Research

My research focuses on military organizations and innovation, civil-military relations, security privatization, and legal issues relating to these topics. I am currently working on a couple of projects:

One aims to determine how differences in military personnel policies, especially those relating to promotion and occupational specialty assignment, affect an organization's ability to innovate doctrine.

A second, with Justin Holmes of UNI, is looking at how target regime characteristics affect the public's willingness to intervene militarily in humanitarian crises.

A third, with Nathan Toronto, continues our previous work on the determinants of state manpower policy (voluntarist vs. conscription).

A fourth, with David Rohall and Morten Ender, looks at the determinants of military cadets' views on foreign policy and the use of force.

A fifth, with Peter Feaver and Jim Golby, re-visits the issue of a civil-military "gap" with new survey data.

A sixth looks at what political, economic, and security factors shape the way a society decides to compensate its soldiers.

A seventh, with Jessica Blankshain, looks at the purported connection between the costs associated with mobilizing National Guard and Reserve forces and constraints on U.S. foreign policy.

 

Dissertation

My dissertation, "Who Will Serve? Education, Labor Markets, and Military Personnel Policy", assessed how differences in educational systems and labor market structure across states affect military policies on selection/accessions, occupational specialty assignment, and terms of contract. Fundamentally, military personnel policies are likely to be a compromise between the military's functional demands of both high levels of firm-specific training AND fairly high levels of labor turnover, and what the national labor market context incentivizes the individual laborer to expect. In more highly regulated labor markets, where turnover tends to be low, militaries will have to behave differently from firms in order to avoid having large numbers of expensive but redundant personnel. In less regulated labor markets, where turnover tends to be high and employers must incentivize laborers to invest in firm-specific skills, militaries will have to behave differently from firms by providing far higher levels of job security and less opportunity to leave employment voluntarily.

Using in-depth studies of five developed democracies (the USA, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany), I determined that labor market structure had the expected effects on specialty assignment and terms of contract.

 

PUBLICATIONS: PEER REVIEWED 

“Who Will Serve: Labor Markets and Military Personnel Policy”, Res Militaris 3(2). Winter/Spring 2013.

 “Relations Between Uniformed and Contractor Personnel in Operations” Small Wars and Insurgencies special issue on complex operations 24(2): 295-305, April 2013.

“It Wasn’t in my Contract: Civilian Control and the Privatization of Security”, Armed Forces and Society 37(3): 381-398, July 2011.

 

PUBLICATIONS: NON-PEER-REVIEWED

"Drones and Targeted Killing: Costs, Accountability, and US Civil-Military Relations", Orbis 59(1). Winter 2015.

Review of Military Politics and Democracy in the Andes (by Maiah Jaskoski), Perspectives on Politics 12(2): 508-509, June 2014.

Review of Service to Country: Personnel Policy and the Transformation of Western Militaries (edited by Curtis Gilroy and Cindy Williams), Armed Forces and Society 35(3): 608-611, April 2009.

 

“Kampf dem Chaos: die klassischen Formeln der Counter-insurgency und warum man mit ihnen im Irak nicht weit kommt” [Fighting Chaos: why classic counter-insurgency doctrine may be insufficient in Iraq], in Internationale Politik 14(1): 40-44. Berlin: German Council on Foreign Relations, January 2008.

 

“American Civil-Military Relations and the Use of Force” in Encyclopedia of War and American Society, edited by Peter Karsten. London: Sage Publications, 2006: 133-137. Co-authored with Peter D. Feaver and Christopher Gelpi.

 

“Civil-Military Relations in the US” in Armed Forces and International Security: Global Trends and Issues, edited by Jean Callaghan and Franz Kernic. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003: 65-72.

 

“Armées-societé: quel Fosse aux États-Unis?” in Les Champs de Mars, n 11. Paris: Centre d'Études en Sciences Sociales de la Défense, June 2002. Co-authored with Peter D. Feaver.

 

“Introduction” in Peter D. Feaver and Richard H. Kohn, eds. Soldiers and Civilians: the Civil-Military Gap and American National Security. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001: 1-11. Co-authored with Peter D. Feaver and Richard H. Kohn.

 

The Evolution of the Civil-Military “Gap” Debate. Working Paper of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies (Project on the Gap Between the Military and Civilian Society), Durham: TISS, 1999.