Page 1

( SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL) Volume50lNumber41December1996 .

Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics Logical, methodological, and psychological perspectives

by Philip E. Tetlock and Aaron Belkin * There i nothing new about counterfactual inference. Hi torian have been doing it for at least 2,000 year . Counterfactual fueled the grief of Tacitus when he pondered what would have happened if Gerrnanicus had lived to become Emperor: "Had he been the ole arbiter of events, had he held the powers and title of King, he would have out tripped Alexander in mili-


• Thi. e say i adapted from the introductory ch:lpter to Counter/actual T1wUlllu Exptrimtnts in World Polilic.f: Logical. Mellradological. and PsycholllJlical Ptrspulh·ts. P. Tetlock and A. Belkin. cd! .• Princeton University Pre., • 1996. Philip E. Tetlock i. Harold E. Burtt Profe. or of P.·ychology and Politic:ai SCIence at OhIO State University. Aaron Belkin i a Ph.D. candid31e in politic:al science at the University of California, Berkeley. Contributors to the volume include A. Belkin; George w. Breslauer. University of California. Berkeley; Bruce Bueno De Mesquita. Hoover In. titution. Stanford University; Lars·Erik Cederman. Somerville College, Oxford University: Robyn M. Dawe , Carnegie Mellon University: Ronald J. Deiben, University of Toronto; James D. Fearon, University of Chicago; Mich:lel Fi~h rkeller, Ohio State University; Richard K. Herrmann, Ohio State University; Robert Jervi. , Columbia University; Yuen Foong Khong, Nuffield College. Oxford University; Edgar Kiser, University of W3l hington; Rich:lrd Ned Lebow, Ohio State University; Margaret Levi, University of Washington; James M 01. on. University of We tern Ontario; e:ai J. Roese, Northwc"tern University; Bruce Ru sell, Yale University; Janice Gro .. Stein, University of Toronto; P. Tetlock: Mark Turner, University of Maryland; Steven Weber. University of California, Berkeley: Barry R. Weing3lt, Stanford University.

810 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019

tary fame as far as he surpas ed him in gentlene ,in elf-command and in other noble qualities" (quoted in Gould 1969). Social scienti ts have also long been aware of the pivotal role that counterfactuals play in cholar hip. Neverthele ,some contemporary historian till temly warn us to avoid "what-might-have-been" questions. They tell us that history is tough enough as it is-a it actuaLLy i -without worrying about how thing might have worked out differently in this or that cenario. Why make a difficult problem impo ible? The ferocity of the skeptics is a bit unnerving. They are right that counterfactual inference i dauntingly difficult. But they are wrong that we can avoid counterfactual rea oning at acceptable cost. And they are wrong that all counterfactuals are equally "ab urd" becau e they are equally hypothetical (Fi her 1970, 19). We can avoid counterfactuals only if we e chew all cau al inference and limit our elve to trictIy noncau al narrative of what actually happened (no muggling in cau al claim under the gui e of verb uch a "influenced," tIre ponded," "triggered," "precipitated,"

• CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE • Counterfoctu:ai Thought Experiment! in World Politics, Philip E. Ttllod: and Aaron Belkin 77 Researching Sexuality: A New Fellow hip Program. DIOne di Mauro 86 Presidential Item : Intemational Di. sertation Field Research. Ktnntlh Prewill 91 Requiem for P&P. Da~'id L Sills 94 Current Activitie at the Council 98

Vietnam Work hop 98 1996 SSRC·Mellon Minority Summer Conference 98 W3l hington Symposium on Japanese Politic. 99 Conference on African Investment 99 New JSPS Fellow hip Program 100 SSRC Archive Now Open 100 Recent Council Publications 101


and the like). Putting to the side whether any coherent and compelling narrative can be "noncausal," this prohibition would prevent u from drawing the orts of "lessons from history" that scholars and policy makers regularly draw on such topics as the be t ways to encourage economic growth, to pre erve peace, and to cultivate democracy. Without counterfactual reasoning, how could we know whether state intervention accelerated growth in country x, whether deterrence prevented an attack on country y, or whether the courage of a young king aved country z from sliding back into dictator hip? Counterfactual reasoning is a prerequisite for any form of learning from history (cf. Tetlock 1991). To explore the many roles that counterfactuals play in the study of world politics, the SSRC's Committee on International Peace and Security sponsored a research planning project on Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics. I Project participants, including philosophers, political cientists, sociologists, and psychologists, met at the Univer ity of California at Berkeley in January 1995, to present and discuss papers (see footnote on preceding page). What are counterfactuals, and why do they matter for the study of world politics? A useful place to begin is by clarifying what we mean by counterfactual rea oning. A reasonably precise philosophical definition is that counterfactuals are subjunctive conditionals in which the antecedent is known or suppo ed for purpo e of argument to be false (Skyrms 1980). As such, an enormous array of politically consequential arguments qualify as counterfactual. Consider the following rather repreentative sample of counterfactuals that have loomed large in recent scholarly and policy debates: If Stalin had been ou ted as general party secretary of the communist party of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union would have moved loward a kinder, gentler fonn of communism 55 years before it actually did. IfYeltsin had followed Sachsian fiscal and monetary advice in early 1992, Russian inflation in 1993 would have been a small fraction of what it was. If the United State had not dropped atomic bomb on two Japanese cities in August 1945, the Japanese would still have surrendered roughly when they did.

I The committee and its activities are supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


If all states in the 20th century had been democracies, there would have been fewer wars.

If 80 nians had been bottlenosed dolphins, the West never would have allowed the slaughter of innocents in the Yugoslav civil war to have gone on 0 long.

The participants in this project approached counterfactual inference from both normative/epistemological and descriptiVe/cognitive cience perspectives. The normative issues focus on how students of world politics should use and judge counterfactual arguments. The descriptive issues focus on how we generate, use, and judge counterfactual arguments. One key cognitive-science question concerns when people are prone to think about possible worlds. Of the infinity of past events that people could "mentally undo" and in ert as antecedents into counterfactual arguments, why do they devote so much attention to certain causal candidates and so little to others (Kahneman and Miller 1986; Olson, Roese, and Deibert2)? A natural next question concerns when people are likely to be persuaded by counterfactual claims concerning the consequences of altering particular antecedents. Given that people have no way of directly determining what would have happened in these hypothetical world , why do they defer to some counterfactual arguments but disdain other (Turner)? Finally, is there evidence of cognitive and motivational biases in how people judge claims about po sible world ,tendencie to rai e tandards of evidence and proof for di onant counterfactuals but to lower standards for claims consonant with one's beliefs and goals?

Normative issues in evaluating counterfactual claims Our participants generally agreed that counterfactual reasoning is unavoidable in any field in which researchers want to draw cause-effect conclusions but cannot perform controlled experiments in which they randomly assign "subjects" to treatment conditions that differ only in the pre ence or absence of the hypothesized cause. Try though we do to control tatisticaJly for confounding variables in large-N multivariate studies or to find matching cases in comparative designs or to search for the signature of 2 Names cited without dates refer to contributors in the publi lied volume.


50, NUMBER 4

hypothesized causes in process-tracing tudie, the potential cau es are simply too numerous and too interrelated in world politics to permit complete e cape from counterfactual inference. Researchers mu t ultimately justify claims that a given cause produced a given effect by invoking counterfactual arguments about what would have happened in orne hypothetical world in which the postulated cause took on some value different from the one it assumed in the actual world (Fogel 1964; Fearon 1991). The consensus among our participants, however, began to unravel beyond this point. They emphasized distinctive, albeit largely complementary, function of counterfactual reasoning. The arguments they pre ented persuaded us to adopt a stance of epistemic plurali m that acknowledges the variety of ways in which counterfactual arguments can prove enlightening and the need for different standards in judging counterfactuals that erve different cholarly goals. We organize the e di tinct styles of counterfactual argumentation into five ideal type .

(1) Idiographic Several participants u ed counterfactuals to explore "po ibility-hood"-whether hi tory had to unfold as it did. For instance, Breslauer explored the everal junctures in the hi tory of the Soviet Union that have parked the mo t inten e counterfactual debate within the expert community. Khong attempted to assess whether any conceivable Briti h prime minister would have adopted a policy of appeasement toward Nazi Germany, at least up to March 1939. Herrmann and Fi cherkeller examined everal counterfactual controver ie in which the positions taken by policymakers on "what would have happened?" haped American policy toward Iran during the cold war. Lebow and Stein constructed an exhaustive inventory of the counterfactual beliefs that apparently guided American and Soviet policy during the Cuban mis ile crisis-the crisis during which, it is often as erted, the world "came closer" than ever before or since to nuclear war. These diverse applications all u e counterfactuals to focus on "conceivable" cau es that could have ea ily redirected the path-dependent logic of events (cf. Hawthorn 1991; Fearon). In each ca e, the inve tigator want to know what wa hi torically po ible or impo sible within a circum cribed



period of time and set of relations among political entities. To make this determination, they draw upon combinations of: (a) in-depth case- pecific knowledge of the key players, their beliefs and motives, and the political-economic constraints under which they worked; and (b) general knowledge (nomothetic propositions) concerning cause-effect relations in human behavior and political-economic systems. Moreover, our case-study authors seem to agree that counterfactual speculation should be constrained by some form of "minimal-rewrite-of-history" rule that instructs us to avoid counterfactuals that require "undoing" many events. The e idiographic counterfactuals are not idle exercises in ocial-science fiction; they are a useful corrective to imple deterministic forms of theory. They compel us either to abandon determinism by acknowledging the role of chance or to abandon simplicity by acknowledging that factor outside the purview of our deterministic models-viruses, killful or inept leadership, group dynamics, a welltimed or ill-timed persuasive argument-can decisively alter the course of events.

(2) Nomothetic theory-testing Whereas idiographic inve tigators are intere ted in conceivable causes that they can readily imagine taking on different values within a pecific historical context, nomothetic investigators usually how little or no concern for the plausibility of switching the hypothesized counterfactual antecedent on or off in any given context. From this perspective, counterfactuals are the inevitable logical by-products of applying the hypothetico-deductive method to an hi torical (nonexperimental) di cipline uch as world politic . Whenever we combine a welldefined Hempelian covering law (say, relating money supply to inflation) with well-defined antecedent conditions (the Russian economy in January 1992), we can deduce specific counterfactual conclusions (e.g., if the Russian central bank had adopted this or that monetary policy, then, ceteris paribus, inflation would have taken on this or that value). Note that these counterfactuals are in no way con trained by the hi torical plausibility of the Rus ian central bank adopting one or another policy. The counterfactual "predictions" follow from the context-free logic of macroeconomic theory, not


from the context-bounded logic of what was p ychologically or politically po ible at that juncture in Rus ian history. These nomothetic counterfactual invoke miracle causes (Fearon). Even if our theory requires us to posit an extremely implausible hypothetical world, we do what our theory tells us to do. The goal is not hi torical understanding; rather, it i to pur ue the logical implication of a theoretical framework.

