- ItemOpen AccessCulture Clash: The Influence of Behavioural Norms on Military Performance in Asymmetric Conflicts(2008) Fitzsimmons, Scott; Fitzsimmons, Scott; McDougall, AlexThis paper establishes the ways in which the military cultures of mercenary groups and their opponents influence their military performance in asymmetric conflicts. It develops and tests a constructivist military culture theory of military performance against the empirical record of two modern mercenary groups, one of which achieved victory over its opponent and one of which was defeated. The core logic of the theory is that a grossly outnumbered force must be highly flexible and adaptable if it is to perform the range of military tasks required to defeat materially superior opponents. Norms encouraging the pursuit of a wider range of tactical behaviour should increase military effectiveness, which, in turn, should increase a group’s prospects for military success. If the theory is correct, a military force’s performance should be conditioned by the degree to which the members of the force have been indoctrinated into norms that encourage them to be militarily effective. Specifically, the theory reasons that military forces that strongly emphasize norms encouraging creative thinking, decentralized authority, personal initiative, technical proficiency, and group loyalty, should exhibit greater militarily effectiveness than forces that deemphasize these norms. Moreover, it reasons that military forces exhibiting greater military effectiveness should experience greater battlefield military performance than less effective groups, all else equal. Taking this into account, the theory predicts that the materially weaker party in an asymmetric conflict, which the mercenaries were in both cases, should only be able to defeat its materially stronger opponent if the weaker party emphasizes behavioural norms that encourage it to perform a wide range of tactical behaviour – that is, be very militarily effective – and the stronger party does not emphasize these norms because this should allow the weaker party to exploit the weaknesses and counter the strengths of the stronger party and, through this, defeat it. On the other hand, the theory predicts that, in asymmetric conflicts where neither party emphasizes behavioural norms encouraging them to perform a wide range of tactical behaviour, neither party should be capable of exploiting the weaknesses and countering the strengths of the other and, as a result, the balance of material capabilities should allow the materially stronger party to prevail.
- ItemOpen AccessPolitical Myth and Action in Pericles' Funeral Oration(2008) Ritchie, Shawna; Fitzsimmons, Scott; McDougall, AlexPericles’ funeral oration, one of the most famous passages in Thucydides’ book History of the Peloponnesian War, is the clearest expression of the myth of Athens. The oration articulates ancient democratic theory, and the picture of democracy it describes serves as a model for democratic states even today.1 In a seminal piece of work, Clifford Orwin has argued in his book, The Humanity of Thucydides that Pericles’ third speech, delivered to the Athenian populace after the outbreak of the plague represents Pericles’ true funeral oration. Orwin argues this because the plague represented a real crisis. The link Orwin makes between these two speeches is illuminating and casts a new, unprecedented light on Pericles’ later speech. This paper will argue that the connection Orwin articulates between the two speeches is essential for a proper understanding of both; however, he misrepresents the relationship between the speeches. Pericles’ final speech is not the true funeral speech, but rather represents a pragmatic instruction manual for how the Athenians can embody the myth of Athens, as articulated in the funeral speech proper. This is demonstrated by examining the traditional understanding of Pericles’ funeral oration, Orwin’s argument and the common themes in both speeches. Understanding the relationship between these speeches is essential for understanding the role of political myth in democratic states.
- ItemOpen AccessThe Intervention Imperative: Contradictions Between Liberalism, Democracy, and Humanitarian Intervention(2008) Greaves, Wilfrid; Fitzsimmons, Scott; McDougall, AlexSome ideals and practices exist at the interstice between democracy and liberalism, deriving their roots from one or both yet in conflict with some element of either liberal or democratic foundational principles. One such concept is humanitarian intervention, a contested notion theoretically and morally grounded in the traditions of liberalism and democracy. Despite its liberal-democratic origins, humanitarian intervention reveals tensions between these political and moral frameworks, highlighting the contradictions between them and calling into question the very practice of humanitarian intervention by liberal democratic states. These tensions manifest themselves in three different ways. First, with respect to the basic principles underlying the practice of intervention, liberalism and democracy are not in accord. Second, the two frameworks diverge in their understandings of the appropriate method for authorizing the decision to stage an intervention, resulting in a democratic deficit in the conduct of global politics. Third, even an effective intervention raises serious issues resulting from contradictions between the moral imperatives of liberalism and the democratic right of peoples to self-determination. While these tensions are not irreconcilable, they demand hard questions of liberal, democratic, or liberal-democratic states that would undertake military intervention for humanitarian reasons.
- ItemOpen AccessDomestic Experience and its Effects on Democracy Promotion(2008) Jardine, Eric; Fitzsimmons, Scott; McDougall, AlexThis article argues that a country’s democracy promotion efforts will be underwritten by its domestic experience with democratic governance. It compares the statements of public officials from the United States, Great Britain and Canada, as well as the implicit assumptions which the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), and Canada’s Rights and Democracy (R&D) maintain are necessary for the longevity and health of democratic governments. It demonstrates that the NED emphasizes the presence of a virulent pro-democratic civil society, the WFD emphasizes the growth of party links and a strong party system, and R&D emphasizes the governance of diversity. The paper argues further that all of these points of emphasis coincide with each respective country’s domestic experience with democratic governance.
- ItemOpen AccessNotwithstanding the Override: Path Dependence, Section 33, and the Charter(2008) Snow, David; Fitzsimmons, Scott; McDougall, AlexSection 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – the 'notwithstanding clause' – remains controversial. Although the clause exists as a legitimate constitutional instrument, it has been used infrequently, and never by the federal government. This paper examines arguments put forward to explain the infrequent use of the clause. Of all the explanations offered, the historical-institutionalist concept of 'path dependence' is most compelling. Ever since the Quebec government used the notwithstanding clause in response to Ford v. Quebec (1988), subsequent Prime Ministers have demonized the clause in order to gain political capital. The depiction of section 33 as inherently antithetical to the logic of a Charter of Rights has been so successful that few political leaders will risk using the clause, even when public opinion is in favour. With the Charter being seen as a 'symbolic rights-giver,' this demonization has led to the gradual erosion of section 33’s legitimacy as an acceptable legislative instrument.