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"Reliable contributors? Leadership Turnover, Regime Type, and Commitments to Peacekeeping" (with Tim Passmore), Online First 2023, Foreign Policy Analysis

Absract: While studies have investigated why states contribute personnel to peacekeeping operations, little consideration has been given to how domestic political factors influence state contributions. We argue that changes in executive power that involve a shift in the domestic source of leadership support cause fluctuations in troop deployments, leading to inconsistent contribution behavior. However, we argue that this effect is attenuated in more democratic states since greater overlaps in the preferences of domestic groups are present and political institutions exist to constrain major policy shifts. Analysis of state troop commitments to UN peacekeeping from 1991-2018 support this argument. This research highlights the often-overlooked role of domestic policy processes in peacekeeping contributions while moving beyond considering why some states contribute relatively more personnel to address variation within countries. The findings indicate that while democracies typically contribute fewer peacekeepers, they tend to be more consistent contributors in the face of leadership turnover.

"The Limit of American Public Support for Military Intervention" (with Songying Fang), 2024,  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.

"The Effect of Biased Peacekeepers on Building Trust" (with Rick K. Wilson), 2023,  Journal of Experimental Political Science

Abstract: Do unbiased third-party peacekeepers build trust between groups in the aftermath of conflict? Theoretically we point out that unbiased peacekeepers are the most effective at promoting trust. To isolate the causal effect of bias on trust, we use an iterated trust game in a laboratory setting. Groups that previously engaged in conflict are put into a setting in which they choose to trust or reciprocate any trust.  Our findings suggest that biased monitors impede trust while unbiased monitors promote cooperative exchanges over time. The findings contribute to the peacekeeping literature by highlighting impartiality as an important condition under which peacekeepers build trust post conflict. 

"Burden Sharing in UN Peacekeeping Operations: Who Deploys to Violent Locations?", 2023, International Interactions

Abstract: Which countries deploy troops to violent locations within UN peacekeeping operations? Troop contributing countries face different incentives to participate in peacekeeping operations. These motivating factors should also condition their willingness to take on risks to implement mission mandates. I argue that states motivated to ensure the effectiveness of an operation as well as states that expect to receive private gains by deploying to riskier locales within missions will send more of their troops to these areas. In contrast, states with leaders that are more sensitive to the potential costs associated with riskier commitments will be less willing to send their service members to violent locations. Results from an analysis of spatially disaggregated data across 23 UN missions from 1994 to 2015 support these expectations. States hosting refugees from a mission location tend to deploy more troops to local areas that experience major violent episodes. States that generate greater benefits to their militaries through their involvement in peacekeeping also provide more troops to these areas. In contrast, democratic contributors send fewer troops to violent locations. The results further reveal important disparities in troop deployments within UN peacekeeping operations.

"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"
 (with Tobias Heinrich and Carla Martinez Machain), 2017, 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" (with Carla Martinez Machain and Rebecca Kaye), 2017, 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

"Costs or Benefits? Competing Frames and Public Support for Multilateral Peace Operations" (with Andrew Lugg), under review

"Explaining Contributions of High-Quality Troops to UN Peacekeeping Operations" (with Robert Wood)

"Creeds and Constraints: The Domestic Determinants of UN Peacekeeping Contributions" (with Tim Passmore)

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