Ongoing Research

Here is a list of current research I am doing, along with the status of the project. For papers that have already been published, please consult my CV. In the coming days I will be adding links to drafts of these papers and short descriptions of each of them. Please email me if you would like a copy of a paper listed here and there is no link to the paper.

Leaders and International Conflict: This project, mostly co-authored with Allan C. Stam, focuses on the background experiences of heads of state and how those life experiences influence the militarized behavior of leaders when they get into office. Our Leader Experiences, Attributes, and Decisions (LEAD) dataset contains information on over two dozen background characteristics of over 2000 heads of state from 1875-2004. The dataset includes background experiences such as military service, education, age, gender, family background, and prior occupation. We are working on a series of papers and a book.

  • “How Prior Military Service Influences the Future Militarized Behavior of Leaders.” With Allan Stam. On R&R at a peer-reviewed journal.
  • “Why the President Gets a Background Check: Leaders Experiences and International Conflict.” With Allan Stam. Drafted and presented at 2012 International Studies Association Annual Meeting. Projected submission to a peer-reviewed journal, late fall 2012.
  • “Leaders, Rebel Experience, and Nuclear Proliferation.” With Matt Furhmann. Drafted. Projected submission to a peer-reviewed journal, mid/late fall 2012
  • “Leader Backgrounds and the Reciprocation and Escalation of International Conflict.” With Phil Potter and Allan Stam. In progress.
  • Leader Experiences and International Conflict (provisional title). With Allan Stam. Book manuscript in progress and under contract at university press. Projected completion of full draft, late fall 2012.
  • Additional papers in earlier stages include work on leader backgrounds and audience costs, as well as how the public views the relative importance of the president across different issue areas.

When Religion Goes to War: This project focuses on the role of religion in international conflict, a topic under-explored by international relations scholars over the last several decades. With the possibility to motivate people for both group and individual reasons, religion, when activated, can play an especially large role influencing the trajectory of warfare. Utilizing case studies, a survey experiment, and simple quantitative data, this project explores the relationship between religion and war

  • “Religious Motivations and Paying the Costs of War.” Survey experiment to be fielded in mid-fall 2012. In progress.
  • When Religion Goes to War. Book manuscript in progress, to be completed in mid-fall 2012.

Military Innovation and Military Effectiveness: This is a series of papers that builds on arguments developed and related to my first book, The Diffusion of Military Power: Causes and Consequences for International Politics. The papers cover different aspects of military innovation and military effectiveness, looking at both both state and non-state actors.

  • “Allying to Kill: Terrorist Intergroup Cooperation and the Consequences for Lethality.” With Phil Potter. On R&R at a peer-reviewed journal.
  • “Poor Man’s Atomic Bomb? Exploring the relationship between “Weapons of Mass Destruction”.” With Neil Narang. Under review at a peer-reviewed journal.
  • “Reconsidering Arms Versus Allies.” With Paul Poast and Allan Stam. Drafted. Projected submission to a peer-reviewed journal, late fall 2012
  • “The Life-Cycle of Terrorist Innovation: The Case of Hijacking.” With Phil Potter. Drafted and presented at 2012 International Studies Association Annual Meeting. Projected submission to a peer-reviewed journal, late fall 2012.
  • “Some Things Never Change: Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the Roman Empire.” Drafted and will be submitted to an academic journal within 1-2 weeks (updated: September 26, 2012).
  • Additional papers in earlier stages include work on terrorist group “switching” between hijacking and suicide bombing and on explaining intra-war variation in the decisions of states to utilize different military strategies.

New Datasets in Progress: As part of these projects, I am working on or have created several new datasets that might be of interest. These will become available as soon as the relevant papers are published.

  • Leader Experience and Attitude Descriptions (LEAD). With Allan Stam (spring 2012).
  • Military Recruitment Around the World, 1815-2000 (summer 2012).
  • United States Uses of Force, 1789-2012 (completion of version 1.0, summer 2012).
  • Global biological and chemical weapons proliferation, 1914-2000 (spring 2012).