Detecting United States Mediation Styles in the Middle East, 1979-1998
Schrodt, Philip A.
This research is part of the "Multiple Paths to Knowledge Project" sponsored by the
James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, and the Program in
Foreign Policy Decision Making, Texas A&M University. The paper deals with the
problem of determining whether the mediation styles used by four U.S. Secretaries
of State -- George Schultz, James Baker, Warren Christopher and Madeline Albright
-- are sufficiently distinct that they can be detected in event data. The
mediation domain is the Israel-Palestinian conflict from April 1979 to December
1998, the event data are coded from the Reuters news service reports using the
WEIS event coding scheme, and the classification technique is hidden Markov models.
The models are estimated for each of the four Secretaries based on 16 randomly
chosen 32-events sequences of USA>ISR and USA>PAL events during the term of the
Secretary. Each month in the data set is then assigned to one of the four
Secretarial styles based on the best-fitting model. The models differentiate the
mediation styles quite distinctly and this method of detecting styles yields quite
different results when applied to ISR-PAL data or random data. The "Baker" and
"Albright" styles are most distinctive; the "Schultz" style is least; both results
are consistent with many qualitative characterizations of these periods.
A series of t-tests is then done on Goldstein-scaled scores to determine whether
the mediation styles translate into statistically distinct interactions in the
ISR>USA, ISR>PAL, PAL>USA and PAL>ISR dyads. While there are a number of
statistically-significant differences when the full sample is used, these may be
due simply to the overall changes Israel-Palestinian relations over the course of
the time series. When tests are done on months that are out-of-term -- in other
words, where the style of one Secretary is being employed during the term of
another -- few statistically-significant differences are found, though there is
someindication of a lag of a month or so between the change in style and the
behavioral response. It appears that the effects of the differing styles are not
captured by changes in aggregated data, possibly because these scales force
behavior into a single conflict-cooperation dimension.
Consistent with other papers in the "Multiple Paths to Knowledge" project, the
paper contains commentary on how the research project was actually done, as well
as the conventional presentation of results.
The file includes the papers in Postscript and PDF formats, the event data (Levant,
April 1979 to December 1998) used in the analysis, the C source code for estimating
the hidden Markov models.
This paper was presented at the International Studies Association meetings,
Washington, 16-21 February 1999
hidden Markov models
Document ID Number