(3) Idiographic-nomothetic synthesis The ten ion between idiographic di ciplines (hi tory and area studies) and nomothetic di cipline (general ocial science) is well known and need not be belabored. A not uncommon way of proceeding i to acknowledge that the idiographic and nomothetic repre ent complementary "way of knowing" that may in the fullness of time be conceptually integrated, but do not hold your breath. It i worth noting, however, that uch conceptual integration i the nonn in natural hi tory, where there i much Ie controversy than in the ocial cience over what counts as a well-e tabli hed tati tical or theoretical generalization. Our favorite example of idiographic-nomothetic ymbio i i the manner in which biological and phy ical scienti ts have gone about deriving and te ting rival hypothe e concerning the extinction of dino aur . Perhap the mo t influential hypothe i i the doom day-a teroid conjecture which, in counterfactual fonn, runs a follow: "If a ix- to twelvemile-wide a teroid had truck the Earth at a velocity of approximately 44,000 mile per hour 65 million year ago, then a ho t of prediction would follow (including the ize of the crater, the effect on the atmo phere and climate, the di tribution of variou trace elements in particular geological trata, antipodal volcanism .... )." Thi line of work capture the be t in both the idiographic and nomothetic tradition . Inve tigator focu on a well-defined "conceivable" cau e (meteors and asteroid hit our planet frequently over long tretche of time) but rely heavily upon deductive theory, empirical ob ervation , and computer imulation to as e the oundne of the connecting principle that pennit u to deduce empirical con equence uch as climate change of ufficient magnitude to wipe out the dino aur . Investigator al 0 try to tea e apart


te table prediction from rival hypothe e uch a "endogenous volcanism alone is ufficient to account not only for this specific mass extinction but for nine of the ten other ma s extinctions in the fo il record over two billion years." As a result of this vigorous re earch program, many scientists argue that a once highly peculative counterfactual conjecture i now better viewed as a quite-probable fact of natural history-yet another illu tration of how blurry the boundary between factual and counterfactual can be (Herrmann and Fi cherkeller). There are no idiographic-nomothetic synthe e of comparable cope and weep in world politics. But there are some elegant demonstrations of how one can weave together idiographic and nomothetic objective -in particular, by the game theori t in thi project. Bueno de Me quita and Weingast both u e game-theoretic model to enhance our undertanding of particular historical epi odes (Philip Augu tus ver u the Pope; medieval merchant versus town ; federal bureaucrat ver us Congre ), to identify intriguing cro -ca e regularitie , and to make prediction about how behavior will change a a lawful function of alteration in the probabilitie or payoffs attached to cour e of action. In 0 doing, the game theori t remind u that ocial cienti ts are not the only creature roaming thi planet capable of thinking counterfactually. Policy maker do it all the time, con tructing mental representation of how other would re pond to one or another move and making deci ion on the basis of tho e mental model. Game theorist integrate the idiographic and nomothetic by applying" trong theory"-expected utility maximization and criteria for identifying equilibrium trategie -to complex hi torical ituation that can then be understood by modeling the option available to each ide and the expected payoff as ociated with all logically po ible combination of move . In judging what el e could pIau ibly have happened, game theori ts u e nomothetic law to an wer the idiographic que tion: How much hi tory do I have to rewrite to "undo" a particular policy? If the counterfactual imply hift u from one equilibrium path to another (as is po ible in game with multiple equilibria) the counterfactual doe no violence to the rational-actor axiom of the underlying theory and may be quite acceptable. But


50, NUMBER 4

if the counterfactual requires us to imagine a world in which, for many reasons ( toehastic, p ychological, and motivational), players stray from an equilibrium to a nonequilibrium path so that one or both are worse off than they otherwi e could be, the counterfactual is uspect. These ground rules for judging the permissibility of po ible worlds are commendably precise, albeit rather proeru tean. There is no guarantee that hi tory i efficient in the ense of quickly identifying equilibrium solution ; hi tory may be better viewed as a "pathdependent meander" (March and Olsen 1995) in which accidents, fortuitous opportunitie , and miscalculation often lead us into culs-de- ac from which it is difficult, even impo sible, to extricate ourselve .

(4) Pure thought experiments: logical proofs and computer simulations Our participants often use counterfactual to reinforce a causal argument (be it an idiographic one concerning the impact of a particular belief, person, or policy, or a nomothetic one concerning causal proees e that theoretically transcend context). But they also sometimes u e counterfactuals to reveal previously hidden contradictions or ambiguities in the logical structure of the cau al arguments that others have advanced. Using counterfactuals to probe the logical completeness and internal coherence of claims is commonplace in mathematics, the phy ical ciences, and economics. We know of no thought experiments in world politic that are a deci ive in shaking theoretical convictions a tho e of Galileo and Einstein in physical cience or of Ricardo, Coase, and Arrow in economic theory. But we do see ome intere ting parallel with the computer simulations of complex adaptive y tems that Cederman and Fearon di cus in their re pective papers. One interpretation of these imulations is that they highlight logical lacunae in currently influential approaches to world politic . The qualification "one interpretation" is critical; one is not obliged to accept this interpretation for the imple rea on that the simulation-based counterfactuals lack the "if and only if" delivering power of rigorous mathematical proofs in well-defined axiomatic sy tems. For example, one could argue that if balancing were inevitable in anarchic interna-

tional ystems, then global hegemons would not emerge in simulated worlds which, according to Cederman, capture the key functional attributes of anarchy within a neorealist framework. But becau e hegemons do emerge, and emerge especially frequently when defense-dominance prevail (an additional unwelcome surprise for some theorists), this neorealist prediction may (not must) be wrong. Cederman's simulations of artificial hi torie ugge t that we may have just been lucky that an Alexander or Hitler or Napoleon has not yet conquered the world! Or, hifting to Fearon' paper, one could argue that if long-term forecasting were po sible in complex interdependent sy tems, then we could predict the long-term consequences of minor variations in initial ettings for cellular automata. But because we cannot make accurate long-term predictions even in these imple, well-understood system , perhaps long-term predictability al 0 breaks down in the much more complex and poorly understood domain of world politics. These simulation-driven counterfactuals are not deductively decisive but they are intellectually seductive. They nudge us gently toward the conclusion that something is awry with key assumptions that serve as starting points for influential analyses of ecurity issues.

(5) Mental simulations of counterfactual worlds Not all counterfactual simulation of po sible world need run through the logical tructures of computer programs; ome run through the p ychological structure of the human mind. The c1as ic thought experiments of physici ts and economi t iIIu trate the point in the ab tract, but it is pos ible to make the ame point with example more directly relevant to world politics. Asking people to imagine and work through the detailed implication of hypothetical worlds is a powerful educational and rhetorical tool. Like their formal epistemological kin (logical proofs and computer simulations), mental imulations can highlight critical contradictions and ambiguities in one's own intellectual position and that of others (Thrner). As Kahneman (1995) point out, mental simulations derive their persuasive force and power to surprise by revealing previously unnoticed tensions between explicit, conscious beliefs and implicit, unconscious ones. In this sense, people discover aspects of themselves in mental simulations

D EMBER 1996

L-______________________________________________________ _


that would otherwi e have gone undi covered.

Six criteria for judging counterfactual arguments

I. Clarity: Specify and circumscribe the independent and dependent variables (the hypothe ized antecedent and consequent).

2. Logical consistency or cotenability: Specify con-

There should now be no doubt that cholars use counterfactual arguments for a variety of distinct, albeit interrelated, purposes. It should also come as no surpri e that there is no single answer to the question of what counts as a good counterfactual argument. The obvious rejoinder is, "Good for what?" A counterfactual that is idiographically incisive (advances our understanding of a particular case) might be nomothetic ally banal (devoid of interesting theoretical implications) and vice ver a. A counterfactual grounded in an elegant computer imulation might blow a gaping logical hole in an influential theoretical argument but tell us precious little about the actual world it uppo edly imulate. A counterfactual that stimulate us to think of new hypotheses might run afoul of the received wisdom on what counts as a trivial or influential cause. Given the diverse goals that people have in mind when they advance counterfactual arguments-from hypothesis generation to hypothe i te ting, from historical under tanding to theory extension-our participant convinced us that the que t for a oneize-fits-all epistemology i quixotic. Different investigator will inevitably empha ize somewhat different criteria in judging the legitimacy, piau ibility, and in ightfulne s of specific counterfactuals. It would be a big mistake, however, to confu e epi temic plurali m (which we accept up to a point) with an anything-goes ubjectivism (which we reject and which would treat all counterfactual claim as equally valid in their own way). To avoid this fate, we advanced six normative criteria for jUdging counterfactual arguments that appear to command substantial cro s-di ciplinary upport. To be ure, we do not expect univer al conent; we do eek, however, to initiate a u tained conversation within the research community on what should count as a compelling counterfactual argument-a conversation that will allow us to explore the strengths and weaknes e of pecific standards in the ab tract, in i olation from the dominant debate of the moment (when the temptation to play favorites i often irre i tible). Our six criteria. which are more fully elaborated in the volume, are as follow : 82\ITEMS

necting principles that link the antecedent with the consequent and that are cotenable with each other and with the antecedent.

3. Historical consistency (minimal路 rewrite rule): Specify antecedents that require altering as few "well-e tabli hed" hi torical facts as po ible.

4. Theoretical consistency: Articulate connecting principles that are consi tent with "well-established" theoretical generalizations relevant to the hypothesized antecedent-consequent link.

S. Statistical consistency: Articulate connecting principles that are consistent with "well-e tablished" tatistical generalization relevant to the antecedentcon equent link.

6. Projectability: Tease out testable implication of the connecting principles and determine whether those hypotheses are con i tent with additional real-world observation .

Each standard we propose is open to orne interpretation. Certain standards will provoke resistance from tho e who denounce it as impossible (Breslauer) or undesirable (Weber) or irrelevant (Lebow and Stein). And orne tandards will clash with each other. For example, con i tency with wellestablished historical fact sometime conflict with con istency with well-e tablished statistical or theoretical generalization . There are at pre ent no generally accepted principle for adjudicating uch di putes and we do not claim to offer a well-defined "method of counterfactual argument" that re earchers can deploy in an off-the-shelf fashion to olve any and all problems.

Psychological perspectives on counterfactual reasoning There i a thriving re earch literature in both cognitive psychology (01 on, Roese, and Diebert) and linguistic (Turner) on how people actually generate and judge counterfactual claim . The e normative and psychological arguments hould not, of course, be viewed as two self-contained, hermetically sealed domain of di cour e. The p ychological literature highlights a host of determinants of spontaneou counterfactual rea oning that raise erious que tion about the reliability and validity of counterfactual thought experiment in world politie . Indeed, when





the topic is thought experiment , it i hard to ay at what point epi temology and methodology end and p ychology begins. From a broadly psychological per pective, it is difficult to imagine avoiding erious bia in thought experiment. Bias can creep into every tage of this inherently ubjective proces , from the initial election of antecedents (for "mental manipulation") to the evaluation of connecting principle to the willingne s to entertain counterargument and alternative cenarios. Bias appears inevitable, in part becau e of the cognitive limitation and motivational inclinations of the thinker in who e mind the thought experiment "run ," and in part becau e of the extraordinary complexity and ambiguity of the ta k. The population of pa t event from which one can draw counterfactual antecedent i effectively infinite, from the flapping of butterfly wing to the " tructural polarity" of the international y tem. And the task of a e sing what would have happened in these hypothetical worlds (to which no one has acce ) is obviou Iy highly ubjective. Indeed, this project generated much evidence that departure from normality or the tatus quo do indeed attract especially vigorou counterfactual peculation. The e departure can take diverse form , including leader hip tran it ion (Bre lauer; Herrmann and Fi cherkeller), revolution ,a a inations, and unusually inten e policy debate in which the argument might easily have gone either way (Khong; Lebow and Stein). Routine events fade into the perceptual background and are rarely elected for mental manipulation in thought experiments. The simplifying strategies that people u e to impo e cognitive order carry a price tag. The e trategie can tilt the playing field (arguably unfairly) in favor of certain counterfactuals over other . Con ider the much di cu ed trilogy of judgmental heuri tic : anchoring, availability, and repreentativene s (Tversky and Kahneman 1974). The anchoring heuristic could lead people to be too quick to dismi scenario about hypothetical worlds that deviate dramatically from the perceptual anchor of the actual world with which they are already 0 familiar (making it difficult to appreciate the arbitrarine of the statu quo); the availability heuristic could lead people to be too quick to embrace vivid, ea i1y imaginable scenario that link all the component event into a compelling tory (even though the DECEMBER


