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Georgetown Journal of International Affairs

The Private Sector: A Reluctant Partner in Cybersecurity

December 19, 2014

It may seem obvious that the private sector should be keen to protect its computers and networks from cyber-attacks by criminals and foreign agents. After all, hacking has caused considerable losses of trade secrets and other proprietary information. Moreover, evidence suggests that cyber-attacks can take a kinetic form, which can harm the equipment and facilities—such as the national electrical grid—of those attacked. However, as will be seen shortly, the private sector is far from rushing to protect itself from such attacks. The reasons for this reluctance range from the understandably pragmatic to the ideological. Meanwhile, in spite of major implications of this reluctance for homeland security, both the Bush and the Obama administrations have limited themselves to cajoling the private sector to embrace much stronger cybersecurity measures rather than mandating their introduction.

Defense & Security Analysis Journal Cover

The United States’ retreat from the Middle East and pivot to the Far East is likely to intensify

December 10, 2014

This article outlines the reasons why one should expect that the USA will shift more military forces to and focus more diplomatic efforts on the Far East and away from the Middle East. The term forecasting is employed, rather than prediction, to remind us that the statement holds only if no “black swans” appear, that is, if no major unexpected forces come into play. (This caveat deserves special attention given the poor record of those who predict international developments, as demonstrated vividly when the Arab Spring unexpectedly erupted in Tunisia and when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.) The US’s role is akin to that of a physician who finds two abnormalities in an X-ray and is influenced in choosing on which to base his intervention by subconscious motives. 

The Brown Journal of World Affairs Journal Cover

Mutually Assured Restraint: A New Approach for United States-China Relations

October 31, 2014

To avoid the United States and China falling into the Thucydides trap, in which a dominant power’s fear of a rising power necessarily leads to war, both nations would be well-served by further embracing a strategy of Mutually Assured Restraint (MAR), here outlined, some elements of which are already in place. Political scientists argue that history shows since the days of the ancient Greeks that when a new power arises and an old power does not yield ground and privileges wars ensue. However, the record also shows there are no historical iron laws, or trends that inevitably unfold. Harvard's Graham Allison points to four cases out of 15 since the sixteenth century in which the emergence of a new power was not followed by war—including the United States’ rise as a global power in the 1890s. Thus, to those who hold that the United States and China are fated to clash, I say it is not written in the stars.

Brooklyn Law Review Cover

A Cyber Age Privacy Doctrine: More Coherent, Less Subjective, and Operational

October 14, 2014

Brooklyn Law Review, Forthcoming

In a previous paper, I outlined a privacy doctrine — a cyber age privacy doctrine, or a CAPD — that seeks to account for important differences between the paper age and the digital one. This paper attempts to show that the CAPD provides a coherent normative doctrine that can be employed by the courts and legislatures and that is more systematic, less subjective, and at least as operational as the prevailing privacy doctrines. 

Full text here.

Encyclopedia of Political Thought Books

Amitai Etzioni's contributions in "The Encyclopedia of Political Thought"

October 08, 2014

The Encyclopedia of Political Thought is the most comprehensive and rigorous treatment of significant political thinkers, political theories, concepts, ideas, and schools of thought.Click here for Amitai Etzioni's entries: "Common Good", "Community", and "Communitarianism"

International Politics Journal Cover

The Air-Sea Battle ‘concept’: A critique

October 08, 2014

In May 2013 the Pentagon released an unclassified summary of the top-secret Air-Sea Battle (ASB) Concept. ASB serves to focus the Pentagon’s efforts to organize, train and equip the armed forces against advanced weapons systems that threaten the US military’s unfettered freedom of access and action in the global commons. While officials claim ASB is merely improve service interoperability and could be applied in any number of conflict situations, this article argues that in fact the doctrine represents the Pentagon’s plan for confronting China’s increasingly capable and confident military. 

Full text here.

