Peer-Reviewed Publications

Andrew Hunter, Greg Sanders, and John Severini. Assessing the Reliability of the Future Years Defense Program and Building a Foreceast. Acquisition Research Program, 2021.

Abstract: Discerning, negotiating, and communicating priorities are necessary tasks for the U.S. defense acquisition system to effectively implement its portion of the National Defense Strategy. One of the Department of Defense’s central tools for doing so is the Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP), a projection of the cost and composition of the force over the next 5 years. This project created a dataset and employs it to study FYDP reliability, focusing on two sources of uncertainty: differences in approach between military departments and differences in volatility between those line items in the base budget and those that include contingency operation spending.

Working Papers

Stephen Biddle and John Severini. Military Effectiveness and Naval Warfare (Currently R&R)

John Severini and Stephen Biddle. Technology, Behavior, and Effectiveness in Naval Warfare: The Battles of Savo Island and Cape Saint George

Stephen Biddle and John Severini. NAVBATTLE: A New Dataset on Naval Warfare

John Severini. Defining Militarism: Considering an Empirical Approach

Abstract: The concept of militarism is becoming increasingly pertinent as it connects with foreign policy decision-making by rising powers and the acceptability of war in the international system. Scholarship on the subject has historically failed to differentiate the term from related concepts like imperialism and nationalism. Similarly, there have been few attempts at systematic operationalization to apply measures of militarism as either independent or dependent variables within empirical research. This article begins by surveying the literature on the subject and offering a descriptive perspective for why the topic has failed to emerge as an independent research program. In the second half, I begin with an argument for why militarism should be recognized as a phenomenon unique from either imperialism or nationalism and follow with a typology that offers a set of criteria by which its variations can be defined. Implications for past and future research related to the topic are developed.

Works in Progress

John Severini. Social Wars: Conflicts of Belonging and Identity Transformation

Abstract: This paper explores the intersection of identity and legality when categorizing wars, separating out four different types: civil, sectarian, foreign, and social. The final type, social wars, explains conflicts between independent states that share identity but don’t share any major legal connection. The main claim of this paper is that social wars primarily occur during periods of identity convergence and divergence. The first is more likely to occur when a rising power is forcibly checked by allies whose identities it is subsuming; the latter is more likely to occur when a falling power lashes out at former constituents whose collective identities are beginning to break away. The Russo-Ukrainian War falls within the falling power experience, but a potential conflict over Taiwan could occur in a similar fashion. Finally, social wars are likely to become more common in the future of a globalizing world experiencing sociocultural convergence.

John Severini. Rome and Greece as Proto-Nations? Simultaneity and Collective Identity in European Antiquity

Abstract: This paper builds upon Benedict Anderson’s conceptualization of chronological simultaneity as a necessary condition for collective national identity. I provide an expanded definition of temporal simultaneity and connect it with the sociological concept of the spatio-temporal order, arguing that the formation of national identity requires a dualistic sense of chronological time (history) and non-chronological time (myth). I apply this new model to the historical examples of Greece and Rome in antiquity and provide evidence for their status as “proto-nations.” I conclude by offering reasoning for the theoretical usefulness of this new classification within the context of political science research.