My research agenda focuses on how and why state relational dynamics influence state conflict behavior and international outcomes. I examine how international networks emerge and evolve, what their structure looks like, where states are located in these networks, and what network power they possess. While the field of IR is essentially about “relationships” among countries, IR scholars often treat international networks merely as background. By utilizing social network analysis, my research aims to highlight the importance of relational dynamics in understanding a state’s behavior in the domain of international security.  

Diplomatic Networks & State Conflict Behavior

My current research program explores diplomatic networks and examines their impact on a state’s conflict behavior. Diplomatic networks represent a status hierarchy involving all member states in the international system, as exchanging diplomatic ties is a fundamental act of social recognition. Through a series of papers, I aim to present theoretical and methodological innovations designed to advance the study of status in world politics.

[3] Does Rising Fragmentation Mean De-Centralization? The Community Structure of Diplomatic Networks, Invited to Revise & Resubmit, Political Science Research and Methods 

[2] The Rise of China’s Status:  A Relational Approach, Forthcoming, The Pacific Review 

[1] Where You Sit Matters: The Power of Brokers in Diplomatic Networks & Interstate Conflict, International Interactions, 2023, 49(5): 669-695Fo

Immigration Networks

I’ve also been engaged in a collaborative project with Dino P. Christenson and Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier on immigration networks. We use social network analysis to better understand the collaborative behaviors of immigration interest groups before the Court and how relational dynamics impact immigration politics in the United States.

[1] U.S. immigration policy at the court: organized interests & asymmetric decisions, Politics, Groups, and Identities, Online First