compound probability of all the narrative' component taken together i vani hingly mal\); the repreentativene s heuristic could lead people to be too low to concede pIau ibility to counterfactuals that po it dramatic nonlinearitie in cau e-effect relation (making it difficult to appreciate that small cause can sometimes produce big effects and vice versa). Perhaps the mo t lethal threat to the validity of counterfactual thought experiments comes, however, from theory-driven thinking. People often succumb to the temptation of applying trong te ts to di sonant arguments and weak test to consonant one -a temptation that may be e pecially pronounced when the arguments invoke po ible world that no one can ever enter and that can never be decisively di confirmed. The perceived pIau ibility of a counterfactual hinges on how hard one looks for hortcoming . Few counterfactual arguments will not have points of vulnerability when we ubject their antecedent and connecting principle to clo e crutiny. A a re ult, we are much more likely to recognize the collap e of cotenability in our opponents' arguments than in our own-a recurring theme in everal papers. The cognitive per pective al 0 leads u to be su piciou of people' capacity to tran cend (avoid contamination by) outcome knowledge. As theorydriven thinkers, people automatically try to as imilate "what happened" to ome prior knowledge tructure or chema that pecifie cau e-effect relationship for event of that type (Fi chhoff 1975; Hawkins and Ha tie 1990). The re ult i a deep, and arguably unjustifiable, asymmetry between backward and forward rea oning in time. On average, political experts ee fewer pos ible past than they do po ible futures (Tetlock 1994). Motivational bia al 0 affects the haping and reception of counterfactual arguments. People are not, of course, ju t information-proce ing device ; they are animated by wi he , hope , and fears that hape their perception of what might or could or hould have been. These emotional need can take many, ometimes conflicting form (Tetlock and Levi 1982), including: (I) Need/or predictability and controllability. On the one hand, people might allow their de ire to believe that the world i fundamentally predictable to rule out butterfly-effect counterfactual , which ITEMs/83

imply that, no matter how hard we try, it is in principle impo ible to anticipate the future becau e 0 much hinge on small cau e that are beyond our measurement gra p. On the other hand, people might allow their de ire to believe that the world is controllable to rule out "inevitability" counterfactual , which imply that, no matter what people do, our fates are ultimately under the sway of powerful geopolitical, macroeconomic, and technological force beyond individual mastery. (2) Need to avoid blame and to claim credit. On the one hand, people might allow their de ire to avoid blame for bad outcome to override their de ire for predictability and control. In such case , people will argue that they hould not be blamed for having failed to fore ee the unforeseeable or having failed to control the uncontrollable. On the other hand, people might allow the de ire to claim credit for good outcomes to enhance the pIau ibility of counterfactual that take the form "had it not been for my uperior predictive ability and courageou willingness to act on the ba i of that in ight, thi good outcome would never have occurred." (3) Need/or consolation and inspiration. People might u e "downward" counterfactual to comfort and con ole themselve ("Thing may not be great, but think how bad thing could have been if x or y had occurred") or "upward" counterfactuals to in pire greater effort ("Do not be complacent about the preent, think how good thing could have been and, by implication, could yet become"). (4) Need/or cognitive consistency. The well-documented aver ion to imbalanced or dis onant coupling of events hould motivate people to rule out counterfactual that link bad cause (like Stalin) to good outcome (like accelerated economic growth) or that link good causes (like foreign aid) to bad outcomes (like increased dependency and corruption of recipient regime ). Pre sures for cognitive con i tency should also motivate people to defend "core beliefs." For example, people who believe that "evil is avoidable" hould be trongly motivated to generate counterfactuals that undo moral cata trophe . But people of different political persuasion may define moral catastrophe differently. For many con ervative , the root of evil in Soviet hi tory goe traight back to the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 (which should be a focal point of "if only" peculation); for


many ocial democrats, a noble socialist experiment was corrupted by Stalini t tyranny (which hould be a focal point of "if only" speculation). The e predictions fare reasonably well against the evidence (Bre lauer). The li t is a lengthy and unpar imoniou one. Here we imply want to add that there are alway two levels at which motive may influence counterfactual reasoning: private thought (affecting what we truly believe) and public po turing (affecting what we ay we believe and want to induce other to believe). Mo t p ychologi t think that the motive Ii ted here do indeed hape privately held plausibility judgment of counterfactual , but few would deny that public impre ion management i also at work (Tetlock and Man tead I 985)-a judgment WIth which most of our participant eem to concur. This project generated ugge tive evidence that the clo er we get to pre criptive policy debate , the greater the temptation to u e counterfactual arguments as rhetorical tools to ju tify either what one plan to do or ha already done (Bre lauer; Lebow and Stein; Herrmann and Fi cherkeller). Conclu ion There i omething about the topic of counterfactual thought experiments in world politics that make people feel a bit uneasy, even defen ive. To be blunt, it feel like epi temological lumming. A social cientist , we are all too familiar with the pre tige hierarchy for method of drawing cau al inference. At the top of the cientific pecking order is experimentation in which we can manipulate hypothe ized causes and then either hold everything el e con tant or randomize extraneou influence acro treatment condition. Experimental control of this sort i obviou Iy out of the que tion for mo t que tions in world politics. We cannot rerun the tape of hi tory: splicing a Gorbachev in or out, delaying or accelerating key technological development, or tinkering with thi or that aspect of macroeconomic policy. Social cienti t often re ort to tati tical control when experimentation i ethically or practically problematic. But tati tical arguments themselves often re t on counterfactual a umptions (Fearon 1991) and are, in any case, extraordinarily difficult to make for many i ue that loom large in security debate . For example, what kind of regre sion or time erie





analyse will allow u to e timate the cau al contribution of nuclear weapons to the "long peace" between the United States and Soviet Union between 1945 and 1991? There are simply too many confounding variables-a problem we can alleviate but not eliminate through judicious election of comparison case and meticulous proces -tracing of deci ion-making protocol. So where does that leave u ? Probably till feeling uneasy: we eem to be tuck with quite literally a third-rate method, counterfactual thought experimentation. The control group exi t-if indeed "exist" i the right word-in the imaginations of political anaIy t who are left with the daunting ta k of recontmcting how history would have unfolded if cau al variable of the pa t had taken on different value from the ones they actually did. The whole exercise tarts to look hopele ly ubjective, circular, and nonfalsifiable. What i to top u from imply inventing counterfactual outcome that ju tify our political bia e and predilections? There appear to be large classes of question in the tudy of global conflict and cooperation for which experimental control i out of the que tion and tati tical control is of limited u efulnes (assuming we can find a reasonable set of comparison ca e and can reliably operationalize the theoretical con truct ). These que tions are too important to ignore, but apparently too difficult to an wer in a fashion that command trans ideological con en u . Too often, the re pon e to the dilemma is to embrace extreme solution (Strassfeld 1992): either to reject categorically all counterfactual argument as fanciful suppo ition , mere conjecture, and frivolous figments (counterfactual dread) or to a ume confidently that we know exactly what would have happened if we had gone down another path, sometimes going 0 far as to project everal tep deep into hypothetical cau al sequence (counterfactual bravado). The former re pon e lead to futile effort to exorcize counterfactual from hi torical inquiry (Fi her 1970); the latter re pon e leads at be t to error (we ignore the compounding of probabilities at our peril) and at wor t to the full- cale politicization of counterfactual argument (a advocate claim carte blanche to write hypothetical historie that advance their favorite causes). Thi project tried to articulate a


principled compromise between the e extreme . On the one hand, we acknowledged that thought experiments inevitably play key roles in the causal arguments of any hi torical di cipline. On the other hand, we acknowledged that thought experiments are often uffused with error and bias. But, that aid, we did not conclude that thing are hopele -that it is impo sible to draw cau al Ie ons from history. Rather, we concluded that di ciplined u e of counterfactual -grounded in explicit tandards of evidence and proof-can be enlightening in peeific historical, theoretical, and policy ettings. And that, we u peet, • i the most important lesson of this project. References Fearon. J.D. 1991. "CounterfactuaJ and Hypothe i Te ting in Political Science." World Politics 43(2): 169-95. Fischhoff. B. 1975. "Hind ight I NO( Equal to Fore ight: the Effect of Oulcome Knowledge on Judgment under Uncertainly." Journal of Exptri~ntal Psychology: Human Ptretpt;on and Puformanu 1(3): 288-99. Fi her. D.H. 1970. Historians' Fal/aclts: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought. New York: Harper &: Row. Fogel. R. 1964. Railroads and "~rican Economic Growth: Essays in Economttric History. Baltimore: John Hopkin University Pres . GOUld. J.D. 1969. "Hypothetical Hi lOry." Economic History Rtvitw 22(2): 195-207. Hawkins, S.A.• and R. H tie. 1990. "Hindsight": Biased Judgments of Pasl Events after the Outcomes Are Known." Psychological Bullttin 107(3): 311-27. Hawthorn. G. 1991. Plausiblt Worlds: Possibililty and Undustanding in HIS/ory and tht Social Scitncts. New York: Cambridge University Pre s. Kahnemann, D. 1995. "Varieties of Counterfaclual Thinking." In NJ. Roese and J.M. Olson. cds., What Might Havt Bun: Tht Social Psychology ofCountttfactual ThinJcing, 375-96. Mahwah, New Jersey: ErIbaum. KahnelT\3nn, D.. and D.T. Miller. 19&6. "Norm Theory: Comparing Reality 10 Its Alternatives." Psychological Rtvitw 93(2): 136-53. March. J.G .• and J.P Olsen. 1995. Dtmocratic Govunanu. New York: Free Press. Skynns. B. 1980. Causal Ntctssity. New Haven: Yale Universily Pres . SIras feld. R.N. 1993. "If ... : Counterfactuals in the Law." Gtorgt Washington Law Rtvltw 60(2): 339-416. Tedock. P.E. 1991. "Learning in U.S. and Soviet Foreign Policy: In Search of an Elusive Concept." In G.W. Bre lauer and P.E. Tetlock. cds., Ltaming in U.S. and Sovitt Fortign Policy. 20-61. Boulder: 'W Iview. Tellock, P.E. 1994. "Good Judgment in World Politic: Who Gets Whal RighI. When and Why?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American P ychological Society. W hington, D.C. Tetlock. P.E.• and A. Levi. 1982. "Attribulion Bi : On the Inconclusive of the Cognition-MO(ivation Debale." Journal of Expuimtntal Psychology 18: 68-88. Tetlock. P.E.• and A.S.R. Manstead. 1985. "Impression Managemenl versu Intrapsychic Explanations in Social P ychology: A Useful DichO(omy?" Psychological Rtvitw 92(1): 59-77. Tversky, A. and D. Kahneman. 1974. "Judgment Under Uncertainly: Heuri tics and Bi ." Scitnct 185 (Sept. 27): 1124-31.


Researching Sexuality A new fellowship program by Diane di Mauro * Human exuality i inherently related to many of the ocial and public health concern and challenge in the United States today, including family planning and contraceptive use, adole cent pregnancy, child abu e, and HIVI AIDS-health cri e that are increa ingly understood within the context of poverty, family trauma, ethnic di crimination, lack of educational opportunitie , and inadequate health ervices. However, there i little recognition of how the e health cri e are related to human exuality or how sexual attitude , belief, and value act a antecedent and contributing factors to the e problem . A more fully developed under tanding of how early exual experience and ocialization patterns influence adult behavior -both po itively, a in one' ability to form lasting, affectionate relation hip , and negatively, a with coercive exual behavior -i e sential to planning and implementing activitie undertaken in the name of public health and public policy. For example, in chool and community-based program and public education campaign , there exi t a tremendou need for exuality information about HIVI AIDS, adole cent pregnancy, exual coercion, and family ju tice. A comprehen ive and effective approach to addre ing the e public health concern depend on knowing what constitute exual health, what motivates exual behavior, how exual norm are developed and u tained, and how the e evolve over time. The e debate can be better informed if data were broadly collected on a range of exuality topic including the diver ity and di tribution of exual values and behavior within different population , ocietie, and culture ; the impact of exuality on per onal and family relation hip ; and the pecific and varied meanings of exuality for individuals. Yet comprehen ive data on contemporary exual behavior , attitude , and practice are not available, nor i it under tood how they are haped by different ocietal, cultural, and familial contexts. • Diane di Mauro, a psychologi t. i the program director for the Sexuality Research Fellow hip Program. funded by the Ford Foundation.


