Starr Forum: Rebel Power: Why National Movements Compete, Fight, and Win

Starr Forum: Rebel Power: Why National Movements Compete, Fight, and Win


MICHELLE ENGLISH: Greetings. And thank you for coming
to today’s MIT Starr Forum, Rebel Power, Why National
Movements Compete, Fight, and Win. I’m Michelle English
from the MIT Center for International Studies. The center sponsors these
amazing Starr Forums and also is home to many global
research programs and speaking series. You can learn more about
the work being done at CIS, as well as upcoming
Starr Forums, by signing up to receive
our email notices at our information table. Today’s talk is a book talk. And if you haven’t
already, please take time to purchase
a book from the MIT Coop in the back of the room. We will first hear from
the author who will then be joined by a discussant. And we will end with
a question and answer session with the audience. For the Q&A, I just
want to remind everyone to please line up
behind the mics and please ask just one
question for sake of time. The discussant for today’s
talk is Roger Petersen. Professor Petersen has
taught at MIT since 2001 and is the Arthur and Ruth Sloan
Professor of Political Science. His work focuses on within-state
conflict and violence. He has written three
books and is currently working on a
manuscript entitled, A Social Science Guide
to the Iraq Conflict. He teaches classes on military
intervention, conflict and violence, and
emotions in politics. Professor Petersen will
introduce our guest speaker at this time. Please join me in
welcoming Roger Petersen. ROGER PETERSEN:
Thanks, Michelle. It’s always a pleasure to have
one of our former students and see one of our dissertations
that was supervised here at the Security Studies Program
become an influential book in the field. So this is a real honor
to be able to come here and participate in this. So just a couple words
about Peter’s research. He focuses on international
security, Middle East politics, terrorism, political
violence, national movements. And so this is the book he
has, The Rebel Power, which we’re going to discuss today. He also has co-edited a volume
entitled, Coercion: The Power to Hurt in International
Politics, which is forthcoming with
Oxford University Press. He’s previously
published articles, or has articles forthcoming, on
the effectiveness of terrorism, social movements and
territorial control, US intervention in
the Syrian Civil War, which might be worthy of a
question or two at the end here, the politics of division
within the Palestinian national movement, the war of
ideas in the Middle East, and also things more specific
like the reassessment of US operations at Tora Bora in 2001. Peter is a faculty associate
in the National Studies Program and the Islamic
Civilization and Societies Program at Boston College. He’s also a Research Affiliate
here at MIT with the Security Studies Program. The most important quality that
Peter has, in my estimation, is when he was a student here. He was captain of our softball
team, which did quite well. And Peter was so good that he
earned the nickname, Big Papi Peter Krause. So I think his abilities
in social science are as good as his
hitting and fielding. So we’ll turn it over
to Peter with that. PETER KRAUSE: Thank you so much. And actually, I didn’t
ask this before, but do you guys want me to
stand behind the podium, or can I move around? I can move around. Great because I
like to move around. Excellent. Well, it’s such an
honor to be here. As Roger mentioned,
and Michelle mentioned, I got my PhD here
at MIT in 2011. I remain a Research Affiliate
in the Security Studies Program. And it’s just an honor
to be close by in Boston. I’m an Assistant Professor down
the road at Boston College. And it’s just always a pleasure
to come back and engage with the MIT community,
which to my mind, is both the most humble
intellectual community but also the most high powered
intellectually. So I really look forward to
the Q&A and the discussion at the end of the talk,
emailing me afterwards if you have questions. I’m just going to talk for about
15 or 20 minutes about my book. Obviously, I can’t
give you the whole run of the mill in terms
of what it’s about, but I’ll give you
some of the basics. Some of the rest will
come up with Roger. But I want to try to entice
you to, hopefully, read the book, which would be the
most important thing to me, but also, hopefully, teach
you a little bit about why political violence
and terrorism happens. Why when we see the
Kurds or Catalonia today trying to get a state, are they
likely to be successful or not. Let’s talk a little bit
about Middle East politics. So I’ll go into each
one of these things in the course of the little
time that I have here. So my book actually starts with
a story of four individuals. And you might not recognize
these four people. This is how they actually
roughly look today. I interviewed and spoke
with all four of them in the course of my research. But if you don’t
recognize them, you might recognize them
if we look at them. Maybe they were more
famous or perhaps infamous from your perspective. The upper left hand corner,
this is Leila Khaled. Leila Khaled was a
member of the Popular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine, or the PFLP. She was involved in a
multi-airplane hijacking in 1970 designed to try to
coerce the Israelis as well as, to some extent, the Jordanian
monarchy in 1970 of September. Upper right hand corner,
this is Zohra Drif. Zohra was a member of the FLN,
the major organization that fought for
independence of Algeria against France
from 1954 to 1962. If you guys haven’t seen the
movie, Battle of Algiers, by many it’s considered
to be maybe the best film on insurgency in
broader national movements. It was actually made
four years after Algeria got their independence. So a lot of the
extras in the film are Algerians who actually
struggled against the French. Zohra was the one who actually
put the bomb in the Milk Bar. So, think, a malt shop
from Greece or something like that actually killed and
wounded a number of civilians. She was taken prisoner. This is her here being taken
prisoner by the French. But she was released
in 1962 when Algeria got their
independence from France, became the Vice-President
of the Algerian Senate, and that’s where she was when
I met with her in Algiers a couple of years ago. Bottom left hand corner,
this is Yoske Nachmias. Yoske was a member of
the Etzel, or the Irgun, which was a right wing
Zionist militia that fought against the
British as well as against the local
Arab/Palestinian population for the independence of Israel. He also faced off
against his brother, who is in a rival
Zionist militia, on the beaches of Tel Aviv
in 1948 in a struggle over, in many ways, who would
control the broader Zionist movement and the new
fledgling Israeli state. Finally, the bottom
right hand corner. This might be the person
you’re most familiar with. This is Gerry Adams. Gerry Adams is currently
the head of Sinn Fein, one of the largest political
parties in Northern Ireland. By many accounts, he was also a
member of the Irish Republican Army, or the IRA. And I actually was
in a march with him to Bodenstown,
which is basically this grave of Wolfe
Tone, a guy who’s seen as the godfather
of Irish republicanism. Now, the reason my book starts
with the story of these four individuals, in their
broader sense, starts with the movements
that they’re part of, is because they have variation. Variation in outcome. If we look at the four
of these individuals, Zohra and Yoske both, in a large
sense, succeeded collectively. There’s a state of Israel today. There’s a state
of Algeria today. Certainly for Algeria, and
somewhat for Israel, on the map that those individuals
wanted for their state. But if we look at
the Palestinians, or even if we look at Gerry
Adams and the Northern Irish, we don’t have a Palestinian
state in a real way today. And Northern Ireland
remains part of the UK, not part of Ireland. So in that sense, my
book, first and foremost, is trying to explain
that variation. Why some nations get
states and others don’t. And again, hopefully I
don’t have to convince you, but this is certainly a
live issue today as well. Whether we look
at Scotland where they had a referendum in
2014 for independence, or we look at the Kurds
in Northern Iraq who voted 93% for an
independent Iraqi Kurdistan, or we look at
Catalonia in Spain, or the most recent new
state, South Sudan, national movements are with
us today all over the place. In fact, on this
map, anywhere you see a yellow shaded
country, there is an ongoing secessionist
movement there. Now, some of them like in
the United States or maybe Texas or Alaska, which
are not necessarily going to be very
likely to succeed, but others are quite active
and often quite violent national movements today. In terms of
statistics, there have been hundreds of national
movements historically. There are hundreds today. Worth noting, Bridget
Coggins at UCSD in San Diego found that about a third
of the actual movements succeed historically. So we’re trying to explain
that variation in many ways. The other key thing
I want to do– and I’m not the first
person to say this at all. In fact, people like
Roger and others have written about
this for a long time. When we think about
national movements– even though we have this idea
of a collective fist fighting for independence, in
reality, it actually looks much more like this, where
there are multiple factions and organizations all
inside of these movements, simultaneously striving for
that common goal of independence while they’re also
organizationally fighting over who’s going to
lead that movement and ultimately
lead the new state. So I show you the individuals
here next to the icon of their organizations. In fact, if I took
this slide and just did the Palestinian
national movement, it would be covered with
over 15 to 20 organizations. So these are just a couple
of the organizations inside of each of these
national movements. The other question that my
book answers is not just when national movements
succeed collectively, but it’s also why
organizations within them opt for violent or
nonviolent tactics. And then, why also they
opt for negotiating with the potential regime or– I had to make up
my own icon here. This is spoiling. So spoiling in political
science basically means someone from
your broader movement is trying to negotiate
with the state. But you don’t want those
negotiations to happen. So you set a bombing
up, or you do something where you’re stabbing
them in the back or basically driving
a wedge of mistrust so the two sides won’t
talk, and ultimately there won’t be a negotiated peace. So I’m also trying to
answer that question. Now, a little bit
about my theory. Whether you’re a
sports fan or not, hopefully you can
understand this analogy. Think in terms of political
debates or otherwise. But let’s just take a look at
this scoreboard for a moment. This is a basketball
scoreboard, the fourth quarter, there’s about 58 seconds left. So the game is almost over. One team is winning 104 to 89. What I want to know
