My research focuses on international relations theory and U.S. foreign policy. The applications of my work extend throughout political science, including contributions to the study of American politics and institutions, comparative government, and political science education. Substantively, either on my own or in collaboration with co-authors, I have helped to advance the discipline’s understanding of empire and international hierarchy, resource politics (the “resource curse”), and polarization in the classroom. Research from these projects has appeared in journals including International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, International Theory, American Politics Research, and the Journal of Political Science Education.
I employ methods appropriate to the question at hand, including process-tracing, comparative case studies, experimental methods, traditional regression analysis, and sophisticated observational methods such as synthetic controls.
My current major research project is a book-length manuscript tracing the development of informal institutions in the United States and their effects on the country’s foreign policy during the Founding period and the nineteenth century. Additional working papers address presidential prerogatives in trade negotiations, the role of a leading state’s domestic politics in hegemonic orders, and the whether tripwire forces affect public support for intervention.
My Google Scholar page
International Hierarchy and Empire
- “Defending Hierarchy from the Moon to the Indian Ocean: Symbolic Capital and Political Dominance in Early Modern China and the Cold War.” (With Daniel Nexon.) International Organization. 2018.
- Annotated version (part of the Qualitative Data Repository’s ATI project) showing empirical notes
- Applying the theoretical framework to the One Belt One Road/Belt and Road Initiative project in The Diplomat.
- “Beyond Anarchy: Logics of Political Organization, Hierarchy, and International Structure.” (With Meghan McConaughey and Daniel Nexon.) International Theory. 2018. (alternative link)
- “States of Empire: Liberal Ordering and Imperial Relations.” (With Daniel Nexon.) In Liberal World Orders, eds. Tim Dunne, Trine Flockhart, and Marjo Koivisto. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013: 211-230. (alternative link)
- “American Liberalism and Imperial Temptations.” (With Daniel Nexon.) In Empire and International Order, ed. Noel Parker. London: Ashgate, 2013: 131-148. (alternative link)
Foreign Policy and Political Parties
“International Hegemony Meets Domestic Politics: Why Liberals Can Be Pessimists” (Conditionally accepted as part of Security Studies special issue on Hegemony 3.0)
Oil Politics / Resource Curse
- “Oil, Autocratic Survival, and the Gendered Resource Curse: When Inefficient Policy is Politically Expedient.” (With Yu-Ming Liou.) International Studies Quarterly. 2016. (alternative link)
- Application of the theory to early reforms in Saudi Arabia under Mohamed bin Sultan in The Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage blog.
- “Refining the Oil Curse: Country-Level Evidence from Exogenous Variations in Resource Income.” (With Yu-Ming Liou.) Comparative Political Studies. 2014. (alternative link)
Ideas, Popular Culture, and World Politics
- “Synthetic Experiences: How Popular Culture Matters for Images of International Relations.” (With J. Furman Daniel, III.) International Studies Quarterly. 2017. (alternative link)
- Application of the theory to contemporary American popular culture in The Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage blog.
Political Science Education and Polarization in the Classroom
“Fair and Balanced? Experimental Evidence on Partisan Bias in Grading.” (With Mark Carl Rom.) 2015. American Politics Research. (alternative link)
“Political Outcome Bias in Grading: Identifying Problems and Suggesting Solutions.” (With: Mark Carl Rom.) 2014. Journal of Political Science Education. (alternative link)