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Born in Guntersville, Alabama, I attended The Citadel as an undergraduate.  I then obtained my master's degree in Political Science at Duke University and my Ph.D. from the University of Alabama, focusing on International Relations.

In my spare time, I enjoy woodworking, boatbuilding, mountaineering, and bicycling.  I have successfully summited Denali, Mount Hood, Mount Rainier, Pico de Orizaba, Iztaccihuatl, Aconcagua, Mount Elbrus, Kosciuszko, and Mount Washington.  I have also bicycled across the US.

Aconcagua (22,841 feet)-the summit of the Americas


International Conflict

Broadly, I am interested in causal processes relating to international conflict.  International conflict processes provides an opportunity for us to better understand the whys and hows of conflict and are critical for understanding our world and international politics.



University of Alabama

Ph.D., Political Science

Subfields: International Relations, American Politics, Political Theory

2014 and 2017

ICPSR (University of Michigan)

Leaders and Learning

I am particularly interested in how leaders learn to behave/interact within the interantional community.  In this research, I explore the personal, domestic political, and international resons as to why leaders pursue certain policies and learn to behave consistent with realist assumptions when there are negative interacions and consisten with the liberal paradigms when there are positive interacions.


Duke University

MA, International Relations


The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina

BA, International Politics and Military Affairs

BA, English

American Foreign Policy

I am particularly interested in American foreign policy decision-making.  I am interested in the domestic and international considerations that determine the course of foreign policy interactions.  In an experiment with Chase Porter (California Baptist University), we research the role of reactive devaluation among the American public with respect to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in regards to nuclear negotiations with Iran.


Guntersville High School

Guntersville, Alabama

Alliances and Arms Races

I also have research interests in arms races and alliances.  As the two primary ways of preparing for war (Vasquez 1993), alliances and arms races are two of the most important areas of study in international conflict.  I have focused on why states pursue alliance-making and arms races to mitigate against insecurity.  Furthermore, I have a special interest in why states chose to pursue secret alliances or alliance provisions.

Research Design

Having taught research design multiple times to undergraduates, I have an immense respect for this foundational building block of social science inquiry. 

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