is, what’s the strategy of either one of those teams? Tell me either the home
team who is up 15 points, or the away team
who is down 15, what would they do in this scenario? It’s not rhetorical. Let me see a hand. What do you say, sir? AUDIENCE: They’re
going to stall. PETER KRAUSE: Who’s
going to stall? AUDIENCE: The home team. PETER KRAUSE: So the home
team is going to stall? What are they going to do? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] PETER KRAUSE: So they’re
going to sit there, and they’re going
to throw the ball. They’re going to
do the four corners offense from Dean Smith. They’re basically going to
try to run out the clock. Why, because they’re on top. They’re in line to win the game. In any basketball league,
you don’t get more points for winning by 15 points
versus two points. It’s a winner take all scenario. You’re on top. You just want to run out the
clock, keep things as they are, be very status quo. What’s the away team going
to do in this scenario? They’re going to foul. They’re going to
foul the other team. How are they going to shoot? What type of shots are
they going to take? Three pointers. Now, three pointers
go in less often, but they’re worth more points. Following that
strategy of fouling, trying to take three
pointers, actually makes it more likely
the away team will lose by even more than 15 points. But it gives them a slightly
larger chance that they’ll actually come back and win. Now, that’s exactly
what we’re talking about in terms of the
strategy that people take based on their position
and their incentive structure. The home team, they’re
very risk averse. They’re very status quo. The away team, very
risk accepting, going to do these
types of things. If you ever watch
a sporting game where at the end,
all of a sudden, this team goes up 105 to 104
with two or three seconds left. It’s fascinating because the
strategies switch immediately. And now, all of a sudden,
the team that’s down, starts fouling, and the
team that all of a sudden just came on top, tries
to run out the clock. AUDIENCE: Do you mean
fouling or drawing the foul? PETER KRAUSE: Fouling. So if you’re behind, you’re
actually fouling the other team because it stops the clock. They shoot free throws. They’re probably
going to make them. But if they miss them, you,
all of a sudden, get the ball and get a chance
to come back up. AUDIENCE: If you draw a
foul, that’s even better. PETER KRAUSE: Sure. You could do that as well. Now, let’s talk about
this in the context of national movements
and political violence. What I do is I take
all the organizations inside a national
movement, and I rank them by their relative strength. So if you are the
strongest group in your national movement,
I call you either a hegemon or a leader. I call you a hegemon if there’s
no organization at least one third as strong as you are. You’re a leader if there
is a group at least one third as strong, and that
would be called a challenger. Subordinate
organizations are ones that aren’t at least a third
as strong as the top group, and they’re much weaker,
more marginal players. This has presented a
couple of subfields. If you look at party systems,
a lot of comparative politics looks and says, is this
a one party system, a two party system? How many parties are there
in the United States today? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] PETER KRAUSE: A lot. Hundreds. PETER KRAUSE: And then someone
said, two because there’s two that matter. So that’s the same idea. We have the Libertarians,
the Greens, the Democrats, the Republicans. But in the broad sense,
it seems like two that matter at least in terms
of winning most elections, or having a
significant chance too, especially at the
national level. Now, I make the same argument
regarding national movements to say, I’m not looking
at all factions. I’m not looking at
all organizations. I’m looking at the ones that
have significant numbers. And I measure power by saying
membership size, funding, popular support, or
vote share in elections. And what I do from that, is
I make a couple of arguments. First and foremost, I argue
the stronger organizations are more likely to be in line
to organizationally benefit from independence than
weaker groups are. So what they’re
basically saying is, if I’m the strongest group at
the moment we get independence, I’m likely to win an election
that happens thereafter or win a civil war against these
other factions if that happens. And so what does that mean? That means that I’m going to be
a little bit more status quo, a little bit more risk
averse because I want to maintain my position on top. Also in terms of the
cost from violence, I know that if the regime
is going to crack down and repress in response to,
say, a terrorist attack, they’re often going to go after
the strongest organization because they’re the
people the regime knows or because they feel like
we have to do something. These are the only people
we can lash out at, or we see them as
the biggest threat. If you’re a weaker
organization, like a challenger, the story is reversed. You are actually not in line to
benefit organizationally very much from success. You’ll get independence. You’ll get citizenship
in your new state. You’ll get these
broader public goods. But the private goods, the
organizational goodies, those are the ones that go
to the stronger groups. So you actually have incentives
to be very risk acceptant, to use things like
violent attacks or trying to spoil
negotiations until you are able to actually become on top. And then, all of a
sudden, you want victory to occur at that point. And so that’s the
predictions I’m making. Which groups are likely to
pursue victory and success? The strong groups. The hegemons and the leaders. Which ones are likely to
initiate escalatory violence like terrorist attacks
or insurgent attacks? The weaker organizations. And that’s the basic story. And there’s a broader
saying for that, where you stand depends on where you sit. It’s called Miles’ Law. It was based on the idea that if
you’re the Assistant Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of
State or the Vice President, you might have your own
personal feelings about policy, but some of the policies
that you actually push for are going to be based on
your position in government. I’m making the same
argument, where you stand on
violence and victory for these organizations
depends on where they sit in the hierarchy
of their movement. Now, the only other
broader argument I make is about which movements
succeed and fail. And I say that basically
like a stoplight here. The green ones, the
hegemonic movements, are the most likely
to get independence. The reason being that
their internal environment is noncompetitive because you
have one dominant faction. And you might have 20
or 30 other factions, but they don’t really
have a chance or a prayer to unseat that top dog. And so what happens is they
have a cohesive strategy as a movement. They have clear signaling. And there’s less
blood and treasure spent on internal flights
instead of external ones. On the other side
of the coin, if you have two or more significant
groups, whether they’re united or not, they’re going to spend
a lot of their time fighting one another, not having clear
signaling, and ultimately being less effective
or less likely to get an independent state. Now, how did I go
about empirically trying to assess or
test these arguments? First, I did interviews. I interviewed about
150 people from all these different
movements, Members of the Palestinian national
movement, the Zionist movement, the Algerian,
the Irish movement. I lived in about seven
different countries throughout the Middle
East and Europe. I spent time in about
nine different archives. I worked both in the archives
of these organizations, so I looked at, say,
the Haganah Archives, which was one of the
Zionist militias. But I also looked at,
say, the British Archives to get the state
perspective on these fights. And then, what I was
gathering was information that allowed me to make charts
like this where I gathered up the information on the number
of members, the amount of money, the popular support
for these groups, which, again, is
difficult to get. When I started this
project, I knew I wanted to capture this info. But there’s no
data sets out there that have this in
full, group strength by year within these movements. So I’m able to create
something like this, and this allows me to test
both of my predictions. First, my prediction
about which groups are going to use violence or
which going to pursue victory, I’m going to say that these
organizations over here, that are challenges or
subordinates, they’re the ones who are likely
to escalate and use types of risky violence. Whereas these groups up top,
the leaders or the hegemons, they’re more likely to
restrain that violence. At the same time, in terms
of success or failure, I’m going to argue
that this movement is more likely to be unsuccessful
during this period here because there’s no hegemon. It’s a leader plus
some challengers and some subordinates. Whereas in this period,
when there is a hegemon, that’s when they’re most
likely to have their highest rate of relative success. How does this actually play out? I’ll just give you
a couple of snippets from a couple of the
cases and then wrap up, and we’ll go to discussion. In terms of Fatah’s case,
this is from the Institute for Palestine Studies. It’s one of Fatah’s
documents, talking about launching armed struggle
against Israel on January 1, 1965. And what they say
is, there must be a period in which the armed
revolutionary vanguard tries to embody its real struggle
in front of the public sector so that it can attract
them in the end. When Fatah decided to
launch their first attack against Israel in 1965, they had
fewer than 30 trained fighters. They didn’t have
a lot of weapons. But the reason they did
that is they looked and saw, hey, guess what, the PLO, and
the PFLP, and the ANM, they are stronger than us. And so we need to do
something to get notoriety, to get popular support,
even if strategically it doesn’t make sense. So they start launching
attacks against the Israelis that helped to contribute to
the start of the ’67 war, which is a disaster for
the Palestinians and their Arab supporters. But organizationally,
it potentially helps Fatah, which is one of
the reasons the violence is launched when it is. In terms of present day,
what’s fascinating is that you see a group like Hamas. So Hamas, generally
thought of as being a religious organization,
maybe a much more extreme organization,
certainly has launched a series
of terrorist attacks over the past couple of decades. And yet, just a couple of
years ago– and in fact, we could find headlines
like this today, Hamas arrests some
Palestinians who are launching rockets against the Israelis. And that just
totally seems crazy. It’s like Hamas is arresting
Palestinians launching rockets against the Israelis. Why are they doing this? Well, they’re doing it because
about 10 years ago, they gained control of Gaza. And by controlling Gaza,
