Elman, Miriam Fendius (1995) 'Foreign Policies of small states: challenging neorealism in its own backyard' British Journal of Political Science, 25:2, 171–217


The received wisdom in international relations suggests that we can best account for the foreign policies of small states by examining structural/systemic rather than domestic level factors. This article challenges this scholarly consensus. The distribution of power and the balance of threat do influence domestic institutional formation and change in emerging states. However, the subsequent military strategies of these weak states are likely to reflect such domestic institutional choices in a number of important and predictable ways. The article tests this argument against pre-1900 US domestic regime change and foreign security policy. The historical evidence suggests that while international preconditions were critically linked to constitutional reform, the institutional structures and rules of democratic presidentialism affected both the timing and substance of US military strategies in later periods. The US case study provides a springboard for speculating on the international context of democratization in Eastern Europe and the long-term foreign-policy consequences of this domestic regime choice.

Keohane, Robert O. (1971) 'The big influence of small allies', Foreign Policy, 1 (Spring), 161–182


Like an elephant yoked to a team of lesser animals, the United States is linked to smaller and weaker allies through a series of bilateral and multilateral agreements. Apart from our alliances with five major industrial powers- Japan, Germany, Britain, France and Italy- almost forty countries have mutual defense pacts or close political ties with the United States. These are the badgers, mice and pi- geons-if not the doves-of international pol- itics, and in many cases they have been able to lead the elephant. Alliances have in curious ways increased the leverage of the little in their dealings with the big. 

Pawinski, M. (2018) Going Beyond Human Terrain System: Exploring Ethical Dilemmas. Journal of Military Ethics, Vol. 17, Issue 2 (2018): 122 – 139.


Modern technology-dominated methods of warfare have proven to be inadequate to counter threats presented by non-state actors. Today’s conflicts are increasingly waged among the people instead of around the people. It is therefore not a surprise that social scientists are recruited by governmental, military, and intelligence institutions. The use of the “Human Terrain System” (HTS) brought to the forefront ethical debates regarding the potential involvement of social sciences and social scientists in various military activities, with an ultimate aim to reduce the pain and suffering of war victims. However, this involvement brought also criticism of such involvement. This article discusses three main ethical concerns associated with HTS, namely, the possible usage of knowledge in enhanced interrogation techniques; the issue of clandestine research; and the sources of funding. Due to ethical controversies, I will propose three models of cooperation between social scientists and governmental, military, and intelligence institutions, which might help them find a common ground. Furthermore, the paper concludes that there is much social scientists can and should do in field work that goes beyond the Human Terrain System. United Nations peacekeeping operations can be a fertile ground for establishing mechanisms that might clarify the role of social scientists in the battlefield.


Top of Page