Selected Publications

International legal scholars have identified and argued for and against new forms of non-consent-based international law. We study variation in Brazilian public opinion about adherence to international law created in three different ways: through a consent-based multilateral treaty, by the U.N. Security Council with the participation of Brazil, and by the U.N. Security Council without the participation of Brazil. Information that Brazil has participated in creating the international legal obligation through a multilateral treaty or membership on the Security Council yields levels of support for adherence to the legal obligation that are similar to those found when the origins of the legal obligation are generic. Information that the international legal obligation was created without Brazil’s participation, on the other hand, results in reduced support for compliance. This difference, which is particularly concentrated among highly educated respondents, is not driven by reduced concerns about reputational consequences or sanctions. Our results suggest that the increased use of non-consent-based forms of international law might be challenged by a lack of public support for compliance.
In International Interactions, 2018

Recent Publications

. Attitudes toward Consent-Based and Non-Consent-Based International Law in a Regional Power Context. In International Interactions, 2018.

From Publisher

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Recent Posts

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This post has lots in common with previous posts on “the layered presentation of graphics”. It is about building up plots, but now with a focus on this incremental change for teaching ggplot2. The rational is that observing the cause and effect of incremental change is easier to digest, and that the repetition in this approach means students have more chances to learn the ggplot2 functions. My recent tweet presented the technique:


So this wasn’t on today’s to-do list, but there seems to be a cash prize associated with this rabbit hole due to this tweet: I generally fall in the camp of people who are skeptical of graduate-level journalism schools, but I would absolutely pay Columbia University $98,000 if it could teach me how to clearly and concisely translate “one standard deviation from the mean” for regular readers — Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) August 13, 2018 Note: Tweet has been deleted; the text is from my blogpost when the tweet was still active.


Background This post, as indicated in the title, is about an interactive mapping of sentiment scores calculated for national anthems. Text analysis is of growing interest for political researchers, and I count myself among the interested! The interactive plot at the end of the post is, I think, an ideal introduction sentiment analysis. It highlights opportunities, and also, perhaps, some pitfalls. I want to give quick background on how this happens to be in my blog, to give plenty of credit where it is due.


Here is my second post is about how to implement a layered presentation of a graphics. My previous implementation used the alpha transparency aesthetic to hide all but one point. But, now, rethink things, now for the 3rd time or so, I just subset the data associated with the first geom layer, leaving the global data complete. I think it is more straight forward than messing around with alpha. Several folks brought up geom_blank() having looked at the previous implementation, but I didn’t find it necessary in this case if you are using last_plot() which I think it makes sense to do in this context.


Where should you declare aesthetics? Globally or in the geom_*() function? The answer to this question, in some sense is personal preference, because there are simply different ways to get the same job done in the ggplot architecture. My preference is declaring all aesthetic mappings as global unless there are conflicts. Below is an example that, I hope, will persuade you to my preference. We graph the increase in life expectancy by year for three countries.



Instructor at TU Dresden:

  • International Regimes and Organization (2017, 2018) International institutions’ numbers have grown tremendously over the course of the last century. These institutions bridge national boundaries to target problems in a diverse set of areas including security, human rights, the environment, and trade. This seminar will introduce students to the concepts of global governance as borne out in these issue areas. The course will focus on identifying patterns in institution creation, goals, organizational structure, compliance, and enforcement mechanisms. Additionally, students will become familiar with organizational structure and inner workings of international institutions, as well as analyses of their effectiveness.

  • Introduction to Data Science and Statistics for Political Analysis (2018) The use of quantitative analyses to inform our understanding of political phenomena has dramatically increased in recent decades. Experience with data handling, visualization, and analyses can help scholars gain new insights about their area of study, and be able to evaluate other quantitative work critically. This seminar will introduce students to concepts and best practices in data gathering, manipulation, visualization, and analysis, using the popular open source statistical software, R. Students will develop their own analysis project, ideally focusing on current political events, to walk through these steps themselves. The experience should give them insights into quantitative work that they see and should give them a solid foundation to pursue further statistical or data science work should they desire.

Instructor at University of Illinois:

  • PS 100 Intro to Political Science. Surveys the major concepts and approaches employed in the study of politics.

Teaching Assistant at University of Illinois:

  • PS 522 Research Design and Techniques. Provides an overview of research techniques for answering questions of concern in political science; indicates the range of available tools; discusses problems in concept formation; and presents current methods of concept measurement.
  • PS 530 Quant Pol Analysis I. Introduction to data analysis and inferential statistics, including data collection, analysis and interpretation, sampling, and measures of statistical association and significance. Also introduces statistical software.
  • PS 241 Comp Politics in Dev Nations. Provides comparative and historical insights into the problems affecting the developing world by examining social, economic and political changes in Africa, Asia, and Latin America
  • PS 101 Intro to US Gov & Pol. Examines the organization and development of national, state, and local governments in the U.S.; the federal system; the U.S. Constitutions; civil and political rights; the party system; and the nature, structure, powers, and procedures of national political institutions.
  • PS 280 Intro to International Relations. Introduction to structure and processes of international relations, trends in international politics, and the future of the international system.