what happens is, number one, they’re now in line to benefit
if Gaza becomes an autonomous Palestinian area or potentially
part of a Palestinian state. But also, if rockets are
launched into Israel, the Israelis have one address
that they respond against, which is Hamas. So they’re going to pay the
cost of those groups doing that, so they’re the ones
who are cracking down. Where you stand depends
on where you sit. What about the Zionist movement? I can do the same thing
in terms of hierarchy. Now, unlike the Palestinians,
there’s less up and down. The Haganah was always
this very strong, if not the dominant,
militant organization, whereas the Irgun and the
Lehi were much weaker. But the same
predictions hold true. The Haganah’s main strategy
was called Havlagah, which in Hebrew means restraint. And so they were actively
using violence at times but either in consultation
with the British or against military
forces for the most part, whereas the Lehi
was assassinating British officials. And the Irgun was
sometimes putting bombs in Palestinian
and Arab marketplaces and on trains
vis-a-vis the Haganah who was calling that terrorism,
denouncing them, and then in some periods, arresting other
members of the Zionist movement because they wanted to
restrain this stuff. Here’s a quote that, in
some ways, personifies this. When the leaders of
the Lehi and the Irgun got together and started talking
about British evacuating, which was a necessary condition
to get the state of Israel, they said the following. “In the meeting with Menachem
Begin– who later on was the Prime Minister of
Israel but at the time was the leader of the Irgun. I suggested that we
deliberate on the question whether, from our perspective,
such an evacuation would be premature, as the underground
organizations had not come to the point
where they could fill the governmental gap
that would be created with the British evacuation. Would it not be worth our
while, in light of this, to slow down the pace of our
war and acquire more time to consolidate power?” Now, that’s fascinating
because these are all Zionist organizations
whose number one goal is, supposedly, founding
the state of Israel. And yet here we have two of the
three militant organizations saying, maybe we should slow
our role on the British leaving, not because that’s going to make
it less likely we get Israel, but because us,
organizationally, we are not ready to assume
the mantle of governing. Instead, it’s going to be the
Haganah and the Labor Zionists. We could see the same
thing with the Algerians. Who launches the revolution
against the French? It’s the FLN when they are
actually a weaker challenger. But ultimately, even though they
were initially killing people for negotiating with the
French or whatever else, once they become the hegemon,
actually by physically eliminating a lot of these
factions, now, they’re saying, we’ll talk to De Gaulle. We’ll talk to you, France,
about an independent Algeria. And the French look
everywhere else. They want to talk to
anyone else but the FLN. But they’re the
only game in town, and that’s one of
the main reasons they get independence in 1962. In terms of violence,
look at the violence against civilians, which is
the small dotted line here, versus the violence
against security forces with a solid line here. This is data I found
in the French Archives in Aix-en-Provence. All I did was put on top when
the movement was fragmented and when it was hegemonic. And it matches up pretty well in
terms of in the earlier period when you have a fragmented
movement, much of the violence is against civilians,
Algerian, French, and some of the Colognes who are there. After it becomes
hegemonic, there’s still violence against
civilians, but much more of it is against security forces. So to conclude in terms
of some of the data, what do I see overall in terms
of my findings in the book? And a lot of this is talked
about in the conclusion chapter. There’s 44 different campaigns
that these four movements launched. And what I find, just
in terms of crosstabs, is that if you’re
hegemonic, it’s no guarantee you’ll
get independence. In fact, only 40%
of the time did people get independence
being hegemons. But they got it 0%
of the time if they were united or fragmented with
multiple significant factions. Secondly, in terms of
getting any success, like some degree of recognition
or autonomous territorial control, you can get
success at any level, but again, much more
likely if you’re hegemonic. In terms of the
organizations themselves, again, the pattern fits
the basic assumptions. Again, there’s no laws
in social science, so there’s exceptions
to all this stuff. But in the basic sense, who’s
using violence and escalating it? It’s the challengers
half the time. Still, some hegemons do but
a much smaller percentage. Who’s restraining violence? The hegemons and leaders. Who’s negotiating
the top groups? Who’s spoiling negotiations? Again, not most of the
time, but more often these guys, the
weaker organizations. So to conclude, what are the
policy implications of this? If I’m talking to
governments about this, or I’m talking to movements
about this, again, both the US, or others depending on whether
you’re supportive of it, have backed national movements,
have fought national movements. So my book isn’t just giving
one perspective on that stuff. You can apply it regardless of
your political predispositions. A couple of things. First and foremost, in terms
of US involvement in the Middle East in particular, I think
it’s fair to say whether Syria or Iraq or Libya or
elsewhere, regardless of which political party has
been in power otherwise, those interventions
have mostly been disasters in terms of achieving
the objective that the United States wanted to achieve. And I think my book gives a
unique insight on why that is. The US is often
trying to do three things in these countries,
at least rhetorically. Number one, try to cramp down on
violence, whether it terrorism or insurgency. Number two, trying
to defeat or support some insurgency for victory. And number three, at least
rhetorically, trying to support democratization. My argument is that you need
different movement structures to achieve those three goals. So if you are trying
to prevent violence, you actually want to fight
a hegemonic movement that doesn’t have that internal
dynamic of fighting and competing. But if you want to
defeat that movement, you do want it to be fragmented. So the challenge
is, if you’re trying to tamp down violence
and defeat a movement, it calls for
different strategies. What if you’re
supporting a movement, and you want it to be
a democracy thereafter. If you want it to win, you
want it to be hegemonic. But if you want it to actually
be a democracy thereafter, you want it to be fragmented
because if not, you get Algeria. You know who runs Algeria today? The FLN. It’s been over 70 years
since independence, and that’s because they were
the only game in town when independence happened. They set up basically
a one party state. So there’s challenges there in
terms of achieving those three different things. In terms of the stuff
the US has tried to do in Syria, trying to
have unity among the factions, I think, honestly, that’s
mostly a waste of time. I find again and again alliances
between militant factions are fleeting or don’t
actually get realized. They don’t really
change group behavior. So really, what you need is,
honestly, either a merger or sometimes, honestly, a bloody
destruction of another faction. So now, all of a sudden,
you have hegemony. Finally, in terms
of next projects, I have assumptions about
which groups actually inherit the spoils of victory. But I didn’t have any
empirical evidence when I started this book. My next book actually
tries to answer that and says, if you
overthrow Bashar al-Assad, or you overthrew the Shah
in Iran or whatever else, which organization
is likely to take power, the most
ideologically extreme one, the one that’s the best
organizationally, the ones that use violence or nonviolence? I’d be happy to talk about that. But with that, I will conclude. Thank you guys so much. ROGER PETERSEN: So I just want
to press Peter on a few things. So the first thing
I want to do is talk about a couple of his findings. So I think the major
positive finding he has is that hegemonic national
movements are far more likely than united or
fragmented movements to, one, restrain the
violence, to negotiate, and to pursue
national independence in a very focused way. And that all leads to higher
chances of strategic success. So I’m not sure this
is so surprising, in some ways, that a
hegemonic movement is better at doing these things
than a fragmented movement. I actually find another
finding much more stunning, and that is the finding
about the united movements. For Peter, united
movements are those where you can connect
all the challengers in a single alliance. And he finds that they’re
no better than fragmented movements. So there’s a pretty
bold statement here. But alliances between non-state
actors are generally so weak and wracked by
commitment problems and struggles over
relative power, that united movements
are often not much different in their actions
or outcomes than fragmented movements. So in this table, you don’t
predict any different behavior, really, from fragmented
to united movements. So just to get a little
bit more on the fact that Peter finds that
alliances are not really very important in
national movements. He has no support for slogans
like unity through diversity, diversity is strength. His actual slogans are victory
through hegemony and hegemony is strength. And so the strong assumption
about political behavior alliances– this
is from page 19. Alliances have
comparatively little impact. In an alliance, individuals are
generally loyal to their group first. So if you could just say a few
more things on that finding, and if you’ve gotten
any pushback from it. And why is it that
something we generally think of as positive is not positive. PETER KRAUSE: So that’s
an outstanding question. So Roger was actually on
my dissertation committee. So the challenge
continues, which is great. But Roger also
knows, even better than I do, the literature
that I’m responding to. And so that’s a great question
because it’s correct to say, I think, hegemonic
versus fragmented, that seems to
intuitively be right that a divided movement
wouldn’t be as successful. Now, I will say, one of
the most prominent articles to come out in recent
years in the APSR, which is the top political
science journal, said that fragment movements
were more successful, by a professor at the
University of Maryland, Kathleen Cunningham. So in some ways, I was
responding to that. But I agree with Roger,
the general sentiment is more that the ones
that aren’t fragmented will do better. But he’s also correct
that my main contribution is to say, the ones that do
better, that aren’t fragmented, aren’t united ones. So most people I’ve written
about this to this point, would make that
dichotomy and say, your movement’s either
united or it’s fragmented. And my contribution
is to say, there’s actually not a big
