Dissertation Committee: David L. Cingranelli (chair); Amanda Licht; Benjamin Fordham
Dissertation: This project explores the design, labor rights outcomes, and domestic responses to IMF program lending. When countries face economic trouble they can turn to the IMF as a lender of last resort. In exchange for access to capital borrowing countries agree to enact economic reforms often termed austerity, the Washington Consensus, neoliberal reform, or shock therapy. IMF packages vary tremendously between country as leaders negotiate with the IMF to reduce policies which are likely to be costly. In the first chapter I explore how human rights and collective dissent shape the design of IMF conditionality; leaders negotiate with the IMF to minimize domestic pushback against reform which may threaten their survival. Despite these efforts, I show in chapter 2 how compliance with IMF programs leads to a decline in labor rights respect in borrowing countries. This is the first study of my knowledge which directly ties compliance to human rights outcomes. The negative labor rights and social consequences of these programs make them unpopular and often sparks protest. Yet, protest is absent in many borrowing countries and this variation has to date gone largely unexplored. In chapter 3 I show how a countries abundant factor helps explain variation in IMF induced political violence. This project thus traces IMF lending from program design to outcomes and domestic responses to these outcomes. This project explores IMF program lending between 2002 and 2014 using a novel dataset on IMF conditionality which directly measures compliance at the aggregate level. I also sort IMF policies into 9 mutually exclusive policy areas and measure compliance by policy type and include a number of other program specific controls (loan size, policy type, loan type, and whether the loan was precautionary).
When Killers Become Victims: Political Use of Force, Human Rights, and Strategic Target Selection (with Efe Tokdemir)
Forthcoming at International Interactions
Abstract: The existing literature on the political use of force focuses on the incentives leaders have to use force. However, little attention has been given to the characteristics that make for a good target. We argue that US Presidents choose targets that repress human rights since they are the easiest to sell to international and domestic audiences. By targeting repressive states US Presidents can justify their use of force by cloaking their actions in the language of human rights. Furthermore, because human rights are sticky repressive states offer a fairly stable target. We empirically test and find support for our hypothesis that presidents target human rights abusers when they face trouble at home.
Wearing Out the Welcome: Domestic Labor Competition and Attitudes toward Refugees (With Katherine Felt)
Under review at European Journal of Political Research
Abstract: Existing work has found that attitudes towards refugees are more positive than attitudes towards immigrants. However, we contend that this is an artifact of the focus on highly developed Western democracies, which have the ability to curtail and control refugee inflows. In less-developed states, or states that are directly contiguous to conflict that generate refugee flows, refugee populations tend to be greater in number, less supported by government welfare, and more volatile. We argue that refugee inflows should drive negative attitudes towards immigration broadly; refugees increase the labor supply in their host states, resulting in increased unemployment, lower wages, or both. As a result we expect that in states with higher unemployment there will be more negative attitudes towards refugees, especially among the unemployed. We test this using multilevel analysis with data from the World Values Survey.
Measuring Compliance with IMF Conditionality and the Decline of Labor Rights in the 21st Century (Dissertation Chapter)
IMF Austerity, Labor Abundance, and Political Violence (Dissertation Chapter)
Democracy, State Capacity, and the Protection of Children's rights (with Tiffani Crippin)
Globalization and the Diffusion of Labor Rights (with Mert Moral)
Labor Rights Substitution and Economic Liberalization: A Panel analysis 1994-2014
Re-examining the Relationship Between Human Rights and Population (with David L. Cingranelli)
Poor Execution or Poor Policies: Human Rights and IMF Policy Implementation (with Carl Kalmick)
Who Wants Human Rights? Evaluating the Desire for Social and Economic Rights (with Sheryl Simmons)
Refugees and Repression: A Human Rights Paradox? (with Katherine Felt and K. Chad Clay)