Research

Dissertation: Hegemony, Hierarchy, and the Contestation of International Orders

Why and how do international actors contest the institutions and practices of international politics? I argue that political struggles to define identities and social positions on the world stage drives contestation by states, international organizations, and other transnational actors over fundamental institutions. International actors seek to secure their own identities and social positions, and in doing so are drawn into struggles over the criteria for social standing and the orthodox background knowledge that structures international society. Political conflicts, from diplomatic quarrels to hegemonic wars, may thus be seen as struggles to assert relational position, and to enact particular practices as the proper “way things are done” in world politics.

This approach innovates upon existing theories of international order contestation by addressing the conflation between order and hierarchy in rational institutionalist and power transition theories, analyzing hegemony as primarily a result of ideational domination. The general applicability of a social positioning perspective is illustrated through case studies spanning different regions and issue areas of international relations. The cases include the post-Cold War rivalry between Russia and the US to enact their identities and extract recognition as a great power and hegemon, respectively, which has degraded the international security order. In international political economy, it studies how the Eurozone debt crisis in Greece was defined by clashes between the “ordoliberalism” of creditor states and EU institutions, the International Monetary Fund’s attempts to assert its identity as the preeminent site of international economic expertise, and Greece’s identity-driven imperative to maintain social position inside the European core.

Working papers (please email me for updated versions)

“Contested Hierarchies and International Orders in Early Modern Southeast Asia”

“International Organizations, Contentious Orthodoxies, and the Eurozone Crisis”

Research interests

  • International orders, hegemony and hierarchy
  • Threat perceptions in international economic relations
  • Practices and politics of sovereignty
  • Historical international relations
  • Sociological approaches in international relations theory

Recent academic conferences
2019
American Political Science Association
CIPSS-CIPS Graduate Student Colloquium
University of Waterloo Graduate Student Conference

2018
International Studies Association

2017
“The Crimea Crisis and the Performance of Great Power Politics,” International Studies Association.
“Flying Flags: The Economic Nationalism of Airline Liberalization,” Midwest Political Science Association (Junior Scholar Symposium).

Policy studies
(with Tyler Meredith) Leaving Some Behind: What Happens When Workers Get Sick. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy. September 2015. (link)

Commentaries and media
A New Multilateral World Without the U.S.,” Policy Options, September 4, 2017.