difference with those. They’re pretty similar in terms
of how many significant members they have, two or more. I’m saying the key
difference is hegemonic. So that, I think,
you’re right to say, in terms of the literature,
that’s my main contribution. I’ll talk a little bit
about evidence of that, and some pushback from it. So in terms of evidence,
I think it fits in– I can’t remember if he was one
of your mentors, Mearsheimer. He was definitely on your
committee or someone– But John Mearsheimer is
a very prominent person in international relations. One of his famous books
is called, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. And I actually use in my
book a saying where I say, this is the tragedy
of national movements. It’s not a nice story
in the sense that– I would much rather
tell the story of all these organizations that
can come together and unite, and say, we’re going
to work together but keep our own
independence and autonomy. And then, we’ll
succeed and we’ll win. And that does happen sometimes. But unfortunately,
unlike a state which has these strong
institutions and things that make it so you can
compete in an election, but you’re still not
killing each other, in national movements,
which are often happening amidst civil
wars or insurgencies, that’s not the case. So competition is
often much bloodier, and it often means that
when you say you’re going to work together, you’re not. So going through the
Palestinian example, I counted over 35
different alliances that the group said were
going to lead to changes in strategy or effectiveness. And more than half
of them had a name but never actually
led to anything. And the ones that actually
had meetings and whatnot, the groups would still
mostly do whatever the heck they wanted to do anyway. And so that’s why
I say alliances don’t seem to make that
much of a difference. Today, you guys have
probably seen the news. Fatah and Hamas are talking
about some new agreement that’s going to be in Gaza. And I’m happy to talk
about that extensively. I’ve written some op-eds
on previous attempts of this agreement. And my answer is simply this. I think that in Gaza, it’ll
change a little bit in terms of having the PA ruling and
controlling some of the border crossings into Gaza. But in the broader sense
of the Palestinian movement being successful
or unsuccessful, it’s going to have zero
impact because guess what? They’re still talking
about when they’re going to have elections. Do you think either
Fatah and Hamas are going to let elections
happen if they think they’re going to lose those elections? Most likely not. And so what happens is, if
you don’t have these state institutions to mold
and shape competition, much of that
competition is often ineffective and
counterproductive. And I don’t find alliances
being that important. Now, the one caveat I’ll
say to Roger’s question is, I think you could have
certain types of alliances that are stronger than others. That’s why I say
something like a merger. So for example, the
FLN with Algeria, what they did to other groups is
they would physically eliminate and kill some of them. But then they would say to the
members of the other groups, you can join the FLN. But you can’t join it
as an organization. You join in as individuals, and
now you’re a member of the FLN. And so, actually, one of their
key leaders, Ferhat Abbas, who is a leader
of a rival group, became a strong political
leader inside the FLN. That works because now you’re
in this same institution working together. When it’s multiple
autonomous groups saying they’re going to work
together, the ties to want to do your own thing
and get your own spoils, to me, are most
often too strong. So even though I do see
a slight difference– that’s why I put united as
orange and fragmented as red there. The much bigger
difference is hegemonic. I faced some pushback
on this because there are a number of scholars– I mean, Fortini has
been very supportive. But another great professor
here, Fotini Christia, wrote an world winning book
on alliances and civil wars. A lot of people’s research
looks at alliances, and how they change and shift. And to some extent I’m
saying, that’s nice. But it doesn’t matter
that much for outcome. So I do face some
pushback there. And I have some reviews
coming, so we’ll have to see what people say. ROGER PETERSEN:
Well, Peter and I have known each other
a little too long because my second point
was about mergers, which he’s already addressed
in his comeback here. But let me press you
on mergers a little bit because your theory is
that groups will ally, but then they won’t give up
much power within that alliance. But groups will also merge. It seems to me like
they’re giving up pretty much total control. You also had the example of
the Nicaraguan groups merging into the FSLN. So this merger, I think, is
a critical part of your story because it can be a
really efficient path from going from multiple
groups to hegemony. But the puzzle still
is, why would groups give up almost total
power in a merger while they refuse to give up
limited powers in an alliance? PETER KRAUSE: Great question. And the answer is,
they mostly don’t. And that allows me to
expand on the previous thing I was saying which is, the
tragedy of national movements is that when I interviewed these
people, almost to a person, they either knew or
agreed with my argument once I presented it to them. But what they would say is, yes,
and we should be the hegemon. So all these groups
think, yes, we need one strong, dominant
actor, but they all think it should be them. So they basically
say to everyone else, merge under our
umbrella, merge under us. And they say, no,
you merge under us. And so that’s the
real challenge is that, you’re right, in alliances
they won’t give up much power. So mergers, for the
most part, I don’t find are voluntary or anything
that groups are willingly going into. And they’re, in
fact, quite rare. So when do they happen? In these somewhat
rare scenarios, like in the Algeria case
where the FLN is basically destroying, physically
killing members of these groups, and members
of the groups look around and they’re like, hey, I could
stay part of this group that’s going to basically
eventually be exterminated, or I can throw my lot
in with these guys and at least have a
somewhat better shot. So my book really
looks at organizations as a unit of analysis. But there is this
individual level story here that I think somewhat
parallels it. So when Ferhat Abbas goes
from his group to the FLN, he does it, in part,
because they promised him a prominent political position. So that’s when I
think mergers happen. But to your question,
I think, you’re right, it would be a puzzle if it
happened a lot, but it doesn’t. And it would also be a
puzzle if groups were just willingly doing this. Instead, they’re constantly
saying to the other, we want to swallow you. So the Irgun and the
Haganah, those two Zionist organizations, in the
late ’30s, the Irgun thought they would
swallow the Haganah. And so David Ben-Gurion was
talking about negotiations between the Haganah and
the Irgun, and he was like, look, we’re not negotiating
with the Irgun at all, unless, ultimately, they’re
going to join our group. Whereas some of the
leaders of the Irgun, like Jabotinsky and
others, were saying, no, the reality is we’re
going to swallow you guys. So it’s like
corporations talking about who’s going to swallow
and eat the other one. Same idea here. Everyone wants to be the
one who you merge into, not who you merge into
someone else’s group. ROGER PETERSEN: So
let me follow up one more on this with the
policy prescription that follows from it. So the prescription
is, if we want to help a group coherently
gain and negotiate a deal where they get some autonomy
or national independence, in some cases, that we need a
hegemonic movement to do that. But the prescription then,
is it to actually encourage the elimination of
challengers leaving one group standing as the hegemon? If you look at the International
Crisis Group reports, all the time, their
recommendation always is that we should be inclusive,
have allies come together, have them all represent
their opinions. And then, there’s a value
of multilateralism here. So is it realistic
to really– is a policy to be
promoting hegemony instead of alliances, giving
existing Western norms and rhetoric? PETER KRAUSE: It’s
a great question. And I’m certainly
someone who considers myself a small-l liberal who
likes the idea of diversity, likes the idea of
democracy, thinks that should be a
goal for not only our society but for others. I think you put your finger
right on the catch-22 I talked about, which is, if the society
you want after independence is a democracy or one
with pluralism, you do want to have diversity. You do want to have multiple
significant factions because, again, I don’t find
any selfless organizations. It’s not that groups
are saying, oh, yes, I want to have this competitor. All of them would like to, in
many ways, have a one party state, or at least one in
which they’re dominated. So you really need some
type of viable competitor to have it so they’re
competing over your votes or whatever else in
terms of democracy. The challenge is,
I would say, you’re not going to get victory
as often if you do that. So what I would say
is the following. Number one, push for diversity
at the individual level, less so at the organizational
level at least in terms of a national movement if
you want it to be successful. So try to have various
viewpoints expressed but inside a single cohesive
organization instead of competing ones. That’s number one. If you can’t do that,
one of the best books that my book engages with is
by a professor at Northwestern named Wendy Pearlman. And she talks a lot
about how having strong pre-state
institutions can make a difference in terms of
how movements succeed or fail. So I would say that’s not
a bad way to go either. You can mitigate some of
these alliance problems if you have strong
pre-state institutions. I’ll give you an example. You might have looked at
that chart with the Zionists and said, hey, the Haganah,
the Labor Zionists are on top. How did they get there? What’s really fascinating
is all the groups compete, but they compete using
different things. In the case of the Zionists,
how did the Labor Zionists become number one? Land and immigration. They were able to
control Aliyah, which was Jewish
immigration to the Yishuv, by getting about 75% of the
certificates from the British to determine which Jews got to
go to the Palestine mandate. And guess what? They didn’t hold random
draws in Eastern Europe for who got to go. They took members
of their youth group or people who supported
their parties. That’s how they became dominant. They also established kibbutzim,
these collective farming areas that have land and territory. And by doing that,
like a political party, they’re delivering to the
population, the Yishuv. That’s why they get
popular support. That’s why they become stronger. In the case of the
Palestinians, Mahmoud Abbas would love to compete
over territorial control. But he just, for a
