Tag: military intervention

Do Not Despair: Russian Intervention and International Law

UnknownRussia’s military intervention in Ukraine naturally prompted a lot talk about the limits of international law. Eric Posner noted: “ 1. Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine violates international law. 2. No one is going to do anything about it.” Julian Ku argued: “International law can be, and often is, a very important tool for facilitating international and transnational cooperation. But it is not doing much to resolve to Ukraine crisis, and international lawyers need to admit that.” For Ku, the current crisis supports the claims of Rationalist law-skeptics, international law works when legal requirements align with self-interest. Many others, including a good portion of my students see the failure of international law in Ukraine. Continue reading


Obama’s Dienbienphu Moment?


We have a pretty good literature on how presidents use and manipulate their information and propaganda advantages to move public opinion toward their positions on the use of force.  Both bottom –up, rational public arguments and top-down elite cueing models look at the institutional advantages of the presidency such as the bully pulpit, privileged access to information transmitted though classified intelligence and diplomatic channels, forging special access to the media, and the benefit of a history of Congressional and public deference to presidential leadership.

But, when and under what conditions does public opinion constrain presidential decision making on war and intervention? Continue reading


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