I am a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of California-Berkeley. My research examines the connections between the formation of states, the reproduction of elites, and geopolitical conflict and cooperation. I study these processes in the context of both early modern Europe and the contemporary United States. More broadly, my research and teaching interests include political sociology, economic sociology, global governance, the sociology of elites, social theory, and historical and comparative methods.
My dissertation, entitled “The Social Sources of Geopolitical Power,” develops a sociological approach to a classic problem in world politics: how states exercise governance at a transnational or global level, a process known in its extreme form as hegemony. Whereas conventional explanations of global hegemony stress military and economic factors and treat states as the relevant actors, my work incorporates symbolic factors, and it foregrounds the configurations of elites who produce state actions in the first place. I examine these issues in the context of eighteenth-century European geopolitics, employing extensive archival sources of diplomatic correspondence and network data on interstate treaties.
An article based on this project appeared in the December 2018 issue of the American Sociological Review. Additionally, I have a co-authored article, also published in the American Sociological Review, which accounts for the actions and assumptions of policymakers at the Federal Reserve during the lead-up to the financial crisis of 2008. My work has also been published in Comparative Studies in Society and History.