variety of reasons, doesn’t have the
ability really to do so. So a lot of the competition that
happens among the Palestinians is by means, like violence,
as opposed to ends, like delivering
land or immigration. So the long and short
to your question is, I think diversity matters. It certainly matters for
the society thereafter. But if you don’t have
these strong institutions, or you don’t have this type of
competition, it can go poorly. And you might ultimately not
get success in the first place. So you’re putting the
cart before the horse. ROGER PETERSEN: Are we
taking questions at the end? PETER KRAUSE: Whatever
Michelle says. ROGER PETERSEN: I’ll
finish, and then we’ll have [INAUDIBLE] or [INAUDIBLE]. So let me just switch over
then to violence and terrorism. So you have a pretty
strong statement here that terrorism is driven
by movement structure. It’s not driven by ideology. It’s not driven by desperation
or things like that. You can predict terrorism by
the structure of the movement, whether there’s a hegemon,
fragmented or united. You also say that
nonviolence was not the key to success for these movements. In fact, there were massive
amounts of violence in them. So I think you have
an argument here about counterproductive
violence, that in-fighting against the other group
is counterproductive, outbidding because
that’s not really about the goals of the group,
but just to put your flag down as a serious player, like
in your Fatah example when they had 30 people. But then, this starts to set
up a categorization of violence where you have counterproductive
violence, of infighting and outbidding, and
then, nonviolence though, is not a key to success. So in between there is
productive violence. And so what you are,
Peter, is an advocate against nonviolence and for
productive forms of violence. Is that correct? PETER KRAUSE: I feel like
I’m being grilled here on a jury panel or something. So that’s a great
question by the way. First answer to it. In terms of the types of
violence, and why that matters, and why it happens,
I want to make sure I give scope
conditions for my arguments because I’m not saying I
can explain all terrorism or anything like that. The violence that I’m talking
about is escalatory violence. And I define that
a couple of ways. Number one, a group using
violence, if up to that point, no other groups
are using violence. So when there’s no violence,
and, all of a sudden, someone launches
the first attack, I code and think I
can analyze that. Secondly, qualitatively, a group
using a new type of violence that’s an escalation, that’s
qualitatively different. So examples. When Fatah’s using violence in
’65 when no Palestinian groups are, that’s the
quantitative difference, from nothing to something. What the PFLP does
with Leila Khaled, that’s a qualitative
difference where no one was doing hijackings before. Now, all of a sudden,
they’re doing hijackings. So I think my argument,
again, not all the time but probabilistically, can
identify which types of groups are more likely to
take those risks and do violence when there
wasn’t or types of violence that was not being done before. Now, in terms of violence
and nonviolence– again, I’m referencing some
other people, great books. You should check this out. Erica Chenoweth
with Maria Stephan wrote an outstanding
book, won a lot of awards about the
effectiveness of nonviolence. And basically said,
for social movements, of which my stuff is a
subset, nonviolent movements are more successful
than violent ones. So that would seem to be a
counterargument to what I’m suggesting. In fact, though, if you
look at, not the fine print but some of the smaller
stuff that they talk about, the one exception
they find to movements that are successful
or unsuccessful, violent and nonviolent is
for secessionist movements, which is another way of
saying national movements. So they don’t hand out
states on street corners. These are not easy
things to get. As I showed you guys at the
outset, only about a third of nations actually get states. And so for that
reason, are there some examples of fully
nonviolent national movements? Yes. Do the majority, and if
not the vast majority, of national movements
have some, if not a lot, of violence involved? Yes, they do. And so it’s not that
I’m advocating for it. Again, to the best I can,
and we can debate this, I don’t consider
myself to be someone who’s advocating for any of
these movements individually or collectively for
success and failure. I’m just trying to
tell you when they’re likely to succeed or not. And I do find that violence
often is a necessary condition. Now, the final
question you’re asking is, I’m differentiating
types of violence, counterproductive violence
versus productive violence. That’s a little harder to
distinguish in practice. But the basic way
I do it is to say, if you are using violence
against civilians, I find that to be less effective
than against security forces. And if you’re using violence
against your coethnics or your conationals, that’s
generally counterproductive. But this is the hard part. Until you’re at the point
that you’re eliminating rivals, and then it can work. So that’s the challenge. The FLN took a gamble
in Algeria where they started killing the
other members of these groups. Because for a while, that
bogged down the Algerian revolt. They did worse. The French were kicking their
butts on the battlefield, in part, because of a lot
of that internal squabbling. But the FLN pushed
onto the point. They basically
physically eliminated any significant rivals, and
that’s why they set themselves up for winning. A similar thing happened
in Eritrea with the EPLF eliminating the ELF. For a while, they
had a civil war. That was bad for the movement. But if you get to the point
you eliminate them, you win. The problem with
the Palestinians is that they’ve outbid
and competed each other, but Fatah’s never eliminated
Hamas or vice versa, or the PFLP or vice versa. So they constantly have
this competitive movement where people are
changing their position, the deck chairs of the Titanic,
but that Titanic is still going down for the most part. So that’s how I did it
for those three parts. But those are great questions. ROGER PETERSEN: Let
me ask about one more, and then maybe we should
turn it over for questions. But you talk about a
Gramscian war of position at several stages. And it always sounds
really intelligent to talk about Gramsci. PETER KRAUSE: That’s
was I was going for. ROGER PETERSEN: Forty years ago
when I was a graduate student or whatever, this was how you
impressed women at parties is to talk about Gramsci. But the idea on Gramsci
is about hegemony, that things become common sense. And how does your common
sense become the common sense? And one is you eliminate
the other groups. This is the war of position. The other thing,
though, is you’re just attacking the dominant
hegemony, at the time, which is the war of movement,
which in Peter’s case, is the independent state
saying the common sense is our state and not the one
that you want to have. But something it’s missing,
I think in your book, is the quality of violence as
part of this war on position. So example, ISIS their
brutality markets itself to potential recruits. It’s a form of
outbidding, probably. But alternatively, couldn’t
groups position themselves as nonviolent choices and have
political marketing appeals? And who’s the war of
position against in this? Is it against other groups? Or how much of it is towards
signals to the population? Is it possible that
in a Gramscian sense, a group could foster and
develop a nonviolent hegemony, a belief in the pop
target population, that nonviolence is
the only way forward. Isn’t that the way Gandhi acted? And is it really true that the
nationalist secession movement in Catalonia– are they going
to see the same kind of ideas about the usefulness
of violence? Or is this just a different
kind of a secessionist movement? PETER KRAUSE: So a lot
of questions in there, but I’ll take them
quickly one by one. So first and foremost,
regarding the whole idea of competing nonviolently,
I totally agree with that. In fact, one of
my working papers I have is to try to explain
some of what I was saying to you guys before about in
these movements competition is happening much of
the time, especially if it’s not hegemonic. But the nature of that
competition changes. For the Algerians,
a lot of the time, it’s groups killing one another. For the Palestinians,
it’s, a lot of the time, outbidding
by killing Israelis, but not as much each other. For the Zionist groups, it’s
sometimes killing each other, although very rarely. That time when Yoske Nachmias
faced off against his brother, there were 19
different Zionists who were killed, three from
one group, 16 from another. But for the most
part, the groups weren’t fighting each other. They were competing nonviolently
over land, immigration. And so one of the great
questions is, why is that? Why does competition,
even if it’s happening in all
these various cases, take on a different nature? And that goes to your question. I think, absolutely, thinking
from the idea of marketing or advertising, groups
try to look at what can I do that differentiates me. Violence is one of
those things, especially if no one’s doing it. But if everyone’s
using violence, maybe it’s the opposite,
maybe nonviolence makes you stick out. So I’m totally open to
that as a possibility. And again, I have
this ongoing paper that looks at when it
happens one versus the other. In terms of talking
about how you get Gramscian vision
of like, what’s the common sense argument? Or what’s going to
happen in Catalonia? I do think that in terms of
this type of competition, I look and say,
in the Irish case, you had the IRA and Sinn Fein
who were competing violently within one wing of the
movement, the Republicans. But then, you had the Social
Democratic and Labor party. I talk a lot about them in
the book, in the Irish case. They never used violence. They were always
on top as a party, but they had a band of various
tactics they would follow. And I’ll close by
explaining this. Let me explain to you
ISIS versus the SDLP. No one would do this comparison. It’s a crazy one. ISIS is very extreme in
terms of their ideology, in terms of their violence. SDLP is about the total
other end of things. They’re just running for
office in Northern Ireland. They’re not using violence. And so this is
where I say, look, even though I’m arguing about
the power of movement structure and the importance
of power, I’m not saying ideology
doesn’t matter at all. I can never envision
ISIS becoming the SDLP, or the SDLP becoming ISIS. So the way I see it is this. The ideology that you
have as an organization, it gives you a band
of possible options. And then what I’m saying is,
within that band of options, that’s going to
be driven by where you sit in your hierarchy. So for example
with the SDLP, when they were winning
all these elections, and Sinn Fein wasn’t really
competing in the elections, they were running for office. They were serving
in their positions. They were negotiating
with the British and the unionist
