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Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

22. The Practice of Strategy  

Colin S. Gray and Jeannie L. Johnson

This chapter focuses on the requirements of what a good practice of strategy should be. It first provides an overview of the importance of strategic expertise and the reasons why good strategists are hard to find. It then highlights the qualities a good strategist needs to be effective, along with the obstacles to competent strategic performance and the flaws of contemporary strategic education, including insufficient attention to strategic classics and strategic history. The chapter also offers a remedy called the General Theory of Strategy, the core components of which are: understanding the nature and character of strategy, making strategies based on seven contexts (political, sociocultural, economic, technological, military, geographical, historical), and executing strategies. The chapter concludes by calling for a regular reassessment of strategic plans and engagements, driven by questions that examine the extent to which strategy has enabled, and will continue to enable, achievement of political objectives.

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16. Cyber Conflict in the Age of Great Power Competition  

Ryan C. Maness, Rebecca Lorentz, and Brandon Valeriano

This chapter explains the concepts of cyberspace, cyberpower, cyber strategy, cyber security, and cyberwar and illustrates how cyberpower manifests today among both state and non-state actors. Managing information is part of a persistent challenge that is not unique to any time or place. What is different today is the speed of transmission and the reach of information, which are both aided by cyberattacks and cyber-enabled technologies that leverage digital communications. Search engines, video platforms, and encrypted messaging services allow for loaded phrases to return troves of fake stories and narratives reflecting extremist ideologies in the infosphere. The Covid-19 pandemic also brought along what can be dubbed an ‘infodemic’, where disinformation about mitigation and vaccines has yet to bring the crisis to a definitive end. These developments carry transformative national security implications for all societies. Cyber conflict—the use of digital technologies in military interactions or military affairs in the realm of international affairs—is also occurring. Cyber conflict involves direct cyberattacks that are aimed at opponents’ digitally enabled systems.

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Cover How to do your Social Research Project or Dissertation

10. Sampling  

Whether the research project adopts a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed strategy, there is little point in asking a few non-random people a few non-random questions as the student has no idea what those answers might indicate, or whether they might apply in other situations. Therefore, the student needs to think carefully about his or her sampling strategy and justify this in the dissertation. This chapter explains the key principles of probability and non-probability sampling and explores why ‘who’ is asked is just as important as ‘what’ is asked. It discusses the two key stages of sampling: defining the appropriate population for study and developing strategies for recruiting the sample.

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Cover How to do your Social Research Project or Dissertation

5. Conducting a Literature Search  

Today, the world of research is quite literally available through the touch of a few buttons via online resaerch. But this increase in access and availability is not without its challenges. With ‘hits’ that can run into millions, unless the student knows how to search effectively and efficiently, the information that he or she finds can quickly become overwhelming. This chapter guides students through the process of literature searching for their dissertation. It outlines how to develop a successful search strategy and what to do with the literature once it is discovered. Topics covered include what counts as literature; different ‘types’ of literature searching; how to develop a literature search strategy; and common problems associated with literature searching.

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Cover How to do your Social Research Project or Dissertation

7. Building Your Project  

Once students have developed an idea, outlined a rationale for their research, and found the relevant literature, they then need to start mapping out what their project will look like. To do this, they will need to make some decisions about how they will answer their research questions. Research can be approached and conducted in many different ways. Broadly speaking, there are four interrelated stages of building a social science dissertation: research strategy: the type of data under investigation (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods); research design: the framework through which that data will be collected; research methods: the methods associated with collecting the type of data selected; and type of analysis: the techniques through which the data will be analysed. This chapter focuses on the decisions that students can make in relation to the first two stages: research strategy and research design.

Book

Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

Edited by John Baylis, James J. Wirtz, and Jeannie L. Johnson

Strategy in the Contemporary World provides a critical overview of both enduring and contemporary issues that dominate strategy. This text explores key debates and alternative perspectives, considers ongoing controversies and presents opposing arguments, helping readers to build critical thinking skills by assessing the evidence and logic behind various positions. The new edition has been updated to incorporate the latest developments in the field of strategic studies. A new chapter on ‘Chinese Grand Strategy’ examines the evolution of Chinese grand strategy from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, its drivers, and its implications. A fully revised chapter on ‘Strategic Culture’ explores the concept of strategic culture as a framework of analysis used by scholars and policymakers to explain the international behaviour of states. Other fully revised chapters on ‘Technology and Warfare’ and ‘Cyber Conflict in the Age of Great Power Competition’ focus on how digital and technological developments affect strategic decisions. Online resources now include a selection of materials from earlier editions.

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Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

10. Geography and Strategy  

Daniel Moran

This chapter examines how geographical setting shapes the conduct of war. It first provides an overview of the ways that physical geography influences the tactical identities of armed forces as well as their strategic effects, focusing on practices that lie at the heart of ‘joint’ warfare—in which land, sea, and air forces cooperate to their collective advantage. The discussion highlights the strategic possibilities presented by warfare in different physical environments—that is, land warfare, naval warfare, and air warfare. The chapter also considers the strengths and weaknesses of forces that fight on land and sea and in the air, unconventional warfare fought on land, the maritime strategy employed by navies, theory vs practice of air power, and coercive bombing. Finally, it analyses the strategic potential of space war, the expansion of war into cyberspace, and the use of ‘cyber’ weapons in information warfare.

