I am an assistant professor of International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. My research is motivated by my desire to understand and explain when and how government, business, and society can work together to generate shared prosperity. I use a mixture of quantitative and qualitative social science methods to explore the international political economy of foreign investment policies and promotion, investor behavior, and the relationship between global and local business elites. My current book project examines how domestic firms manage policies toward foreign investment to their benefit, and is under review at Cambridge University Press. My research has been published in International Studies Quarterly, Perspectives on Politics, and International Interactions. I also work closely with the investment promotion and economic development community, especially the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, and I have participated in multiple high-level international policy conferences related to global investment and development. I earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and was previously a post-doctoral scholar at Princeton University’s Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance.
International Law & Organization
Networks And Politics
Bilateral Investment Treaties
Explanations For Inequality
My current research is primarily focused on the politics of investment facilitation promotion and faciliation. This work explores descriptive information about how many investment incentive deals multinational firms receive globally, who receives these incentives, and what they look like. It also asks why certain governments give certain firms incentives, especially since there is little evidence that tax incentives are consequential for firms' locational decisions. I look particular at how different governance structures of investment promotion agencies affect officials' incentives and beliefs about how to best attract global investment.I also have research interests in the global financial network as it relates to economic crises, the role of international treaties and investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms in shaping global investment decisions, and how networks of global production affect economic inequality.
What factors generate financial fragility in open economies? Existing research assumes that the development of these conditions is more likely to emerge under some configurations of domestic economic and political attributes. We examine the development of financial fragility through the ontological lens of the new interdependence approach, which assumes that global factors can be as important as local factors in generating outcomes. We analyze global financial conditions from 1978 to 2009 and argue that contemporary global finance is an oscillating system that generates boom and bust capital flow cycles. The phases of this cycle are a consequence of the scale of US net borrowing on global markets: when the United States is a large net importer of foreign capital, other economies struggle to attract foreign capital and are substantially less likely to develop fragile financial positions; when US net capital imports fall, other economies receive an abundance of foreign capital, and financial fragility becomes more likely. In contrast, we find little evidence that cross-national variation in political institutions or financial systems explains why fragility develops, although some regional interdependencies are evident. We conclude that global conditions drive the probability of crises occurring someplace in the system, while local outcomes appear to be idiosyncratic.
Under what conditions can governments use international commitments such as Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) to attract foreign direct investment (FDI)? Although numerous studies have attempted to answer this question, none considers how investment treaties may have heterogeneous affects across industry. I argue BIT effect is strongest when the obsolescing bargaining problem between firms and governments is most protracted, namely, when FDI relies on strong contracts between firms and states. Using a time series cross-sectional data set of 114 developing countries from 1985 to 2011, I find BITs are associated with increases in infrastructure investment, an industry particularly reliant on the sanctity of government contracts, but not with total FDI inflows. Moreover, BITs with strong arbitration provisions display the strongest statistical effect on infrastructure investment, while BITs that do not provide investors with such protections are not associated with increased investment. My results have implications for both scholarship on the relationship between governments and multinational firms as well as for the study of international institutions more broadly. To properly ascertain the effects of international treaties and institutions, scholars should consider not just whether institutions constrain or inform—or matter at all—but also the extent to which the targets of institutions have heterogeneous responses to them.
Although the subprime crisis regenerated interest in and stimulated debate about how to study the politics of global finance, it has not sparked the development of new approaches to International Political Economy (IPE), which remains firmly rooted in actor-centered models. We develop an alternative network-based approach that shifts the analytical focus to the relations between actors. We first depict the contemporary global financial system as a network, with a particular focus on its hierarchical structure. We then explore key characteristics of this global financial network, including how the hierarchic network structure shapes the dynamics of financial contagion and the source and persistence of power. Throughout, we strive to relate existing research to our network approach in order to highlight exactly where this approach accommodates, where it extends, and where it challenges existing knowledge generated by actor-centered models. We conclude by suggesting that a network approach enables us to construct a systemic IPE that is theoretically and empirically pluralist.
Foreign Policy and the Next President
Political and Economic Effects of Brexit
Robots aren’t killing the American Dream. Neither is trade. This is the problem
What Black Monday does and doesn’t tell us about the world economy
Why U.S. financial hegemony will endure
The strange politics of U.S. – E.U. free trade