Protestant groups. The second Sinn Fein became
a legitimate challenger, who was running in elections
and beating them sometimes, they started abstaining. And what that means
in the Irish case is you run in the elections,
but you don’t actually take your seats when you win. And that’s their
way of saying, we’re going to do something
more extreme to compete with these guys, but we’re not
going to start bombing churches or doing car bombs,
things like that. So again, to be fair
in social science, there’s no laws,
other factors matter. It’s not just balance of
power like I’m talking about. But a lot of what
I’m trying to show is how power can sometimes
overwhelm ideology. But for something
like ISIS, they’re the most extreme example. So do I think that
when they’ve held territory the size of Indiana,
like they did recently, versus losing all
that territory, some of their
tactics will change? I do. Do I ever expect them to
become Weberian leaders of states and Democrats? I don’t think that. So ideology still matters, but
hopefully I’ve convinced you that power does as well. So thank you very much. So should I pick one side? Please, sir. AUDIENCE: Thanks. We just got into what I was
going to ask about which is, doesn’t ideology matter? And because in a way– and I follow your argument. It’s a cynical view of
national liberation movements, that they’re just trying to
see who can be the top dog. And so in relation to
what you were just saying, don’t we have to bring
back into this picture the extent to which the
goals, the objectives matter? The goal of national liberation,
does it matter at all? How is that part
of this story, not to say that struggles
for power don’t have a very ugly dimension? And then the other thing is– by the way, I met John
Hume and Gerry Adams. An interesting story. But on our currency is the
slogan E pluribus unum. So how about the
American Revolution? How would you analyze that? PETER KRAUSE: Love it. So on the first
question, you’re right. You could look at this–
and it is a cynical thing where I’m saying, look,
these are organizations. They’re self-interested. They’re looking
out for number one. And this whole idea of this
glorious national liberation trying to have independence,
it tamps down some of that. And that makes us uncomfortable. Certainly, if it’s
one you support. I support the
American Revolution. Some of my family
background is Irish. I don’t support the IRA, but
the idea of independent Ireland, if not Northern Ireland,
is something I probably would’ve been behind. And so to look at these
organizations that made it happen, and say,
they’re just selfish, just doing stuff
for themselves, that jars me a bit in
terms of this stuff. So I guess I’ll say
a couple of things. One is, just think about
it in terms of politicians. When they’re on the stump,
what do they talk about? I’m going to give you
better health care. I’m going to make it so
your taxes are lower. I’m going have better schools. But what’s the number one
thing they care about? Getting re-elected,
having their party or them personally do well. And so it’s not that they
don’t lead to good outcomes, sometimes. It’s just the number one thing
they care about is often that. And I don’t think
you ever go broke assuming that for these
organizations as well. To be clear, I don’t
study any organization that doesn’t honestly believe
that they want independence. So that has to happen. I’m not just looking at groups–
and there are some of these, like on the
battlefield in Syria– who are just taking weapons,
and then they’re selling them. They’re just making money. They don’t care about
some broader cause. All of my groups do
care about the cause, do consider themselves proudly,
Palestinian, Zionist, Irish, Algerian, want the
independent state. All I’m saying is when you go
from individuals, who I often find are very
selfless, individuals who are charging into
a hail of bullets, or individuals who
are out protesting against a dictatorship
and recognizing they or their families
can be disappeared, I’m the last person to ever say
those people aren’t incredibly selfless. They absolutely are
doing selfless things for the broader
cause, not necessarily for their organization. It’s just like when you
think about corporations or organizations. There’s a lot of
research on this, but it goes to the
lowest common denominator that everyone has
in common, which is the power of that group. And so that’s why I find
if you assume that that’s what these organizations
are trying to do, you get a lot of
insight into behavior that otherwise wouldn’t fit
with their public statements about what they’re
trying to achieve. Now, in terms of the
American Revolution, I actually do talk about them
in the conclusion chapter of the book. I actually argue,
it fits my argument. I think it’s the first
National Liberation Movement, and in many ways,
it was successful. And I would argue
it was hegemonic because it had the Continental
Congress, the Continental Army. Now, to be clear, there
were the Minutemen. There were local state militias. But at the end of the day, they
were under the broader umbrella and the broader
command, in some ways, of Washington, the
Continental Army. When it came time to do
diplomacy for the French or otherwise, you’re sending
over Jefferson or Franklin or others that are giving
a clear message about what the American
Revolutionaries need. There aren’t competing
revolutionary groups going and talking to the
French about what they need. They’re not fighting each other. And that’s one of
the main reasons I would argue the American
Revolution was successful. Some of it was they were
better on the battlefield than they would have been
if they weren’t cohesive. And some of it was getting
French help or others that were also necessary conditions. That happened because they
had that kind of hegemony, that kind of cohesive strategy. So I do think it fits the model. Yes, sir. Please. AUDIENCE: Thank
you for the talk. I really appreciated it. I’ve got a couple questions. So first of all, what are the
costs for changing strategy once you become the hegemon? So I’m thinking about a group
that’s a little bit weaker. And as they’re
making their way up, they are, perhaps,
using violence and attacking the other
groups and making statements. They get to the top and, all
of a sudden, they’re like, we’re going to restrain. We’re going to hold back. How do they get the population
to go along with them? How did they get
their enemy state to be like, these are
the real actors now? And then, related
to that question, something Roger was saying
a little bit earlier– I don’t want to say
you left it out, or you focused specifically
on the movement. But with the rival
states, how did they either try to legitimize or
delegitimize the hegemon? Are there strategies
where they’re thinking, we’ve got one hegemon,
let’s just deal with them? The reason I ask is,
I’ve worked with, I think, one of your
colleagues, Paul Staniland. So I was working with
Paul on a project on groups in Northeast India. And a lot of these
groups– there’s usually one big group in some
of these Northeast states, and the government’s like, we’ve
got to deal with this group. And then, there’s these other
little groups running around, and they delegitimize them. They push them to the side. But when they negotiate
with the group, they end up trying to cause
splits in the group, at least this is my reading of–
the Indian government tries to cause splits in the group,
so that they can legitimize the moderates, get
rid of the extremists. But that leads to
more split groups. So I’m just wondering what
your thoughts are on this? PETER KRAUSE: Great questions. And Paul was a year ahead
of me in the MIT program and was also a student of
Roger’s and great inspiration to me. So I’m glad you’ve
done work with him. So I’ll take the
second question first. So you’re absolutely right. You can’t disaggregate
and nuance everything. So I made the choice
of saying, I’m going to disaggregate
these movements and focus on the internal
politics of them. And what suffers,
to some extent, is I do less about the states
and the internal politics of the state. So if you’re interested
in that, there’s a couple of great books on the
internal politics of states for national movements. Hendrick Spruyt,
also at Northwestern, and Ian Lustick at
Penn both talk about why these movements succeed,
but from the perspective of the state, and why
they let these states, or these movements,
become independent. Still, though, I do say some
certain things about states. So let’s take the
Algeria example. In the case of first the
French before, and then after de Gaulle taking power
in France in the late ’50s, they tried everything
they possibly could to fragment
the opposition, to try to negotiate with
one of the weaker groups to get a deal that was short
of Algerian independence, to do all the type of
stuff it sounds like what’s happening in Northern India. So I do find the states
do that again and again. Ultimately, though, I think
their success or failure is driven a lot by the
movement structure. So they tried four different
things with the Algerians. They tried to fragment
the FLN and take some of the regional
commanders and talk to them. Those guys got killed. It didn’t go anywhere. They tried to reinvigorate
the MNA, which is the rival that the
FLN basically eliminated. That didn’t going anywhere. They tried to take
former leaders of the MNA and form a new group, couple
it with other minority groups, like the Jewish
minority, and others who may be afraid of the FLN. That didn’t go anywhere. I forget what the
fourth one was, but I think
basically, they tried to prop up elections or
have new people arise, and the FLN boycotted that. And so that didn’t work. At the end of the day, they
had to negotiate with them. The other way that states really
play a role is a lot of people talk about them supporting
these national movements. So a lot of people
would say, well, the reason you
get a state or not is if you have strong
external support. And I think there’s a lot
of research that shows that. Again, I think my argument
gives some interesting insights there. If you have a
fragmented movement, then I consider it a buyer’s
market for foreign influence. What I mean by that
is, say I’m Iraq, and I want some influence
with the Palestinians. I could go to,
say, Fatah and say, I’m going to give you
this money or these arms, but I want you to do xyz
for me to get that stuff. Fatah says, no. We’re not going to do that. That’s against our interests. They can say, now I’m
going to go to the PFLP. Now, I’m going to go to the ALF. And so they’re able
to call the tune. If you have a hegemonic
movement, I find the opposite. Now, it’s ultimately a
seller’s market for influence. And so Fatah says, you
can’t go anywhere else. I’m the one stop shop. So now, I get all this support. But I get to determine
what we’re going to do, and that’s based on the idea
that many of these supportive states, maybe they want
to help the movement. But a lot of time, they
have their own purposes. When you can make a strong
argument with the Palestinians, they haven’t gotten
