This special issue is conceived out of the proposition that recent developments in quantum theory as well as innovations in quantum technology have profound implications for international relations, especially in the field of international security. Interaction with quantum theory outside the circle of physics has been limited; our goal is to catalyse an informed debate on the virtues of quantum theory for international relations. As new scientific discoveries and technological applications suggest large-scale quantum phenomena, near-simultaneous interconnectivity creates global entanglements, and ubiquitous media produce profound observer-effects, we wish to make of quantum theory a human science. With the arrival of quantum computing, communications and artificial intelligence, we can also expect to see significant transformations in the nature, production and distribution of power and knowledge. This special issue introduces quantum approaches that can help us better understand, anticipate and perhaps even ameliorate the most pressing global issues facing us today and in the near future.
Europe's contemporary political landscape has been shaped by massive shifts in recent decades caused by geopolitical upheavals such as Brexit and now, COVID-19. The way in which policy makers respond to the current pandemic could have large effects on how the world looks after the pandemic subsides. We aim to investigate complex questions post COVID-19 around the relationships and intersections concerning nationalism, religiosity, and anti-immigrant sentiment from a socio-cognitive perspective by applying a mixed-method approach (survey and modelling); in a context where unprecedented contagion threats have caused huge instability. There are still significant gaps in the scholarly literature on populism and nationalism. In particular, there is a lack of attention to the role of evolved human psychology in responding to persistent threats, which can fall into four broad categories in the literature: predation (threats to one's life via being eaten or killed in some other way), contagion (threats to one's life via physical infection), natural (threats to one's life via natural disasters), and social (threats to one's life by destroying social standing). These threats have been discussed in light of their effects on religion and other forms of behaviour, but they have not been employed to study nationalist and populist behaviours. In what follows, two studies are presented that begin to fill this gap in the literature. The first is a survey used to inform our theoretical framework and explore the different possible relationships in an online sample. The second is a study of a computer simulation. Both studies (completed in 2020) found very clear effects among the relevant variables, enabling us to identify trends that require further explanation and research as we move toward models that can adequately inform policy discussions.
Measuring how much citizens care about different policy issues is critical for political scientists, yet existing measurement approaches have significant limitations. We provide a new survey‐experimental, choice‐based approach for measuring the importance voters attach to different positional issues, including issues not currently contested by political elites. We combine information from (a) direct questions eliciting respondents' positions on different issues with (b) a conjoint experiment asking respondents to trade off departures from their preferred positions on those issues. Applying this method to study the relative importance of 34 issues in the United Kingdom, we show that British voters attach significant importance to issues like the death penalty that are not presently the subject of political debate and attach more importance to those issues associated with social liberal–conservative rather than economic left–right divisions.
Radicalized beliefs, such as those tied to QAnon, Russiagate, and other political conspiracy theories, can lead some individuals and groups to engage in violent behavior, as evidenced in recent months. Understanding the mechanisms by which such beliefs are accepted, spread, and intensified is critical for any attempt to mitigate radicalization and avoid increased political polarization. This article presents and agent-based model of a social media network that enables investigation of the effects of censorship on the amount of dissenting information to which agents become exposed and the certainty of their radicalized views. The model explores two forms of censorship: 1) decentralized censorship-in which individuals can choose to break an online social network tie (unfriend or unfollow) with another individual who transmits conflicting beliefs and 2) centralized censorship-in which a single authority can ban an individual from the social media network for spreading a certain type of belief. This model suggests that both forms of censorship increase certainty in radicalized views by decreasing the amount of dissent to which an agent is exposed, but centralized "banning" of individuals has the strongest effect on radicalization.
