Research Interests

International relations: IPE, international organizations, trade, global governance, domestic politics of IR.

Comparative politics: authoritarianism, democratization, political economy,  development, political institutions.


The Domestic Sources of Autocratic Trade Agreements.

Committee: Jon Pevehouse (Chair), Mark Copelovitch, Lisa Martin, Jessica Weeks

Although we commonly think that dictators isolate themselves internationally, nondemocratic states are increasingly joining international trade agreements and other international organizations. My dissertation studies the domestic factors that affect both entry into trade agreements as well as the content of these agreements. I analyze the respective roles of elite preferences and institutions in shaping autocratic trade policy, arguing that while the preferences of elite governing coalitions are the primary determinants of trade policy choices in authoritarian states, these ruling coalitions operate within a given institutional context. As a result, where political coalitions support liberalization, strong political institutions can aid in effective and deep liberalization. On the other hand, where governing coalitions have highly protectionist trade preferences, the presence of institutions such as legislatures and parties does not promote membership in trade agreements, but instead reinforces protectionism. I use a mixed-methods approach utilizing both statistical analyses and case studies to analyze autocratic trade agreements. I show that personalist dictatorships enter into PTAs more frequently than other nondemocracies, because they are more opportunist and less dependent on their coalition, but they also tend to enter into shallower trade agreements.

Working Papers

“Personalism and the Politics of Central Bank Independence under Authoritarianism.” Under Review.

“Autocratic Central Banks and Monetary Policy Credibility.” Working Paper. Last presented at ISA 2017.

“International Trade Governance”, with Jon Pevehouse. Working Paper. Chapter in Barnett, , Pevehouse, and Raustiala, The Future of Global Governance 


Additional work available on request.