders at the state or national level believed Medicaid expansion fuelled the opioid epidemic in any meaningful way. All interviewees considered the ACA critical to current SUD/OUD treatment systems at the state and federal level.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Disorienting Ideas: On the History, Philosophy, and Politics of Equality and Distributive Justice in China
    Hoerning, Johannes
    Confronting questions of equality and distributive justice remains an important task and not only for theorists in the liberal democratic tradition. This dissertation moves beyond the familiar liberal democratic terrain by embedding questions of equality and distributive justice in the Chinese context and engaging with a complex field of historical developments, empirical research, and philosophical reflection. Its five chapters cover a period of profound economic and ideological transition from equality’s first violent appearance in the mid-nineteenth century, through its appropriation and abuse during China’s turbulent twentieth century, to novel questions regarding fairness and redistribution that have accompanied four decades of reform. The first half of this study considers China’s new inequality and charts the intellectual terrain on which egalitarian and anti-egalitarian thinkers have defended their respective positions on China’s best way forward. It critically evaluates their varying accounts while seeking to combine their equally varying insights. The second part discusses the unresolved identity of the Chinese state, haunted by conflicting governing rationalities, and traces a genealogy of equality and distributive justice generally overlooked by China experts outside and even inside China. Taken together, the five chapters are designed to throw comprehensive light on the evolving identity and the disorienting nature of equality and distributive justice in the Chinese context, locating these modern ideological and social-psychological phenomena in an intricate set of conflicting proposals for China motivated by aspirations to democracy, by hopes for the revival of socialist legacies, or by the quest for new hierarchies.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Attitudes Towards Immigration in Western and Central-Eastern Europe: A Comparative Analysis
    Krejcova, Eva
    This dissertation studies the puzzling divergence in immigration attitudes between Western and Central-Eastern Europe (CEE). While immigration attitudes in the West liberalised, they became increasingly conservative in the East. The gap in the willingness to accept at least some immigrants between the two regions drastically widened from ten percentage points in 2010 to more than thirty points in 2018. This gap emerged suddenly after decades of attitudinal convergence between the two regions. Its rapidity and timing question the conventional wisdom attributing anti-immigration attitudes in CEE to communist legacies and socialisation processes. Furthermore, it challenges some of the most prominent theories on cross-country variation in immigration attitudes - economic competition and group threat - as the deterioration of immigration attitudes coincided with a period of sustained economic growth in CEE and low immigration in contrast to Western Europe. To address this puzzle, this dissertation develops a new general theoretical framework explaining aggregate change in attitudes. It identifies five main groups of factors and spells out the concrete mechanisms through which these factors can contribute to country-level change in immigration attitudes. Subsequently, the empirical chapters systematically examine each mechanism, using data from 28 European countries. They propose several original indicators and estimation techniques and apply a variety of research designs. The employed methods include spatial analysis, generalised additive models, and estimated dependent variable models with feasible generalised least squares estimators to overcome several methodological issues and analytical limitations. The analyses draw on a range of data including *inter alia* cross-sectional surveys; geo-localised panel surveys; fine-grained contextual data; and several original datasets the most important of which is a survey experiment using a representative sample of almost 5,000 respondents in Western and Eastern regions of Germany. The results refute the conventional wisdom that attributes the anti-immigration sentiment in CEE to socialisation and emigration. Instead, they demonstrate that individuals’ immigration attitudes are malleable by migratory experience, spatial exposure to foreigners, and cues from political parties and fellow citizens. This dissertation links the sudden and rapid drop in immigration attitudes in most of the CEE region to the electoral strategy of mainstream parties. The results have implications for our understanding of attitude formation and change. They suggest that individuals’ political attitudes are not given in absolute terms. Rather, individuals may adopt positions relative to a reference, which, if changing, may lead to major attitudinal shifts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Institutional Basis for a Decision: Rational Pathology, Struggle and Institutional Conformity in British National Security Decision-Making
    Strickland, William
