Dissertation Project: “Power Vacuums in International Politics”

"Nations, like nature, are said to abhor a vacuum." Arnold Wolfers' words cunningly summarize a wisdom commonly held both within the academy and policy communities: just like black holes in space, power vacuums in international politics are viewed as exerting tremendous gravitational force, pulling in states and as a result increasing security competition and the likelihood of interstate war. Yet despite the frequency with which power vacuums and their pernicious consequences are referred to in scholarly and public discourse, social scientists – and in particular students of international relations – have so far failed to specify what power vacuums are, let alone discuss their implications for international politics. This project seeks to rectify these omissions by developing and testing a theory about the role of power vacuums in international politics.

Working Papers

“Resolved Uncertainty in Great Power Politics? Revisiting British Perceptions of German Intentions in the 1930s”

“Are Bonds the New Nukes? Sovereign Debt and Great Power Politics”

“The Road to Adjudication: Islam and Peaceful Resolution of Territorial Disputes,” with Emilia J. Powell and Benedikt A. Graf

“How Rare Are Rational Thinkers in International Politics? Revisiting the ‘Guilty Men’ of Interwar Britain”

“A Tale of Two Pressures: Islamic Law States and the Timing of Litigation” with Emilia J. Powell and Benedikt A. Graf