The Ideological Origins of Great Power Politics, 1789-1989

How do leaders perceive threat levels in world politics, and what effects do those perceptions have on policy choices? Mark L. Haas focuses here on how ideology shapes perception. He does not delineate the content of particular ideologies, but rather the degree of difference among them. Degree of ideological difference is, he believes, the crucial factor as leaders decide which nations threaten and which bolster their state' security and their own domestic power. These threat perceptions will in turn impel leaders to make particular foreign-policy choices. Haas examines great-power relations in five periods: the 1790s in Europe, the Concert of Europe (1815-1848), the 1930s in Europe, Sino-Soviet relations from 1949 to 1960, and the end of the Cold War. In each case he finds a clear relationship between the degree of ideological differences that divided state leaders and those leaders' perceptions of threat level (and so of appropriate foreign-policy choices). These relationships held in most cases, regardless of the nature of the ideologies in question, the offense-defense balance, and changes in the international distribution of power.
Books In Progress
Ideologies and Islamic Parties: Implications for American Security in the Middle East?

This book systematically tests the assumptions underlying America’s strategy of regime promotion in the Middle East, most notably whether or not Islamic liberals tend to be significantly more supportive of US interests than Islamic illiberals. Using comparative case study methods, I ascertain if different ideological groups in four Islamic countries (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey) tend to have significantly different international policies toward the United States, with Islamic liberals and reformers much more cooperative than illiberals.
American Security in an Aging World.
This book examines the security implications for the United States created by global population aging. It explores such things as the relationship between population aging on the
one hand and economic growth, military spending and budget allocations, international terrorism, and domestic liberalization on the other.

A Geriatric Peace?  The Future of U.S. Power in a World of Aging Populations

In the coming decades, the most powerful states in the international system will face a challenge unlike any other experienced in the history of great power politics:  significant aging of their populations.  This article analyzes the effects of this phenomenon on the future of American security.  On the positive side, global aging will be a potent force for the continuation of American power dominance, both economic and military.  Aging populations are likely to result in the slow down of states’ economic growth at the same time that governments face substantial pressure to pay for massive new expenditures for elderly care.  This double economic dilemma will create such an austere fiscal environment that the other great powers will lack the resources necessary to overtake America’s huge power lead.  Moreover, although the United States is growing older, it is doing so to a lesser extent and less quickly than all of the other major actors in the system.  Consequently, the economic and fiscal costs created by social aging—as well as their derivative effects on military spending—will be significantly lower for the U.S. than for potential competitors.  On the negative side is the fact that although the U.S. is in better demographic shape than the other great powers, it, too, will experience substantial new costs created by its own aging population.  As a result, America will most likely not be able to maintain the scope of its current international position.  Thus while the U.S. in the coming century will be even more secure from great power rivalry than it is today, it (and its allies) will be less able to realize other key international objectives, including preventing WMD proliferation, funding nation building, and engaging in military humanitarian interventions.
Journal: International Security
Volume (Year): 32.1 (2007)
Pages: 112-147
The United States and the End of the Cold War: Reactions to the Shifts in Soviet Power, Policies, and Domistic Politics
This article examines the factors that led to the end of the Cold War from the perspective of the most important U.S. decision makers in both the Reagan and Bush presidencies. The centerpiece of the analysis is a longitudinal study that compares the timing of U.S. decision makers assessments of the nature of the Soviet threat with changes in Soviet power, foreign policies, and domestic ideology and institutions. This research design allows one to determine if America s key leaders were basing their foreign policies primarily in response to reductions in Soviet power (as realists assert), to more cooperative international policies (as systemic-constructivist and costly signals arguments claim), or to changes in Soviet domestic politics (as democratic peace theories argue). I find that American leaders beliefs that the Cold War was ending corresponded most closely with Soviet domestic-ideological and institutional changes. As soon as America s most important leaders believed both that Gorbachev was dedicated to core tenets of liberal ideology, and that these values would likely be protected by liberal institutions, they believed the Cold War was ending. These findings help to both illustrate the key determinants of leaders perceptions of international threats and explain why outstanding Cold War disputes were resolved so smoothly, with the Americans primarily attempting to reassure the Soviets rather than coercing them with America s power superiority. 
Cambridge University Press in its journal: International Organization                           
Volume (Year): 61 (2007)
Issue (Month): 01 (January)
Pages: 145-179
Ideology and Aliances: 
British and French External Balancing Decisions in the 1930s

Following a review of the literature on alliance formation, it is argued that political ideologies deeply impact foreign policy decisions on alliance formation, even amid a threatening security environment. The greater the ideological similarities among states' leaders, the more likely they are to perceive one another as supportive of their respective domestic interests & security, thus, motivating alliance formation. At issue are two distinct causal mechanisms. One, the "demonstrations-effects" mechanism, shows how the character of ideological relationships is apt to influence leadership threat perceptions regarding domestic interests; thus, the success of a group of a specific ideological stripe in one state will lead to success for likeminded groups in other states & encourage their alliance, while ideologically opposed groups tend to view each other's success as threatening, making it less likely that an alliance will form. The second one, the "conflict-probability" mechanism, demonstrates the impact of ideological context on decisionmakers' threat perception, with greater ideological affinity among state leadership fostering trust, a view that their interests are complementary, & the likelihood of alliance, while less affinity will result in conflict. This causal logic is considered in detail before testing the main argument via a case study of French-British alliance decisions in the 1930s, analyzing the impact of ideological variables on the external balancing decisions of British Conservatives & Labourites & French Socialists & conservatives. Ideological differences are seen to lie at the heart of the deeply contrasting alliance policies of socialists & conservatives. Four theoretical implications of the causal logic at play here are discussed in closing; eg, the logic provides an alternative to neorealist accounts of delayed coalition formation & findings suggest how power & ideology blend to impact policy outcomes

Journal: Security Studies
Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
Issue (Pages):  4 (pp. 34-79)
Prospect Theory and the Cuban Missile
This article uses a decision-theoretic model of choice and primary source evidence to test the relative explanatory weights of expected-utility and prospect theories for the key events of the Cuban missle crisis.  International Studies Quarterly ranks seventh among all international relations journals in "impact factor" by Journal Citations Reports.
Journal: International Studies Quarterly
Volume (Year):  45, No. 2 (June 2001),
Pages: 241-270
Reinhold Niebuhr's 'Christian Pragmatism:' A Principled Alternative to Consequentialism"
This article offers an examination and reinterpretation of Niebuhr's theory of ethics.
Journal: The Review of Politics
Volume (Year): 61, no. 4 (1999)
Pages: 605-636

Feb 17, 2009, 5:42 PM
Feb 17, 2009, 5:42 PM
Feb 17, 2009, 5:42 PM