Sunday, October 31, 2010

China's Rise and Balancing

Realists the world over are presumably dancing in joy over this news.  Or they would be, if they weren't all busy pretending a theory that assumes states are unitary actors has important things to say about counterinsurgency, the only topic scholars of international conflict seem to be interested in anymore.

Perhaps that's for the best.  It's not obvious that the core assumptions of realism in fact predict balancing behavior, as Powell (1999) noted.  Nor is it obvious that balanced power promotes peace, according to many recent studies.

The Logic of Suicide Terrorism

In an influential study, Robert Pape argued that suicide terrorism only occurs when democratic states occupy foreign territories populated by adherents of a different religion.