International Political Economy
I study the ways in which states and multinational corporations manage international conflict and economic interdependence. In particular, I examine the mutual interactions of foreign direct investment and economic coercion and sanctions. Multinational enterprises (MNEs) invest abroad according to underlying economic logics that, in turn, can insulate them from or leave them vulnerable to the effects of economic sanctions. However, not all economic coercion is created equal, and some industries are more susceptible to particular types of sanction costs than others.
Another part of my research agenda examines:
- the paths by which states abstain from or pursue nuclear weapons; and
- the methodology we use to study this abstinence or pursuit.
This means using methodological techniques that can handle equifinality (multiple paths to the same outcome) and that can account for inherent uncertainty.
As I wrote here, the study of proliferation requires appreciating previous research but re-evaluating those results with new data and modern methodological techniques.
Foreign investors face many additional risks when they invest abroad. My research illuminates the difficulties posed by "dyadic risk": the risks that arise from international relationships, rather than solely from domestic politics.
- Mixed-methods approaches: combining causal process observations and assumptions about data-generating processes. Broadening "ensemble" techniques from a purely quantitative perspective to incorporate additional models.
- Bayesian probability models: retaining uncertainty, incorporating additional subject knowledge, averaging across models, and when necessary imposing stricter hypothesis testing using skeptical priors.
- Machine-learning techniques: generating hypotheses, evaluating models on predictive criteria, and avoiding over-fitting.
Data and code
This page contains replication code and data for my papers, along with any compiled but unused data sets. I'm in the process of making these files manageable and will upload each file as I do so.
- The first data set is an exhaustive set of bilateral investment treaties, taken from the UNCTAD Investment Policy Hub. The data set includes all treaty dyads: the partners of the treaty; when they were signed; when they entered into force; and, if they were terminated, the reason and termination date.
- Please email me if you use the data, whether you find any inaccuracies, and whether you find it useful/hate it/love it.
JMALNIGH (at) UCI (dot) EDU