Dissertation Project Strategies of Domination: Uncertainty, Local Institutions, and the Politics of Foreign Rule While many have illustrated the poor track record of armed state-building projects abroad, few have asked why powerful states choose to employ this costly strategy given its inherent drawbacks. If institution-building strategies frequently fail to achieve their objectives, why do powerful states ever engage in the calamitous practice? My dissertation project asks two interrelated questions: What determines a foreign ruler’s choice of strategy following armed intervention, and why do foreign rulers often fail to plan post-intervention strategies prior to the arrival of troops on the ground? I argue foreign rule strategies materialize in two distinct steps that explain the interrelated nature of the timing and content of strategic decisions in foreign rule missions. First, I argue that pre-existing institutional strength of local territories largely guides major powers’ strategic choices following armed intervention, regardless of the foreign ruler's prior goals and preferences. Second, however, uncertaintyprior to armed intervention inhibits assessment of local contexts and prevents selection of a foreign rule strategy until after troops have arrived in the foreign territory. Only once the foreign ruler's military intervenes into the foreign territory can the fog of intervention, and uncertainty caused by it be lifted. Then, the foreign ruler's military can assess the strength of the local institutions in the territory and their suitability for meeting their goals. Using an original database of over 160 cases of foreign rule from 1898-2015 coupled with in-depth case study research, my project illustrates the crucial importance local institutional strength plays in determining both the content and timing of a powerful state's foreign rule strategy.
Articles "The Perils of a Bright-Line Between Anarchy and Hierarchy in Conceptualizing International Orders." 2017. A Response to Butcher and Griffiths in "Comparing International Systems in World History: Anarchy, Hierarchy, and Culture." International Studies Quarterly Online Symposium. doi:10.7910/DVN/VDZG7L
"Varieties of Democratic Diffusion: Colonial and Neighbor Networks" with Michael Coppedge, Lucia Tiscornia, and Staffan I. Lindberg. 2016. V-Dem Working Paper Series 2016:2 (2), The Varieties of Democracy Institute, University of Gothenburg. Book Chapters "The Appeal of Ethnic Resentment" in The Science of Trump: Explaining the Rise of an Unlikely Candidate, John Sides and Henry Farrell, eds. The Monkey Cage. July 2016.
Working Papers "Conceptualizing Foreign Rule: A Relational Structure Approach to Hierarchy by Domination." (Under Review)
"Bosnian Disconnect: EU Democratization and Enlargement Policy Impact on Bosnian Security." (Under Review)
"Democratizing the Dispute: Democratization Shocks, Issue Salience, and Territorial Dispute Resolution." (Under Review) Co-authored with with Krista Wiegand.
"Varieties of Colonial Democratic Diffusion." Co-authored with Michael Coppedge, Lucia Tiscornia and and Staffan Lindberg.
"Varieties of Democratic Diffusion in Alliance Networks." (Under Review) Co-authored with Michael Coppedge.