The Earth and the Sea

In the readings for this research, I read about dozens of disputes in the past century that have brought about war. Among them, not a single one is over ocean boundaries.

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Coding Disputes

As a large portion of my honors thesis, I will be using a large n database to conduct quantitative comparisons across different territorial disputes. Before I am able to do the tests, however, I must first complete my database and code every dispute (since 1949) to test my hypotheses. As I have done so, I have run up against a number of difficult coding decisions that could potentially change the face of my dataset and, through that, my results. Here are some of the questions that I face: [Read more…]

Historical Analogies in the Pivot to Asia

In 2011, the Obama administration unveiled a much-publicized “pivot to Asia”—a grand strategy to strengthen America’s position in the region through the overt use of military, diplomatic, economic, and cultural instruments. “Pivot” is an appropriate title; it is a definitive break from past policy. Waxing engagement and waning containment characterized American strategy towards China in the 1990s and 2000s. Now, it seems, the U.S. government is refocusing on military balancing.

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