Research

International Security  |  Foreign Policy  |  International Political Economy  |  Statecraft

My research investigates the political effects of economic statecraft and the use of finance in foreign policy.

Statecraft encompasses the diplomatic, economic, and financial tools used to pursue foreign policy goals.

The Financialization of Foreign Policy

Targeted Financial Sanctions and Government Response

The financialization of foreign policy features the increased presence and relevance of finance in foreign policy. The book project draws on work from my dissertation and examines the political effects of the financialization of foreign policy in the United States. One result of the financialization of foreign policy is reliance on targeted financial sanctions as a first-resort tool of statecraft. These targeted sanctions differ from traditional economic sanctions in meaningful ways that have implications for the response taken by targeted governments. Under what conditions do governments respond to the imposition of targeted financial sanctions? I argue the decision to respond to U.S.-imposed targeted sanctions is a strategic one, influenced by key features of the targeted sanction episode: the identity of the actor intended for coercion, which can be the government or the targeted entity itself, and the political relevance of the targeted actor to the political survival of the government. To test these and other arguments, I use quantitative statistical tests of a new dataset and detailed comparative case studies of targeted sanctions episodes. I introduce and use a new dataset on targeted financial sanctions imposed by the U.S. between 2011 and 2019. To my knowledge, the Targeted Financial Sanctions Dataset is the first comprehensive, accessible cross-national dataset on targeted sanctions. This dataset will enable the study of important questions surrounding the use of targeted financial sanctions as a tool of statecraft, in addition to the key question examined in this project. The multi-method study reveals the conditions that make governments inclined to retaliate against the U.S., protect domestic actors, or ignore the sanctions altogether. This project contributes to our understanding of the strategic environment in which governments respond to targeted sanctions, and sheds light on the implications of relying, perhaps too heavily, on financial tools of coercion in foreign policy.