Research

Dissertation

Providing Peace to Develop Democracy: How Contributing to UN Peacekeeping Operations Promotes Democratic Consolidation

My dissertation explores how contributing uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping operations can support democratic consolidation in newly democratized states. The challenge of providing public goods with weak institutions, while facing the threat of a disgruntled military that has lost status and income during the transition, often leads new democracies to seek out help from international organizations. Contributing to peacekeeping operations is a credible commitment to other UN members that a state is serious about democratic reform. This engenders increased political and financial support from the international community, creating a means by which to provide public goods domestically. This is also an important signal of reform to the domestic public, who might otherwise incite revolution or support an autocratic backslide if the prospects of democracy are grim. Furthermore, involvement in peacekeeping provides a short-term commitment that the military will not be reformed or dissolved, offering a continued source of activity, training, and income. In the long term, serving in missions is likely to socialize the military to democratic norms of civil-military relations. As a result, political institutions grow stronger and the prospects of democratic survival increase. This project makes important contributions to understanding international influences in the democratization process, as well as strengthening research on civil-military relations and the determinants of peacekeeping contributions.

Other Projects

"Rallying the Troops: Collective Action and Self-Interest in UN Peacekeeping Contributions," with Megan Shannon and Andrew F. Hart. 2018. Journal of Peace Research 55(3): 366-379.

"Signals, Skills, and Socialization: Democratization and the Supply of United Nations Peacekeepers" (under peer review).

"Resourcing Security: The Effect of Personnel Shortfalls on Civilian Protection in UN Peacekeeping Operations," with Megan Shannon (under peer review).

"Underwriting Peace: The Role of Intergovernmental Organizations in Securing Conflict Party Consent to Peacekeeping," with Jaroslav Tir and Johannes Karreth (in progress).

"Domestic Determinants of Concessions during WTO Dispute Settlements," (working paper available).

"Transnational Land Acquisition and Social Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa," (working paper available).


Grants, Awards, and Fellowships

2018

  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship, CU Boulder Graduate School
  • One Earth Future/University of Colorado ABD Fellowship
  • Graduate Summer Fellowship, CU Boulder Graduate School
  • Graduate Research Grant, CU Boulder Department of Political Science
  • Summer Research Grant, CU Boulder Institute of Behavioral Studies
  • Travel Grant, CU Boulder Graduate School

2014-2017

  • William D. Winters Fellowship, CU Boulder
  • Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy Grant
  • Harold D. Lasswell Award for most outstanding project in International Relations and Foreign Affairs, Horowitz Foundation
  • Graduate Research Grant, CU Boulder Department of Political Science
  • Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grant, CU Boulder Graduate School
  • Center to Advance Research in the Social Sciences Grant, CU Boulder
  • United Government of Graduate Students Travel Grant, CU Boulder
  • Graduate Research Grant to conduct research in Lebanon, CU Boulder Department of Political Science
  • Graduate Travel Grant, CU Boulder Department of Political Science

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