IS: Off the Page brings policymakers, academics, and practitioners into conversation about security issues of global importance. In each episode, we will discuss a recent piece of research published in International Security, and more importantly, go beyond each article’s findings to engage in contemporary, real-world policy.
12-Liberal Values, Material Interests, and the Inconsistencies of U.S. Democracy Promotion
In this episode, we explore the tension between liberal values and material interests in U.S. foreign policy, as well as examine the inconsistencies of Western-led democracy promotion.
Does the United States truly prioritize democracy promotion in its foreign policy? How does the United States’ definition of democracy influence its democracy promotion efforts abroad? Does the West’s failure to intervene in the current protests in Belarus represent a departure from Wilsonian ideals? Listen to this episode to find out!
11-Rethinking the Norms and Practices of U.S. Civil-Military Relations
In this episode, we address the current state of civil-military relations in the United States, explore the paradoxes of having an “apolitical” military as envisioned by Samuel Huntington, and contemplate the future of civil-military relations.
Are civil-military relations really in crisis in the United States today? If existing norms are not working, what should the norms and practices of civil-military relations be? What role should retired military officers play in government and public life? How can both civilian and military leaders better prepare for their joint work? Listen to find out!
10-Great Power Politics in the Middle East and Arab-Israeli Conflict—Détente to 2020
In this episode, we examine the history of great power politics in the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict, with a focus on the period of détente between Washington and Moscow during the Cold War. We then assess major power relations in the region today and possible future trends.
Why did great power détente fail in the Middle East, and what impact did this failure have on the Arab-Israeli conflict and Israeli-Palestinian peace process? Can lessons from the Cold War period of détente be applied to contemporary politics? What is the current state of great power politics in the region, and how is it likely to change going forward? Listen to find out!
09-U.S. Electoral Constraints, Military Strategy, and the Iraq War
In this episode, we examine the U.S. electoral calendar’s impact on military strategy during the Iraq War.
How did U.S. electoral considerations impact military decisions at the presidential level, such as the 2007 surge and the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq? In what ways did these considerations interact with local conditions on the ground and Iraqi domestic politics? Will the current U.S. electoral cycle influence foreign policy decision-making regarding Iraq and the Middle East more broadly? Listen to find out!
08-Chinese Views on Nuclear Escalation
In this episode, we examine Chinese views on the likelihood of nuclear escalation in the event of a crisis or armed conflict with the United States.
How do Chinese and American views on nuclear use differ? Under what circumstances could nuclear escalation arise? How can both countries avoid inadvertent escalation? Listen to find out!
07-The Post-Conflict Politics of Migration and Refugee Return
In this episode, we examine how refugee return can upset post-conflict stability and lead to renewed conflict at home. While our conversation touches upon numerous cases of conflict-induced migration, our analysis zeroes in on post-conflict Burundi.
How do post-conflict societies respond to refugee return? Under what conditions do tensions between those who stayed and those who left become violent? What can local and international actors do to mitigate the risks of renewed conflict once refugees come home? Listen to find out!