Foreign Predation and Persistent Intervention in Civil Wars - Presented at ISA and MPSA 2022
Why do some international actors who intervene militarily in civil wars continue their military engagement after the war has ended, while others withdraw all military forces at the conclusion of the war? In analyzing this puzzle, this study introduces a new theoretical concept: persistent intervention. Defined as the continuation of an external state’s military intervention after the civil war ends, the concept of persistent intervention sheds light on the connections between wartime and peacetime.
Diverging from the segmented approach of studying war and peace times separately, this study presents empirical evidence on the variation in the persistence of interventions. Drawing on a novel dataset of post-war military interventions in all intrastate conflicts ending in the post-Cold War era as well as case studies of the Middle East and North Africa, I compare persistent military interventions to non-persistent ones. I find that interveners with predatory domestic actors that rely on the potential gains from the intervention are more likely to find themselves entangled in the target country where leaving too soon might devalue and destabilize the gains from the intervention.
This study makes two main contributions. Empirically, it follows up military interventions and fills the gap in almost all major datasets which stop tracking interventions if there is no active conflict. Theoretically, it reframes the theory of the domestic predatory state causing violence by expanding it to foreign predators who see interventions as a window of opportunity for extraction but end up being entrapped in the war.
Other Work in Progress
The Partisan Divide in Attitudes Toward International Organizations (with Diana Mutz) - Under Review
Presented at ISA 2021
Why and to what extent have rank and file Republicans and Democrats come to hold differing attitudes toward international organizations? Thus far, examinations of partisan division have been focused at the level of elite rather mass politics, and they have been part of a larger concern surrounding the role of partisanship in support for liberal internationalism. Because many rank and file Americans lack knowledge about or awareness of many such organizations, many have questioned whether the public could be said to hold attitudes toward IOs at all. We find that, as with many issues in American politics, low levels of information do not prevent people from forming opinions.
In this study we combine representative national survey data from a panel study with a survey experiment to address three questions. First, how have attitudes toward IOs changed during the course of the Trump administration? Second, we use a survey-experimental design to refine our understanding of how heuristics aid people in forming attitudes toward IOs. We find that in the contemporary US, explicit partisan cues are not necessary to influence people’s attitudes toward IOs. Today, the sheer fact that organizations are international versus national in scope serves to change Americans’ opinions toward these organizations, conditional on their partisanship. Third, we provide an exploratory analysis of which theory about the basis of attitudes toward IOs best accounts for changes in support for IOs during Trump’s time in office.
Politics with Borders? Government Ideology and International Treaty Commitments - Presented at ISA 2017, 2018
Other Research Experience
Supervisor: Jane Vaynman - Summer 2020, 2021, Fall 2019
Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (PASCC)
International Institutions as Tools of Influence (part of the GWU Minerva Initiative project, “Spheres of Influence, Regional Orders, and China’s Rise.”)