    This thesis examines British national security decision-making. It does so by using a theoretical approach that provides several different perspectives on the nature of the institutional environment and its effect on decision-making. This environment is essentially bureaucratic, and is formed from a group of security-related bureaucracies that have routine connections with each other, and with certain International Government Organisations and other states and their bureaucracies. The thesis begins by defining the ways in which bureaucracies are formally designed and decision-making processes are expected to occur in a rational way. It then introduces three theoretical constructs – based in an extension of Weber, Bourdieu and Sociological Institutionalism – to demonstrate how the formal design of bureaucracies and decision-making processes are undermined by rational pathologies, struggle and institutional conformity. Grounded in extensive ethnographic research, it does this by examining current security practices and a relatively recent national security decision. This decision is the British and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) decision to expand across Afghanistan and implement a highly ambitious nation-building project between 2003-2006. The thesis centrally argues that, despite bureaucracies being organised to produce them, truly instrumental decisions are a rarity for three primary reasons. First, decisions are frequently undermined by problems associated with the domineering nature of bureaucratic behaviours and institutional forms of rationality. Second, struggle routinely animates the environment, which leads to the constitution of internal security logics and compromised decisions. Third, highly connected Western bureaucracies are increasingly similar in structure and ideas, and the processes that lead to this homogenisation often create dysfunction and result in ill-considered decisions and security applications. Reflecting on what this evidence means, the thesis concludes by attempting to define the nature of the environment, rationality and the consequent implications for strategy and war. It argues that evidence of the theoretical constructs should be seen over time as entwined social processes; that a plurality of rationalisation processes not only undermines instrumentalism but makes the environment seem more “rational”; and that the Western way of war is evermore bureaucratised and technically ordered, but evermore unthinking, inflexible and problematic.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Establishment and Some Consequences of the Combined Threat Reduction Programme and Associated Programmes
    Guy, Shane George
    In 1991 and 1992, on the collapse of the Soviet Union, newspaper readers in the West were warned of potential disaster from ‘loose-nukes’ and abandoned and dangerous nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed submarines. However there were no such disasters and this study set out to discover why. Research revealed a series of projects in which over thirty countries contributed to making safe the Soviet nuclear legacy and where the reality was such that outcomes in terms of contribution and achievement bore comparison with the iconic Marshall Plan. The initial direction of enquiry was to America seeking to assist Russia to comply with the terms of the START 1 Treaty: further research indicated non-US support in similar measure. It is argued that political acceptance in America owed much to the attitude and conviction of President Reagan and in Russia to the consequences of Chernobyl. Evidence of the Law of Unintended Consequences is present. In 1991 most Americans would have disbelieved that for the next twenty years half the electricity generated in US nuclear power plants would be fuelled by re-engineered Soviet nuclear warheads, or that NASA would become dependent on Russian rockets to maintain its contribution to the international space station. By 2015 Russia, but not the United States, was a leader in the international nuclear renaissance. Inhabitants of the Murmansk Oblast could give thanks to Norway for their living in, by some economic indicators, the most prosperous region of Russia, consequent on commerce following environmental initiatives. This is a ‘work in progress’.
  • ItemEmbargo
    The rise of cities and the problem of political agency in the global age
    Pignon, Tatiana
    Over the last fifteen to twenty years, the idea of the ‘rise of cities’ as global political actors has gained prominence in international policy circles. The narrative takes credence from growing scepticism regarding the ability of sovereign states to tackle contemporary global issues, from climate change to migration. This dissertation scrutinises the rise of cities from a political theory perspective, by taking it as indicative of an effort to recover political agency beyond state sovereignty. Chapter 1 elucidates the rise of cities as a discourse claiming political legitimacy by heralding cities as efficient governing agents. In the context of the global age, marked by the globalisation of infrastructure and the extension of relevant political communities, cities are seen as more capable than states to secure liveability despite, and against, impending global threats. Drawing on ethnographic engagement with cities, international organisations, and transnational city networks, I then critically investigate the forms of agency effectively developed through the rise of cities both in global governance (chapter 2) and in cities themselves (chapter 3). While the concern with efficacy drives the co-optation of cities by international organisations like the United Nations, within cities internationalisation is pursued as a means to secure liveability for a changing community at the local level. In both cases, the rise of cities as global actors reveals the flaws of sovereign agency, but still remains constrained by the sovereignty framework. In chapter 4, I offer an alternative conceptualisation of political agency by foregrounding the city as a material site of liveability. I argue that because cities are both nodes of global infrastructure and sites of human plurality, city-making requires a form of open-ended agency which is better suited than sovereignty to the demands of the global age — making participation in city-making a key political issue. Throughout the dissertation, I also consider how the governance of cities can contribute to the project of building a liveable world for all in the context of an extending global political community.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Queering Survey Research: Measuring LGBTQ+ Political Identity in the U.K.