Case Western Reserve Law Review Journal Cover

Eight Nails into Katz's Coffin

October 06, 2014

Case Western Reserve Law Review

From a social science viewpoint, that the United States courts keep drawing on Katz v. United States in their rulings about whether or not privacy has been violated is difficult to comprehend. This legal case is clearly based on untenable sociological and psychological assumptions. Continuing to draw on this concept, especially in the cyber age, undermines the legitimacy of the courts and hence of the law. This article reviews these arguments in order to further nail down the lid on Katz’s coffin so that this case — and the privacy doctrine that draws on it — will be allowed to rest in peace.

Full article here.

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Air Sea Battle: A Case Study in Structural Inattention and Subterranean Forces

September 15, 2014

In response to China’s military modernization and growing anti-access/area denial capabilities, the US military has adopted an ‘‘Air Sea Battle’’ (ASB) concept entailing extensive strikes on the Chinese mainland. Critics argue that ASB creates grave escalation risks and may incite an expensive arms race. Less discussed, but also of serious concern, is that ASB was adopted with little to no civilian oversight, in a case of ‘‘structural inattention.’’ It has also been facilitated by ‘‘subterranean factors’’ including the interests of influential military contractors and the military’s own inclination toward conventional warfare.

Full article here.

Small Wars Journal Cover

No More Land Wars?

August 29, 2014

There is a growing consensus that the United States should not engage in another major land war in Asia or Africa, a view encapsulated in the catchphrase “no more boots on the ground.” Indeed, currently the US is either refraining from taking military action, or is limiting itself to drone strikes, covert operations, “capacity building” of local forces, and advising. This consensus, we shall see, is based in part on a fundamental misunderstanding of the course of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 
 
Full article here.

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The Communitarian Foreign Policy of Amitai Etzioni

July 11, 2014

Amitai Etzioni’s communitarian perspective offers a comprehensive approach to international affairs in addition to offering guidance for domestic policy. His argument that a focus on traditional “realist” concerns for a nation’s security and interests (“security first”), combined with a dialogue over competing moral imperatives, is more likely to lead to the emergence of an idealist end state--a sustainable international community. His emphasis on gradualism--of breaking apart complex policy goals into small, discrete steps--comes from his assessment that this is a better way of promoting lasting change in the international system. His perspective does not fit neatly into any of the dominant U.S. foreign policy approaches, but his ideas have formed part of the foreign policy debate for the last fifty years.

Full article here.

Journal Society Cover

Treating Rationality as a Continuous Variable

July 07, 2014

Behavioral Economics has demonstrated that “people” (implying all) are unable to act as strong definitions of rationality assume. Their cognitive limitations are “hard wired”. However Behavioral Economics’ own data show that important segments of the population find “the” rational answer to choices posed to them. How do these findings square with the thesis that limitations are hard wired and universal? And, more attention should be paid to the extent to which various people deviate from the rational choice, and—whether training can improve performance despite the claim that flaws are hard wired.

Interview with Dr. Simon Dawes & Professor Etzioni

July 03, 2014

Professor Amitai Etzioni recently published an article outlining his liberal communitarian approach to balancing press freedom with national security, and criticising the publication of Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations. In this short interview, Dr. Simon Dawes asks him to outline his concept of communitarianism, his communitarian approach to values such as press freedom, privacy and national security, as well as his criticisms of the Snowden affair.

Homeland And National Security Law Review Journal Cover

Liberal Communitarian Approach to Privacy and Security

June 09, 2014

This article asks which normative framework should be applied in determining whether privacy is unduly diminished in the American quest for enhanced protection against terrorist attacks; which specific criteria should be employed in determining whether the balance has tilted too far toward enhancing security or protecting privacy; and which measures can be taken to reduce the inevitable conflict between security and privacy. It also seeks to show that enhanced transparency is inferior to enhanced accountability, although there is some room for adding more of both kinds of scrutiny.

Issues in Science and Technology Logo

Final Frontier vs. Fruitful Frontier: The Case for Increasing Ocean Exploration

May 28, 2014

Possible solutions to the world’s energy, food, environmental, and other problems are far more likely to be found in nearby oceans than in distant space.

Amitai Etzioni Head Shot

Thank You

May 22, 2014

One of the joys of working at the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies is that we have a small community of research assistants, staff, and interns who participate actively in the formula