Insufficient and erratic funding coupled with a narrowly de igned re earch agenda that has focu ed primarily on a "ri k-factor approach" have contributed to a paucity of re earch on exuality which, in tum, ha u tained many of the ocial cri e evident in the United State today. Steady funding i needed to attract new tudent to thi field, to upport the work of enior researchers, and expand the research agenda to explore a greater range of topic and new approache to current ocial and health i ue. In particular, there i a need for ba ic, fundamental re earch that advance our conceptuaVtheoretical framework a well a our under tanding of exuality-related behavior , attitude ,and tructure in population of varied cultural and ocial backgrounds. In respon e to thi need, a new fellow hip program was initiated at the SSRC in September 1995: the Sexuality Re earch Fellow hip Program (SRFP). The only one of it kind in the country, the program provide di ertation and po tdoctoral upport for ocial and behavioral re earch conducted in the United States on sexuality topics and i ues in order to trengthen the diverse di cipline conducting exuality re earch. It eek to cultivate new generation of cholars who will addre s the complexity and contextual nature of human exuality, explore connection acro di cipline , method, and i ue, and make contribution that link the tudy of human exuality to the intellectual trajectory of their own di cipline . In achieving the e aim , it will help build con tituencie among exuality re earcher that can publicly promote the u efulne of uch re earch, encourage collaboration, and improve re earch di emination in order to inform important ocial and public health i ues. In providing upport at both the di sertation and po tdoctoral level, the SRFP eeks to ignificantly expand the knowledge base and to make a critical inve tment in the capacity to anticipate, confront, and overcome public health challenge in the future. The program focu e on four primary need in the exuality re earch field:

(1) Expanding the range of re earch Currently, the driving force behind re earch on exuality is a preventive health agenda that emphaizes sexuality as a ocial problem and behavioral ri k. Here exuality i inve tigated as a ub-topic in intervention re earch on adole cent teenage preg-


50, NUMBER 4

nancy prevention, HIV/AIDS, or exual coercion. While such re earch is needed, the ramifications of a limited, preventive approach are significant. Fir t, the re earch questions are focused primarily on identifying high-risk sexual behaviors and/or motivating behavioral change; and econd, exuality i conceptualized within a negative and problematic context. A a result, exuality re earch who e ole objective i to obviate social problem or di ease is typically re tricted to answering "how many" rather than "why"-and data produced by re earch attempting to determine what percentage of a population engage in which behavior provides few an wer concerning the origin of the behavior and the context in which it occurs. A cursory look at the topics on sexuality under investigation in the social cience literature illu trate how a preventive approach ha narrowed the re earch agenda to di ea e and ri k prevention: studie of childhood exuality focu on exual abu e; re earch on adolescent exuality i concerned with teenage pregnancy prevention and the ri k of HIV tran mision; research on adult exuality focu e on contraceptive use, HIV tran mi sion and prevention, and exual coercion. Such a narrowly defined re earch agenda cannot adequately examine pecific ocial and cultural factors that drive human behaviors and attitudes. While it is of critical importance to identify atrisk popUlations, there is a dearth of information about populations not con idered to be at ri k, with a re ulting lack of ba eline data about exuality acro the life span. For example, there is little information on women' exuality after the reproductive year of 15 to 44. In order to expand the re earch agenda, the SRFP cast the wide t of nets in attracting applicant conducting research on diverse topics. Open to all re earchers in the social and behavioral sciences and in the humanities, application are invited from a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to, anthropology, demography, economic ,education, ethics, hi tory, the humanities, cultural and women's tudies, political cience, psychology, and ociology. Applicants are encouraged to submit re earch propo als that eek to investigate a wide range of exuality topics as conceptualized by their re pective di cipline and conducted within the United State, including but not limited to: new developmental para-



digms focu ing on exual health and ocialization within the context of ociety and culture; comparative and cross-cultural analy es of sexuality within the United State; the diver ity and di tribution of exual values, beliefs, and behaviors within different populations and their meanings for individual ; the link between exuality and gender; exuality and di ability; exual orientation; exual coercion; the impact of economic change or of other institutional influences, uch as religion or the media, on exuality; and the formation of ocial policy ba ed on cultural norm regarding exuality.

(2) Mentoring and training The lack of comprehensive training is a major obstacle to a more cohesive and developed field of multidi ciplinary research in sexuality. Training for future generation of sexuality re earchers is therefore needed to integrate knowledge about human exuality with kills in diverse research methodologie . An important component of the Sexuality Re earch Fellow hip Program is an application requirement de igned to under core the need for comprehensive methodological training. Only joint applications can be ubmitted-from the dissertation applicant and her/his re earch advisor, or in the ca e of po tdoctoral applicant , from the applicant and her/his re earch as ociate. This advi or/associate typically is an established researcher with experti e in the re earch topic, either in the applicant' own discipline or a related field. The advi or/as ociate functions as a mentor and is re pon ible for providing the fellow with conistent guidance and clo e upervision of the re earch project a it evolves. Hopefully, in the future, in titutional mechani m will supplement this experience by facilitating the haring of training material within and acros colleges and universities, and new technologie, uch as multi-media and computer interactive seminars, will be explored within the context of training. A primary intention of the mentoring component of the SRFP i for experienced researcher from different disciplines to provide ongoing training of young cholars in various methodological approaches to sexuality re earch topic ,and pecifically to undercore the importance of both qualitative and quantitative method . Briefly, the qualitative approach has been used to obtain data about the nature and context


of sexual relationship and exuality over the Iifepan among ubgroups of the general population. Qualitative re earch methods are well-suited to explore sexuality topics, ince they can identify and record nuances of individual interpretation and cultural meaning. In its examination of the experiential and the subjective, qualitative research has the potential to generate important conclusions about the meaning and significance of the acts to the actors. Quantitative research can provide useful descriptions of the epidemiological parameters of a given behavior and of the di tribution of exual behaviors in a given population. It can al 0 document changes in behavior over time, help to evaluate the effectivene of prevention programs, and make u e of a wide range of statistical techniques for hypothesis-te ting of the many interactive factors relating to human exual behavior. Thus, the quantitative approach has typically obtained infonnation about a range of sexual behaviors and their frequencies that can be submitted for stati tical analysis. The 1996 competition of the SRFP awarded projects that utilized a variety of methods: quantitative, qualitative, and combined approache , as well as organizational, cognitive-experimental, archival, and econdary analy i of existing datasets. (3) Promoting parity for basic and applied research The 1993 report is ued by the National Commi sion on AIDS acknowledges that ocial cience has failed to properly differentiate basic behavioral and ocial cience re earch from applied re earch and to recognize basic re earch's potential value in generating new insight for po ible interventions. In the area of sexuality re earch, this failure ha tran lated into a financial and logistical priority to upport intervention re earch at the ex pen e of ba ic re earch, reinforcing a view of exuality a primarily problematic. More ba ic re earch in exuality is needed to fill in extensive gaps in knowledge, e pecially the ocial, physiological, and p ychological aspect of human sexuality in general, and exual behaviors in particular. The findings can then be deciphered and incorporated into effective intervention re earch and program implementation. Moreover, basic research can repreent a preliminary tage of re earch without the expectation that it will yield immediate or foreseeable application . The ocial and behavioral cience can


no longer promote intervention re earch that offers only individual re olutions to ocial crise or generic programs supposedly applicable to all population . In tead, infonnation about the actual circum tances in which, for example, contraception i u ed, in which di eases are transmitted, and in which abuse occurs, is greatly needed, together with a deeper under tanding of the political, economic, and cultural frameworks that infonn the meaning and con equences of these individual interactions. In addressing thi di parity, the SRFP encourages proposal that represent: • Basic research integrating an expanded defiit ion of sexuality and augmenting the knowledge base of human sexuality. • Relevant intervention research that i attuned to community need and incorporates appropriate evaluative proce se. This kind of re earch would an wer uch question as "What are the important variables of behavior predictors and what do they represent to the member of a given community?" • A more accepting and positive depiction of exuality to off et the current negative research emphasis which contributes to ineffective interventions. The SRFP will provide a supportive environment for more theoretical re earch that will advance the theories of human motivation and explore the link between ocial tructure and personal agency. New theoretical models re ulting from uch re earch would greatly contribute to future cycles of both ba ic and intervention research, as well to the succe sful implementation of preventive trategies. (4) Dissemination A frequent grievance expre ed by both practitioner and re earcher is that di emination of re earch finding to tho e who need thern-policymaker , advocates, and community repre entative -i highly inadequate. In tum, the concern of the e group are eldom integrated into the re earch agenda, making it difficult to obtain the infonnation needed to effectively plan public policy and implement relevant program. The requirement that all applicants provide a com-


50. NUMBER 4

prehensive outreach /dissemination plan is an important mechanism designed to promote more useful research dissemination and to more consistently engage others, both within and outside of the research community. The applicant is expected to describe at length his/her plans for the dis emination of both preliminary and final research findings in the form of publications and presentations at the home institution or professional gatherings. In this way, the fellow can pre ent the work in progress and form productive alliances with other fellows and senior researchers. With regard to outreach, the applicant is also expected to describe planned activitie in which scholars and other professionals will be more actively "engaged" on exuality and research i ue. Some ideas can include organizing an informal seminar erie , more formal presentations highlighting the re earch or the work of an invited outside guest speaker, or other events designed to involve the community in discussions of sexuality-related i sues. This dissemination/outreach component has considerable potential for promoting the links between exuality re earch and ocial and public health policy and will more consistently expo e the fellow to the idea that exuality plays an important role in public policy.

(5) Future implications The first SRFP competition in 1996 drew approximately 70 application for dis ertation and po tdoctoral support from a range of discipline areas, including ociology, anthropology, psychology, political cience, cultural tudies, hi tory, human sexuality, women's tudie, social network, demography, history of religion, film, Engli h, ociomedical cience, American studie , and health studie . The topics awarded included childhood exual abuse, trans exuality, sexual ocialization, pornography, exual identity/orientation, immigration and the political economy of identity, pro titution, HIV/AIDS, and adoIe cent sexuality. If the objectives of the SRFP are achieved, it will have ucces fully encouraged greater methodological diversity and innovation, more relevant re earch di emination, and the con truction of new and u eful theoretical model of exual knowledge. With their work legitimated through consi tent and sufficient upport, sexuality re earchers repre enting a ignificant constituency will be able to erve as advocates


for the importance of sexuality as a substantive area of inquiry, raise awareness within and outside the research community on the centrality of sexuality research, and provide greater public visibility for important sexuality issues. Furthermore, they will be promoting a new view of exuality, one that no longer considers it to be inherently problematic. This new view will approach exuality as a important arena of human development that is culturally, socially, and historically mediated. Human sexuality will no longer be viewed a a series of individual, episodic behaviors linked to pecific acts and the physical body, but will be tudied as a range of sexual activities and normative core value , who e meaning and significance change over time as they are communicated, internalized, and acted upon by the individual. The future research agenda will begin to address the e kinds of questions: • How is exuality defined and what doe it signify or repre ent over the life span for individuals in different cultures and changing ocial role (i.e., as children learning about the body; a women making contraceptive decisions; as men communicating with a partner; and as parents and caretakers communicating messages about exuality to the next generation)? • What is the effect of aging on sexuality in different cultures? How is sexuality experienced as people age? How is exual health maintained on a long-term ba is? • What are the ramifications of phy ical and mental di ability on the development of exual behavior and values and on exual phy iology? • Within any given culture, what i the impact of familial and ocietal exual norm on the acquisition of specific exual behaviors? How do the e norms, when enacted as practice , make individual vulnerable to abu e or ri ky exual practice as they mature? • Within any given culture, what i the role of different ocial in titution -including religious in titutions, chools, and the media-in e tablishing and maintaining exual norm , value , attitude , and behaviors?


• What are the impact and effects of drug , alcohol, and pharmaceutical on exual behaviors? • What individual behaviors, abilities, attributes, motivations, and practices contribute to exual health? What constitutes a sexually healthy ociety?

