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91 4 FOUNDATIONS OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE: LIBYA, CUBA, AND SYRIA Having described the limitations of coercive pressures, and having distinguished the purposes positive inducements may serve, the constraints on their use, and the conditions on which their effectiveness hinges, we now confront theory with observed reality—to gauge the analytic utility of the proposed conceptual framework and the accuracy of the predictions that flow from its hypotheses. The method guiding the empirical work follows the nature of the task at hand. A large data-analytic exercise would not suit our purpose, since the relevant universe restricts the number of countries or regimes we wish to study. Our analytic framework may have a broader application, but the intent is not to understand the use to which positive inducements might be put in any international interaction . The purpose, here, is to understand how a nation such as the United States, with a very broad array of foreign policy tools and capabilities, can use inducements to alter the agendas of adversaries accused of flouting both U.S. interests and widely embraced norms of international behavior. While one could quibble at the margins on the set of nations meeting that description, five have been of particular recent concern to the United States—a number more suitable to the techniques of structured, focused comparison than large-n statistics. The former approach has the added advantage of giving context and meaning a bigger explanatory role than would otherwise be possible, of engaging in “thick” rather than“thin”description,and of drawing both general theoretical implications and the policy implications appropriate to individual cases. The primary criterion for case selection, then, is relevance to one’s research objective. Beyond that, choice of cases should not prejudge conclusions. Con- 92 THE LOGIC OF POSITIVE ENGAGEMENT trary to some thinking, a small number of cases need not imply a significant likelihood that findings will be biased (Collier and Mahoney 1996), but it does call for significant variance in the values of the variables on which the analysis is based. There must be variance on the outcome variable (King, Keohane, and Verba 1994, chap. 4): in this case, the behavior of the target regime. Such variation is present in each of our five cases.Variation in the predictor variables also is needed (George and Bennet 2004, 83–85), especially in the strategies employed to deal with these regimes and in the internal political conditions they encounter. This, too, is encountered in our cases. The method employed here is that which Alexander George has termed structured , focused comparison (George 1979). Structured in the sense that the comparison addresses a standard and theoretically derived set of variables that guide empirical analysis across the set of cases. Focused in that it is designed to answer a very limited number of questions—generally of a causal nature. Against this theoretical-methodological backdrop, within-case analyses focus on the processes and mechanisms that have accounted for the success and failure of positive engagement as opposed to coercive pressure. In turn, this requires attention to how policies and responses have unfolded within the context of the theoretical premises that have been advanced. As David Collier has observed, “within-case comparisons are critical to the viability of small-N analysis and have implied the need ‘to historicize the social sciences’” (Collier 1993, 8, 110). I begin in this chapter by focusing on the levers that the United States has deployed in its efforts to confront the objectionable behavior of the regimes of three countries—Cuba, Libya, and Syria.While their conduct has been disruptive and annoying, and while each has been thought by Washington to embody the qualities of a renegade regime, none has represented a major recent threat to the United States or the international community. In the next chapter, we will turn our gaze to two regimes that, by most standards, have represented, and continue to represent, a significant and possibly imminent danger to the United States and the international community: North Korea and Iran. Sources of Success: Libya The Libyan case offers a stark example of successful recourse to inducements within an exchange that produced important benefits for the United States. It also furnishes some indications of how achievements based on pragmatic quid pro quos could be consolidated with that country’s improved integration in international commercial and other flows. I trace the relevant developments with reference to the analytic framework developed in the previous chapter. Qaddafi’s FOUNDATIONS OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE...


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