Looks Interesting: July 2020

I am attempting to keep track of all the articles I come across that look interesting, that I’ll probably never read, but might read more of them if I keep track of them.

The reemergence of the disappeared, the role of remains and the forensic gaze

By Cath Collins in Memory Studies

Discussion of consequences of reappearance of the bodies of the disappeared in Latin America, Northern Ireland, and Spain

DOI: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1750698020914016

The ghostly presence of the disappeared in Argentina

By Emilio Crenzel in Memory Studies

Examines disappearances in Argentina as a liminal crime, with changing interpretation over time.

DOI: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1750698020914011

Reluctant innovators? Inter-organizational conflict and the U.S.A.’s route to becoming a drone power

By Marc R. DeVore in Small Wars & Insurgencies

My study’s key original finding is that inter-agency competition impels militaries to embrace technologies that they would otherwise reject. Warfare’s evolution means that non-military bodies – intelligence agencies, interior ministries and paramilitary forces – develop capabilities that rival those of traditional military services in specific domains and these organizations can prove more agile at adopting certain new technologies because of their flatter organizational structures.

DOI: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09592318.2020.1743482

Artificial intelligence, big data and autonomous systems along the belt and road: towards private security companies with Chinese characteristics?

By Peter Layton in Small Wars & Insurgencies

Interesting analysis of the relationship between private security companies and security provision associated with China’s Belt & Road Initiative.

DOI: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09592318.2020.1743483

Always in control? Sovereign states in cyberspace

By Sarah Mainwaring in European Journal of International Security

Looks at the materiality and history of the internet to argue that states have always been in control of cyberspace.

DOI: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-journal-of-international-security/article/always-in-control-sovereign-states-in-cyberspace/EB1E1424B62EBCFCDA6AC0189FBD9C37

__Why Kill Deposed Leaders? Regime Types and Post-tenure Fates __

By Mitchell Thomas Radtke in Foreign Policy Analysis

Makes interesting point that autocratic leaders who legitimise rule through personal appeal put their successors in a legitimacy bind, which heightens the chance of the predecessor winding up dead.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/fpa/orz012

Intelligence in the Cyber Era: Evolution or Revolution?

By David V. Gioe, Michael S. Goodman and Tim Stevens in Political Science Quarterly

The hyperconnectivity of global information networks and con-temporary societies is one of the greatest technological developments in human history and merits the revolutionary moniker that is endemic among many observers. It has resulted in profound changes to society, conceptions of national security and, by extension, to intelligence work. Despite this, the central rationale for intelligence bureaucracies has barely altered even as their collection types have indeed expanded sincethe term cyber entered the vernacular.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/polq.13031

Weaponized Noncombatants, Child Soldiers, and Targeting Innocents

By Oren J. Litwin in Journal of Military Ethics

Defends idea that it is permissible to kill innocents when they have lost their freedom to act and are part of a structure/group that poses a predictable threat.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15027570.2020.1771842

Currency Warfare and Just War: The Ethics of Targeting Currencies in War

By Ricardo Crispo in Journal of Military Ethics

Really fun piece to read examining the ethics of currency subversion/counterfeiting/etc in conflict.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15027570.2020.1779432

The Ulcer of the Mughal Empire: Mughals and Marathas, 1680-1707

By Eric W. Osborne in Small Wars & Insurgencies

Fascinating detail and history of Marathas & their campaign against the Mughal Empire.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09592318.2020.1764711

The Evolution of Territorial Conquest After 1945 and the Limits of the Territorial Integrity Norm

By Dan Altman in International Organization

Challenges idea that territorial acquisition declined after 1945, arguing that attempts to acquire small territories by force continued. Shift from war to conquer large territory, to conquering of small territory and then attempting to avoid war.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818320000119

Reflections on the ethics and effectiveness of America’s ‘third option’: covert action and U.S. foreign policy

By Loch K. Johnson in Intelligence & National Security

Overview of the utility of covert action by a senior scholar in the field.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02684527.2020.1739479

A ‘very fowle warre’: Scorched earth, violence, and Thomas Howard’s French and Scottish campaigns of 1522-1523

By Neil Murphy in War in History

Excellent analysis of the strategic logic of scorched earth in war.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0968344519871970

Food as a weapon? The geopolitics of food and the Qatar–Gulf rift

By Natalie Koch in Security Dialogue

Makes interesting points about the geopolitics of food:

the idea of food as a weapon is an imaginary rooted in essentialist thinking about geography, which ignores the global connectedness of food supplies and supply chains, as well as the technical and political lengths to which individual actors may go when the status quo has been altered

DOI: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0967010620912353

Interstate War Battle dataset (1823–2003)

By Eric Min in Journal of Peace Research

New dataset on battles, but also interesting for discussion of defining/coding battles.

DOI: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0022343320913305

A Typology of Rebel Political Institutional Arrangements

By Zachariah Mampilly and Megan A. Stewart in Journal of Conflict Resolution

In depth examination of dimensions and types of institutions rebels use to govern populations.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0022002720935642

Company-states and the creation of the global international system

By Andrew Phillips and JC Sharman in European Journal of International Relations

Company-states succeeded in an era of weak sovereign states because of their relative efficiency in managing the transaction costs and principal-agent challenges of intercontinental trade and rule. Conversely, company-states later declined as they succumbed to the effects of sharpening worldwide geopolitical competition, and were displaced by increasingly powerful new European empire-building projects.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1354066120928127

Tunnel Operations in the Israel Defense Forces: Adapting the Warrior Ethos to Post-Heroic Conflict

By Nechemia Stern, Uzi Ben-Shalom, Niv Gold, Corinne Berger, Avishai Antonovsky, and Dvir Peleg in Armed Forces & Society

Article on IDF troops and tunnel warfare. Interesting meditation on relationship between post-heroic warfare and its relation to terrain/tactical constraints.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0095327X20924040

European Union Law Restraints on Intelligence Activities

By Iain Cameron in International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence

Good overview of EU law relevant to intelligence institutions, with section on pending cases to watch.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08850607.2020.1754665