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.