Sample Works in Progress
What Do I Get? How States’ Negotiation Alternatives Influence the Concessions They Receive in Multilateral Negotiations
When will states receive concessions in multilateral negotiations? And on which issues are those concessions likely to be received? I highlight two factors that influence the likelihood a state will receive concessions on an issue in multilateral negotiations: (1) the degree to which the issues linked together in the negotiation are “differently valued” by the negotiating states, and (2) the costliness of states’ “best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA)” on each individual issue. The former creates the opportunity for an exchange of concessions; the latter creates the incentive for that exchange to occur. It is the interaction of having more differently-valued issues on the table and having a more costly BATNA on an issue that makes a state more likely to receive concessions on that issue. This argument stands in contrast to the standard negotiation literature, which has shown that having a more beneficial BATNA will yield greater concessions. I argue that these contradictory assertions exist because there are two types of BATNAs that must be taken into account – a negotiation-level BATNA and issuespecific BATNAs. The current literature has tended to focus on the former while I focus on the latter. I test my argument on an originally constructed dataset of concessions states received in the Uruguay Round trade negotiations of the GATT. For each issue in the Round, I coded the costliness of each state's issue-specific BATNA and the level of concessions it received on that issue. The results provide insights into the workings of multilateral negotiations.
Trade Balance and Policy Complexity: Explaining Political Elites' Focus on International Trade at the Domestic Level
(with Timothy Taylor)
The attention international trade receives at the domestic level varies widely across countries as well as among political elites within the same country. When and why are political elites likely to dedicate attention to this issue, and what is the policy position on which they are likely to focus when doing so? We argue that political elites are more likely to focus domestic attention on international trade when their state’s economy is more dependent upon trade. The balance of trade is likely to influence the degree to which trade liberalization or protectionism is the main focus of elites at the domestic level, and the complexity of their country's trade policies is likely to mediate this relationship between the trade balance and the trade policy positions that dominate the domestic agenda. We test this argument by analyzing how political elites chose to focus on international trade in their party platforms in the lead-up to national elections across fifty-three countries from 1960 to 2014. The results show that these characteristics of countries' trade policies are related in important ways to political elites' strategic choice regarding when and how to focus domestic attention on international trade.
Please Help Us (or Don't): External Interventions and Negotiated Settlements in Civil Conflicts
(with Amy Skoll)
How do different types of external intervention affect the likelihood of a negotiated settlement in civil conflicts? Drawing on the negotiation literature, which shows that the nature of the parties' "best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA)" influences the bargaining process between them, we argue different types of intervention affect governments' and rebel groups' BATNAs in different ways. This, in turn, affects the likelihood of a negotiated settlement. To test this argument, we address the fact that interventions are nonrandom, and that characteristics of civil conflicts that lead to different types of intervention also influence the likelihood of a negotiated settlement. We therefore use a two-stage statistical model. The first stage predicts the likelihood of different types of intervention, and drawing on those results, the second stage analyzes the likelihood of a negotiated settlement. The results provide insights into how different types of intervention affect civil conflict outcomes.
The Multistage Path to Peace in Civil Conflicts (book project)
(with Katharine Floros)
Civil conflicts are critically important to the international community due to the fact that the consequences of those conflicts often spill across state borders, such as through refugee flows and weapons movements. Yet we understand relatively little about the process of negotiating peace in civil wars. The goal of this project is to better understand the process of negotiating peace agreements to end civil conflicts. To that end, it analyzes the multiple stages of the peace process: initiation (negotiation offers), pre-bargaining (agreeing to negotiate), negotiations (reaching an agreement), and implementation (ending the conflict). Understanding each stage is important because there are often multiple starts and stops throughout the peace process. With so many killed and displaced by civil conflicts around the world, understanding the particularities of this multi-stage process, and how the actions of international actors can facilitate (or may actually hamper) the process, is of critical importance for international peace and security. This project studies the complexities of the peace process, can enable international actors to be more effective in their efforts to end civil conflicts.