    Roundy, Nathan
    Despite the multitude of ways LGBTQ+ people and issues appear throughout contemporary politics, there is little research within political science that engages with LGBTQ+ topics. An even smaller amount of research engages with LGBTQ+ people as research subjects. This dissertation sheds light on this blind spot by asking what is the political identity of LGBTQ+ people in Britain? I use large-n data to answer this question through quantitative modeling. Despite the advantages of large-n quantitative data, is unclear whether current methodologies are capable of providing an answer to this question. Current measures of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) may not be accurately counting and coding LGBTQ+ people. To assess the extent to which SOGI measures can or cannot measure LGBTQ+ people, the secondary question of this dissertation is how should sexual orientation and gender identity be measured on surveys? To answer the latter question, I conduct focus group interviews, using queer method as a frame, with LGBTQ+ people to evaluate current SOGI measures. I synthesize these interviews to construct new SOGI measures. I test the efficacy of the new SOGI measures against current measures in a series of survey experiments fielded with YouGov in collaboration with the Cambridge-YouGov Centre for Public Opinion Research. To answer the former question, I deploy effective SOGI measures on the 2022 Globalism Project’s annual survey, again in collaboration with the Cambridge-YouGov Centre for Public Opinion Research, to identify political hetero- and homogeneity among LGBTQ+ people and between LGBTQ+ people and the general population. This dissertation reveals several key findings. First, LGBTQ+ people are significantly excluded from political science research. Second, LGBTQ+ people want to be included in research, but are unable to do so due to the absence of or inadequate use of SOGI measures. Third, response bias from LGBTQ+ people in research can be mitigated by clearly communicating data protection measures and demonstrating the researcher’s awareness of LGBTQ+ identity. Fourth, constructing SOGI measures with the input of LGBTQ+ people reduce LGBTQ+ response bias. Fifth, LGBTQ+ people, as an in-group, are politically heterogenous. Sixth, LGBTQ+ people demonstrate a sexuality and gender identity gap in comparison to the general population. Seventh, sexuality and gender identity are important variables to include in quantitative models of behavior and opinion. And eighth, 10-12% of the British population will identify with an LGBTQ+ identity.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Comparative Public Finance: Sustainability and Political Feasibility of Pension Reforms
    Gomezgil Yaspik, Vianney
    In recent decades, many societal changes have unfolded, including population ageing, reconfigurations of household structures, labour market transformation, and a secular deceleration of economic growth. These shifts pose considerable challenges to preexisting welfare states, particularly to the efficacy of countries’ pension systems. This dissertation examines the context and trajectory of pension reforms in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Its contribution is to ascertain the viability and political feasibility of reforms that enhance the financial sustainability of their pension systems, while maintaining adequate income and coverage levels. The dissertation builds on political economy approaches and on the institutionalist literature, which highlight how the role of interest groups and structure of institutions and political systems shape policy outcomes. The frameworks of blame avoidance and credit-claiming are also considered, to provide a comprehensive analysis of the complex dynamics surrounding pension systems and reform efforts. This dissertation uses a mixed-methods approach – including public opinion surveys of 3,000+ individuals, semi-structured elite interviews, historical document analyses, and specialized fiscal and actuarial projections of selected pension reforms in the three selected countries. It addresses three core research questions: 1) What is the current context for pension reform in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States given their histories? 2) Is the necessary (for achieving specific minimum levels of sustainability, adequacy, and coverage) pension reform politically feasible? 3) How do the characteristics of each reform affect its political feasibility? Corollary: The modification of which channel (benefits, contributions, retirement age) is perceived as more politically feasible for diverse stakeholders? The methodology chosen provides a timely picture of the context surrounding potential pension reforms in the three case studies. In Mexico, credit-claiming and the interests of private stakeholders explain the success of recent pension reforms, and partisan politics are the key determinants for future fiscal changes. For the United Kingdom, the institutionalist literature helps explain the reasons for the relatively easier reform avenues; the most politically feasible reforms are those in the private sector, while the housing market is of key importance for pensions. In the United States, the institutionalist literature and the framework of blame avoidance also help explain the current legislative gridlock and the reasons why no major reform has been enacted for decades. For Mexico and the United Kingdom there exist politically feasible reforms, notably a modification of the retirement age channel, that can increase the system’s sustainability while maintaining income adequacy and coverage; whereas based on the current context of extreme polarisation and legislative gridlock, there do not seem to exist politically feasible pension reforms that preserve the structure of Social Security in the United States. The dissertation brings the lens of political feasibility to bear on a previously technical literature on the structure of the pension systems in the three countries, and thus on the feasibility of reform to deliver financial sustainability, adequacy of retirement incomes, and adequate coverage of the old age population. It identifies the feasible routes for reform in Mexico and the United Kingdom, but concludes that the political economy context the United States has reached rules out feasible reforms of its current pension structures.
