My academic expertise is in the area of international security. I am particularly interested in three topics: military interventions, UN peacekeeping and European Security and Defense Policy.

Book Manuscript

Constructing Cooperation: Process and Agency in Multilateral Military Coalition-Building (under review with Cornell University Press)

How do countries build multilateral military coalitions ? This book seeks to answer this question. Most of the existing literature suggests that states coalesce instinctively because of common interests, threat perceptions, political ideologies, or norms and values. Formal military alliances are often considered the key vehicles in this process. Alternatively, scholars have pointed to hegemonic orders or "hierarchy" to explain coalition participation.The theory I advance in this book takes a different approach. Most importantly, it suggests that multilateral military coalition-building involves intense diplomatic negotiations: states need to be swayed to join a given military coalition. This requires arguing, persuasion, and often side-payments or issue-linkages. In this negotiation process diplomatic embeddedness plays an important role. Diplomatic embeddedness, which I define as the aggregate number of formal bilateral and multilateral ties that connect a country dyad, provides access to private information, creates trust and facilitates the construction of issue-linkages and side-payments. This book thus illustrates that cooperation in military coalitions is often "constructed" and "being networked" matters in this process. This is a novel insight. IR theory has not focused thus far on the aggregate effect of institutional connections. The book applies this theory to US-led coalitions, to coalitions constructed by states other than the United States (e.g., Australia and France), to UN peacekeeping missions and multilateral interventions that operate under the umbrella of regional organizations and alliances such as NATO, the African Union or the European Union. It triangulates statistical large-N regression analysis, in-depth elite interviews and archival research to illustrate and test the theoretical argument it advances.

Book Project

Intervention Entrepreneurs

Military interventions are without a doubt the most forceful and most costly foreign policy tool extant. But how do they actually come about? This book project proposes that Intervention Entrepreneurs are key to understanding the political processes leading up to a military intervention. I define intervention entrepreneurs as private citizens, government officials, associations and groups which lobby both policymakers and the public for intervention. In this book I set out to investigate what specific tactics intervention entrepreneurs use to pursue their intervention goals. For example, it appears that intervention entrepreneurs conduct and disseminate research about the potential costs and consequences of military inaction. They also engage in framing strategies, in an attempt to persuade the public and government officials that a given situation constitutes an apparent threat to a country's national security. These framing strategies often enable intervention entrepreneur to mobilize civil society in favor of intervention. Finally, they also use the threat of future campaign contributions to elected officials as a way to pressure the latter officials to implement their policy proposals.

Article Publications

Great Powers and UN Force Generation: A case study of UNAMID
International Peacekeeping, Vol. 23, Issue 3, 2016.

How are UN peacekeepers recruited? While we know a lot about UN member states’ general predispositions to participate in UN peacekeeping operations, we know very little about the actual UN force generation process. What role do
the UN and its powerful member states play in this process? How do they interact to recruit UN forces? This article seeks answers to these questions by means of an in-depth case study of the force generation process for the UN–
AU operation to Darfur (UNAMID).

Link to Publisher's website

Has UN Peacekeeping become more deadly? Trends in UN Fatalities
Providing for Peacekeeping, No. 14, December 2016

This article examines trends in UN peacekeeping fatalities using a new dataset on UN fatalities. The principal findings of the article are as follows: fatality rates and ratios due to accidents and malicious acts are on the decline. Nevertheless, the same cannot be said for illness-related fatality rates and ratios. Indeed, this report provides strong evidence, that UN fatalities due to illness follow an upward trajectory: increasingly troops, police and military observers die due to illness-related causes while serving in UN missions.

Link to Publisher's website

UN Fatalities 1948-2015: A New Dataset
Conflict Management and Peace Science , February 6, 2017 (online first)

This article presents a new dataset on UN peacekeeping fatalities that occurred during 1948-2015. The data includes five types of fatality counts: total fatalities, fatalities caused by accidents, illness, malicious acts (i.e., hostile deaths) and a fourth category marked 'other incident types.' For every UN operation during 1948-2015, data on the number of these four types of UN fatalities are coded at the yearly as well as monthly level. The monthly data also indicate the nationality of the deceased.

