About Me


I am a Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles, where I received my Ph.D. In Political Science in 2017. My research addresses the need for a micro-foundational theory to support the thesis that economic interdependence reduces the likelihood of militarized interstate disputes. In my dissertation, I demonstrated that the variation in business power—the degree of influence that business interests have on policy-making—affects whether bilateral trade alters the decision to use military force to resolve interstate disputes. I also show that economic interdependence does not reduce the probability of a militarized dispute when at least one state is dependent on oil revenues due to the fact that the private sector is smaller and weaker in petrostates. I approach these questions through a variety of methods, including qualitative case studies, statistical analysis, and machine learning. My dissertation includes two process-tracing case studies of Colombia-Venezuela and China-Japan relations, which are based on my extensive time living and conducting research in Latin America and East Asia. I have also completed two Master’s theses on inter-Korean relations.

I have been the recipient of U.S. Department of Education’s East Asian Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) summer and academic year fellowships, the Herbert York Global Security Dissertation fellowship from UC San Diego’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and UCLA’s Dissertation Year Fellowship. Earlier versions of my dissertation research were presented at the Triangle Institute for Security Studies New Faces Conference in Chapel Hill, NC, Emerging Scholars in Grand Strategy Conference at Notre Dame, and UCLA’s Dissertation Launchpad. I received my B.A. from Hendrix College in Arkansas and hold M.A.s from the Universiteit van Amsterdam and the University of Chicago. I hope you will explore my research in more detail on this website. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to email or use the contact form.