Research

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  • “How Leaders’ Experiences and Rebellion Shape Military Recruitment During Civil Wars.” With Suparna Chaudhry and Sabrina Karim. Journal of Peace Research 58, No. 5 (2021): 915-929. Available here.
  • “Ballots and Blackmail: Coercive Bargaining and the Democratic Peace.” With Michael PoznanskyInternational Studies Quarterly 60, No. 4 (2016): 731-741. Available here.

Book Project: Democracies Under Fire – Democracies as Targets and Allies in Coercive Diplomacy

Abstract: When do states concede to coercive threats? While the majority of research has focused on the states initiating these challenges, comparatively little attention has been given to the targets, the states that actually face the choice of whether to stand firm or back down. My project examines the role that a target’s regime-type, broadly construed as democratic versus non-democratic states, plays in the decision-making process, arguing that democracies are more likely to concede when threatened due to the higher costs they pay for foreign policy failure and the relative ease that challengers have in identifying whether democracies are vulnerable to coercion. Further, my argument also extends to the role of democratic allies, who are less reliable when threats of violence are employed against their protègès. I employ in-depth case studies such as the Munich and Suez Crises to demonstrate how my theory works in practice, as well as statistical analysis with data from the Militarized Compellent Threat (MCT) and Threat and Imposition of Economic Sanctions (TIES) datasets to show the external validity of my claims.

Under Review:

  • “With Friends Like These: Compellent Threats, Democratic Allies, and Concessions.”
    • Abstract: When do states concede to coercive threats? In this article, I argue that states allied with democracies are more likely to concede to threats. This conclusion turns on the transparent nature of democratic regimes which allows challengers to selectively employ threats when they are most likely to succeed. This article challenges the widely held views that democracies have an advantage in coercive bargaining and that they are uniformly reliable allies. Using data involving coercive threats, I demonstrate that democratic allies are strongly correlated with higher probabilities of concessions, conceding nearly twice as often as those states without democratic allies. I use the case of the Munich Crisis to show how the mechanism works, emphasizing the thinking of Hitler and other German policymakers throughout the course of the crisis through the use of German documents from their Foreign Ministry.
  • “Sword, Shield, or Both: Nuclear Weapons and the Initiation of Coercive Threats.”
    • Abstract: Do nuclear weapons influence the onset of coercion? While recent work has delved into the efficacy of threats with nuclear backing, there has been comparatively little emphasis on the decision to issue threats in the first place. This paper seeks to address this concern through testing how the possession of nuclear weapons by challengers and targets influences the likelihood of seeing a threat take place. Using the Militarized Compellent Threat Dataset, this paper demonstrates that though states with nuclear weapons are more likely to initiate a coercive demand, they provide no noticeable deterrent effect for targets. At the dyadic level, threats from nuclear-armed states are more likely against non-nuclear states and in cases where the challenger has nuclear superiority over the target.

Working Papers:

  • “Compelling Targets: Democratic Targets and the Decision to Concede.”
  • “Creating a Balance: Great Power Politics and the Origins of European Integration.”
  • “Revealing the Hidden Flexibility of the MNL Model to Circumvent the IIA Assumption.” With Jonathan Kropko and Michael Poznansky.

Dataverse Site: