Welcome! I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I am also an affiliated researcher and contributor to the Cross-Domain Deterrence Project at the University of California, San Diego. From 2014-2015, I was a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow in the International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In July 2014, I received my Ph.D. in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.
My research interests lie in international security and conflict behavior, with a specialization in nuclear nonproliferation/counter-proliferation, extended deterrence/international institutions, nuclear latency, force structure, and deterrence and coercion strategy.
My first project examines the role of exogenous strategic influence, namely that of the United States, on incentivizing changes in nuclear decision-making. The core of this research project is my first book, The Politics of Nuclear Reversal (Revise and Resubmit, Oxford University Press) that explores the conditions under which states that have started nuclear weapons programs stop their pursuit as a result of pressure from the United States.
In another related article (under review) and book project, my co-author and I examine how uncertainty over the costs of acquiring nuclear weapons impacts the likelihood of counterproliferation agreements across a variety of theoretical conditions and cases. We focus how the informational environment nonproliferation advocates face explains nuclear outcomes. Knowing a potential proliferator's cost of weapons, resolve over the issues at stake, patience to see the project's conclusion, and speed of development are critical to offering the right inducements to convince the state to terminate its program.
Additionally, I have on-going co-authored research projects on nuclear latency or the precursor technology prior to nuclear weaponization. One paper that examines the effects of nuclear latency is forthcoming at International Studies Quarterly. Related pieces on the Iran nuclear deal have been published in The Washington Quarterly, and in an edited volume entitled , US Foreign Policy in a Challenging World - Building Order on Shifting Foundations. Other papers on nuclear latency explore its security and energy determinants, its impact on trust in the international system, and its relationship to counterproliferation policy, are all under review. The pieces of these projects, published and ongoing, are also described in Research.
My third project explores how international institutions, including alliances, are impacted by nuclear technology. A first co-authored paper on extended nuclear deterrence and moral hazard is currently accepted at the Journal of Conflict Resolution. Another paper under review, examines whether allies of nuclear patrons are able to gain concessions through diplomacy.
Finally, a fourth project examines the causes and consequences of nuclear force structure. Using original data that we collected, my co-authors and I focus on why states choose to develop specific force postures (this piece was published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution and an edited volume entitled, Nonproliferation Policy and Nuclear Posture: Causes and Consequences for the Spread of Nuclear Weapons.
My commentary has been published in the Washington Post,War on the Rocks, International Studies Quarterly, Washington Post's Monkey Cage, H-Diplo, and DecodeDC. My research has received support from the Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation (the UC system), the Stanton Foundation, USSTRATCOM, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Senning Foundation, the University of Nebraska, and the University of California, San Diego.