Peled A. The New Sciences, Self-Organization, and Democracy. Democratization. 2000;7 (2) :19-35.Abstract
Lay summary: Social scientists have applied new science concepts (from quantum mechanics, chaos theory and new evolutionary biology) to political theory, in particular arguing that the principle of self-organization reflects the dynamics of liberal democracy. The article argues that this view is inaccurate and damaging. The self organizing principle does not depend on or lead to democracy. Furthermore this approach detracts from a focus on democratic institutions as the basis of a stable, healthy democracy. Publication significance: Understanding the elements that lead to the formation and maintenance of democratic systems is critical to understand how to nurture emerging democracies and maintain established ones. This article argues that the popular equation of the new sciences' concept of self-organization with the essence of liberal democracy is inaccurate. Instead, it emphasizes a focus on democratic institutions as the elements that shape the character of democratic systems and can ensure their continuity.
Peled A. Internet Myths in the Levant. Middle East Quarterly. 2000;7 (3) :41-54.
Peled A. The Politics of Language in Multiethnic Militaries: The Case of Oriental Jews in the Israel Defense Forces, 1950-1959. Armed Forces and Society. 2000;26 (4) :587-605.
Peled, Alon and Rashty D. Logging for Success - Advancing the Use of WWW Logs to Improve Computer Mediated Distance Learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research. 1999;21 (3) :405-423.Abstract
Lay summary: The article examines the increasingly popular phenomena of web-based learning environments for university students, for both on-campus and distance-learning courses. The article argues that a crucial, and neglected, area is assessment of the effectiveness of these environments. The article proposes 3 models (institution, vendor, network) to assess effectiveness by analyzing students' electronic footprints. It concludes that such assessment is essential to improve the online learning experience. Publication significance: Online learning is an increasingly integral part of both on-campus and distance tertiary education. In order to ensure that web-based learning environments are best serving the needs of students, faculty, and university management, an effective online-learning assessment method is necessary. The article explicates this issue; it argues for the achievability of such assessment and proposes three models for its implementation.
Peled A. Why Did Social Scientists Miss the Bug?. Computers and Society. 1999;29 (4) :20-23.Abstract
Lay summary: The article proposes that social scientists missed a valuable research opportunity to approach the Y2K bug as an area for social science study. The article demonstrates that studying public reactions to and national policy regarding Y2K holds rich potential for social science research. It explicates four areas where social science and Y2K converge and concludes that social scientists often mistakenly consider technological issues to be unrelated to social science interests. Publication significance: The article argues for broadening the parameters of social science research. It claims that the apparent separation between social science and technological fields leads to missed opportunities for social science research. Social scientists have much to learn from examining the human and cultural aspects that shape our response to technology at both the individual and national levels.
A Question of Loyalty – Military Manpower Policy in Multiethnic States
Peled A. A Question of Loyalty – Military Manpower Policy in Multiethnic States. Ithaca: Cornell University Press; 1998.Abstract
Lay summary: This review of Alon Peled's "A Question of Loyalty: Military Manpower Policy in Multiethnic States" praises Peled's crisp, skillful investigation of three countries' (South Africa, Singapore, and Israel)'s attempts to forge separate, antagonistic ethnic groups into effective military organizations. The primary concern, in such cases, is that a militarily trained ethnic group will revolt against the state. The book finds that military professionalism is key to creating a unified military force. Publication significance: Creating a united military force from citizens of diverse ethnic identities is a pressing issue in numerous nation states. A unified military is crucial to ensure the longevity and security of a state's regime. Peled's book tackles this issue and provides findings with important practical implications: professionalism is key to creating a unified, efficient military organization.
Peled A. Force, Ideology, and Contract: the History of Ethnic Conscription. Ethnic and Racial Studies. 1994;17 (1) :65-82.Abstract
Lay summary: The article examines how governments conscript to the military minority ethnic groups that are potentially hostile to the state. The article finds that three primary methods are used; all employ compulsory conscription but rely on different motives: coercion on fear of punishment; ideology on belief in a political or moral duty; contract on the expectation of civil benefits. The article finds that contract is most likely to ensure both military service and wider societal integration. Publication significance: How can nation states conscript potentially hostile minority ethnic groups to the armed forces and ensure their allegiance to the state? It finds that negotiating contracts with leaders of ethnic groups that guarantee benefits for ethnic minorities in return for army service ultimately better serves state interests than relying on fear of punishment or ideological conviction. These findings have important implications for both theory and policy.