(with Eric Reinhardt) “Global Credit Markets, Political Violence, and Politically Sustainable Risk Premia,” International Interactions, 39:316–342, 2013.
Abstract: How do international financial conditions affect civil unrest? Existing studise examine the domestic economic roots of political violence but say little about the role of external financial conditions. We explore the interactions between international lending, government policy, and domestic unrest. In particular, we note that because of sovereign risk and defensive lending dynamics, credit ratings and interest rate premia are endogenous to expectations about civil violence. We test these claims using instrumental variables techniques and daily data on sovereign bond yield spreads, credit ratings, and episodes of civil violence in 59 developing countries from 1990 through 2004. After correcting for endogeneity, we find that exogenous increases in the price of foreign capital are robustly associated with increased odds of civil conflict. Primary commodity dependence, low economic growth, and poverty can also increase the odds of civil conflict by reducing access to foreign capital.
(with Stephen Chaudoin) “Ratification Patterns and the International Criminal Court,” International Studies Quarterly (2013) 57, 400–409.
Abstract: What types of countries have ratified the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court? Because the court relies on state cooperation, it is a good example of a regime facing a ‘‘participation problem.’’ In order to be effective, the regime requires active members, but states that fear regime effectiveness will therefore find it potentially costly to join. We analyze the extent to which this problem plagues the ICC. We find that countries for whom compliance is likely to be easiest—democracies with little internal violence—are the most likely countries to join the ICC. On the other hand,
countries with the most to fear from ICC prosecution, nondemocracies with weak legal systems and a history of domestic political violence, tend to avoid ratification. We contrast our findings with those of a recent article by Simmons and Danner (2010), arguing that ratification patterns show evidence of credible commitments. Our analysis across a breadth of evidence, both descriptive and multivariate, suggests caution toward arguments about the impact of the ICC on global practices and provides support for the notion that states strategically select themselves into supranational judicial agreements.
(with Johannes Urpelainen and Scott Wolford) “International bargaining, endogenous domestic constraints, and democratic accountability,” Journal of Theoretical Politics, 25(2) 260–283.
Abstract: How do domestic constraints affect international negotiations? Most existing research takes these constraints as given, owing to the presence of certain types of domestic institutions. We analyze a two-sided international bargaining model with endogenous domestic constraints. Our model includes a principal–agent tension between domestic audiences and leaders, and it shows how constraints may arise endogenously and be tailored to the strategic situation at hand by domestic audiences. We show that domestic actors can often use accountability mechanisms to garner bargaining leverage and control special interests, even when leaders hold private information about their distributive preferences. We also show that the relative strength of accountability across countries is important for understanding the emergence of endogenous constraints. We discuss the implications of these theoretical findings for the influence of domestic constraints in several prominent examples of international negotiations.