I study the international and domestic politics of statebuilding and state development. My research agenda is concerned with two big questions that are central to the study of the state: (1) what makes a state a state, and (2) what accounts for variation in stateness.
These questions about the state are central to international relations. States are the constituent units of the international system, and for many IR scholars, states remain the primary object and unit of analysis in the system. There is a rich tradition of studying state characteristics to understand variation in interstate behavior across a variety of domains. My research is concerned with one of the most fundamental state characteristics: their degree of stateness. My exploration of these big questions about stateness unfolds across three distinct research projects:
- International influences on state weakness.
- The domestic and historical determinants of state development.
- International statebuilding in post-conflict societies.
In addition, I have several related publications that explore variation in stateness.
Learn more about my work on the state and see a description of working papers by research project: