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Desk Globe


Research: Publications



  • Crescenzi, Mark J.C. & Bailee Donahue, 2017. ``Rediscovering Reputation Through Theory and Evidence" in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, ed. William Thompson. New York: Oxford University Press.


  • Crescenzi, Mark J.C. & Bailee Donahue, 2017. ``Reputation in International Relations" in Oxford Bibliographies in International Relations, ed. Patrick James. New York: Oxford University Press. (Annotated Bibliography)



Donahue, Bailee & Mark J.C. Crescenzi, "Weathering the Storm: Discordant Learning About Reputations for Reliability," Foreign Policy Analysis

In this paper, we investigate how reputations change, and whether states can cultivate reputational reserves that insulate them from unwanted reputation dynamics. Specifically, we examine how reputations for reliability are lost when states violate alliance terms. Can a well-established reputation insulate states from being labeled as unreliable when they violate an alliance contract? This paper develops a theory of discordant learning that predicts that a good reputation for reliability will act as a buffer that allows the violating state to weather the storm of minor crises without paying a reputational cost, whereas states with fragile reputations for reliability are more likely to be punished if they exhibit incongruent behavior. High levels of incongruence, however, such as a major alliance violation during a high-profile war, can trigger an over-correction in a state's reputation. Thus, a state with a stable and good reputation for reliability may absorb a greater reputational cost relative to a state with a fragile or moderate reputation if it exhibits highly incongruent behavior (i.e., the bigger they are the harder they fall). We employ a scenario-based survey experiment to test these expectations. Our analysis will help us understand when to expect a loss in state-reputation, and has implications for when reputation loss can influence alliance formation and conflict behavior.

Papers Under Review


"Unsettled Borders in a Market Context" (with Rob Williams and Mark J. C. Crescenzi)

Border disputes between states can be very costly and disruptive, including major disruptions in trade. From an aggregate perspective, scholars traditionally expect these costs and disruptions to place pressure on states to avoid or resolve these disputes quickly. This view, however, risks oversimplification of the quality of trade and the economic actors driving that trade. We investigate the consequences of complex trade relations on border disputes. Variation in the composition of trade, whether characterized by comparative advantage trade, inter-industry trade, or intra-industry trade, generates variation in the presence and intensity of domestic pressure to avoid or resolve border disputes. We examine the effects of this variation on dispute behavior using an original dataset that combines product-level trade data (spanning from 1962-2001) with ICOW territorial claims data. The use of product-level trade data allows for the analysis of substitutability options which may reduce exit costs and make it easier to escalate border disputes. This analysis helps us better understand the choice to forego trade due to border disputes, and furthers our understanding of the economic impact of unsettled borders.


 "Borders, Cooperation, and Illicit Trade" (with David Carter and Rob Williams) (Revise & Resubmit)

In the last twenty years, the number of fortified borders around the world has risen precipitously. A growing body of research shows that cross-border economic inequality drives wealthier states to construct border walls. This surge in walls is further argued to be a reaction to the unwanted ``externalities'' of economic openness and globalization, namely, illicit trade and smuggling. While recent studies analyze the effect of walls on legal trade, no studies of which we are aware explore how walls might affect illicit trade. This is a notable omission for two key reasons. First, the most common explanation for wall construction puts combating illicit trade front and center. Second, recent work that finds walls significantly reduce legal trade suggest that this finding derives from border fortifications diverting illegal trade to ports of entry, which leads to more inspection, security, and transaction costs. We begin to fill this gap here by developing new measures of illicit trade flows and assessing their connections to border wall construction and legal trade flows.

Works in Progress

Data Collection in Progress

  •  "Crafting the Neoliberal (B)order" (with Beth Simmons)

  •  "Lethality Bias?" (with Meg K. Guliford and Theo Milonopolous)

  •  "In the Know: IR Knowledge and the Evaluation of State Reputation" (with Anthony Lindsay, Eric Parajon, Mark J. C. Crescenzi)

  • "Global Political Knowledge in Survey Responses" (with Mark J. C. Crescenzi, Anthony Lindsay, Eric Parajon)

  •  One-Stop Border Crossings of the World (with Beth Simmons and Jared Rosen)

Collecting geo-located, time series data on the presence of one-stop border crossings in Sub-Saharan Africa with plans to expand the geographic location of data collection. ​​

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