Paper at AIS 2013


Earlier this week I presented a paper at the Annual Association for Israel Studies conference at UCLA. The panel was entitled, Emotional and Philosophical Motivations in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and its Resolution. My paper, in turn, was “Giving Without Receiving? Justifying Unilateral Territorial Withdrawal in Israeli Politics.” If you are interested in the paper or the presentation materials, please let me know. Check out an abstract after the jump.

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Paper and Panel at ISA 2013

Next week, Thursday, April 4 at 1:45 pm, I will be speaking on a panel at the upcoming International Studies Association conference in San Francisco. The panel, entitled “Defending the Homeland: Territory & National Identity,” will explore the idea of homeland as a political, social, and cultural construct and how the definition of such a space impacts state territorial policies.

I am very excited to be joined by six esteemed colleagues from a diverse range of backgrounds, methodologies, and theoretical approaches. After the jump, you can find our panel abstract as well as my own paper abstract. For those of my colleagues, log on to the myISA system and check the annual conference program, or send me an email. Hope to see you in San Francisco!

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Panel and Paper at AJS Conference


Next week, I will be making a quick trip to Chicago for the annual conference of the Association for Jewish Studies from December 16-18.

I am fortunate to be joining a panel of very talented academics including Arnon Golan, Rachel Havrelock, Jacob Lassner, and Yael Zerubavel to discuss the place of the Land of Israel in contemporary Israeli national memory and politics. I have included the panel abstract and my paper abstract after the jump. For a full listing of our panel and the AJS conference in general, click here.

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Dissertation Abstract

Security or Identity? Narratives of State & Nation in International Territorial Conflict Protraction

My dissertation explores how popular domestic beliefs regarding the meaning and value of disputed lands contribute to the protraction and resolution of international territorial conflict. Using comparative historical analysis and artefactual field experiments, I find in Israel and Serbia that persistent popular unwillingness to relinquish claims to a “United Jerusalem” and “Kosovo and Metohija” have resulted from the extraordinary position of these territories in their respective national homeland narratives. These outcomes stand in stark contrast to Israel’s largely popular withdrawals from the Sinai Peninsula, Southern Lebanon, and Gaza Strip, dominantly valued as strategic rather than cultural assets. They also contrast with Serbia’s acquiescence to the political independence of both Bosnia and Montenegro, spaces of high concern for Serb political self-determination but relatively low territorial-cultural priority. The Golan Heights and the West Bank are also analyzed as disputed spaces wherein strategic and cultural narratives continue to contribute to conflict protraction. In doing so, I demonstrate how particular strategic and cultural narratives come to dominate public discourse over disputed spaces and, in turn, how these narratives constrain the policies states can legitimately pursue in these spaces. Ultimately, I find that popular perceptions of national identity can be as powerful a force in determining government policy as state security prerogatives.

Dissertation Committee:
Will Reno (Chair), Hendrik Spruyt, Jason Seawright

Panel and Paper Accepted for ISA 2012 in San Diego

I am thrilled to report that I will be attending next year’s annual International Studies Association Conference in San Diego as a panel chair and presenter. This conference brings me full circle from my first ISA conference in San Diego in 2006, when I was doing my Master’s degree at the University of British Columbia, to what I hope will be my final year as a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University in Chicago.

The panel, entitled “Nationalism, International Recognition, and Domestic Legitimacy,” will will take place on the first day of the conference, Sunday, April 1, at 1:45 p.m. Participants include senior and junior scholars as well as advanced graduate students who have an interest in the place of nationalism in global and domestic politics. My paper, “Security or Identity? State and Homeland in Israeli Politics and Public Opinion” will draw on the research I have been conducting over the last year in Israel. I have included abstracts for the panel and my own paper after the jump. My colleagues’ abstracts can be viewed through the ISA conference website panel link here.

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Paper Accepted for ISA 2010 in New Orleans

I am happy to report that my paper-in-progress, “Kosovo is Serbia”: Nation and Homeland in Contentious Territorial Politics, has been accepted for next year’s International Studies Association annual conference.

The conference will be held in New Orleans from February 17 through February 20, 2010 at the Hilton Riverside Hotel. My panel, “Building Nations,” will take place on Saturday, February 20, at 8:30 am. Much to my surprise, I have also been assigned to chair the panel! This will be a first for me so if anyone has any pointers on how to do this job well, please pass them along!

For your reading pleasure, I have attached the paper abstract after the jump. Enjoy and, as always, feedback is greatly appreciated:

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Abstract: Proxy Warfare & Uncertain Sovereignty


My colleagues, Chris Day and Miklos Gosztonyi, and I will be presenting our paper, “Proxy Warfare and Uncertain Sovereignty,” at this year’s Midwest Political Science Association conference in Chicago on April 2.

In this paper, we explore how norms of sovereign territoriality, which have played a critical role in preventing the outbreak of interstate war in the post-WWII era, have produced conditions which are highly permissive of proxy warfare.  You can find the paper online at AllAcademic and the abstract after the jump.  Any and all feedback, as always, is greatly appreciated.

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Paper Accepted for ISA 2009 in New York

I have just received notice that my second year paper project, “Disputed Territoriality and Ethnohistorical Claims: Understanding Intractable Territorial Conflict in Israel, Serbia, and Armenia,” has been accepted into the program for next year’s International Studies Association conference.

The conference will be held next year in New York City from February 15th to 18th.  My panel, “War Termination and Exit Strategies,” is sponsored by the International Security Studies Section and will take place on Sunday, February 15 at 10 am.

As it turns out, I am presenting on the very first day of the conference.  This year they decided, rather than holding it over a weekend, to start on Sunday and end on Wednesday. 🙂 The abstract can be found after the jump.

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Elites or Masses: Who Drives Israeli Resistance to Territorial Withdrawal?

With much time and energy spent, I have finished my paper at long last for Jeffrey Winters’ course on Oligarchy & Elite Rule

This paper explores some of the tensions that exist between theories of elite rule and theories of pluralism and social movements in the context of Israeli control of the West Bank and (formerly) Gaza.  As usual, I came into this paper thinking that I would get very little constructive out of it in terms of advancing my dissertation research agenda, and, as usual, I was surprised by how relevant it became. 

I stress that this paper is very tentative in its conclusions and form, but hopefully it adds some useful insights.  Included below is the opening section of the paper.  If you are interested in reading the whole thing, fire me off an email and I will be happy to send it to you for review.

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Paper Submission for ISA 2008

The quarter is ending faster than I am able to keep pace, but deadlines do roll in whether you like them or not. 

Today was the final deadline for submissions to next year’s International Studies Association conference in New York.  I finally got my act together and wrote up a quick abstract of my second year paper.  Let me know what you think. 

Unfortunately, I will not know for quite some time whether or not it will be accepted for presentation.  This year the selection criteria is supposed to be especially tough.  We’ll see what happens…

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