Sexuality research will provide important contributions to the effective planning and implementing of public health promotion and public policy, and will have a significant impact in providing crucial answers to ocial challenges. It will no longer be considered the ource of problem and ri ks, but as an arena of well-being and human potential. •

The 1996 JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Recent Ph.D.'s Sponsored by: The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science The JSPS Po tdoctoral Fellowship Program for Recent Ph.D.' seek to provide promi ing and highly qualified researchers in the social science and humanitie with the opportunity to conduct research with leading universitie and other research in titution in Japan. The Social Science Research Council serve a the nominating authority for U.S.-based applicants in the social sciences and humanitie . Researchers in the field of medicine hould contact the Fogarty International Center at The National In titute of Health for further infonnation. Re earcher in the phy ical cience hould contact the National Science Foundation. Although the competition has no topical boundarie , propo al that advance research in the following area will be particularly welcome: Science and Technology tudies: Including but not limited to topic in: philo ophy of science, hi tory of science, science education, comparative research and development trategie, public/private cooperation in research, science and technology policie . Economics, Busin , and Trade tudies: Including but not limited to topic in: micro-economic , macro-economics. comparative economics, international economic, banking and finance, organizational behavior, indu trial relation, human re urce management. international trade law and policy. Environmental tudie: Including but not limited to topic in: u tainable development, biodiver ity. global climate change, comparative environmental policies, tudie of the human dimen ion of environmental change.

Period or FeUow hip: 12 to 24 month . Terms or Award: Round-trip airfare; in urance coverage for accident and iIIne s; monthly tipend ofY270,OOO; settling in allowance ofY200,OOO; monthly housing allowance ofY I 00,000; monthly family allowance ofY50,OOO; eligibility for up to an additional Y 1,500.000 annually for research expense . Eligibility: U.S. citizen or permanent re ident . A doctoral degree received ix years or les prior to the effective date of the fellowhip. Proof of an affiliation with an eligible ho t re earch in titution in Japan. Application Deadline: November 15. 1996. For complete Ii t of eligible ho t research in titutions contact:

J PS Postdoctoral FeUow hip ror Recent Pb.D.'s Social Science Research Council 810 Seventh Avenue New York, NY 10019 Telephone: 212-377-2700 Fax: 212-377-2727






Presidential Items International Dissertation Field Research: A New Fellowship Program Recent "Pre idential Item " have de cribed the reorganization of the joint ACLS¡ and SSRC international program. The March 1996 i ue of Items provided a broad argument for re tructuring in the context of a changed world, while the June/September 1996 i ue defined the principle of area-based knowledge and pre ented the architecture for the jointly admini tered international re earch and training program of the Council . The e note de cribe the companion fellow hip program, the International Oi sertation Field Reearch Fellow hip (IDRF). The IDRF represents a ignificant departure from previou ACLS-SSRC di ertation field re earch competition that were areafocu ed and admini tered under the joint area committee tructure. The IORF program con olidates the bulk of the e competition into a ingle program. We note, however, that the Council continue to manage a variety of predoctoral, doctoral, and po tdoctoral fellow hip and training program, orne of which are targeted to pecific areas of the world. For further information about the e program , please contact the SSRC and ACLS, or con ult the SSRC web page (http://www. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and in keeping with the larger aim of the international program reorganization, the IORF promote re earch that i en itive to hi torical and cultural specificities while al 0 being engaged in tudie that link local phenomena with global and tran national proce e. Field re earch i the key principle. Field re earch at the di ertation level i a nece ary part of graduate training if a reasonable number of top-ranked humani t and ocial cienti t are to tart their career with ub tantial knowledge about orne part of the world outside the United State. The IDRF offer upport to approximately 50 di ertation candidates enrolled in U.S. doctoral program, who ere earch require an extended period of fieldwork abroad. Field re earch or, more broadly, area-ba ed knowledge, i a nece ary but not ufficient condition for the kind of cholar hip that i to be advanced through • American Council of Learned Soci





the IDRF program. The fellow hip i de igned to en ure that awardee develop the capacity for cumulation, aggregation, and com pari on. The ability to identify and extend the comparative implications of particular re earch agenda i of pecial ignificance. For the purpo e of thi program, the comparative dimenion i defined broadly a that which can speak to, or i relevant to, more than one locality and/or time period. In orne projects it will mean a recognition of the value of te ting one's theorie and ca e again t another context. In other in tance it will lead to field research in more than one locality-provided that the re earcher i qualified to do thi . It can al 0 mean field re earch on a ingle ite that incorporate a econd case through the u e of econdary literature, or explicit compari on acro in titution , time period , and/or proce e. One of the major aim of the fellows' work hop -an integral component of the program-will be to facilitate comparative analy i and to help fellow engage in i ue beyond their doctoral re earch. For many year SSRC and ACLS fellow hip program drew a harp di tinction between their "dome tic" and "international" program . The new program blurs that di tinction; it hold that the United State i no Ie caught up in wider global and tran national proce e than any other country or region. Propo al that treat the U.S. in a comparative context are eligible, provided they require field re earch out ide the United State . At the arne time, propo al that deal with place that once fell out ide the joint area committee tructure (Au tralia, New Zealand, the Pacific I land , and 0 on) are eligible a well. Indeed, one of the major aim of the program i to help cholar reca t our conceptual and geographical mapping of the world. and to develop new kind of regional and cro regional compari on that challenge, tran cend, or elide the areal configuration that guided po twar cholar hip. Many fellowship competition -including orne pon ored by the ACLS and the SSRC-are thematically bounded. In uch competition the purpo e i to enlarge the number of cholar who work on i ue of, for example, immigration, human exuality, or environmental economics. There i obviou Iy an important ITEMs/91

role for such competitions. But applications to the IDRF program are not restricted by theme. The program seeks in tead to enhance the capacity of promising junior scholars to engage in theoreticallysophisticated field-based research regardless of the substantive topic. One of the trengths of an open competition is that it is likely to provide support to some applicants who are addressing issues of consequence that have not yet attracted sufficient funder interest (i.e., that may be "ahead of their times"). Just as the program is not bounded with reference to theme, it is similarly not restricted in terms of historical time frame. While it i expected that mo t of the fellowships will be awarded to cholars working on the modern and contemporary world (defined here as the mid-17th century onwards), propo als that address premodern eras will be welcome, e pecially propo als that articulate meaningful linkages between earlier epochs and issues facing the modern and contemporary world. By the arne token, successful applicants will demonstrate an understanding that contemporary issues-however urgently topical-are rooted in the hi tories and cultures of specific places. The e considerations sugge t the kind of applicant expected to be succe sful in the competition. If the program reaches its ambitiou goals, we would expect that each fellow would benefit by reading the dis ertations of every other fellow. We view the fellows as a cohort in this important en e. While they will have cho en different topics and will be conducting field re earch in a diver ity of places, there i a family re emblance in the approach adopted. By reading each other's work fellow can learn how colleague working in different areas or from different disciplines manage to link local phenomena to broader trends and to incorporate a comparative and historical per pective. The criteria guiding the IDRF program are part of the more inclu ive principle that have defined the new SSRC and ACLS international program, an effort that takes its orientation from the sweeping changes generated by proce e of global integration and fragmentation, and from equally fundamental changes in

the ways in which knowledge about such processes is produced and disseminated. The e changes require that we reconfigure the forms of knowledge that emerge from the study of specific places and historical periods. In particular, we need to define and legitimate a fresh rationale for field-based scholarship, one that is consistent with changed world conditions. Higher education-not only in the United States, but in many other parts of the world-is moving away from the traditional rationale for area studies, i.e., an emphasis on understanding the foreign "other" and on en uring geographic coverage of various regions and areas of the world. The re ulting hift in emphases has led to sharp debates on many campuse . Univer ity administrators are expected to "choo e" between protecting the area tudy tradition, both in terms of its characteristic intellectual approaches and its organizational form , and the counter-position that it is time to move away from area studies, on the a sumption that international research should know no boundaries. Thi latter globalist perspective is often buttressed by a ertions that international cholarship should be organized around thematic topics, uch as u tainable development or peace and ecurity. The Councils have argued that this i a false choice, believing-as the IDRF program intends to demon trate-that area knowledge makes en e of global phenomena. ju t as global trend hape and structure what occurs in pecific place . Through its support for intensive field re earch, the IDRF provides a foundation for the ongoing development of area-based knowledge. At the arne time, through its election criteria and fellows' work hop , the program encourages the be t graduate tudent to think beyond pecific area and di ciplinary concern and to draw out the comparative and interdi ciplinary implications of their re earch. The re pon e received to date, particularly from pro pective applicants and their advisor, ugge t that a very large and diver e array of scholars is eager to participate in a program of this kind. (A formal announcement of the IDRF • program appears on the oppo ite page.) -Kenneth Prewitt






SSRClACLS International Dissertation Field Research Fellowships (IDRF) The Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societie announce a major new initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in upport of field research at the di ertation level. The IDRF provide upport for ocial cienti t and humani ts to conduct di sertation field re earch in all areas and region of the world. The program will award up to 50 fellowhip in 1997. The fellow hip will enable doctoral candidates to use their knowledge of di tinctive area. culture. languages. economies. politi • and hi torical experience. in combination with their di. ciplinary training. to addre i ue that tran. cend their discipline or area pecialization. Fellow will al 0 participate in multidisciplinary workshop upon completion of field research. Work hop will be tailored to fellow' research agendas and addre theme that resonate acro s culture and region. They are intended to facilitate network and cro -diciplinary exchang • and to help fellow engage in i ues beyond their doctoral research. Program Scope: The IDRF help promi ing scholars to launch their career with ub tantive knowledge about societie • culture • economie • and/or politie out ide the United State. It promotes cholarship that treat place and setting in relation to global and tran national phenomena as well a particular hi torie and culture . The program operates on the premi e that societie and culture • from i olated village to entire world region. are caught up in proce se that link them to event • whic~hough geographically distant-are culturally. economically. trategically. or ecologically quite near. To learn m re about value or ocial condition in a particular area. then. mean to learn more about how that area i ituated in event and proce se going on out ide it. borders. but not thereby out ide its culture or economy or ecology. At the arne time. the obverse hold. An integrated understanding of tran national and global phenomena (pa t and pre ent) cannot be acquired with ut referen e to the numerou pecific pIa e which give hape and ~ub tance to those larger proce e. The program particularly eeks to promote holarship that i relevant to more than one locality and/or time period. Thi may mean applying one's theories and case again t other contexts; field research in more than one location; field re earch on a single ite that incorporates a econd case through use of econdary literature; or explicit compari on acro in titutions. time periods. and proces e . Criteria for election: Applicant will be se sed in term of the probability that their propo. ed re earch can inform debate that go beyond the pecific topic and place cho en for tudy. Application hould exhibit a grounding in the m thod and theorie of a particular discipline or ubdi cipline. but mu tal 0 be of demon trable cro -disciplinary intere t. Applicati n hould pecify why an extended period of field-ba ed research i critical to the ucces ful completion of the propo ed doctoral di .. ertation. The research de ign of propo al hould be reali tic in scope. clearly formulated. and re pon ive to theoretical and methodological concern . Applicants hould provid evidence of having attained an appropriate level of training and kill to undertake the propo. ed field research. including evidence of a degree of language fluency adequate to complete the project. Eligibility and Terms: The program i open to full-time graduate tudent in the ocial ien e and humanitie -regardle of citizen hip--enrolled in doctoral program in the United State. The program invite propo al for field research on all areas or region of the world. as well a for research that i comparative. cro -regional. and/or cro -cultural. Propo al that identify the United State as a ca e for comparative inquiry are welcome; however. propo al that require no field re earch outside the United States are not eligible. There are no re triction with regard to theme or hi torical time-frame. Applicant mu t have completed all Ph.D. requirement except the fieldwork component by the time the fellow hip begin. Standard fellow hip will provide upport for nine month in the field. plu travel expen • but they will rarely exceed $15.000. In orne case • the candidate may propose Ie than nine month of fieldwork. but no award will be given for Ie than ix month . Deadline for Receipt of Application: December 2, 1996 An application form hould be reque ted well before the ubmi ion deadline. Application sent by fax or received after the deadline will not be accepted. All material mu t be typed or computer-printed according to the in truction on the application. A digital copy of the application form will be available on the SSRC web ite and may be downloaded. but application mu t be ubmitted by mail together with the propo al. reference • and tran cript . Announcement of Award : May 1997 For Further Information and Application Material International Di sertation Field Re earch Fellow hip Program (IDRF) Social Science Re rch Council IO Seventh Avenue ewYork. NY 10019 (212) 377-2700 ttleplwne