  • ItemOpen Access
    ‘RS-Exit’: The Geopolitics of Integration and Disintegration in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1995-2020
    Less, Timothy
    This dissertation examines the question of why the Bosnian Serbs were able to advance their goal of independence for Republika Srpska through the period following the war, culminating in the ultimatum laid down by Milorad Dodik in February 2020 on. With reference to the theory of secessionism and adopting an analytical framework derived from contemporary geopolitical theory, the dissertation finds that evolution in the position of the Bosnian Serbs was determined by evolution in the positions of three main external actors, the United States, the European and Serbia. In the immediate postwar period, as the US blocked the Serbs, the EU promised to integrate Bosnia and Serbia refused to integrate Republika Srpska, the Bosnian Serbs held back from pursuing independence. Conversely, from the mid-2000s, as the US disengaged from Bosnia, the EU began to renege on its commitment to integrate Bosnia and Serbia became increasingly ready to integrate Republika Srpska, the Bosnian Serbs pushed for independence, believing they had no alternative but to do so as the necessary condition for their long-term survival as a community, and that this goal was ultimately achievable.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Power, legitimacy and sovereignty in Hadramawt, Yemen
    Rudicky, Erik
    This dissertation investigates the social dynamics of political and social life in the Yemeni province of Hadramawt, focusing specifically on Wadi Hadramawt. This location is known for the strong presence of the sada social class which comprises the religious elite and which, through the use of land control and deployment of implicit and explicit violence, often by proxy, dominates this valley. By unbundling the various strategies used by whole social classes or tribes and families within them, the dissertation identifies the tools deployed in securing a favourable social position in the context of three competing systems of governance – state, religious and tribal. The first section of the dissertation focuses on the most powerful tool, the ownership and control of land. By controlling land and entering into share-cropping agreements, the sada can easily influence the behaviour of the public under the implicit threat of being allocated a less fertile piece of land, thus severely decreasing the harvest and putting one at risk of falling into poverty. The tribes then use the control of land both as a basis of their identity and a way of securing a living and influence for themselves. By facilitating smuggling through their territory, they can earn significant amounts of cash, but more crucially they are likely to be seen as an entity worthy of being incorporated into the state - sponsored patronage system. While the sada possess access to sources of funds and the tribes’ control of territory is based on armed capability, both of these classes rely on legitimacy and the signalling of their status in order to subjugate the population and avoid violence and potential revolts. To this end, a number of social norms are observed which serve to maintain the status quo through relatively peaceful means, although always under the implicit threat of violence. These include a strict observance of the kafa’a, a concept of marital equivalence which is designed to keep the Prophet’s bloodlines pure and extend to the cultural and intellectual arenas, which are a part of the public relations machine indoctrinating the Hadrami population. The efforts extended by the sada would be complicated without the support they receive from the diaspora. By remaining a coherent and cooperative group, the sada have managed to increase their influence and maintain a strong link between the homeland and the diasporic destinations. These links allow them to survive at times of peril, as was the period of Marxist rule between 1967 and 1991, and to withstand other less severe crises. In contrast to the behaviour of the sada in the diaspora stand the actions of the other social groups which, due to differing incentives, tend to disassociate from their kinship groups in the homeland and thus weaken them. The last two sections of the dissertation focus on the changing role of the tribes, their post-Marxist revival and the involvement of armed nonstate groups in governance. These armed nonstate groups, most notably Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, have found a utility in the political landscape of Yemen and their local perception reflects this as it significantly differs from the international one. As such, the group’s takeover of the Hadrami towns of Mukalla and Al Shihr between 2015 and 2016 was not seen as disastrous by the local population and the organization appears to have considered itself to be a legitimate sovereign ruler. The dissertation concludes by exploring the possibility of effective governance by a militant nonstate group and whether this might constitute a fourth pillar of governance in Yemen.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Post-War African Studies, Underdevelopment, and the French and British New Lefts, 1953-1993
    Karayiannides, Efthimios
