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
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.
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.
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.
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.
__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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.