Rachel Myrick, Ph.D. Candidate


Stanford University

Address: 616 Serra Street, Encina Hall #100

City: Stanford, California - 94305

Country: United States

About Me:

Rachel Myrick is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University in international relations, comparative politics, and quantitative analysis. Her research explores how partisan polarization affects foreign policymaking in democratic states, with a particular emphasis on U.S. national security policy. Rachel’s work is published or forthcoming at The Journal of Politics and The Journal of Global Security Studies. Prior to attending Stanford, Rachel received an M.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and a B.A. in Political Science and Global Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar.

Research Interests

Conflict Processes & War

Foreign Policy

Public Opinion

Experimental Research

Political Parties and Interest Groups


US Foreign Policy

International Cooperation

Conflict Resolution

Survey Experiments

Domestic Politics IR

My Research:

My research is about partisan polarization and its consequences for international politics. A central finding in the study of international relations is that democratic states have more stable foreign policies and are better at making credible international commitments. However, I argue that cases of extreme domestic polarization can result in significant changes in foreign policy positions and undermine the reliability of democratic commitments. Nowhere is this process more evident than in the United States, where the past thirty years have been characterized by partisan divergence on military alliances, relationships with foreign allies and adversaries, and U.S. engagement in international institutions. While the focus of research on polarization in the American context has largely been on its implications for domestic politics, this project demonstrates that polarization has tangible impacts on U.S. foreign policy and on broader patterns of international cooperation and conflict. Drawing on elite interviews, observational and experimental public opinion research, and computational text analysis, I demonstrate how polarization represents a challenge to democratic states with a particular emphasis on its implications for U.S. national security policy.