    This thesis challenges the notion that thinkers associated with the French and British New Lefts were solely concerned with elaborating a “Western Marxism”. It does so by reconstructing the important role sociological and economic analyses of sub-Saharan Africa played in shaping the sociological and conceptual imagination of the French and British New Lefts. I show that sub- Saharan Africa was at the centre of comparative frameworks used to formulate several major ideas we today associate with the New Left. Chapter 1 charts how Eric Hobsbawm and Peter Worsley drew and expanded upon Max Gluckman’s interpretation of the Mau Mau uprising in colonial Kenya to sketch their respective accounts of how, and under what conditions, social movements ‘modernize’. Chapter 2 shows how the thought of South African émigré Marxists developed within British New Left milieus as a critique of liberal theories of industrialisation and modernisation. It then shows how thinkers associated with the French New Left, like Claude Meillassoux and Étienne Balibar, drew on the work of the South African Marxists and other Africanists to challenge the notion that contemporary capitalist societies were witnessing the disappearance of class. Chapter 3 shows how Stuart Hall’s influential interpretation of Thatcherism is indebted theoretically to the Africanist scholarship and development literature he was engaging with in the period. Chapter 4 pursues a genealogy of Orlando Patterson’s concept of “social death”, demonstrating that its origins lie in the work of French economic anthropologists of Africa. Chapter 5 argues that Arghiri Emmanuel’s theory of “Unequal Exchange” was deeply influenced by his experiences in the Belgian Congo. In the conclusion I consider reasons why New Left engagement with the sub-Saharan African context went into rapid decline from the late-1980s onwards. I show that the very thing that fascinated New Left thinkers about Africa in preceding decades - the failure of capitalist relations of production to definitively take root - began to feed into narratives about the continent being wiped off the face of the global economy.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Social Capitalisation in Quest of Recognition: Egypt and Qatar in the 2010s
    El Taki, Karim; El Taki, Karim [0000-0003-0080-4538]
    Recognition is a key motivation of social actors. It is so in interpersonal relations as per recognition theory but also, as International Relations scholarship has shown, in international politics. However, the extensive application of the concept, encompassing phenomena ranging from social movements to international conflict, raises concerns about its analytical purchase. This thesis makes a theoretical proposition on the quest for recognition by regimes, in the name of the states with which they identify, under tighter conditions. Building on the established observation that a denial of recognition can prompt social actors to engage in a recognition struggle, this thesis qualifies the specific conditions of misrecognition under which the theorised quest unfolds. Against misrecognition by significant others of a state’s important self-identities, a regime may embark on a quest for recognition by leveraging social capitalisation processes. The thesis deploys the theory in Egypt and Qatar during two episodes in which they faced misrecognition of important self-identities of theirs, corresponding to self-identified positions in domestic and international hierarchies. Specifically, they faced contestation of their domestic legitimacy and their regional power status. While the Egyptian and Qatari regimes showcase markedly divergent material and ideational attributes, they have resorted to broadly similar recognition-seeking behaviours in the face of such misrecognition. Their quest for recognition has unfolded across domestic and international hierarchies and across regional and global ones, seeking to socially capitalise on international alt-recognition, international misrecognition, regional recognition, and global recognition. In making these arguments, I rely on four main bodies of material—namely, military procurement and cooperation data, regime media discourse, lobbying documentation submitted to the United States Department of Justice, and interviews conducted in Doha and Washington, DC. By examining Egypt’s and Qatar’s social capitalisation on (mis)recognition across hierarchical orders in pursuit of recognition, the analysis confirms the purchase of a social-relational approach and contributes to inverting the dominant from-above perspective on hierarchy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Mysteries of Mankind, Secrets of the State, and Complexities of Conflict: A Dynamic, Multi-Level Pre-War Bargaining Model
    Eggum, Erik
    War is an undeniable phenomenon in international relations. But why do states fight each other? The quintessential question of the causes of war has drawn prolific scholarly attention ever since Thucydides' dissection of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE). Yet little consensus has been reached. What makes war causes so elusive? One reason, I contend, is that ideographic and nomothetic explanations of war have traditionally been considered in opposition. There is, however, nothing mutually exclusive about a dynamic process and specific combinations of causal variables. Explaining the onset of war requires answers to both why and how war emerges – conditions and process. In this thesis, I therefore take a systems approach and argue that war, as any social phenomenon, can be conceived of and analyzed as an outcome of an endogenous process of actions and reactions which shape and, in turn, are shaped by context. Whereas natural systems consist of detectable secrets, social systems also consist of undetectable mysteries. Specifically, I develop a dynamic, nonlinear pre-war bargaining model which allows us to simulate how two adversarial states of configurable economic and military size, regime type, and leadership bargain over a contentious issue and decide whether to use military force to resolve it. By integrating the international, domestic, and individual-level material secrets and immaterial mysteries into a coherent dynamic whole, the model embraces the inherent complexity of social systems and enables us to study how small variations in initial conditions, changes produced by the bargaining process, and exogenous factors affect the stability of peace. The model thus brings together the process-oriented ideographic approach and counterfactual analysis, on the one hand, and the variable-oriented nomothetic approach on the other. Another reason for the elusiveness of war causes, I argue, is the paradigmatic divides and lack of scientific pluralism in IR. Since etiology is inextricably linked to methodology, these divides and the putative distinction between "causal" explanation and "interpretive" understanding have hampered scientific progress on the causes of war. Therefore, the model is constructed based on scientific pluralism and analytical eclecticism and builds on both Rationalism and Constructivism in its treatment of the first, second, and third images and their interdependence. The result is a highly configurable dynamic model which is intended to serve as a 'theoretical laboratory'. As an initial 'inference to the best explanation' to be improved in future iterations, this theoretical laboratory allows for theoretical process tracing and the identification of both agentic and structural necessary conditions counterfactuals. Etiologically, this amounts to a dynamic conjunctional concept of causes and causation in the form of INUS conditions and complexes. By simulating hundreds of thousands of perfectly replicable cases with minor variations over militarily symmetric and asymmetric dyads with states of different regime types, economic properties, and rational and sub-rational leaders, the model enables sensitivity analysis and both case-specific and general explanations of war onset.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Who Speaks for the State? Narration, Representation, and the JCPOA
    Menton, Jane
    For over four decades, the United States and Iran have been enemies. Hostility is deeply ingrained within both states. In 2002, revelations about Iran’s covert nuclear program added a new layer to this relationship: how do you prevent a rival from acquiring nuclear weapons? For years, the United States deployed various coercive methods—sanctions, sabotage, military threats—to no avail. Then, during the Obama administration, Iran became the test case for engaging with ‘implacable’ adversaries on ‘intractable’ problems. Although the obstacles to success were formidable, in 2015, Iran, the United States, and the other P5+1 states announced the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Under this agreement, Tehran accepted verifiable restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Although the Iran Deal generated controversy within the United States, opposition did not weaken the administration’s resolve or derail the agreement’s implementation. Success, however, proved short-lived. In 2018, Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the JCPOA. Today, Tehran is closer than ever to nuclear breakout and efforts to revive the JCPOA have stalled. On the one hand, this outcome may seem unsurprising. After all, the Obama administration was challenging a decades-old rivalry; scholars would anticipate narrative constraints. Yet the commitments that representatives make to other states generally do outlive their authors: pacta sunt servanda is no empty phrase. In short, both the agreement and undoing of the JCPOA defy expectations. This is especially because while many expected negotiations to fail, or Iran to cheat, it was American reversal that unravelled the JCPOA. In this thesis, I argue that the contradictory behaviour of successive administrations exposes a latent tension at the heart of state ontology—between collective identity and sovereign authority. Identifying these dual processes of state constitution can help scholars better understand the mechanics of narrative constraint: what allows stories to persist even when leaders defy them. To theorize what makes discursive boundaries operative and effective, I introduce the concept of narrative enforcement. I then illustrate my argument by demonstrating how the plural and continuous implication of Iran in the narration of U.S. identity enabled, even incentivized, an outcome that defied the systems-level imperatives of representative governance.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sailors, Soldiers and Statesmen: The Conceptual Context of British Naval and Military Strategy, 1902-1914
    Todd, Martin
    This thesis posits that although national defence strategy must ultimately be determined by civilian ministers its roots lie in the conceptual foundations of the professional armed services, which represent the primary sources of strategic advice. Consequently, the relative depth and coherence of these foundations are important factors in shaping options presented for political decision. These foundations comprise not only the body of doctrine that articulates the ways in which armed force can be applied most effectively to achieve specified ends, but also the institutions through which these ideas are assimilated within the services, and the staff structures that translate them into candidate strategies. To illustrate this process, this thesis evaluates the relative states of developments in the conceptual foundations of the Royal Navy and the British Army in the period from end of the war in South Africa in 1902 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. The first chapter examines how, having come to dominate defence policy on the back of external conceptions of naval power, the Navy was slow to develop its own capacity for conceptual development. The second chapter goes on to examine how its further refusal to create a strategic planning staff affected its ability to adapt to strategic change and to engage in vital debates over national strategy. The third chapter charts how the Army, despite its subordinate status and the ignominy of its failings in South Africa, was able to draw upon, and further develop, the capacity for conceptual development enshrined in the Staff College. The fourth chapter then examines how this foundation enabled the establishment of a credible strategic planning staff, which was instrumental to the structural reform of the service and the adaptation and communication of military strategy in the light of strategic reorientation. Ultimately, the thesis concludes that the conceptual disparity between the Navy and the Army has been neglected as a material factor in determining British strategy prior to the First World War.
  • ItemOpen Access
    When Movements Fail: Drug Policy and Popular Participation in Brazil
    Krause Dornelles, Felipe
    Most examinations of the political consequences of social movements are single case studies that seek to ascertain the determinants of movement success. This thesis instead employs comparative analysis to further the understanding of the dynamics of partial successes and unintended outcomes of mobilisation. Thus, instead of simply asking why movements sometimes fail at achieving their core aims, the main contribution of this thesis is to provide a clearer picture of what happens when movements fail. To address these issues, I examine the largely frustrated, contentious efforts to reform policies that govern illicit drugs in Brazil, which – following the activists themselves – I collectively call the anti-prohibitionist movement. Anti-prohibitionism challenges the War on Drugs, pointing out its destructive consequences, including violence, human rights abuses, corruption and an overall weakening of democratic institutions. In order to attain greater analytical robustness, I subdivide Brazilian anti-prohibitionism into four units: Ayahuasca Movement; Cannabis Movement; Harm Reduction Movement; and NGO-led Advocacy. Collectively, these four units form a comprehensive picture of the civil society-driven drug policy reform efforts in Brazil in the past four decades. The thesis develops an original analytical framework to assess the pathways leading to varied outcomes among the four units. Employing a combination of social movement theory and comparative historical analysis, I explain how certain characteristics of social movements, as well as the political scenario in which they operate, generate different forms of impactful failure. From a structural point of view, this investigation improves our understanding of continuity and change within such institutions as prohibition. The findings show that the extant literature on Latin American social movements requires revision, in order to better understand novel forms of contentious politics in the region. Based on the theory of the regulatory state, I propose and develop a new category of Latin American social movement, which I term regulatory contention. In regulatory contention, social movements make primarily rules-based, rather than redistributive, claims. This, in turn, has effects on important factors such as movement strategy, internal organisation, constituency-building and, not least, outcomes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reassessing New Labour's Political Economy: A study of housing and regional economic policy
    O'Shea, Jerry
