Research

Work in Progress

  • "International Reputation with Changing Resolve."  February, 2016, Sloan School of Mangement working paper.
     
  • "Tug of War; Civil-Military Power Struggles and International Conflict." Please email me if you are interested in this working paper, part of a book-length project.
    • Since Michael Doyle's "Kant, Liberal Legacies and Foreign Affairs" (1983), international-relations theory has increasingly focused on the importance of domestic politics in influencing international relations. Nevertheless, our theories mainly have retained in the unitary actor assumption, especially for nondemocratic states, in that they portray domestic actors as affecting international politics mainly through their function as "audiences" that reward or punish the top leader for various actions. In practice, however, we often observe persons or organizations other than the top leader taking actions that directly influence the course of international events, including states' entry into militarized international conflict. For example, in 1999, the Pakistani military sent forces across the cease-fire line with India with at best incomplete authorization from the civilian government (Shah, Army and Democracy, Military Politics in Pakistan, page 262). The book explores the impact of civil-military relations on international conflict. I begin by examining the incentives of individuals and the institution to exacerbate international tensions and increase the chance of militarized conflict, and the circumstances under which those are greater or lesser. I then examine the effect of domestic power struggles between civilian and military leaders on the likelihood that the military takes such actions, and thus on the state's probability of entering into conflict. Finally, I investigate how civil-military relations impact states' incentives to signal to a foreign adversary during an international dispute or crisis. "Tug of War," the working paper, argues that militaries have a particular inclination to raise tensions when civilian governments are trying to consolidate power, and illustrates that argument using the Kargil War case.

Publications

Book

Deterrence by Diplomacy. Princeton University Press, September, 2005. Why are countries often able to communicate critical information using diplomacy, despite incentives to bluff? Why are they often able to deter attacks using verbal threats to use force? International-relations theory is largely pessimistic about the prospects for effective diplomacy, yet leaders nevertheless expend a great deal of time and energy trying to resolve conflicts through verbal negotiations and public statements. This book challenges standard approaches to deterrence by studying it as a form of talk. It stresses the importance of reputation and of honesty in establishing effective diplomacy.  The book argues that diplomacy often is effective precisely because it is so valuable.  States take pains to use diplomacy honestly most of the time because doing so allows them to maintain reputations for honesty, which enhance their ability to resolve future disputes using diplomacy rather than force. To do so, however, they pay a cost: they sometimes acquiesce to others' demands when they might have been able to attain their goals through successful bluffs.  The book develops its arguments about effective diplomacy through a game-theoretic argument, illustrates them using a case from the Korean War, and tests the resulting implications using statistical analyses.
 

Journal Articles

Book Chapters and Shorter Publications

  • "Honesty in Crisis Diplomacy," Diplomat, March 2015.
  • “Selection Bias,” in Bernard Badie, Dirk Berg‐Schlosser, and Leonardo Morlino, eds., International Encyclopedia of Political ScienceSage Publications, 2011.
  • “Who Wants War?” in Gary King, Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Norman Nie, eds. The Future of Political Science: 100 Perspectives, Routledge, 2009.
  • Book review of Trust and Mistrust in International Relations, by Andrew H. Kydd (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).  Journal of Peace Research 43:3 (May, 2006) 356.
  • The Promise and Perils of Statistics in International Relations” With Bear F. Braumoeller.  Chapter 6 of  Cases, Numbers, Models: International Relations Research Methods, Detlef F. Sprinz and Yael Wolinsky-Nahmias, eds., Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004, 129-151.