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Students on the Market

The following Ph.D. candidates are on the job market for the 2016-2017 year:

Allison M.N. Archerallison


Bryan A. Rooney

  • bryan.a.rooney@Vanderbilt.Edu
  • Curriculum Vitae bryan
  • Major fields of Study: International Relations and Political Methodology
  • Dissertation Title: Emergency Powers in Democracies and the Outbreak of Conflict
  • Dissertation Defense Date: TBA
  • Dissertation Abstract: Scholars argue that institutions in democracies constrain leaders and prevent inter- national conflict. However, many democracies specify rules of governance in times of emergency that divert substantial power to the head of state. The existence of emergency powers creates incentives for political leaders to create situations where they can declare emergencies in order to get access to these powers. I collect original data on emergency provisions, examining 147 state constitutions, over 500 amendments, and numerous legislative acts in democratic states from 1816 to the present. Using this novel dataset of emergency provisions within democracies, I examine the relation- ship between emergency power strength and domestic conflict, international conflict propensity and crisis escalation. I exploit the specificity of the state’s constitution as a plausibly exogenous determinant of emergency power strength in an instrumental variable analysis. Under this more stringent test for causality, find that emergency powers do create incentives for political leaders to foment conflict. I then examine impact of the use of these powers on the likelihood of terror attacks and find that enhanced executive discretion helps states battle transnational terror but encourages domestic terror attacks. An unforeseen consequence of allowing democratic leaders enhanced power to navigate external conflicts is an increased propensity for conflict, and that institutional rules designed to preserve the democratic order may in fact undermine it.
  • Advisor(s): Brett Benson


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