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20. Strategic Studies and its Critics  

Columba Peoples

This chapter examines key themes in the criticism levelled at strategic studies. It begins with a discussion of the relationship between strategic studies and its critics in the ‘golden age’, a period that saw the rise to prominence of a new breed of strategic thinker, the ‘civilian strategist’. These civilian strategists favoured the incorporation of game theory and systems analysis into the study of nuclear strategy and deterrence. After reviewing prominent critical appraisals of deterrence theory in the 1960s, the chapter explains how these critiques were subsequently addressed by strategic theorists. It then considers the emergence of a ‘third wave’ of strategists that engaged in a reconstructive critique of strategy, before concluding with an analysis of recent critical approaches to strategic studies that have focused on its role in constructing a particular Western-centric vision of world order, the relationship between strategic theory and policymaking, and the language of strategic studies.

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Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

2. The History of the Practice of Strategy from Antiquity to Napoleon  

Beatrice Heuser

This chapter discusses the history of the practice of strategy from Antiquity to the First World War. After introducing the reader to the various definitions of strategy, the chapter considers sources of Antiquity about warfare, from ancient Greece and Rome to the time of Rome’s Constantinopolitan (Byzantine) successors, Justinian I and Heraclius. It then examines episodes of European history since Antiquity for which historians claim to have found evidence of the practice of strategy. In particular, it looks at the West European Middle Ages, which saw the rise of complex decision-making involving multiple tools—strategy. It also analyses the transformation of warfare and of strategy in early modern Europe, covering case studies that span the wars involving Philip II of Spain, Louis XIV of France, and Frederick II of Prussia, as well as the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars.

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Cover I-PEEL: The International Political Economy of Everyday Life

7. Social Media  

This chapter explores the increasing significance of social media in international political economy (IPE). How we experience and represent social media has profound implications for the ethical possibilities and limits of global market life. The chapter begins by problematizing social media through the related concepts of self-branding, the attention economy, and the prosumer. It then looks at social media via two popular documentaries on Netflix: Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2018) and The Social Dilemma (2020). These documentaries tackle questions of reform and regulation, identifying how social media data carries immense value for corporate marketing, political strategy, credit rating, and other ways of knowing and governing society. This helps to establish an important dilemma: is social media a free and democratic space or a new infrastructure of surveillance? Finally, the chapter reflects on the politics of social media by considering different forms of critical agency.

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Cover Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts

Discourse Analysis  

Breaking Down Ideational Boundaries in the Social Sciences

Elisa Narminio and Caterina Carta

This chapter describes discourse analysis. In linguistics, discourse is generally defined as a continuous expression of connected written or spoken language that is larger than a sentence. However, as a method in the social sciences, discourse analysis (DA) gave rise to diatribes about where to set the borders of discourse. As language constitutes the very entry point to the world, some discourse analysts argue that all that exists acquires meaning through language. Does this mean that discourse constitutes reality? Is there anything outside text and discourse? Or is discourse one among many means of social construction? The evolution of DA in social science unearths an ontological debate between ‘realists’ and ‘nominalists’, which eventually reverberates in epistemological strategies.

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Cover Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts

Sampling Techniques  

Sample Types and Sample Size

Emilie van Haute

This chapter assesses sampling techniques. Researchers may restrict their data collection to a sample of a population for convenience or necessity if they lack the time and resources to collect data for the entire population. Therefore, a sample is any subset of units collected from a population. Research sampling techniques refer to case selection strategy — the process and methods used to select a subset of units from a population. While sampling techniques reduce the costs of data collection, they induce a loss in terms of comprehensiveness and accuracy, compared to working on the entire population. The data collected are subject to errors or bias. Two main decisions determine the size or margin of error and whether the results of a sample study can be generalized and applied to the entire population with accuracy: the choice of sample type and the sample size.

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Cover Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts

C. Case Selection  

Laura Gelhaus and Dirk Leuffen

This chapter describes case selection, which is a crucial component of designing social research. Its importance can hardly be overstated because the cases you choose affect the answers you get. However, how should researchers select their cases? A careful inspection of the research question, the study’s objective, should be the starting point. The research question typically anchors the study in a research area, specifies the universe of cases, and guides its engagement with theory. Ideally, case selection is solely driven by methodology; however, practicality and feasibility considerations frequently make adjustments to the design necessary. Such considerations concern, for instance, the costs of data collection. The chapter introduces a few commonly used case selection strategies as well as two hotly debated topics in the literature on case selection: selecting on the dependent variable and random case selection.

