Peer-Reviewed Publications

Military Effectiveness and Naval Warfare with Stephen Biddle. Security Studies, forthcoming

Abstract: Military effectiveness has attracted a growing literature, but this work has focused overwhelmingly on continental warfare. China’s rise highlights naval warfare. Do this literature’s central findings hold for war at sea? We explore this question by comparing patterns in naval and land combat via a new dataset on all interstate surface naval battles fought between 1649 and 1988. We find important differences deriving from the contrasting nature of the sea and land as military environments, which have made naval outcomes more sensitive to materiel, quicker, and more one-sided. But there are also important similarities involving material-nonmaterial interactions. These features pose important implications for policy on future anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) warfare in east Asia, the balance of investment in skill and materiel in naval resource allocation, and research on military effectiveness

Working Papers

Technology, Behavior, and Effectiveness in Naval Warfare: The Battles of Savo Island and Cape Saint George with Stephen Biddle

Defining Militarism: Towards an Empirical Approach

Abstract: The concept of militarism is becoming increasingly pertinent as it connects with foreign policy decision-making by rising powers and the acceptability of war in the international system. Scholarship on the subject has historically failed to differentiate the term from related concepts like imperialism and nationalism. Similarly, there have been few attempts at systematic operationalization to apply measures of militarism as either independent or dependent variables within empirical research. This article begins by surveying the literature on the subject and offering a descriptive perspective for why the topic has failed to emerge as an independent research program. In the second half, I begin with an argument for why militarism should be recognized as a phenomenon unique from either imperialism or nationalism and follow with a typology that offers a set of criteria by which its variations can be defined. Implications for past and future research related to the topic are developed.

Social Wars: Conflicts of Belonging and Identity Transformation

Abstract: This paper explores the intersection of identity and legality when categorizing wars, separating out four different types: civil, sectarian, foreign, and social. The final type, social wars, captures conflicts between legally independent states with overlapping demographic identities. The main claim of this paper is that social wars primarily occur during periods of identity convergence and divergence. The first is more likely to occur when a rising power is forcibly checked by allies whose identities it is subsuming; the latter is more likely to occur when a falling power lashes out at former constituents whose collective identities are beginning to break away. The Russo-Ukrainian War falls within the falling power experience, but a potential conflict over Taiwan could occur in a similar fashion. Finally, social wars are likely to become more common in the future of a globalizing world experiencing sociocultural convergence.

Works in Progress

State Capacity and Capital-Intensive Warfare: The Influence of Institutional Structure During the Anglo-Dutch Wars

NAVBATTLE: A New Dataset on Naval Warfare with Stephen Biddle

Simultaneity and Nationalism: Benedict Anderson, Walter Benjamin, and Spatio-Temporal Ordering