2017 Year in Review

2017 has been quite a busy year, both professionally and personally. In September, I started a new post at the University of Warwick in the department of Politics and International Studies. It’s a great department, regularly ranked among the top five Politics departments in the UK. I am teaching an MA course on Rising Powers and finalist undergrad course on Latin America that combines comparative politics and IR. My new students and colleagues have been great. We also moved to Leamington Spa, which was shortly thereafter named happiest town in the UK. I’m not sure about that, but it is full of coffee and tea shops, so it might be the most caffeinated, which is basically the same thing.

I spent about two months earlier in the year in Colombia on a British Council Researcher Links, collaborating with my friend and colleague Sebastián Bitar of Universidad de los Andes. We held a number of events related to Colombian foreign policy and the effects of the peace process. I also worked on an — ultimately unsuccessful 😦 — ESRC New Investigators grant application. Seb and I are wrapping up a journal article as one of the products of that collaboration.

A number of publications bunched together, making 2017 look like a very productive year. My book was released in paperback in June and received a number of largely positive reviews. The royalties are allowing me to live large, with a moderately priced dinner for two every six months. (Just kidding! All royalties go to WOLA.)

On the journal/chapter front, I had a piece in Mexico’s Foro Internacional in January. The article combined some of Abe Lowenthal’s classic work on “intermestic” issues in U.S.-Latin American relations with insights from the two-level game literature and Helen Milner. It examines the difficulties of achieving influence for Mexico on U.S. intermestic issues due to the specific dynamics those create.

In April, a booked edited by my former dean and professor Louis Goodman with the Inter-American Development Bank’s Antoni Estevadeordal was published by Routledge. It included a chapter that I wrote with my former American University colleague Manuel Suarez-Mier on the regional public goods benefits — and important limitations — of North American cooperation. Thanks to the support of the IDB, it is available for free in OpenAcess.

  • 2017: “Regional Public Goods in North America,” in Louis W. Goodman and Antoni Estevadeordal, eds., 21st Century Cooperation: Regional Public Goods, Global Governance, and Sustainable Development, (Routledge, 2017). With Manuel Suarez-Mier.

I also had a pair of “small state” articles published, in International Politics and International Studies Review. They are actually two parts of a trilogy, but I haven’t been able to get back to part three (which was initially part 1) to do a thorough revision. Two articles are now out in their final versions. The IP article focuses on definitional questions that bedevil the small states literature and argues for a conceptual move to focusing on power disparity instead of size. The ISR article argues for potential forms of influence and power for weaker states (understood especially in a relative sense).

Finally, an article just came out at the end of December 2017, officially part of 2018, as part of a special issue. I was invited in 2016 to participate in a workshop in Bruges, which was lovely. The papers explore how multiple major powers interact in shared geographical spaces. I looked at the United States and Brazil, drawing on Womack’s asymmetry theory.

I also had an online essay published, which I wrote with Max Paul Friedman. We’ve revised the piece for inclusion in an edited book due out early in 2018.

  • Trump and Latin America: Asymmetry and the Problem of Influence,” in Robert Jervis, Francis Gavin, Joshua Rovner, and Diane Labrosse, eds. America and the World—2017 and Beyond, H-Diplo/ISSF Policy Series. With Max Paul Friedman. May 2017.

For next year, I’m working on an R&R that comes out of my archival work on the immediate post-WWII period in the Americas. I presented early versions of the paper in UniAndes, Oxford, CIDE, LASA, and ISA. Max Paul Friedman and I are working on another collaboration, exploring the Larreta Doctrine. I am revising a piece for a project led by Jonathan Kirshner and John Ikenberry on the “Hirschman effect” in world politics. In March 2018, we’ll be headed to Santiago, Chile, for a few months for a Fulbright visiting professorship at the PUC.

Wishing everyone a happy 2018!

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