    This thesis is a study of housing policy and regional economic policy under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, which uses interviews, archives, and public documents to explore the spatial dimension within New Labour’s wider political economy. It focusses particularly on the work of John Prescott’s Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR)—which became the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (2001-2) and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2002-6)—and represents the first serious attempt to assess Prescott’s substantive impact on policymaking. The thesis argues that key New Labour figures thought about their political economic project as being more statist, interventionist, and Keynesian than political scientists or political economy ‘Anglo-liberal growth model’ scholars have contested. Support is lent to Jim Tomlinson and Ben Clift’s ‘New Keynesian’ description of New Labour’s broad political economic project. However, I push back against Tomlinson’s argument that delivering economic support for struggling regional economies was not deliberate or even articulated by New Labour. Rather, I demonstrate that John Prescott (1999) considered his super-departments, the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, “very important economic department[s] […] massive deliverer[s], particularly when we have decided public expenditure is there to uphold the economy in the traditional Keynesian way”. Prescott used these departments to run a regionally selective economic strategy that enacted policies and realised institutions that Prescott had designed in 1982 as part of Labour’s ‘Alternative Economic Strategy’. Specifically, analysis of case studies such as the Regional Development Agencies and the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinders shows that these institutions were designed to provide swift intervention in both the supply and demand side of regional economies, while bypassing the complex and electorally sensitive issue of local government governance and spending. In addition, the findings demonstrate that for Brown and Balls, this regional economic policy part formed an important theoretical part of their ‘constrained discretion’ macroeconomic policy. Interviews, archival analysis, and lesser studied command papers and grey literature analysis reveal that Brown and Balls endorsed Prescott’s regional economic project as the regional component of the state’s arsenal in operating a discretionary monetary, fiscal, and interventionist policy. This policy, I argue, was explicitly intended to reduce rising regional inequalities and shelter the UK economy from the dangers of the vicissitudes of global financial markets and the “straitjacket” of the European Monetary Union and the EU’s regional policy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Standing Up for the Nations? Devolution and the Changing Dynamics of Territorial Representation in the UK House of Commons, 1992-2019
    Sheldon, Jack
    This thesis investigates how MPs go about representing the United Kingdom’s component territorial units in the House of Commons. More specifically, it examines how national and regional interests are fed into parliamentary proceedings, how this varies across different territorial, political and institutional contexts, and how the role of the sub-state territorial MP has evolved since the introduction of devolution in the late 1990s. Before this project there had been no substantial study of how the UK’s component territorial units are represented at Westminster for over 40 years. This is despite transformative changes to the constitutional and political environments in which MPs with seats in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales operate. By transferring key policy responsibilities away from the centre, devolution raised questions about the roles of MPs from the affected areas. Political divergence between the different parts of the UK has subsequently become more pronounced, and over the last decade the future of the domestic Union has become an increasingly salient issue. A mixed-methods approach is taken, combining analysis of 6,001 parliamentary contributions with 23 interviews. It is found that MPs with constituencies in the devolved areas focus heavily on matters specific to their territorial units, and increasingly so since 1992–97. These MPs have adapted their territorially-focused roles to the changed institutional environment, for instance through positioning themselves as champions and critics of the devolved executives and legislatures. This sort of behaviour was especially widespread during the period of intense parliamentary debate about Brexit from 2016–19, although evidence of sub-state territorial representation having influenced the course of these events is limited primarily to second order issues. English MPs are also found to engage in territorial representation of areas larger than constituencies, specifically in relation to counties. However, this is a far more prominent feature of the behaviour of MPs with seats in Cornwall compared to those with seats in Yorkshire. The trends that have been identified speak to a political sphere in the UK that is increasingly fragmented along territorial lines. These findings carry significant implications for academic literatures on parliament and territorial politics in the UK, and for our broader understanding of the UK political system. The approach and findings also have the potential to inform future research on representation of territorial units by members of legislatures in other multi-level political systems.