— MA, University of Edinburgh; MSc, University of London
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- Office: MEZ 3.216
- Office Hours: Th 9-12
My dissertation examines Great Power politics in the context of shifting power. When power shifts, why do states sometimes promote the ascent of potential challengers while at other times stymieing the rise of would-be rivals? I answer this question with a deductive model of Great Power decision-making towards rising states, paying analytic attention to international structure, domestic politics and the agency of key groups and decision-makers. I show that established Great Powers are critical "gatekeepers" of world order - that is, how Great Powers respond to rising states shapes not only the trajectory of a specific state's rise but also the course of international political development more generally. Evidence is drawn from a comparative historical analysis of British and US responses to rising states between 1890 and 1990. The project contributes to IR literature on grand strategy, international order and international security and has contemporary relevance for understanding the likely response of the US to (re)emerging Great Powers like Brazil, Russia, India and China.
I also have an active and longstanding research interest in the US military base on Diego Garcia in the Chagos Islands (British Indian Ocean Territory). Through this research agenda I am able to connect the high politics of grand strategy with the micro-foundational aspects of states' foreign policies, not least of all in terms of how interstate power shifts - in this instance, between Britain and the US - have affected and continue to affect the organization of local politics across the globe. My recent work in this area focuses on the way that environmental protection initiatives are used to buttress the Pentagon's control over its island bases on Diego Garcia and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific.
My scholarly work has appeared or is forthcoming in African Affairs, Anthropology Today, International Politics, the Journal of Transatlantic Studies and the Review of International Studies. I have contributed several book reviews to Political Studies Review. In addition, my writing has featured on the websites of think tanks and news outlets such as the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), Green Futures, LabourList, the Canadian International Council (CIC) and openDemocracy.
During 2013-2014, I am a Graduate Fellow of UT's Clements Center for History, Strategy, and Statecraft.
Find me on Academia.edu.
GOV 360N • America As A Global Power
TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 0.102
Six hours of lower-division Government
This class examines the evolution of American statecraft since World War II, with special emphasis on the president’s role in defining the nation’s interests. Drawing on historical and contemporary cases, we will consider how international power and domestic politics shape the president’s geopolitical priorities and how those priorities have changed over time. The course is designed to increase your knowledge of how US foreign policy is made and why America’s leaders pursue the grand strategies they do.
Grades based on three in-class exams.
John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment (Oxford 2005)
David Sanger, Confront and Conceal (Simon and Schuster, 2012)
Peter Trubowitz, Politics and Strategy (Princeton 2011)
2014. A Political Trilemma? International Security, Environmental Protection and Human Rights in the British Indian Ocean Territory. International Politics, in press.
2013. Decolonising the Special Relationship: Diego Garcia, the Chagossians and Anglo-American Relations. Review of International Studies 39, no. 3 (July): 707-727.
2013. Dead End or Crossroads? The Chagossians Fail in Strasbourg. Anthropology Today 29, no. 3 (June): 26.
2011. Not Just a Military Base: Reframing Diego Garcia and the Chagos Islands. African Affairs 110, no. 440 (July): 491-499.
2014. The Transatlantic Divide in (Undergraduate) International Relations. Journal of Transatlantic Studies, in press.
Commentary and reviews (selected)
2013. Britain’s role in the world: Beyond Europe versus America. British American Security Information Council (BASIC) blog, 25 November.
2013. A close call for international law. OpenCanada.org (Canadian International Council/Conseil International du Canada), 15 October.
2013. Review of Marc Trachtenberg, The Cold War and After: History, Theory, and the Logic of International Politics. In: Political Studies Review 11, no. 3 (September): 419-420.
2013. Implications of the Syria vote: How Britain goes to war (or not). openDemocracy, 11 September.
2013. Chagos Islands: Conserving natural resources demands attention to human rights. Green Futures Magazine, 4 September.
2012. Double review of Sandra J.T.M. Evers and Marry Kooy, eds., Eviction from the Chagos Islands: Displacement and Struggle for Identity Against Two World Powers and Laura Jeffery, Chagos Islanders in Mauritius and the UK: Forced Displacement and Onward Migration. In: African Affairs 111, no. 444 (July): 503-506.
2012. Review of Charles A. Kupchan, How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace. In: Political Studies Review 10, no. 1 (January): 113-114.
2012. Review of Daniel Wirls, Irrational Security: The Politics of Defense from Reagan to Obama. In: Political Studies Review 10, no. 1 (January): 159-160.