Recent Essays & Papers


  Middle East Politics
  International Security
  International Political Economy
  Political Theory
Zionism: A Capitalist Nationalism

Linkages between Yishuv Economic Policy and Zionist Ideology up to 1948

Partitioning the Temple Mount on the Basis of Archaeological Evidence


  Middle East Politics
  International Relations
  Political Theory


Categorizing Ideological Varieties of Capitalism
January 2009
In this paper, I will argue that varieties of capitalism are institutional manifestations of a taxonomy of political philosophies.  The paper begins with the premises that politics is driven by ideology and is concerned with the use of coercion.  It then deduces a general categorization of political philosophies and defends its explanatory value: First, it critiques the view that, because differing ideologies generate divergent political behavior, universal laws of politics cannot exist.  Next, the paper argues that such laws should describe how ideologies, rather than more concrete variables such as institutions, shape political activity through processes of path dependence.  It concludes with an appeal for future research along these theoretical lines.



Coordinated Wage Bargaining, Inflation, and Unemployment

December 2008


In this paper, I will argue that Peter Hall and Robert Franzese’s portrayal of coordinated wage bargaining overemphasizes that institution’s importance to political economy and, instead, can be subsumed under a politics-based approach to studying economics.  The paper begins by examining the time-inconsistency problem of monetary policy and explaining how Hall and Franzese elaborate upon it.  It then critiques their economic model of a collective action problem among wage negotiators, and next reveals an empirical weakness of their claim that coordinated wage bargaining facilitates collective action.  Finally, the paper proposes that wage negotiations, like central bank independence, may be explained better by Adam Posen’s politics-based approach.



The Influence of Political Philosophy on Postwar Monetary Policy

November 2008


In this paper, I will argue that states’ international monetary policies represent their underlying political philosophies and that discord between their philosophies breeds conflict between their economic policies.  The paper will begin by investigating the political foundations of the Bretton Woods financial order, and then will explain how states that embodied a divergent philosophy undermined that postwar regime.



Proposal for a Libertarian Peace Theory

October 2008


“[T]he most useful way to test the causal claims of the democratic peace theory,” writes Miriam Elman in Paths to Peace, is to study what democracies do when they “come into conflict.”  Yet this method only lets us determine the impact of a state’s “democratic nature” upon those conflicts.  We cannot ascertain whether two states’ “democratic nature” causes them not to have “opposing interests” in the first place.  Other studies also ignore this possibility: qualitative analyses have trouble accounting for “non-events,” and quantitative surveys tend not to discriminate among them.  Nevertheless, this paper argues that one variant of democracy – libertarianism – generates a harmony of interests among the states that adopt it. 


(c) 2010 Jacob Jaffe