Publications

"The Limit of American Public Support for Military Intervention" 2022 (co-authored with Songying Fang),  Armed Forces & Society

Abstract: Under what conditions is the American public supportive of U.S. military intervention in foreign crises? We argue that the public assesses three key dimensions of an intervention: the motivation for an intervention, the form an intervention can take, and the tasks an intervention may be mandated to fulfill. Through a survey experiment, we test several hypotheses in the context of a potential U.S. military intervention in a civil war. Comparing different motivations, we find that the strategies (forms and mandates) matter much more for public support. Regardless of motivation, the American public is generally more supportive of multilateral forms of intervention and prefers mandates that focus on the protection of civilians and peaceful conflict resolution.

"Beyond Dues: The Role of U.S. Military Aid in UN Peacekeeping Operations" 2022, International Peacekeeping

Abstract: Shortfalls in personnel are common across UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs). An ongoing concern is that many PKOs lack sufficient resources to effectively fulfill their mandates. This may in turn be a major contributing factor to shortages of peacekeepers. How do provisions of non-personnel resources to UN PKOs shape other states’ voluntary commitments of peacekeeping personnel? This study focuses on the role of the U.S.’s voluntary peacekeeping assistance as a mechanism for reducing personnel shortfall. By providing additional assistance for specific peacekeeping operations, the U.S. enhances the ability of states that are willing but lack the resources to deploy peacekeepers and increases the willingness of states that are otherwise reluctant to make personnel commitments to these operations. In turn, these provisions of support lead to greater personnel commitments to the missions where the U.S. allocates this aid. Results from an analysis of U.S. peacekeeping assistance and personnel commitments within UN operations from 2000 to 2015 indicate that these aid provisions lead to reductions in shortfalls of peacekeepers. These findings suggest that the U.S. not only increases collective personnel commitments by providing this additional assistance but, in doing so, may also enhance the effectiveness of the missions it supports.

"A Price for Peace: Troop Contributing Countries' Responses to Peacekeeper Fatalities" 2021, International Interactions

Abstract: How do states respond to fatalities of their troops in UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs)? Recent research highlights that participation in peacekeeping is costly for most states. Personnel fatalities should create further costs for contributors and often result in a reduction of their commitments. Studies that evaluate this expectation yield mixed findings. One finds little evidence that OECD countries provide fewer personnel to UN PKOs following fatalities. In contrast, another finds that fatalities generally correspond with reductions in states’ personnel commitments to UN operations in Africa but also reveals that wealthier contributors tend to withdraw at larger magnitudes than their poorer counterparts. This study builds on this work by further hypothesizing that the incentives that motivate states to participate in PKOs condition their willingness to maintain their contributions after experiencing fatalities. An analysis of states’ troop fatalities and commitments to 41 UN operations from 1990 to 2015 supports this expectation. States that are contiguous to an operation, which face greater concerns about the externalities of nearby conflicts, and states that receive side payments for their troop commitments, via foreign aid, are more willing to maintain their commitments in response to fatalities of their troops than other contributors. Additional findings suggest that non-contiguous contributors that do not receive side payments are also inclined to withdraw troops in response to upticks in organized violence surrounding a mission as well as fatalities of other contributors' troops. These results illustrate that the motives that states face to participate in PKOs also affect their willingness to maintain their troop commitments as their costs for participation increase.



"Does Counterterrorism Militarize Foreign Aid? Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa"
 2017  (co-authored with Tobias Heinrich and Carla Martinez Machain), Journal of Peace Research 


Abstract: This article studies whether the pursuit of counterterrorism militarizes foreign aid flows. It focuses on the case of US foreign aid to sub-Saharan African states, which recently have experienced an increase in the presence of al-Qaeda or its affiliate terrorist organizations. This article argues that as terrorist groups carry out attacks inside a state’s territory, aid towards that state will serve such counterterrorism goals. For one, the state’s executive branch will receive increased military aid to immediately fight al-Qaeda or affiliates. For the other, the United States also steps up aid for civil society and development, which could over time undermine al-Qaeda’s mobilization and recruitment efforts. In an empirical analysis that covers 46 African states from 1996 to 2011, our results largely corroborate the hypothesized patterns for attacks that occur on a country territory and in the neighborhood. We note, though, that the overall composition of aid shifts relative to the military when there are direct attacks, something that does not occur when attacks happen in the neighborhood only. Our article concludes that concerns about militarization of aid are warranted, but that actual manifestations are nuanced.
 
"Great Power and Foreign Policy" 2017 (co-authored with Carla Martinez Machain and Rebecca Kaye), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics
 
Abstract: Great powers have traditionally played a major role in the study of foreign policy. From a variety of work on foreign policy analysis, it is known that great powers are more active in their foreign policy than other states in the international system are. Whether the actions are disbursing foreign aid, creating alliances, conflict involvement, or others, studies will often control for great power status, with the underlying expectation being that major powers will be more likely to utilize these foreign policy tools. In fact, when considering relevant dyads in quantitative studies of foreign policy analysis, states have to be contiguous for the dyad to be considered relevant, but an exception is made for dyads containing at least one major power, given the ability of great powers to project their power beyond their borders... 

Working Papers

"The Effect of Biased Peacekeepers on Building Trust" (co-authored with Rick K. Wilson), invited to revise and resubmit at the Journal of Experimental Political Science

"Reliable contributors? Leadership Turnover, Regime Type, and Commitments to Peacekeeping" (co-authored with Tim Passmore), under review

"Burden Sharing in UN Peacekeeping Operations: Who Deploys to the Frontlines?", under review