independent Palestine, in part, because some of the Arab states,
like Syria, at various points have tried to prevent that
for their own purposes. So that’s how the
state story factors in. In terms of your first
question, talking about what happens when you
ascend to the top. And that’s a great
question because I had a couple examples of that. Fatah started as a
challenger, becomes a leader, then the hegemon. The Zionist case, the
Haganah and the Labor Zionist go from leader to hegemon
but not all the way up. FLN, similar story,
the bottom to the top. And the Irish case,
IRA, Sinn Fein in the troubles they split,
but the provisional IRA goes from the weaker faction
to the stronger faction. So here’s what I find. Internally, they’ll
often justify it based on power position. But they won’t do that
externally as much. So fascinating examples
of where this turn is just like in the basketball
game where, all of a sudden, you go on top. When Leila Khaled and the
PFLP did that hijacking, Fatah and Yasser Arafat
said to them, you have to return those planes. The PFLP blew up the planes. Fatah said to the PFLP, you
have to return those hostages. The PFLP dispersed the
hostages around Aman, so they couldn’t be rescued. Fatah signed a
cease fire agreement with King Hussein in Jordan
to try to forestall anything happening. The PFLP rejected
the cease fire. Then, you have Black September. King of Jordan cracks down. Palestinians get expelled. So what I find is it’s
tough to turn on a dime. And so in the aftermath of
that, the “Black September Organization” was a
group formed by Fatah to start to do hijackings and
some of these types of things, like in the Munich Olympics. That was formed somewhat in
response to internal pressure from some of their
members saying, look what the PFLP’s doing. We have to get
back to this stuff. But the second they realized–
and Aziz Siad and others have written on this, that this
wasn’t actually helping them organizationally,
they cut it down. They shut it off. So I think the internal
thing is you have people who are used to doing this. So that’s harder to stop. In terms of the external
stuff, a lot of it’s about what you’re delivering. And I think that’s
Fatah’s challenge today is that Abbas has said Second
Intifada didn’t help us. We need to not be
using violence, but many of the Palestinians
are saying, fine, but how are you
delivering stuff? This get external pressure
on the Israelis, that’s not going anywhere either. And that’s one of the
reasons that Abbas is way under water in
terms of popularity. So anyway, great questions. I’m happy to talk more about it. But those are really good. Thank you. Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: Hi. The Kurdish nation. Would you say that’s an anomaly
in that it occupies territory in, what is it, four countries? PETER KRAUSE: Yeah. AUDIENCE: And what would
be your prescription for Kurdish success? PETER KRAUSE: Great question. So obviously, we’ve seen a lot
about the Kurds, particularly the Iraqi Kurds, recently. But as this gentleman
says correctly, you have significant
Kurdish populations over the border in Syria,
over the border in Turkey, and over the border in Iran. And so one of the questions
is, will there be a Kurdistan? Could there be? And some of the Post-World War
I negotiations in the Middle East, there was going
to be a Kurdistan, and then that went
away, in part, because of regional interests. So I wrote an article that
just came out recently about when states negotiate
with ethnopolitcal organizations and movements. And the part that I
wrote about it in depth was a longitudinal
study of the Kurds. So I’ve written a
little bit on the Kurds. And I actually
find, again, a lot of what’s happened with them
fits in with my argument. So the Iraqi Kurds have
had historically these two major political groups,
the PUK and the KDP. Now, they have the
Gorran as well, but those are the two big ones. And if you look at a lot of
the things that have happened, first off, they’ve
squabbled and fought against each other
at some points. But other things have happened. Before this recent
referendum, there was an individual who
said, many members, or at least some
members, of the PUK would not support an
independent Iraqi Kurdistan if Barzani and the
KDP declare it. So again, the idea that they
want Kurdistan, but also they’re a little bit
hesitant about who’s going to rule that
new state or who’s going to have control of it. So I see these same types of
internal fragmentation, not just today, but historically
with the Kurds which has helped prevented them from
getting statehood. In terms of my
prescription, again, it wouldn’t be that
surprising, but it would be incredibly challenging,
is that ultimately they should end this fragmentation. But they have a double
whammy of having multiple parties
and militant groups and also across multiple
international borders. That’s one of the challenges
the Palestinians have too. One of the questions
I get sometimes is, where does the movement
structure come from? And one of the key things can be
geographical contiguity or lack thereof. So the fact that you have the
West Bank separate from Gaza, makes it somewhat
likely you’re going to see what you see today,
which is Fatah running the West Bank, Hamas, at least
somewhat, running Gaza. And so for the Kurds
as well, I think it’s unlikely
you’re going to see a Pan-Kurdish movement in any
way be successful or viable. What you can have,
and that’s what’s trying to have happen in Iraq,
is local within-state Kurdish movements that try
to get more autonomy or potential statehood, and
then you can build from there. But the build from
there is exactly what the regional other states
don’t want to have happen. So that’s why we
have the politics in the region we do today. AUDIENCE: Mike [INAUDIBLE]. First of all, let me begin
by thanking you very much. This is absolutely a very
fantastic presentation. My question is this,
and it’s interesting that you brought up
John Mearsheimer. It got me thinking. So when I think of
structural realism, we think of these
different state actors operating in a state
of anarchy within the international system. And there are some
obvious metrics that we can use to
decide relative power vis-a-vis this
state or that state or whether we have a rising
or declining hegemon. Now, In your study, when we
apply this to non-state actors, I’m curious how you’ve defined
power specifically as it relates to– because the only
thing you could really look at is
organizational structure. You have a series of competitors
operating within an environment also by extens– My first question is,
how exactly have you defined power within this system
and at the substate system? And then, the other
question is, it seems as though
you’re arguing that it makes no sense for non-hegemons
to balance against a hegemon. In which case, the only
real option they have is to be to the bandwagon or
to be blown out of existence. Is that what your assertion is? PETER KRAUSE: Sure. Great questions. So on the first one, I
think I said it quickly, but I’ll say it
more clearly here. I do have three ways that
I measure the strength of these organizations. The one is the number of
members that they have. And again, it’s like
Churchill with democracy. These are the worst
potential measures of power, except for all the other ones. So they’re the least bad ones. So membership size, I
think, can be one proxy for how strong a group is. So I measure that. Secondly, I measure
how much money they have when I can get that data. And then thirdly, popular
support either through– Sometimes these groups
are running in elections, so I can get it that way. Or sometimes there’s polling. So, for example, [INAUDIBLE]
has a Palestinian polling outfit that’s constantly polling
Palestinians about which of these groups they support. And so I can gauge
that over time. I combine those things to
give me a measure of power. And then in terms of
who gets categorized as a challenger
or a subordinate, as long as you’re
within one third as strong on any one of
those three indicators, I count you as a challenger. So the only way
you’re a subordinate is if your number of members,
your amount of money, and your popular support
are all less than one third than the strongest groups. That’s how you measure power. You have a quick
follow up on that? AUDIENCE: Sorry. I just saw Graham Allison
speak the other day. Is there a Thucydides Trap
for non-state actors as well? PETER KRAUSE: So
another question. Now, you have to let me explain
what Thucydides Trap is. But I can happily do that. So basically, the idea
of becoming the hegemon or of the fact
that they’re going to fight each other because
of their relative power. So it bleeds into
your second question. So I guess I’ll say this. It’s not unheard of for a
subordinate to become stronger. In fact, Fatah when it started
out was a subordinate faction. It formed in Kuwait
the late ’50s. The FLN, to some
extent, was as well. It just takes a
while, and you have to be pretty lucky
to get to the top. So you can balance. It’s just you need
to get pretty lucky, and you also need to stay
under the radar a little bit because that top group
can so easily quash you if they take notice of you. So it can happen. What I find, actually, and
if I show back on the chart, challengers, in some
ways, are the ones who are the most vigorous
spoilers or whatnot because they’re not going
to get a lot from victory, but they’re right
on the precipice of getting something that could
potentially get to the top. Subordinates are the
ones who are like, I’m not close to the
top, but I’m also not really going to get there. They’re like the kids who are
taking a pass, fail class. It’s like, well, as long
as I’m passing, it’s fine. I’m not going to get the
A. So what do they do, they’ll ultimately say,
maybe I can actually throw my lot in
with the hegemon, and then just get a couple
of the scraps from the table. So I see that sometimes. AUDIENCE: Hi. So my question is,
how do you define what a national
liberation movement is? I’m thinking of something
like the Confederacy? Would that count or
something like the Naxals in India, or maybe
an organization like Palestinian Islamic
Jihad, which isn’t really so much a [INAUDIBLE]
national movement, it’s just Iran funding people
to attack Israel or something. And so where do you draw the
line between just some crazy armed insurgency or– And what is really
a national movement? Is it just they have to
identify themselves as such or– When does this model stop
applying on the spectrum? PETER KRAUSE: So in
the intro chapter– I don’t have the slide here of
it, but I’d love to show you. I have this chart that’s all
these concentric circles, and it talks exactly
about what you’re saying. It’s like, what’s a civil war
versus a national movement versus a revolution? And how do these cross over? And I go to the
definitions because, again, in social science, I think we’re
dealing with really cool stuff. But we have to be very
rigorous in our definitions so we can then say what
does this apply to or not. So to be clear, too,
