My research agenda can be divided into two main areas:

  • Great power politics and US foreign policy—with emphases on US-China relations, the domestic and local implications of US foreign policy, and the prospects for a grand strategy of “restraint” in the contemporary United States.
  • The international politics of the Indo-Pacific megaregion—with past and future projects focusing on the US military base on Diego Garcia (Chagos Islands), the place of Persian Gulf states in the Indo-Pacific construct, and the fate of human rights norms in the so-called “rules-based” regional order.

I am currently writing a book, Hardwired: Why America Can’t Retrench (And How It Might), to explain why the United States remains wedded to military primacism. My book will catalogue the domestic barriers that exist to a grand strategy of restraint, and provide an argument for how pro-restraint forces inside the United States might succeed at putting their country on the path to a more circumscribed world role. I am grateful to the Charles Koch Foundation for generously providing funding for this project.

With colleagues at Colorado State University, I am working on a project to track the ways that foreign and national security policies affect local communities across the United States, producing a map of the distributive implications of US foreign policy and allowing communities to better understand their relationship to America’s role in the world. This project has received $450,000 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

I edit the Indo-Pacific Perspectives series for the Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, the purpose of which is to bring together scholars from across the Indo-Pacific region and beyond to discuss current topics and future trends of international importance.