(212) 377-2727 fax

idrf e-mail

http://www. web


A Requiem for P&P Notes on the Council's late Committee on Problems and Policy by David L Sills¡ A headline in a recent i sue of Items, "Di olution of Committee on Problem and Policy (P&P),"I mu t have startled many readers. P&P had been the core of the Council's tructure eemingly forever. The headline reminded me of a remark made in an early terrori m movie (was it Red October?): When a ecurity officer announced to a colleague that the Superbowl might have to be canceled becau e of a terrori t threat, hi re ponse was, "You can't cancel the Superbowl! That's like canceling Chri tmas!" It eems to me that the word "di olution" ound a little too final, a little too executional, if you will. Perhap orne words uch as "P&P will be combined with (or ab orbed by) the board" might have been more appropriate. (In a draft of one of his annualreport -of the-president during hi earlier tenure a head of the SSRC, Kenneth Prewitt referred to "the Committee on Problem and Policy, affectionately known as P&P." I reminded him at the time that there were a few hundred di appointed propo al writers in the land who e affectionate feeling might be tempered, and he reluctantly changed the warm word "affectionately" into the neutral word "familiarly." With such cautious and tiny editorial intervention , the Engli h language is slowly 10 ing its capacity to invoke awe, wonder, and envy throughout the world.) Well, the olid truth i that Chri tmas has been canceled at the Council. P&P has been di charged, and here i the only obituary of it that may ever appear. In what some till refer to as "the good old day " before World War II, the Council had a mall taff and wa very much a voluntary as ociation of unpaid cholar .2 Given the technology of the day, frequent

• David L. Sill , a sociologi t, was on the Council wff from 1973 to 1988; he i now Executive A sociate Emerilu . He was a frequenl contribulor 10 It~ms and also served as its editor. I June- September 1996, page 40. 2 The Council didn 'l have a laried pre idenl during i firsl 25 years. In 194 , the title of the sociologist Donald Young- who had been a member of the taff since 1932- w changed from Executive Director to President.


con ultation among phy ically- eparated profes or was impo ible, 0 in 1925 a Committee on Problem and Policy was created to oversee the intellectual program of the Council between infrequent board meetings} P&P met frequently in its early years, as often as once a month; when I joined the taff in 1973, it was till meeting quarterly. For many years, from the 1920 to the early 1930 , it al 0 met at a 100day, outof-town meeting back-to-back with the annual board meeting and the annual "Summer Conference ." The fir t six of the e ummer meetings were held in Hanover, New Hamp hire. Sub equently, the conference were held in uch plendid re ort communities as Nantucket I land; Franconia, New Hampshire; and Lake George, New York. The entire New York taff of the Council al 0 attended, 0 in effect the Council itself moved out of town for this period. Eventually, Sky Top in the Poconos turned out to be judged the ideal pot, and the annual meetings were held there for three decade .4 The rea on for the timing and the pattern of Council meetings in the prewar years are not hard to recon truct. The Council' New York office were not air-conditioned; profe ors in tho e days had far fewer opportunitie to leave their campu e than they have today; the virtual nonexi tence of air travel meant that ocial cientists in California could not casually come to one-day meetings in New York; and the small ize of the Council's taff required that more actual work be done by the unpaid profe or. In addition, the Council was the only nationwide organization dedicated to research in the ocial cience and a ignificant fraction of all re earch-minded profe ors attended the e annual meetings-either as Council members or as gue t . The need for a change in the Council's governing tructure in the mid-I 970 ,however, temmed not from the new technologie of air travel, air conditioning, telephone conference call , faxe , and the Internet,

J Elbridge Sibley, Social Sc'~nu R~s~arch Council: T~ First Fifty Y~ar.s

(New Yort: Social Science Research Council, 1974), page 9. Thi hi tory i an excellent review of "the good old day " and a valuable reference source for names, dates, even ,publications, and accompJishmen . 4 (David L Sill ), "50th Anniversary of the 1930 Hanover Conference: The Letters of Robert Redfield to His Wife Keep the Pasl Alive." It~ms, June 19 0, page 35.





but from financial necessity. In the 1920 and 1930 , core upport of the Council's admini tration was provided by variou Rockefeller philanthropies. A young p ychologi t named Beardsley Ruml, who directed the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Fund, can fairly be aid to have u ed the Council as omething like the re earch ann of hi foundation-an arrangement quite satisfactory to both organizations and only recently challenged by "new hi tori an ," who use thi relationship to upport their claim that the Council wa the tool of nefariou capitali m.S A the years pas ed, core upport from foundations diminished, and overhead from grant was increasingly needed to support the board and other admini trative functions. Since its early year , the Council's board always had three member from each of the even major social cience a ociations, plu nine atlarge members. In 1975, Pre ident Eleanor B. Sheldon propo ed that the size of the board be reduced by having only one member from each a ociation, thus ubstantially reducing airfare, hotel, and other travel ex pen es. The propo al wa approved after a brief but occasionally heated debate: I remember the Yale political cientist Charle E. Lindblom making an impas ioned plea that a large board and a large annual meeting (attended by many di tingui hed guests) should be maintained as a public demon tration of the importance of the Council specifically and of the ocial sciences in general. But Eleanor Sheldon's per uasivene and firmne won the day, and over a three-year period the size of the board was reduced from 30 to 17 member . From 1975 until 1996, all member of the board were a signed either to the Executive Committee or to P&P, and P&P oon met only at the time of the biannual board meetings, thu 10 ing much of its di tinctive function of being an independent-of-the-board over eer of the Council's ub tantive program. It will urpri e no student of organizational dynamic to learn that it took 21 year for the duplication and confu ion re utting from this new tructure to be elimi-


See, for example, Donald Fisher, Fundam~ntal D~v~/opm~nt olth~

Social Sci~nc~.r: Rocuf~lItr Philanthropy and tht Socwl Scitnct Rutarch Council (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Pre ,1993). For a cntique of the Fi her book, see David L. Feathennan, "SSRC, Then and Now: A Commentary on a Recent Historical Analy is," Ittms, March 1994, page 13-22.



nated by eliminating P&P. One important tructural feature of P&P mu t be noted: its membership has always included cholars who are not director of the Council. The implicit function of the e outside-the-organization members has been to represent the intellectual intere t of the ocial cience community as a whole, rather than imply the intere t of the board or of the seven profe ional a ociation. Now that P&P has been di charged, the board will erve as the Council' forum for accepting or rejecting propo ed projects, and it eems to me that special attention mu t be given to electing board members-at-Iarge who can authoritatively repre ent the ocial cience community in thi way. What did P&P accompli h in its 70 years of existence? Obviou ly a great deal. The in cription that Sir Chri topher Wren's on wrote for his father's tomb in St. Paul's Cathedral a serts (in Latin), "If you would ee the man's monument, look around." Much the arne can be aid of P&P and the Council' intellectual achievement . P&P wa alway able to attract orne of the fine t social cienti t of the time. The ro ter of its chairmen over this 70-year period read like a "who's who" of the ocial ciences. It include the economi tAlbert Ree and Jo eph J. Spengler; the political cienti t V. O. Key, Jr. and Sidney Verba; the p ychologi t Gardner Lindzey and Robert S. Woodworth; the ociologi ts E. W. Burges and William G. Ogburn; and the statistician Burton H. Singer and S. S. Wilks. A ro ter of its member i equally impre ive: the anthropologi t Clifford Geertz, the economist Frank H. Knight, the historian C. Vann Woodward, the political cienti t Gabriel Almond, the p ychologi t Otto Klineberg, the ociologi t Neil J. Smel er, and the statistician Frederick Mo teller have all erved on P&P. P&P created and approved the policies and programs that are the Council's distinctive achievement-they are too numerou and too well-known to Items reader to be Ii ted here. Its collective judgment kept a great many foolish or unwi e projects from getting tarted, and it di charged numerous committee that had outlived their u efulnes . Of course P&P made mistakes over the years; no committee can always accurately foreca t the future performance of other . Weak project have ometimes


been approved, and promising projects have ometimes been rejected. One mi take of thi kind, in my opinion, was to turn down a 1955 Ford Foundation request that the Council pon or a new encyclopedia of the ocial ciences that it re earch had concluded was needed. Ultimately, Jeremiah Kaplan, the innovative pre ident of the Macmillan Company, decided to publi h the encyclopedia without any foundation Upport.6 Through its actions, P&P encouraged and legitimated a number of important subfield in the ocial cience : p ycholingui tics, culture and per onality re earch, area tudie, longitudinal tudie, and ocial indicator analysi are all example. It al 0 created one of the mo t frequently u ed adjective in the ocial cience: "interdi ciplinary." The hi tory of this adjective i fa cinating and complex.7 Since it erve a a metaphor for P&P' intellectual accompli hment , it i appropriate to recount it here. The tory begin with the planning of a Festschrift for Robert Burchfield, the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. One of the glories of thi remarkable multivolume dictionary i that it eek to report the fir t appearance in print of every new word. Roberta Frank of the Centre for Medieval Studie , Univer ity of Toronto, decided to examine the hi tory of "interdi ciplinary" for her paper. Since he had come to believe that the Council wa omehow involved in this hi tory, she enlisted my help. A far as we could di cover, the word was first used orally by the Columbia Univer ity p ychologi t Robert S. Woodworth on the evening of August 30, 1926, at one of the Council's Hanover meetings. (Woodworth was then a member of P&P; in 1931-32, he served as the unpaid pre ident of the Council.)

6 The In/tma/ional 拢ncyclo~dia of/he Soc/OI Scitncts, publi hed in 17 volumes by Macmillan in 1968, turned out to be both a commercial and an intellectual uccess; 40,000 sets were sold worldwide in the tim few years. In the early 1960s, many of us thought that, because of the new technologies of electronic data orage and retrieval, it would be the I of the printed social science encyclopedi ,but in 1996 there are igns that a completely new printed multivolume encyclopedia of the social sciences may be produced before long. It will of course be available both on the helf d on line. 7

See David L Sill , "A Note on the Origin of 'Interdisciplinary:"

I/tms, March 1986, pages 17- 18, and Roberta Frank, " 'Interdisciplinary' : The First Half Century," page 91-101 in E. G. Stanley and T. F. HoOO, editors, Words: For Robu/ Burchfitld's Sixty路fifth Bir/hday (D.S. Brewer, 19 8).


The word wa undoubtedly u ed orally by P&P and the Council taff in the years following Robert Woodworth' u age in 1926, but there is no evidence of the word appearing in print until 1933. Although the minutes and files of the American Council of Learned Societie and the National Academy of Science both reveal many example of the idea behind "interdi ciplinary," diligent re earch has not found a single example of the word itself being used. It wa n't until 1933, when the Council advertised its offer of fellow hips in the American Journal of Sociology, u ing the word "interdisciplinary" as an attraction, that the word fir t appeared in print. (The new Oxford English Dictionary, however, till reports a 1937 appearance in a imilar Council adverti ement a the fir t u e.) Although the word "interdisciplinary" may have been fir t used orally in 1926 and first printed in 1933, the underlying idea was expre ed by many cholars in the years immediately following World War I and everal organization were created to further interdisciplinarity. The American Council of Learned Societie was founded in 1919, as was the New School for Social Re earch. In 1923, a planning meeting wa held that led to the 15-volume Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences (publi hed between 1930 and 1935), and in that arne year repre entatives of four major social cience a ociations founded the Social Science Research Council. If you read the founding documents of these organization from today's per pective, you are amazed that their author could avoid u ing the word "interdi ciplinary": all of the ideas expres ed by the word appear over and over. One of the fir t task that the new Council et for it elf, for example, was "the bringing together of men [sic] from different cience, the breaking down of excessive compartmentalization." World War II eem to have given the word the impetus it needed, and oon there was no topping it; it became a common word throughout the ocial cience and beyond. Profe or Frank, intere tingly, came to detest the word who e origin he had so diligently ought to find, and her paper is a model of cholarly scorn. Thanks to "interdi ciplinary," he wrote, "reviewers are no longer in the hateful po ition of having to pecify whether a book is cultured, erudite, thorough, original, or conversely, superficial, facile, general, derivative: the one all-purpose adjec-





tive keeps reader alert and authors friendly."8 I have reported the history of the word "interdisciplinary" not only becau e I find it intere ting but al 0 becau e I believe that the origin of the word erve a a vivid reminder of the creativity of the cholar who erved over the year on P&P. A dozen or 0 scholar from seven di cipline ,di cu sing new projects for many hours each year, for 70 year, develop an important culture of creativity. Connections between ideas and propo itions are identified, new word are pontaneously invented to de cribe the e connections, and early drafts of the textbooks that will be pubIi hed in the next decade are in effect written. This proce is not elf-con ciou ; cholars meet to di cu s and judge projects, not to create idea , but creation occurs anyway, with unpredictable re ults. At the la t meeting of P&P, on June 3, 1996, the chairman, William Cronon of the Univer ity of Wi consin, noted that while erving on board i rarely exciting, P&P had alway been the ite of lively, almost anarFrank,op. cit.. page 100.

chic, intellectual exchange among scholar from a wide range of field . And at the board meeting the next day, the board instructed Pre ident Prewitt to en ure that future board meetings invite the freewheeling intellectual give and take long as ociated with P&P meeting . The word invented at P&P meetings can even be turned again t the culture that created them. Perhap the ultimate triumph of "interdi ciplinary" as a word characterizing the ocial cience was its u e as a French noun during the tudent prote ts in Paris in May 1968. The student 'banners cornfully proclaimed, "Pluridisciplinarite et interdisciplinariti: deux termes barbares, meme s'ils sont d'actualite." [Multidi ciplinarity and interdi ciplinarity: two barbaric term, even though they're in style.]9 Any committee who e private buzz word can urvive, and emerge as a rallying cry during the Paris tudent ' revolt in May 1968, can't really be all bad. P&P, requiescat in pace! • 9

Le Figaro, 8 September 1970. Quoted in Frank, op. cit., page 96.