this is also contested. One of the key points of debate
between the Israelis/previously the Zionist movement
and the Palestinians is who counts as a nation. There have been a
number of Palestinians who say, yes, Judaism is a
faith, but it’s not a nation. There have been plenty
of Zionist/Israelis who say, yes, is there
really a Palestinian nation or is this just broader
Arab population. So this issue of who counts
as a nation is much debated, and it’s not something that’s
going to be black and white. These definitely are. These definitely aren’t. How I define it is this. A nation generally
is a collection of individuals who have a
common language, common culture, common history, and tie to
a common piece of territory that they claim and want to
be autonomous or independent. So in terms of who
qualifies as that, I would say Palestinian
Islamic Jihad count as being part of the broader
Palestinian national movement as an organization. But I wouldn’t say
that they alone count as a national movement. In terms of the Naxalites,
I’m not an expert on them. But even though
they’re ideologically– I think, they’re
Marxist, right, in terms of what their ideology is? AUDIENCE: Yeah. PETER KRAUSE: But
if they’re fighting for an independent Naxalite
state or something like that, then I would count them
as a national movement. If they’re just saying, we
want to take over India, or we want to ultimately
have policies that are more aligned with economic Marxism,
I would not qualify them as a national movement. I would say they are,
therefore, a social movement or a political movement. If you look at the civil rights
movement in the United States, that’s a social movement
of which national movements are a subset. But unless it’s Marcus
Garvey, Back-to-Africa, or some type of
national thing where we’re going to found a
state, I wouldn’t count it as a national movement. So that’s how I would
distinguish the two. AUDIENCE: How about
the Confederacy? Does that count as
a national movement? PETER KRAUSE: Confederacy. I have never thought about that. I guess I would say, yes, that
would qualify, in some ways, as a national movement to the
extent that the individuals of the Confederacy are
defining themselves as a separate nation. The challenge there
is that you might say it’s a secessionist
movement, trying to form a new state. But I’m not sure if they
would define themselves as a different nation in terms
of language, culture, history, although there certainly
are elements of that. So I’d have to think
about that more. But I would say I could
be open to concluding that as a potential
national movement. Yes. And again, determining it is
not justifying it or saying it’s a worthwhile one or I
wouldn’t support it. It’s just, would
it qualify in terms of terminology and analysis. AUDIENCE: Hi. I would like you talk a little
bit more about Catalonia. First, in my opinion, I
think it’s like a hegemony. But I don’t see
any clear future. And I also would
like to know how the future of this
independence movement depends on the state they
are fighting against. So how does the
Catalonia issue depend on the Spanish government? PETER KRAUSE: Great. Now, this is where
I tell you there are certain things
I know a lot about, and they’re certain things
I don’t know a lot about. And I’m not going to
sit here and pretend I know a lot about Catalonia. I just don’t. I’ve been following
them in news a lot because it’s obviously
very relevant for my book. And I know when I
come give talks, I’m going to get
questions about it. But I’m not an expert
on European politics. I’m not an expert on
internal Spanish politics. The first thing I
would say is this. If it’s hegemonic– and
as far as I understand, there is this very
strong party that I’d have to look at the
percentages about because I know there’s a couple
of different pro-independence parties in Catalonia. But there might be
one very strong one. If it fails, again, that’s not
like this whole debilitating thing to my argument
because, again, it’s just very probabilistic. There are hegemonic movements. As I showed you,
there were only 40% of the hegemonic campaigns got
independence in my four cases here. So that wouldn’t be a
shocker because there’s other things that matter. That being said, if you
look at national movements across that initial map with
the yellow and the white labeled countries, I would say Catalonia
is closer to independence than many other
national movements are. I mean, closer
than, say, the Texas secessionists or
many of these others. And I would argue, to
the extent– again, I don’t know the history of it. But if I would look at the
signaling that they’ve done, their ability to hold a
referendum, these types of things, that might
have stemmed from the fact that they were
broadly hegemonic. I mean, certainly,
in the Scottish case, the SNP was able to hold
the referendum, in part, because they had a dominant
control in some sense of Scottish politics,
and even got to the point that the prime
minister of the UK is saying, if you
vote for independence, we will allow you to go. Now, the Spanish government
has not said that. In fact, they were beating
people over the head and doing violent stuff
when people are voting. And so that’s a very
different thing. I think that goes to your
second question, which is state response matters. Going to this gentleman’s
question from before, a lot of my stories are
the internal politics of the movement. But of course,
one of the reasons that it’s a probabilistic
theory and not a law is because I’m leaving out
some other important factors, and certainly, the
state is one of them. So whether the state is very
willing to give up independence or not, certainly
makes a difference. One of the things I get
people push at me sometimes with my book is they
say, hey, these ones that got independence,
Algeria from France, Israel from the British,
and whatever else, those weren’t countries
they cared as much about. Whereas the Israelis care a
lot about what the Palestinians consider Palestine,
the British care a lot about what you
consider Northern Ireland. So that’s one of
the key differences. And I grant that to some extent. Although my counter
is people said [INAUDIBLE] al a France, a
third of the French parliament, was based in Algeria. So they did consider
it part of their state and then some
other things there. But long and short, if it
doesn’t lead to independence, that would go
against the argument in terms of what’s
more likely to happen, that versus another kind. But what would really
go against the argument is if, all of a sudden,
it fragments and then gets independence thereafter. That would be a real
shot against my theory. If it’s hegemonic,
it doesn’t get it. But it’s still doing better than
in the periods when it’s not. That’s, I think, a
better test, and that’s what I would look at. You can probably just hold it. AUDIENCE: Hi. My name is [? Zavia. ?] And
I have a question regarding your argument on how easy it is
to defeat fragmented movements. And I’m hoping that
you have some knowledge on Al-Shabaab because that’s
the movement I’m studying. And I’m wondering, what is the
African Union and its allies, the European Union and America,
missing because they have been in Somalia since 2006? And up to now, they
haven’t defeated them. And my second
question is regarding how these movements have changed
in the 21st Century given that we have more
actors now that are involved in the movements. These include the Diaspora. In talking about
the Diaspora, I’m not only talking about
people in the US or Europe. But in African countries,
you have the Diaspora in the neighboring
country because they are the same people. So they influence what’s
going on in another state. And we also have more
national corporations. I’m thinking of many
companies that are in Africa and are influencing internal
politics and into the movement. How does your book
speak to that? PETER KRAUSE: So on
the first question, I think I know a little more
about Al Shabaab in Somalia than Catalonia, but
not that much more. I’ll say a couple of things. The first is, what my book
says is that Al-Shabaab, or that some of the
broader Somali insurgencies at various points,
were unlikely to get full control of
the country because of some of the fragmentation. But it doesn’t say as
much about how you fully defeat or extinguish
an insurgent group like Al-Shabaab. But a lot of my studies
or things I teach does look at that. So I can offer a
couple of things. Number one, I think that
sometimes these organizations– And honestly, if you want
to read a book about this, here’s a plug. Roger has two outstanding
books on where organizations come from. You can look at the cohesion
or some of the social capital that these organizations have
in their communities in terms of whether people are trusting
one another or whatnot, and that tells you a
lot about the strength of the organization
inside of it. And so I would look at
Al-Shabaab’s social roots and to what extent,
whether through providing social services as some other
people have written about, or in terms of the
networks and whether they know their neighbors
or things like that, that that helps give them
strength and endurance beyond just the militant
stuff that they do. That also links to your second
question about Diasporas. So when you have large
population flows going like you do in the Middle
East, on the one hand, it can create potential bases
of support or sanctuaries for some of these groups. A lot of these groups use
refugee camps or things like that to recruit or
do things of that nature. So it makes it harder
to stamp them out. But it also can make it so
you get landless individuals or people who aren’t tied
to their communities. So in that sense, they become
more willing or at least attractive potential
recruits for some of these organizations. So I think to solve the issue
of Somalia– which is not just Al-Shabaab, but
it’s a broader state that hasn’t delivered a
lot to its people, that has problems of development
and governance and whatnot. I think it has to be an all the
above strategy to the extent it’s going to happen,
which is whether they, you, or whatever else needs to
simultaneously outcompete Al-Shabaab in terms
of their governance and delivering to
the Somali people while also trying to starve
Al-Shabaab organizationally, whether in short term stuff
like decapitation strikes or whatever, or again, trying
to root out some of the networks that they have at
the local level. But that’s painstaking work. Counterinsurgency is
very difficult to do. The US doesn’t do,
necessarily, a great job of it, and many of our PhDs
have talked about that. But those would be some
of my insights on that. And I’m happy to put you
in touch with someone who’s more of a Somali
expert on Al-Shabaab if you like because I can’t
give you as much of the in-depth as I would like there. But it’s a great question,
and good luck with your work. So maybe we’ll call it there. I’ll sign books. If people want to buy
books, please buy a book. But if not, thank you
so much for coming. It was an honor to
speak to all you guys.

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