I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at Boston College and a Research Affiliate with the MIT Security Studies Program. I have recently published books on navigating field research, coercion in international politics, and the strategy and success of nationalist rebels in civil war. My research and teaching focus on Middle East politics, political violence, nationalism, rebels and regime change, and peace-building. I give talks and facilitate discussions with universities, think tanks, and business and community groups, and I conduct media interviews. I have a Ph.D. in political science from MIT and a B.A. in political science and history from Williams College.
Despite all three Israeli prime ministers who served in 2022—Naftali Bennett, Yair Lapid, and Benjamin Netanyahu—stressing that the situation on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif remains “All can visit, but only Muslims can pray,” the status quo at the site has been far from unchanged and unchallenged. For years, those who would alter it have practiced a policy of incrementalism: slowly and imperceptibly changing the number and character of Jewish visits to this sacred space. With advocates both of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount and of the building of the Third Temple now holding prominent positions in government, the already simmering conflict around Jerusalem may escalate further, with significant implications for Israel’s government and its relations with the Palestinians, with its Arab partners, and with the United States. A strong grasp of the history and dynamics of prior struggles over the sacred site—which I provide in this article—can help us understand the causes and effects of challenges to the Jerusalem status quo, now and in the future.
The majority of states in the world today were created via secession, but a majority of secessionist movements have failed to gain independence. Counter-secession is not only more successful than secession; it is also more common. Independence is rarely won quickly or cheaply, as existing states fight to maintain their borders across four phases of secession: identity formation, group mobilisation, (un)armed struggle and international recognition. This article presents the repertoire of states' counter-secession strategies throughout the secessionist struggle, including cultural assimilation, administrative organisation, civilian displacement, banning secessionist political activity, fragmenting the secessionist movement, economic coercion, violent repression and blocking international recognition. This collective analysis of the causal logic and illustrative historical examples of state counter-secession strategies lays the foundation for a more comprehensive research programme on counter-secession across time and space.
Check out our podcast, Stories from the Field, where we interview our book contributors, students, and other experts about their careers and experiences conducting field research in a variety of locations and contexts.
© 2023 by PETER KRAUSE
Main Photo: Caitlin Cunningham, Boston College