Program Director, Economics The Social Science Re earch Council invite applications and nomination for a Program Director for initiative in the field of economic. Applicant mu t have a Ph.D. in economic and a trong interest in i ue concerning the training of economi ts. The SSRC i e pecially intere ted in candidate who have a broad training and who are familiar with recent development in both macro- and rnicroeconomic theory and empirical methods. Applicant hould have a ub tantive intere t in one or more of the following areas: poverty, income, tratification; economic tran ition; u tainable development; technology, information, innovation; gender and/or race; labor market . Applicants hould al 0 have an intere t in the theoretical development of the di cipline and it relationship to other di cipline in the social science. Individual with experience in re earch, teaching, and/or policy analy i are encouraged to apply. Dutie include: administering a new program area; e tabli hing and maintaining relation hip with individual scholar, ademic in titution , foundation, and other organizations working in the area of economic; preparing and negotiating grant propo al ; upervi ing upport taff; administering fellow hip and grant competition. The Council provide an intellectually timulating, multi-di ciplinary environment. Council alarie are com men urate with experience and qualifications. Provi ion are made to enable profe ional staff to continue their profes ional development while at the SSRC. There i no deadline, a the search will remain open until an appointment is made. Candidate hould ubmit a letter of application, curriculum vita , ample of written or publi hed work, and the name of at lea t three profe ional references. Nomination and application material hould be addres ed to: Omce or Human Resources Economics Starr Search oclal Science Research Council 810 Seventh Avenue New York, NY 10019

The Social Science Research Council i an Equal Opportunity Employer





Current Activities at the Council Vietnam Workshop A workshop on "Applying Social Science Concepts and Methods to the Study of the Effects of Economic Change on Vietnamese Society," jointly sponsored by the SSRC and Vietnam's Institute of Social Science , was held in Hochiminh City on July 29-August 10, 1996. Its primary goal was to provide international, interdisciplinary example of social science research and training for Vietnamese scholars and students, in order to build research, analysis and interpretive capacity within the research and policy planning communities in Vietnam. Since 1989, Vietnam has been engaged in the process of Doi Moi, or renovation, and as part of that process, the once denigrated stature of the social science has been greatly enhanced in policy circles. By trengthening local social science research and planning infrastructure, researchers may be more effectively engaged in the modemization of the country. Faculty for the workshop included international scholars in sociology, demography, anthropology, history, and political cience.* Most participants were mid-level profe ional researchers

• Faculty members included: Charles Hirschman. University of Washington; Hy Van Luong. University of Toronto; Gary Gereffi. Duke University; David Marr. Au trulian National University; William Turley. Southern Illinois University; and Mary McDonnell. Social Science Research Council.


from universities, research institute , and government departments. A similar short course held in Hanoi in the spring of 1995 served as a model. Foeu ing on the study of social change, lectures and discussion sessions guided students through the research process, from the selection of a re earch problem through the production of a research report. A field trip to a rapidly urbanizing province on the out kirts of Hochiminh City provided hands-on training and local context for the econd week of the workshop. Following preparatons initiated in the first week, students and faculty undertook archival, urvey, and interview-ba ed re earch to study ocial change in Binh Tri Dong village of Binh Chanh province. Returning from their field trip, tudent pent the last few days of the workshop analyzing, interpreting, and writing up their reearch re ult . On the final day, participant pre ented propo als for further re earch based on their preliminary finding. The e workshops have not only tran ferred a body of knowledge but they have helped to develop an attitude which values questioning, contending perspectives, and flexibility in approach, as well as careful attention to systematic data collection and analysis. The impact of that knowledge is expected to carry over into the participants' home institutions. More importantly, the workshops serve as catalY ts for the formation of local networks of researcher , which may assi t

in stemming the flow of institutionally-based research professionals in Vietnam to the financially more lucrative private ector.

1996 SSRC-Mellon Minority Summer Conference On June 27-30 the SSRCMellon Minority Fellowship Program held its annual fellows' conference at Stanford University. Entitled "Making Our Way in a Changing Academy," the conference brought together over 120 minority fellows currently enrolled in Ph.D. programs in the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences. The conference was de igned to provide a forum where fellows can pre ent their work, share their experiences in the academy, and initiate and expand profes ional networks with others who hare similar conceptual, methodological, or policy concern . The conference featured plenary presentations by Claude Steele, Stanford University; David Montejano, Univer ity of Texas, Austin; Kalvin Howel, Duke University; and June Jordan, University of California, Berkeley. Thematic sessions focu ed on a number of issues, including "Social Science at the Cro road," "Identity Politics and Beyond," and "Crossing Di ciplinary Lines." In addition, fellows had an opportunity to participate in a number of professional development workshops on such topics as getting through the first year,



preparing for qualifying examinations, mentoring, and balancing social and academic life. The conference also spon ored two panels, one on "Language Matters," co-chaired by John Baugh and Guadalupe Valdes, both from Stanford; and another entitled "Meet the Editors," which featured Norris Pope and Muriel Bell from Stanford University Press, and Allan Harvey from Cambridge Univer ity Pres .

Washington Symposium on Japanese Politics In collaboration with the A ia Program of the Woodrow Wil on Center in Washington, D.C., the Abe Fellowship Program held a public symposium entitled "Japan: Upheaval or Paraly is?" on May 2, 1996 at the Center. Paneli ts included Nobuhiro Hiwatari, University of Tokyo (Abe '94); TJ. Pempel, Univer ity ofWa hington (former chair of the Joint Committee on Japane e Studie ); and Susan Pharr, Harvard University (Abe '95). Ms. Pharr led off with a preentation on Japane e political ethic and public trust. Drawing on data collected from focus group studie , she characterized Japane e politics and ociety as being in ferment, with notable changes in the high level of public di affection with political leadership, a new lack of confidence in the conduct of the bureaucracy, and increa ed respect for the power of the broadca t media-all of which could lead to profound changes in Japan' leader hip and in titution . Mr. Pempel' ob ervation focu ed on the catalyzing event


and i ue that have mo t challenged Japan in recent years. The e include, among other , increased pressure from other nation on Japan to reform and liberalize its economy, greater polarization between rich and poor, drastic hift in fi cal and administrative policy, corruption scandals, and war in the Persian Gulf. Despite the turbulence, however, Mr. Pempel was unconvinced that major changes in public policy or party politics would take place. An emphasis on continuity in the organization of politic in Japan was the focus of Mr. Hiwatari's remark, which examined the interactions between organized labor, the opposition parties, and the current ruling coalition. While acknowledging that labor and the opposition parties have reorganized and that voter disaffection is increasing, Mr. Hiwatari predicted the potential re urgence of the Liberal Democratic Party. More than 80 people attended the ympo ium which wa also covered by a cable television network.

Conference on African Investment On September 5-6, 1996, the former Joint Committee on African Studies (JCAS) held a conference on "Ri k and Restraint: Reducing the Perceived Ri ks of African Inve tment" at the Harvard In titute for International Development (HIID). The meeting brought together an international group of academic and practitioners: economi ts, political cienti ts, legal cholars and repre-

entatives from the Central Bank of Uganda, capital management and investment firm , the International Monetary Fund (JMF), the World Bank, OECD, and the Overseas Private Inve tment Corporation (OPIC). * Conference convener Paul Collier (of Oxford University and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government) outlined the conference's goal, namely, to examine how economic and political ri k is conceptualized by potential investor and how it is measured by firm and risk rating agencie ; and to analyze why perceptions of risk, in particular concerning Africa, often diverge from realities. One consensus was that it is difficult for countries to shed their reputations as inve tment risks, despite economic and political progres .

• Presenters and di cu ants included: Paul Collier, Harvard University and Oxford's Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE); Robert Bates, Harvard University; Nadeem U. Haque, IMF; Frederick Z. J person, Intemational Finance Corporation (IFC); Joe Demby, Regent Kingpin Capital Management; Claude Erb, First Chicago Inve tment Management Ltd.; Catherine Pattillo, CSAE, Oxford; Robert Graffam. IFC; Eric Jackson, Harvard University; Lemma Senbet, University of Maryland; Jan Willem Gunning, Free University, Am terdam; David Bevan, CSAE, Oxford; Malcolm McPherson, HIID; Loui Kasakende, Central Bank of Uganda; Stephen O' Connell, Swarthmore College; Leslie D. Biddle, OPIC; Gerald We t, Multinational Inve tment Guarantee Agency; Mark Warner, University of Baltimore; Richard Mash, CSAE, Oxford; Ravi Kanbur. World Bank; David Ailola, University of W tern Cape; Pearl Robin on, Tufts University, former JCAS chair; David St avage, OECD Development Centre; Jennifer Widner, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Smita Singh and Karen Ferree, Harvard graduate tudents and both fellows in SSRC's International Predissertation Fellow hip Program.


Another hotly debated i ue was the utility of country ri k rating when both finns and ri k in urance providers are likely to look at the nature of particular inve tment projects and the specific condition within a country relevant to that project. Participant al 0 examined the kind of pro-active policie that could reduce the perception and reality of ri k, in order to attract foreign capital. Mr. Collier u ed the tenn "agencie of re traint" to characterize the mechani m for reducing ri k. The e included external mechani m impo ed by donors. For example, ri k in urance finn them elve may act as a deterrent through their rating and premium ,as well a through their relation with bilateral and multilateral donors. In addition, everal internal or dome tic agencie of re traint were di cus ed: the role of central bank , the adoption of ca h-budgeting procedure , and the legal y tem. Finally, regional arrangement that can reduce ri k were examined. The e included the Franc Zone in We t Africa and the variety of preferential trade agreement acro the continent. The conference concluded with a di cu ion led by Robert Bate of Harvard' Department of Government. Opinion ranged widely about the potential to reduce the perception and reality of ri k in Africa in the hort or


medium tenn. But many of the participant cited recent exampIe, uch as Uganda. where agencie of re traint have reduced the reality, if not the perception of ri k. An edited volume including ome of the conference papers i planned for publication, and a follow-up conference i being organized at Oxford' Centre for the Study of African Economie in 1997.

New JSPS Fellowship Program The SSRC has been appointed as the admini trator of a new fellow hip program for recent Ph.D.' . The fellow hip, pon ored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, eek to provide promi ing and highly qualified re earchers in the ocial cience and humanitie with the opportunity to conduct re earch with leading in titution in Japan. Although the competiton ha no topical boundarie , propo al in cience and technology tudie; economic , bu ine ,and trade tudie ; and environmental studie are particularly welcome. The duration of the fellow hip i 12 to 24 month. and i open to U.S. citizen or pennanent re ident who have received the Ph.D. ix years or Ie prior to the year the fellow hip takes effect. Up to 10 award will be given annually. The annual deadline for the fel-

low hip i November 15, 1996 ( ee box on page 90).