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The Politics of Diplomacy: How the United States builds Multilateral Military Coalitions
International Studies Quarterly (forthcoming)

The conventional wisdom advances that formal alliance structures guide military coalition-building processes: allies band together because they share threat perceptions, political ideology, norms and values. This article, however, suggests otherwise. It proposes that U.S.-led coalition-building is first and foremost a diplomatic process influenced by bilateral and multilateral institutions other than formal alliances. The breadth of institutions matters because it allows accessing information on the potential coalition partner's deployment preferences that are not only related to the security aspect of the operation but also its political, economic and other facets. In addition, diplomatic embeddedness offers linkage opportunities between military and non-military interests, which facilitates the construction of side-payments.

Link to Publisher's website

The Rotten Carrot: Reexamining U.S.-Turkish Bargaining Failure over Iraq in 2003
Security Studies (forthcoming)

Side-payments are commonly used in international relations to alter the foreign policies of states. Despite their frequent usage, however, our understanding is very limited when it comes to why certain side-payment negotiations succeed while others fail. This article tries to remedy this shortcoming. It argues that social embeddedness between actors involved in the negotiations has a major bearing on bargaining outcomes. Under ideal circumstances, social relationships can be used to reduce information asymmetries and increase trust. Nevertheless, in the presence of fractured social networks, social ties can foster information bias and distrust thus ultimately increasing the likelihood of bargaining failure. This article uses U.S.-Turkish bargaining failure over the Iraq intervention in 2003 to illustrate and test this theory.

Link to Publisher's website

Working Papers

The Market for Coalition Contributions: How Intervening Governments seek and compensate Multilateral Partners (under review)

Most military interventions today are multinational. To explain this tendency to form multilateral coalitions, International Relations (IR) theorists have traditionally maintained that states band and fight together because they share common threat perceptions, political ideologies or alliance institutions. Yet the behavior of states in these coalitions often overtly contradicts what classical IR theories lead us to expect. Most importantly, many countries serving in these coalitions are 'paid' to do so either in cash or in concessions on other international issues. This article is a first attempt to study this phenomenon.

Who is Keeping the Peace? Process and Agency in Raising a Peacekeeping Force (under review)

This article examines how peacekeeping coalitions are constructed. Thus far we know very little about this process. The existing literature implicitly assumes that these coalitions form quasi-automatically due to preference convergence among participanting states. This article instead proposes that pivotal states play a crucial role in these efforts. Their principal work consists of persuading states to join a particular coalition through arguing, side-payments and sometimes coercive pressure.

Why did France intervene in Mali? Examining the Role of Intervention Entrepreneurs (R&R with Canadian Foreign Policy Journal)

This paper argues that Intervention Entrepreneurs are the key to understanding the political processes leading up to a military intervention and thus ultimately why military interventions come about. Intervention entrepreneurs are private citizens, bureaucrats, associations and groups which lobby for intervention. In this process they follow a similar playbook to promote their intervention proposal. This playbook contains five different tasks: (1) creating a narrative for intervention; (2) selling the narrative; (3) building a domestic coalition supportive of the intervention; (4) creating faits accomplis that accelerate the path toward intervention and (5) lobbying the head of state in favor of the intervention proposal. This article illustrates these five tasks by means of a case study of the decision-making process that led to the French intervention in Mali (2013).

Toward a Theory of European Security Cooperation

This working paper presents a causal pathway of how European Union member states manage to cooperate in security and defense affairs. It proposes the idea of a "Zip-car mechanism," which allows European Union member states to pool and share their limited military resources.

It's a Market World: Cooperation Mechanisms in World Politics reexamined

This working paper examines how multilateral cooperation efforts come about. Most people are prone to believe that preference convergence among cooperating parties undergirds most multilateral cooperation efforts. If preference convergence is not at work, we often suspected some form of coercion: third parties cooperate out of submission to pressure, vulnerability and/or fear. My research attempts to amend these two conventional modes of cooperation by a third variant, which I call the market mechanism. At its core, this mechanism proposes that states can "hire" the cooperation services of third parties. Acting like employers in the labor market, states search for ideal hires based on the quality of service delivery, price and payment flexibility. This paper tests this theory in three different issue areas: the negotiations of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the International Criminal Court. Using original quantitative as well as qualitative evidence, I illustrate the "market mechanisms" at work that allowed international cooperation to come about. I also show that diplomatic embeddedness between "employers" and "employees" plays a key role in the hiring process as it reduces the transaction costs that arise in the search, bargaining as well as enforcement phases of this process.