Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, Does Conquest Pay? The Exploitation of Occupied Industrial Societies. Princeton Studies in International History and Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996). Read here
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U.S. public anger and desires to avenge the 11 September 2001 terror attacks were redirected toward Iraq partly because of its identity as an Arab and Muslim state.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman and Linda J. Skitka, “Vicarious Retribution in U.S. Public Support for War Against Iraq,” Security Studies, forthcoming. Read here
Many U.S. citizens who doubted that Iraq had been involved in the 11 September 2001 terror attacks nevertheless said that invading Iraq would satisfy their desires for revenge, suggesting that incidental revenge and anger contributed to support for the Iraq War.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman and Linda J. Skitka, “Revenge and U.S. Public Support for War Against Iraq,” Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 3 (Fall 2017), 636–660. Read here
How longstanding U.S. public desires for revenge were affected by the 2011 assassination of Osama bin Laden.
Recommended citation: Mario Gollwitzer, Linda J. Skitka, Anre Sjöström, Daniel Wisneski, Peter Liberman, Syed Javed Nazir, and Brad Bushman, "Vicarious Revenge and the Death of Osama bin Laden,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 40, No. 5 (May 2014): 604–616. Read here
Retributively-minded U.S. citizens favored more forceful responses international acts of aggression, but only when casualties are mentioned, and expressed greater support for torturing captured terrorists.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, "War and Torture as ‘Just Deserts’,” Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 78, No. 1 (Spring 2014): 47–70. Read here
Retributive individuals more strongly supported punishing transgressor states and torturing detainees, controlling for partisanship, ideology, humanitarian and security values, and beliefs about the efficacy of force.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, “Retributive Support for International Punishment and Torture,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 51, No. 2 (April 2013), 285–306. Read here
Among opinion leaders, death penalty supporters were substantially more likely than opponents to support the 1991 Gulf War, condone the Iraqi death toll, and favor escalating the war to topple Saddam Hussein.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, Punitiveness and U.S. Elite Support for the 1991 Persian Gulf War,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 51, No. 1 (February 2007): 3–32. Read here
Death penalty supporters were significantly more hawkish than opponents in public opinion about the 1991 and 2003 wars against Iraq, controlling for ideology and utilitarian logic, suggesting a role for moral punitiveness.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, “An Eye for an Eye: Public Support for War against Evildoers,” International Organization, Vol. 60, No. 3 (Summer 2006): 687–722. Read here
The declassification and release of an important 1975 South African Defence Force memorandum shows that important documents surviving from the apartheid-era nuclear weapons program might still come to light, despite the limited openness of Apartheid-era archives.
Recommended citation: Sello Hatang, Verne Harris, and Peter Liberman, “Unveiling South Africa’s Nuclear Past,” Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Autumn 2004): 457–75. Read here
A newly declassified, 1975 South African Defense Force document, recommending the acquisition of nuclear-armed Jericho missiles, reveals high-level military interest in nuclear weapons at the time and corroborates prior accounts of an Israeli offer to sell missiles to South Africa.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, “Israel and the South African Bomb,” The Nonproliferation Review, Vol 11, No. 2 (Summer 2004): 46–80. Read here
Dozens of interviews with South African nuclear policymakers shed new light on the roles of security incentives, organizational politics, and international pressure (along with state sensitivity to such pressure) on South African nuclear acquisition and disarmament.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, “The Rise and Fall of the South African Bomb,” International Security, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Fall 2001): 45–86. Read here
German and Japanese antimilitarist cultures and institutions could lead to over-reliance on U.S. protection and postpone German and Japanese efforts to acquire nuclear weapons until a serious crisis develops, which would be a particularly dangerous time for them to do so.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, Ties that Blind: Will Germany and Japan Rely Too Much on the United States?” Security Studies, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Winter 2000/2001), 98–138. Read here
Expectations of protracted attrition wars heighten incentives for trade-dependent states to seize economically valuable territories, as can be seen in German and Japanese grand strategies prior to both world wars, reducing the peace-causing effect of defense dominance.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, “The Offense-Defense Balance, Interdependence, and War,” Security Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1/2 (Autumn 1999–Winter 2000): 59–91. Reprinted in Power and the Purse: The Political Economy of National Security, eds. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Edward D. Mansfield, and Norrin M. Ripsman (Portland, OR and London: Frank Cass, 2000), 59–91. Read here
Thriving Ango-German trade prior to the First World War and US–Japanese trade prior to the Second World War suggest that security competition does not strongly dampen economic cooperation under multipolarity.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, “Trading with the Enemy: Security and Relative Economic Gains,” International Security, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Summer 1996): 147–75. Read here
Ruthless invaders can cultivate or exploit conquered industrial societies by repressing opposition and compelling defeated societies to collaborate politically and economically.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, "The Spoils of Conquest," International Security, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Fall 1993): 125–53. Also reprinted in The Perils of Anarchy: Contemporary Realism and International Security, eds. Michael E. Brown, Sean M. Lynn-Jones, and Steven E. Miller (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1995), 179–207. Read here
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman and Julie A. George, “Will Conquest Pay? In Crimea, Russia Might Come Out Ahead” [Op-Ed], ForeignAffairs.com, March 14, 2014 Read here
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman and David Pizarro, “All Politics Is Olfactory” [Op-Ed], The New York Times, October 23, 2010, p. WK12. Read here
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman and Neil R. Thomason, “No-First-Use Unknowables,” Foreign Policy, No. 64 (Fall 1986): 17–36. Excerpted in Nuclear Arms: Sources, Vol. 2, eds. Bruno Leone et al. (St. Paul, Minn.: Greenhaven Press, 1987), 379–82. Read here
Work in progress
U.S. citizens who were relatively angry and wanting revenge soon after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks more strongly supported war against Iraq over one year later, independently of mistaken beliefs that Iraq had been involved, perceptions of the terrorist threat and war risks, political orientations, and cue taking, indicating a redirection of angry desires for revenge toward Iraq.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, “Emotional Reactions to Terrorism and U.S. Public Support for the Iraq War,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 5–8, 2018. Read here
Hypothetical terror attacks by the Taliban on U.S. soil, with the declared aim of coercing U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, increased support for the Afghanistan War compared to a terrorist threat, an effect mediated by anger and revenge but not by fear or threat perceptions.
Recommended citation: Peter Liberman, “Public Reactions to Terrorism: Fight or Flight?”, presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 11–14, 2013. Read here