SSRC Archives Now Open The SSRC i plea ed to announce that it archive. which have long been inacce ible to scholars, are now open for re earch at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) in Pocantico Hill, New York. The e material , which date back to 1924. contain record of the governing bodie of the SSRC, taff-written memoranda and corre pondence, committee and working group document. fellow hip and grants material ,and other tile . The deci ion by Rockefeller to erve as the repo itory for the SSRC' material continue a partnership between the two in titution that began in 1923. Many of the individual and in titution covered in the SSRC record al 0 have important documentation in the RAC' holding. Scholar wi hing to con ult the SSRC record hould contact the RAC for an appointment. Addre : Rockefeller Archive Center, 15 Dayton Ave., North Tarrytown. NY 10591-1598. Phone: (914) 631-4505; Fax: (914) 6316017.


50. NUMBER 4

Recent Council Publications African Material Culture, edited by Mary Jo Arnoldi, Christraud M. Geary, and Kris L. Hardin. Spon ored by the Joint Committee on Mrican Studies (1960-96) and the Smith onian Institution. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996. xii + 369 pages. This book unites 14 interdisciplinary essays that open new perspectives for understanding African societie and cultures through the contextualized study of objects. Research by an international group of cholar , including anthropologi ts, archeologists, art hi torians, hi torians, and linguist ,treat everything from the production of material objects to the meaning of ticks, masquerades, hou ehold tool , clothing, and the television et in the contemporary repertoire of African material culture. Mary Jo Arnoldi is curator for African Ethnology in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smith onian In titution. Christraud M. Geary i curator of the Eliot Eli ofon Photographic Archives at the National Mu eum of African Art at the Smith onian. Kris L. Hardin i a re earch as ociate with the Smith onian Institution. Also noted: The Shaping of Biodiversity. Special i ue of A/rica, vol. 66, no. I, 1996. Gue t editor, Jane I. Guyer and Paul Richards. Ba ed on papers pre ented at a se ion pon ored by the Joint Committee D



on African Studies (1960-96) at the African Studies As ociation meeting in December 1993 in Bo ton. 158 page . Borneo in Transition: People, Forests, Conservation, and Development, edited by Christine Padoch and Nancy Lee Pelo o. Spon ored by the Joint Committee on Southea t Asia (1976-96). New York: Oxford Univer ity Pre s, 1996. xx + 291 pages. The last three decade have been exceptionally important for the people and forests of Borneo. Logging and public road have reached many of the mo t remote village , plantations have replaced diverse native fore ts, hundreds of thou ands of immigrant have moved to the island, and va t trides have been made by the Indone ian and Malaysian government in extending both the infrastru.cture and the ideologie of national integration. Many of e ay in thi volume examine tran itions in re ource management in pecific communitie , but do not ignore the regional, national, and international contexts of local p~enom足 ena. Other contribution place more empha is on regional patterns and national policie that have ignificance for the way re ources are managed in local communitie . Studie carried out at variou level of analy i highlight the diversity and complexity of the changing linkages between people and fore t . Christine Padoch is a curator

in the In titute of Economic Botany of the New York Botanical Garden. Nancy Lee Peluso is associate profes or of re ource policy in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics: Logical, Methodological, and Psychological Perspectives, edited by Philip E. Tetlock and Aaron Belkin. Sponsored by the Committee on International Peace and Security. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Pre ,1996. x + 344 pages. Political scienti t often a k themselves what might have been if hi tory had unfolded differently: if Stalin had been ou ted a General Party Secretary or if the United State had not dropped the bomb on Japan. Although cholars ometimes coff at applying hypothetical reasoning to world politics, the contributors to this volume find such counterfactual conjectures not only u eful, but nece ary for drawing causal inference from hi tori cal date. Given the importance of counterfactual , it is perhaps surprising that standards are lacking for evaluating them. To fill this gap, the volume' two editors propose a et of criteria for di tinguishing pIau ible from implausible counterfactual conjecture acro s a wide range of application . The contributors make u e of the e and other criteria to evaluate counterfactuals that emerge in diver e methodological contexts, ITEMs/101

including comparative case studie , game theory, and tati tical analy i . Taken together, the e e ays contribute to the e tablishment of a more nuanced and rigorous framework for as e ing counterfactual arguments about world politics in particular and about the ocial cience more broadly. Philip E. TetJock i Harold E. Burtt Profe sor of P ychology and Political Science at Ohio State University. Aaron Belkin i a Ph.D. candidate in political cience at the Univer ity of California, Berkeley. The Politics of Election in Southeast Asia, edited by R.H. Taylor. Spon ored by the Joint Committee on Southeast A ia (1976-96) and the Woodrow Wil on International Center for Scholar . Cambridge: Woodrow Wilson Center Pre and Cambridge Univer ity Pre ,1996. xii + 256 page . Though mo t government in Southeast A ia are widely de cribed a authoritarian, elections have been a feature of politic in the region for many decade . Thi volume, bringing together 10 eparate case tudie, examine the countrie that have conducted multiparty election ince the 1940 : Indone ia, Malay ia, the Philippin ,Thailand, Cambodia, Bunna/Myanrnar, and Singapore. It identifie the common and distingui hing feature of electoral politic in the region. The contributor , unlike mo t earlier tudents of politic in Southea t A ia, conclude that it i not omething peculiar to the political culture of the region that 102\lTEMS

hape its political behavior. It i , rather, the arne force and structures that hape politics in North Ameriea and Europe. R.H. Taylor is profes or of politics and pro-director of the School of Oriental and African Studie of the University of London.

hi torieal contexts. Thomas J. Biersteker is Henry R. Luce Profe sor of Tran national Organization and director of the Watson Institute for International Affairs at Brown Univerity. Cynthia Weber is as ociate profe or of political science at Purdue University.

State Sovereignty as Social Construct, edited by Thomas 1. Biersteker and Cynthia Weber. Sponsored by the Committee on International Peace and Security through the SSRC Comparative and Tran national Program. Cambridge: Cambridge Univer ity Pre ,1996. xii + 298 page .

The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, edited by Peter J. Katzen tein. Sponsored by the Committee on International Peace and Security. New York: Columbia University Pre ,1996. xv + 562 page.

State overeignty i an inherently social con truct. The modem tate y tern is not ba ed on orne timele principle of overeignty, but on the production of a normative conception which link authority, territory, population ( ociety, nation), and recognition in a unique way, and in a particular place (the tate). Attempting to realize thi ideal entail a great deal of effort on the part of tate person ,diplomats, and intellectual . The ideal of tate overeignty is a product of the action of powerful agent and re i tance to those action by tho e located at the margin of power. Thi volume de cribe , theorize , and iIIu trate practice that have ocially con tructed, reproduced, recontructed, and decontructed variou overeign ideal and resi tance to them. The contributor analyze how all the component of tate overeignty-not only recognition, but al 0 territory, population, and authority-are ocially contructed and combined in pecific

The political tran formation of the 1980 and 1990 have dramatically affected model of national and international ecurity. Particularly since the end of the cold war, cholars have been uncertain about how to interpret the effects of major hift in the balance of power. Are we living today in a unipolar, bipolar, or multipolar world? Are we moving toward an international order that make the recurrence of major war in Europe or Asia highly unlikely or virtually inevitable? I ideological conflict between tate dimini hing or increasing? Fu ing ociology and ecurity tudie ,contributor to thi volume explore alternatives to the long-dominant analytical per pective of neoreali m and neoliberali m. Que tioning the utility of imagining global security relation simply in term of the conventional dimen ion of power and intere t, they reflect on whether a more effective model would include analy is of cultural complexe as well.


50. NUMBER 4

Spanning two centuries from the Greek war for independence in the 1820 to Israeli-Pale tinian negotiations today, reflecting on uch i sues as nuclear and

chemical weapons bans and humanitarian intervention, The Culture of National Security lays the groundwork for new models of national security

and global affairs. Peter J. Katzenstein is the Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Profe or of International Studie at Cornell Univer ity.

ACLSISSRC International Postdoctoral Fellowships Competition The 199拢r97 competition will provide approximately 15 po tdoctoral fellow hip of $20,000 each to upport scholars doing humani tic research and humanities-related social cience research on the societie and culture of A ia, Latin America, and ub-Saharan Africa. The fundamental criteria for selection of award will be the intellectual value of the proposed research and the likelihood that significant and innovative scholarship on foreign societie , making important theoretical or . ub tantive contribution to particular di cipline , to multidisciplinary scholarship, or to comparative research, will re ult. This competition is upported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanitie . These fellow hip are intended as alary replacement, although travel funds may al 0 be reque ted, to help scholars devote ix to 12 continuous months to full-time research and writing. Tenure of the grant may begin no earlier than July I, 1997 and no later than February I, 1998. U.S. citizen, permanent re ident , and others who have resided in the U.S. for at lea t three consecutive year at the time of application are eligible to apply. All applicant mu t have the Ph.D. or it equivalent by the application deadline. Intere ted scholars hould apply to the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Completed application forms must be post路 marked not later than December 1, 1996. To reque t an application form, pie I. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

send the following inrormation:

Highe t academic degree held and date received Academic or other po ition Geographical area( ) of research A brief, de criptive title of the proposed research Country of citizen hip or permanent re idence Propo ed date for beginning tenure of the award and duration reque ted Specific award program for which application i reque ted Full name and mailing addre

You may send that information by anyone of the following means: I. Write: Office of Fellow hip and Grant, ACLS, 228 Ea t 45th Street, New York. New York 10017-3398 2. Fax: (212) 949-8058 3. E-mail: grants@ac1 .org

Note: Application forms will be sent only by U.S. Po tal Service first-cla will not be ent or accepted by fax or other electronic means.


mail, or air mail to addresse abroad. Application forms

ITEMs/I 03


FAX (212) 377-2727

WEB hUp://www.

The Council was incorporated in the Slate of //Iinois. December 27. 1924. for the purpose of advancing research in the social sciences. Nongovernmental and interdisciplinary in nature. the Council appoints committees of scholars which seek to achieve the Council's purpose through the generation of new ideas and the training of scholars. The activities of the Council are supported primarily by grants from primte foundations and government agencies. Directors. 1~97 : PAUL B. BALTES. Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education (Berlin); ROBERT H. BATES. Harvard University; IRIS B. BERGER.

State University of New York. Albany; NANCY BIROSAU., Inter-American Development Bank; ALBERT FISHLOW. Council on Foreign Relations; SUSAN FISKE, University of Massachusetts. Amherst; SUSAN HANSON. Clark Univer3ity; BARBARA HEYNS. New York University; SHIRLEY LINDENBAUM. The Graduate Center. City University of New York; KENNETH PREwrrr. Social Science Research Council; JOEl. SHERZE.R. University of Texas. Au tin; BURTON H. SINGER. Princeton University; NEIL SMELSER. Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; KENNETH W. WACHTER. University of Cali fomi a. Berkeley; MICHELLE J. WHITE, University of Michigan. Ann Arbor. Officers and Staff: KENNETH PREWm. President; KRISTINE DAHLBERG. Chief Financial Officer; GLORIA KIRCHHEIMER. Editor; KAREN BRADUNAS. Manager of Human Resources and General Administration; ITTY ABRAHAM. SUSAN BRO SON. JOSH DEWIND. DIANE 01 MAURO. ARUN P. EulANCE, ERIC HERSHBERG. SllOVEN


The Social Science Research Council supports the program of the Commi sion on Preservation and Acces and is represented on the National Advisory Council on Preservation. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Infontlation Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials. ANSI Z39.4S-1984. The infinity symbol placed in a circle indicates compliance with thi tandard.

All issues of Items are available in Microform.

University Microfilms International 300 North Zeeb Road. Dept. PRo Ann Arbor. MI4SI06


Social Science Research Council 810 Seventh Avenue New York, NY 10019

PAID ALBANY, N.Y. Permit No. 31






50, NUMBER 4

Items Vol. 50 No. 4 (1996)  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you