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Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

1. Introduction  

Strategy in the Contemporary World

John Baylis, James J. Wirtz, and Jeannie L. Johnson

This book examines strategy in the contemporary world. Part I considers the enduring issues that animate the study of strategy and tackles topics ranging from the causes of war to questions about culture, morality, and war. Part II deals with issues that fuel strategic debates, with chapters on terrorism and irregular warfare, nuclear weapons, arms control, weapons of mass destruction, conventional military power, peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention, and cyberwar. Part III discusses critical and non-Western approaches to the study of strategy and security that have emerged in recent years, and concludes by reflecting on future prospects for strategic studies. This introduction provides an overview of strategic studies, criticisms that are made of strategic studies, and how strategic studies relates to security studies.

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17. Geopolitics and Grand Strategy  

Stefanie Ortmann and Nick Whittaker

This chapter discusses the concept of geopolitics and its role in formulating and implementing a grand strategy. It first provides an overview of the relationship between grand strategy and geography, before explaining how the meanings of grand strategy and geopolitics evolved in response to changing world historical contexts. It then considers the reasons why geopolitics and grand strategy are linked to the politics of great powers and why these concepts are currently making a comeback. In particular, it examines the revival of geopolitical thinking after the Second World War and how geopolitical reasoning informed containment as a grand strategy during the cold war. The chapter also takes a look at the pitfalls and problems associated with formulating a grand strategy, especially in today’s complex international environment. Finally, it argues that there is a need to rethink geopolitics with the ultimate goal of balancing ends and means.

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23. Does Strategic Studies Have a Future?  

Lawrence Freedman

This chapter considers whether the field of strategic studies has a future, beginning by tracing its development in universities and think tanks as traditional military patterns of thought appeared inadequate in the thermonuclear age, and how it evolved into a broad field of enquiry by the end of the cold war. The chapter then describes the ‘golden age’ of strategic studies that created a market for professionally trained civilian strategists, and examines how strategic studies had become more diffuse as the political context of international relations changed. It also explains how the study of strategy posed a particular challenge to the social sciences, and how ethical and practical difficulties created tensions between academics and policymakers. The chapter goes on to discuss elements of realism that are useful in the study of strategy, strategic studies’ focus on the role of armed force both in peacetime and in war, and future prospects for strategic studies.

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9. Intelligence and Strategy  

Roger Z. George

This chapter examines the role of intelligence in the development and execution of strategy. It begins with a discussion of what intelligence is all about and how its utility has been viewed by strategists. In particular, it considers the different components of the ‘intelligence cycle’, namely, intelligence collection, intelligence analysis, and special intelligence missions that rest on effective counterintelligence and counterespionage. It then charts the history of US intelligence, from its use to support cold war strategies of containment and deterrence to its more recent support to US strategies for counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. It also reviews the challenges and causes of ‘strategic surprise’, citing a number of historical cases such as the September 11 terrorist attacks. The chapter concludes with an assessment of how the US intelligence community has performed since reforms were made in response to 9/11 and its focus on new threats posed by cyberwar and cyberattacks.

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Cover The Globalization of World Politics

14. War and world politics  

Tarak Barkawi

This chapter examines how war fits into the study of international relations and the ways it affects world politics. It begins with an analysis of the work of the leading philosopher of war, Carl von Clausewitz, to highlight the essential nature of war, the main types of war, and the idea of strategy. It then considers some important developments in the history of warfare, both in the West and elsewhere, with particular emphasis on interrelationships between the modern state, armed force, and war in the West and in the global South. Two case studies are presented, one asking the question about what is global about the global war on terror (GWOT) and the other examining the GWOT in the context of war and society, looking at Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United States.

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Cover Global Political Economy

13. The Political Economy of Development  

Nicola Phillips

This chapter examines the political economy of development. Despite the many accomplishments since the end of the Second World War, the problems of development in the contemporary global political economy are still of arresting proportions, and the various incarnations of a ‘global development agenda’ to deal with these problems have had a very mixed record. In fact, there is still little consensus on what development actually is, let alone how it might be achieved, in either academic debates or public discourse. One of the most disputed questions in this context relates to the relationship between globalization and development, and how people should understand the impact of globalization on development across the world. The chapter explores these debates. It starts by reviewing the different ways of thinking about development that have emerged since the end of the Second World War, and demonstrating how particular understandings of development have given rise to particular kinds of development strategies, at both the national and global levels. The chapter then considers the impacts and consequences of these strategies for development, and shows on this basis that many of the problems and failures of development have not only persisted but also worsened in the contemporary period.

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Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

26. Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism  

Daniel Koehler

This chapter presents an overview of how to prevent and counter violent extremism programmes (P/CVE). It highlights issues on evaluation and quality standards, staff training, gender-specific P/CVE, evidence-based methods, and solid theories of change. The chapter differentiates Eastern and Western P/CVE. It shows how ideological discourse was dominant in the West, while civil society partners and non-ideological components became the main area of consideration in the East. P/CVE became the cornerstone of numerous counterterrorism strategies, but it still needs to be flexible and adaptable to needs. The chapter also recognises how prisons can turn into hotbeds of violent radicalization, and targeted assassinations of terrorists can turn them into martyrs.