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CPSA/ISA-Canada section on International Relations

C08(b) - Advancing Institutionalist Approaches to the Study of Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

Date: Jun 5 | Time: 08:45am to 10:15am | Location: SWING 308

Chair/Président/Présidente : Lee J. M. Seymour (University of Montreal)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Lee J. M. Seymour (University of Montreal)

The Macedonian Question: A Peculiar Diplomatic Dispute with Broader Implications for Foreign Policy Formation and IR Theories: Spyridon Kotsovilis (University of Toronto Mississauga)
Abstract: This paper combines an empirical analysis of a protracted non-violent ethnic conflict case with a theoretical discussion on the often blurred boundaries between Ideational Liberal and Constructivist IR theories, towards answering the important question on the sources of foreign policy formation. Specifically, it explores the curious case of the name dispute between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece and the variation in their foreign policies throughout the twenty seven years of this non-violent ethnic conflict that still defies a solution despite a recent agreement. The resulting analysis, accompanied by hypothesized social-psychological and individual micro-foundational mechanisms at play, emphasizes the importance of domestic sources towards foreign policy formation and conduct. Coupled with the variation of individual preferences, this focus on domestic politics yields support for a Liberal IR theoretical explanation that complements Realist Balance of Power considerations, and calls for the development of Agentic Constructivism if the latter seeks to offer a credible competing explanation.

Deliberative Defense Design & US Bilateral Defense and Security Arrangements: Comparing Non-Treaty Behavior with Canadian Versus European Allies From 1950: Anessa Kimball (Université Laval)
Abstract: By Anessa L. Kimball To what extent does the US have a playbook for developing non-treaty defense and security cooperation agreements? Kimball (2017) offered original Canadian-US defense and security agreement (DSA) data and tested a theoretical model of agreement institutionalization using arguments drawn from the rational institutional design program. Kimball shows not only a purposeful design of bilateral DSA but also its legalization is shaped by cabinet shuffles, unified governance, and rising military threats. This manuscript provides an examination of DSA design through a comparison of a sample of European with US-Canadian DSA for the period of 1950-2005. Non-treaty cooperation via exchanges of diplomatic notes/letters, memoranda of understanding, etc. require legislative notification but not approval. Those arrangements permit a flexibility, speed, and adaptation necessary in defense cooperation and have been used to create and manage products usually among regional partners, e.g. in North America: NORAD (Canada-US), the LAV (Canada-US), and in Europe the Jaguar (UK-France), the Tornado followed by the Eurofighter (UK, Germany & Italy, then Spain). For states with increasingly limited defense, budgets bilateral and multilateral development and production of defense products may be more efficient but success is not assured. This manuscript empirically analyses legalization using both institutional and rationalist approaches (Koremenos, Lipson & Snidal 200; Koremenos 2013; Kimball 2017) based on a sample of over 250 arrangements. It contributes to our understanding of how the US design DSA portfolios with its continental partner relative to key allies.


International Norms and State Behaviour: A New Approach to Measurement: Tyler Girard (Western University)
Abstract: Despite extensive research on international norms, our approach to measurement has not kept pace with theoretical advancements. Existing research often relies on single indicators to facilitate cross-national analysis, or alternatively employs case-study designs that provide greater nuance at the expense of geographic scope. Moreover, the appropriateness of policy substitutability when measuring norms is often not considered. In light of the methodological limitations across existing research designs, this paper proposes the use of nonparametric, cumulative scaling techniques to improve the precision of norm measurement and more easily facilitate cross-national analysis. I evaluate the technique using two cases: the emergent lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) equality norm and the labour rights norm. Both cases are global in scope yet exhibit important temporal and substantive differences. The analysis strongly suggests that important inferences can be drawn from the application of such scaling techniques to the study of norms, resulting in two main contributions to the literature. First, the results provide new empirical evidence related to the fundamental question of norm emergence. The analysis suggests the LGB equality norm first emerged as a coherent norm in 2001, when many of the salient policies began to fit into a single scale. Second, the technique sheds light on the range and ranking of policies associated with the norm, such that novel inferences are generated about its evolution over time and across countries. Both cases indicate a consistency in policy ranking across time, whereby new policies typically join the scale as more difficult items.