2012

SWP 22

Identity, Europe and the World beyond Public Spheres
Jeffrey T. Checkel

Abstract

This is the draft summary chapter for a collection of essays, European Public Spheres: Bringing Politics Back In (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press). It critically assesses what we do and do not know about the relation of public spheres to politics and the social more generally, and points out several gaps and challenges to address. First, arguments about public spheres are ultimately claims about how language and communication shape politics. Recognizing that institutions, power and practice are important as well, scholars in other fields have supplemented the linguistic approach with other types of analysis. In work on public spheres, however, a similar move seems absent – which results in incomplete arguments, for example, on the relation of public spheres to European identity. Second, how well do arguments on European public spheres hold up cross-nationally – or even in respect to the enlarged Europe that today’s reality? Third, beyond establishing that Europeanized public spheres matter, future research needs to explore how much they matter. This will involve more ambitious research designs – establishing baselines and relative weightings, identifying scope conditions and thinking counterfactually.

SWP 21

Process Tracing: From Philosophical Roots to Best Practices
Andrew Bennett and Jeffrey T. Checkel

Abstract

This paper has two overarching goals – to summarize recent developments on the philosophical and practical dimensions of process tracing, and to identify features common to best practices of it on different kinds of arguments, with different kinds of available evidence, in different substantive research domains. First, we define process tracing and discuss its foundations in the philosophy of social science. Next, we address its techniques and evidentiary sources, and advance ten criteria for judging its quality in particular pieces of research. Finally, we analyze the methodological issues specific to process tracing on general categories of theories, including structural-institutional, cognitive-psychological, and sociological. (NB: this paper is forthcoming as Chapter 1 in A. Bennett and J.T. Checkel, eds., Process Tracing in the Social Sciences: From Metaphor to Analytic Tool.)

SWP 20

Public Order Principles, Philosophical Method and the International Law of Nuclear Weapons
John Martin Gilroy

Abstract

The goal of philosophical method is the construction of a comprehensive policy argument (CPA) for a public policy or legal issue. In addition to the conventional use of empirical models and their logic of investigation in the study of policy and law, CPA requires that an underlying philosophical logic of concepts be deciphered in terms of the ideas within the issue, their definition, overlap and systematic interdependence. In this working paper, I will employ a logic of concepts from the philosophical system of David Hume to provide a unique and more complete logic of legal investigation for the illumination of the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on the Legality of Nuclear Weapons.

The goal of philosophical method is the construction of a comprehensive policy argument (CPA) for a public policy or legal issue. In addition to the conventional use of empirical models and their logic of investigation in the study of policy and law, CPA requires that an underlying philosophical logic of concepts be deciphered in terms of the ideas within the issue, their definition, overlap and systematic interdependence. In this working paper, I will employ a logic of concepts from the philosophical system of David Hume to provide a unique and more complete logic of legal investigation for the illumination of the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on the Legality of Nuclear Weapons.

SWP 19

The Judgment of PAROS: How Best to Prevent an Arms Race in Outer Space
Paul Meyer

Abstract

The international community will soon need to judge as to what measures should be agreed to prevent an arms race in outer space. The world depends increasingly on services provided by space-based assets and recent anti-satellite weapon tests have raised the prospect of space becoming a weaponized conflict zone. Several diplomatic proposals have been made by Russia, China, Canada and the EU aimed at reinforcing the present regime for outer space security. The leading space power, the United States, has for several years remained on the sidelines, neither endorsing any of the existing proposals nor advancing ideas of its own. Domestic political considerations appear to be hampering the Obama Administration’s capacity to engage actively in the current outer space diplomacy. Early in 2012 however, it declared support for an International Code of Conduct on Outer Space Activities based on an earlier EU draft. Such a draft, despite its modest security content, offers a promising array of mechanisms for international cooperation on outer space security at a time when the world depends increasingly on the unimpeded operation of some one thousand satellites.

SWP 18

The Political Economy of Agricultural Statistics: Evidence from India, Nigeria and Malawi
Morten Jerven

Abstract

The political economy of agricultural policies – why certain interventions may be preferred by political leaders rather than others – is well recognized. This paper explores a perspective previously neglected: the political economy of the production of agricultural output data. In developing economies the data on agricultural production are weak. Because these data are assembled using competing methods and assumptions, the final series are subject to political pressure. This paper draws on debates on the evidence of a Green Revolution in India, the arguments on effect of withdrawing fertilizer subsidies during Structural Adjustment in Nigeria, and finally the paper presents new data on the effect of crop data subsidies in Malawi. The recent agricultural census (2006/2007) indicates a maize output of 2.1 million tonnes, compared to the previously widely circulated figures of 3.4 million tonnes. The paper suggests that ‘data’ are themselves a product of agricultural policies.