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The Party Politics of Military Interventions: Political & Psychological Perspectives on Coalition Cabinets, Parliaments, & Partisanship

When Nov 29, 2018
from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
Where S1 of the Alison Richard Building
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This talk will explore security policymaking of multi-party cabinets and parliaments and party voting in contemporary military interventions. I will first discuss the effects of coalition governments on security policy, arguing that multiparty governments have political and psychological dynamics that propel them toward extreme foreign policies, including interventions.  I will then look at the conditions under which parliaments are most influential in security policy, highlighting the importance of prime minister leadership style.  Finally, I will examine the partisan and ideational nature of parliamentary votes on military deployment.  This talk draws on my past and on-going research in these areas, with both cross-national quantitative analyses and case studies of Dutch, Japanese, Turkish, and British security policy.  My general argument is that political parties are important for understanding states’ decisions about military interventions.  More specifically, I point to institutional-psychological relationships that help us understand counter-intuitive policies and decision-making processes.


Juliet Kaarbo is Professor of International Relations with a Chair in Foreign Policy at the University of Edinburgh.  She is founding co-director of Edinburgh’s Centre for Security Research.  She previously held posts at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva and the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on political psychology, leadership and decision making, group dynamics, foreign policy analysis and theory, parliamentary political systems, and national roles and has appeared in journals such as International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, International Studies Review, Political Psychology, West European Politics, Cooperation and Conflict, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, European Political Science Review, and Leadership Quarterly.   In 2012, Professor Kaarbo published Coalition Politics and Cabinet Decision Making:  A Comparative Analysis of Foreign Policy Choices (University of Michigan Press) and in 2016 she co-edited Domestic Role Contestation, Foreign Policy, and International Relations (Routledge). She is Associate Editor of the journal Foreign Policy Analysis, since 2013 and she is the 2018 Distinguished Scholar of Foreign Policy Analysis in the International Studies Association.


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