Journal Articles

  • 2020. "Counterterrorism and Preventive Repression: China’s Changing Strategy in Xinjiang" (with Sheena Chestnut Greitens and Myunghee Lee). International Security. 44(3): 9-47.

        • For a video presentation and discussion of our findings in a panel at the Brookings Institution, see this post (January 2020).

        • An op-ed summarizing our findings and policy implications for Turkish foreign policy can be found here (Daktilo1984, January 9, 2020).

        • An online Q&A with The Diplomat about our findings and policy implications can be found here (February 1, 2020).

        • An op-ed discussing the policy implications of our article for the U.S. foreign policy can be found here (Lawfare, March 1, 2020).

Working Papers

  • "Nationalism and International Conflict"

Abstract: How does nationalism affect the likelihood of international conflict? Wimmer (2012) argues that the theories of international relations overlook the key role of nationalism in war onset. I argue that nationalism is compatible with the logical framework of three major theories of international conflict: bargaining model, issue-based approach, and deterrence theory. I incorporate nationalism into these theories and demonstrate how nationalism fits into their narratives. Accordingly, I conclude that nationalism increases the risk of international conflict by (1) exacerbating information and commitment problems, and causing bargaining failures, (2) increasing the claims on sensitive issues (such as territorial, maritime, and identity claims) and causing dangerous militarized interstate disputes, and (3) decreasing the level of satisfaction with the status-quo and causing deterrence failure. These inferences can help us build a more systematic theory of nationalism-war onset relationship and estimate the potential effects of nationalism on interstate relations in the era of rising nationalism and far-right in world politics.

  • "Transborder Ethnic Ties and Government Repression"

Abstract: Transborder ethnic ties constitute an alignment between an ethnic minority group and their external ethnic kin in another country. This alignment can function like interstate alliances, in which a powerful state extends its deterrent capability to protect its protégé state against another state. A powerful external kin can also extend its deterrent capability to protect a minority group against the host government. I employ a theory of interstate conflict, perfect deterrence theory (Zagare and Kilgour, 2000), to analyze this triadic strategic interaction between a government, a minority group, and this minority group's external kin. Based on a game-theoretical model, I argue that a minority group can be protected by their external kin only when the external kin has a credible and capable threat of use of force. I test the predictions of my model with a newly developed quantitative dataset covering 20 minority groups and 5 powerful ethnic kin. The results show that a highly credible and capable threat of use of force by an external kin against the host government decreases the likelihood of government repression significantly. Also, an external kin’s diplomatic and economic support to the minority group are more effective in preventing repression when they are backed by a capable military threat.

  • "Electoral Consequences of Transborder Ethnic Politics"

Abstract: Ethnic groups, who live in different countries but share the same ethnic origins, constitute transborder ethnic kin groups. These groups are expected to cooperate with each other. For example, a vulnerable ethnic minority group can be protected by their powerful external ethnic kin, or transborder ethnic kinship can facilitate interstate cooperation when the dominant ethnic groups in two countries are part of the same ethnic network. The underlying logic of this cooperation is that the members of the transborder ethnic kin groups are worried about the well-being of each other despite the political borders dividing them. They demand the policy-makers take their transborder ethnic ties into account in foreign policy. Accordingly, the policy-makers address the demands of the dominant ethnic group in their country to get their support in the elections. If this is the case, foreign policy decisions regarding transborder ethnic kin groups should have electoral consequences. Even though this theoretical logic has been put forward by several scholars, it has not been empirically tested with large quantitative data. In this paper, we test if the type and level of support to ethnic kin groups provide any electoral benefits to incumbent governments. The results of this study have important implications for transborder ethnic politics and foreign policy voting literature.