Trans-fatty acids (TFAs) have deleterious cardiovascular effects. Restrictions on their use were initiated in 11 New York State (NYS) counties between 2007 and 2011. The US Food and Drug Administration plans a nationwide restriction in 2018. Public health implications of TFA restrictions are not well understood.To determine whether TFA restrictions in NYS counties were associated with fewer hospital admissions for myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke compared with NYS counties without restrictions.We conducted a retrospective observational pre-post study of residents in counties with TFA restrictions vs counties without restrictions from 2002 to 2013 using NYS Department of Health’s Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System and census population estimates. In this natural experiment, we included those residents who were hospitalized for MI or stroke. The data analysis was conducted from December 2014 through July 2016.Residing in a county where TFAs were restricted.The primary outcome was a composite of MI and stroke events based on primary discharge diagnostic codes from hospital admissions in NYS. Admission rates were calculated by year, age, sex, and county of residence. A difference-in-differences regression design was used to compare admission rates in populations with and without TFA restrictions. Restrictions were only implemented in highly urban counties, based on US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service Urban Influence Codes. Nonrestriction counties of similar urbanicity were chosen to make a comparison population. Temporal trends and county characteristics were accounted for using fixed effects by county and year, as well as linear time trends by county. We adjusted for age, sex, and commuting between restriction and nonrestriction counties.In 2006, the year before the first restrictions were implemented, there were 8.4 million adults (53.6% female) in highly urban counties with TFA restrictions and 3.3 million adults (52.3% female) in highly urban counties without restrictions. Twenty-five counties were included in the nonrestriction population and 11 in the restriction population. Three or more years after restriction implementation, the population with TFA restrictions experienced significant additional decline beyond temporal trends in MI and stroke events combined (−6.2%; 95% CI, −9.2% to −3.2%; P
The ’protection curse’ theory argues that some states struggle to produce effective military forces because they luxuriate in implicit ‘guarantees’ of protection, usually from the US, such that they engage in whimsical procurement, coup proofing practices, and generally refuse to take the difficult business of forging effective military forces seriously. This curse is endemic on the Arabian Peninsula. However, the UAE shows how the curse can be broken. Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, secure in his rule, oversaw sensible procurement practices, the employment of foreign experts as meaningful thought-leaders, and tested his growing forces in combat. This allowed UAE forces to successfully undertake the most complex amphibious landing in the history of the Arab world, surprising diplomatic and academics communities. The creation of effective local military forces is an end sought for a century by western powers. Yet, the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s emergence as genuine regional powers may increasingly challenge western interests in the region as these states emerge to ever less restrainable actors in an already febrile region.
This paper discusses European policies towards the Qatar crisis in the context of the evolution of broader past and present European policies towards the Gulf. It starts with a summary discussion of historical patterns of relations between Europe and the Gulf, before briefly sketching the major changes in the regional environment after the Second World War, beginning with the US supplanting the UK as the dominant hegemon, through to the changes wrought by Trump’s elevation to the US presidency. It then turns to a discussion of the effects of these changes for the Gulf and other regional states and their policy postures, before going on to examine the ways in which European states and the EU have interpreted and reacted to this changing environment. These reactions are often at one and the same time a reaction to the changes and uncertainties in US policy under Trump, since this changing US role is also a crucial ingredient both in the region and for Europe’s room for manoeuvre. Against this background, the paper will outline European policies towards the Gulf theater in particular, focusing on Iran and the JCPOA nuclear deal, and the GCC (or Qatar) crisis –– while also briefly considering the Yemen crisis and the impact of Gulf competition on and in the Libyan theater. From October 2018, the Khashoggi affair added an additional dimension to the crisis, as did the renewed oil price crash amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic beginning in 2020.
This article examines key questions of citizen-state, citizen-citizen, and citizen-expatriate relations in the Arab Gulf states through the lens of the 2017 Qatar blockade. It utilizes original public opinion survey data that allow examination of the embargo’s short-term impacts on social and political relations in Qatar as well as broader trends observed over the period from 2010 to 2019. Results lend support to some existing qualitative accounts suggesting changes in important social and political dynamics in Qatar after the blockade. However, survey data also show that such post-blockade differences are mostly reflections of larger attitudinal shifts witnessed over the course of the past decade, rather than isolated effects of the GCC crisis. This suggests the possibility that other Gulf Arab states are experiencing similar transformations in popular sociopolitical orientations and behavior brought on by the same long-term drivers.
: How are nationalism and national identity shifting in Qatar as a result of the regional crisis? This study explores whether this moment of geopolitical fluidity allows for changes in sociocultural behavior and norms among Qatari citizens. Specifically, this research uses the case study of the newly opened National Museum of Qatar to examine a state-crafted narrative of national identity and society’s response to this narrative. Our original fieldwork highlights the museum’s combination of desert and sea lifestyles to create a “unity” narrative of Qatari national identity, and explores the mixed reactions of citizens who feel varying levels of representation and inclusion in this narrative. This study concludes with a critical analysis of the malleability of national identity during times of political upheaval