The Congress of Berlin by Anton Werner

Other Writings

Here you can find access to a number of other material I have wrote. This includes my posts from the defunct "Stohasmoi: Deviations in IR" blog, as well as research manuscripts I had to give up on fully developing either due to the resistance of the field or lack of resources. This will be updated

Stohasmoi Blog Posts 

Thinking about Politics Series
A series of post done in reaction to a reading of Corey Robin's "The Reactionary Mind". The goal was to lay down my thoughts on the core political divisions of modern politics.

Part I
Part II
Part III

Risk War of Analysis
A series of post applying the suggested simple Risk Barometer of War by Paul Senese and John Vasquez (The Steps to War), to a number of goverment dyads that were pertinent due to current events. Essentially a focus on the likelihood of specific dangerous dyads going to war in reaction to crises among them in current events. 

Russia goverment-Turkey goverment dyad
Armenian goverment-Azerbaijan goverment dyad
Syrian goverment-Turkey goverment dyad

Inactive or defunct research projects


This was the first research project I tried to work on during my graduate education at UIUC. It was enacted as part of the Paul Diehl's graduate course on Rivalries. In it I tried to used the rivalry concept to explain why major powers might be less or more accommodating of the activity of other major powers within it. I focused the empirical analysis on the sphere of influence of the US in South and Central America. The paper has all the hallmarks of my research style, and also all of the problems. It was the first project I presented as a participant in an academic project. However, I was not able to publish it, nor had the luxury to give it any more focus.

Abstract: The central characteristic of a sphere of influence is the variation in the frequency of exclusivity incidents, which define how accommodating to the interests of powers outside the sphere is the state that controls it. A high frequency of exclusivity incidents has historically been associated with higher levels of conflict, as the Crimean Crisis (1849-1856) exemplifies.  Yet what determines the frequency of exclusivity incidents? I argue that we can provide a preliminary answer by focusing on three theories explaining the variation of hostile actions, issue character, democratic peace, and rivalry.   This paper presents a preliminary evaluation of the association of each of the three explanatory concepts with exclusivity.  After exploring the theoretical arguments, I conduct a preliminary examination of the behavior of the USA towards France, Germany, Spain and Great Britain during the Monroe Doctrine (1823-1945).  The strongest association is that between economic issues, rivalry and the frequency of exclusivity incidents. 

You can read the paper by clicking on the title.


This is the first paper written in reaction to Kevin Narizny's 2012 article "Anglo-American Primacy and the Global Spread of Democracy" (in Volume 64, Number 2 of World Politics). In the article Narizny makes a forceful argument that the global spread of democracy, and thus the empirical observation that at least liberal democracies do not fight each other in wars, was the result of hegemonic politics by liberal great powers. Narizny's goal was to attack the democratic peace argument, by arguing that peace pre-exist of democracy, and that peace was epiphenomenal to anglo-american primacy. In the paper I argued that instead of primacy in itself, more important were the regulatory regimes created by the major powers, under conditions, of primacy, in order to inhibit the use of force in international relations. I was not able to write a persuasive enough paper and analysis to overcome the problems reviewers had with the focus too much on an argument made outside my usual Peace Science mileau, and one that tried to bridge the systemic and monadic levels of analysis.

Abstract:In this manuscript I conduct a comparative evaluation of the influence of militant liberal primacy and major power managerial coordination on political reforms that foster democracy. The central issue is the antithetical democracy promotion mechanisms of militant liberal hegemony and major power managerial coordination. The first rests of the use of military force, while the second fosters democracy by fostering interstate peace. Using the novel scale of major power managerial coordination I compare the effect of major power coordination with that of liberal primacy, measured using the concept of preponderant sea-power in the 1800-20001 period.

You can read the paper by clicking on the title.


This is the second paper written in reaction to Kevin Narizny's 2012 article "Anglo-American Primacy and the Global Spread of Democracy". With the failure of the first attempt to make headway and in reaction to reviews, I made an attempt to broaden the theme from a specific comparison of systemic level explanations for the spread of democracy, to a general comparison of factors explaining pacific international relations. My goal on the other hand was to see whether it was primacy or collective managerial regimes, like major power regulation, were to account for the spread of inter-state peace. I presented the paper at ISA, but attempts to publish it in journals affiliated with the field of Peace Science, stumbled again on the lack of a lot of interaction between analysis done in the traditional paradigm, like Narizny's, and Peace Science. My attempt to bridge the gap, failed due to the weakness of my own analysis. The chance passed, and the project had to be relegated to secondary status, and ultimately declared defunct.

Abstract:Recent research has questioned the long-standing argument that capability distributions are the main variable of interest when trying to evaluate the relationship between major power politics and interstate peace. Instead primacy by liberal powers, mainly the US and UK, is seen as conducive to international peace. The focus has moved from what the distribution of capabilities is, to which major power benefits from it. However, considering that this primacy has rarely been so absolute that these powers could act with impunity, I argue that the quality of the general relations between the major powers has a greater fostering influence on interstate peace than either capability distributions or liberal primacy. Specifically, I argue that major power managerial coordination, the concentrated effort of the major powers towards a regime that facilitates the pacific resolution of international issues, has an important independent negative association with interstate conflict. To adjudicate between the pacific effect of capability distributions, primacy and managerial coordination I conduct a comparative quantitative evaluation of the association between variance in variables measuring each concept with the onset of wars among dyads of states in the 1816-2001 period.

You can read the paper by clicking on the title.