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Peer-Reviewed Publications

Comparative Political Studies 54, no.8 (2021)

Civilian control of the military is a fundamental attribute of democracy. While democracies are less coup-prone, studies treating civilian control as a dependent variable mostly focus on coups. In this paper, I argue that the factors predicting coups in autocracies, weaken civilian control of the military in democracies in different ways. To capture this difference, I advance a new comprehensive framework that includes the erosion of civilian control by competition, insubordination, and deference. I test the argument under conditions of an intrastate conflict—a conducive environment for the erosion of civilian control. A large-N analysis confirms that while intrastate conflict does not lead to coups in democracies, it increases the military’s involvement in government, pointing to alternative forms of erosion taking place. Further case study—Russia’s First Chechen War—demonstrates the causal logic behind the new framework, contributing to the nuanced comparative analysis of civil-military relations across regimes.

Texas National Security Review 4, no. 3 (2021)

Delegating policymaking functions to members of the military profession can undermine civilian control in democracies, and yet democratic leaders continue to do just this. So why do leaders of democratic states delegate policymaking responsibilities to the military? Existing research does not provide a comprehensive answer to this question. To shed light on this understudied phenomenon, I advance a new concept of erosion of civilian control by deference. Using the Trump presidency as a case study, and considering additional evidence from the Clinton and Bush (43) administrations, I investigate three drivers of deference—boosting approval, avoiding responsibility, and cajoling the military. Relying on qualitative and quantitative analysis, I also show how deference to the military eroded civilian control under the Trump administration.

Perspectives on Terrorism 8, no. 5 (2014), with Assaf Moghadam and Ronit Berger

Terrorist groups are commonly understood to be groups that carry out acts of terrorism, and their actions viewed as terrorist campaigns. Yet, recent events are a reminder that the activities of even the most violent terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda or the Islamic State extend beyond the use of terrorist tactics. These actors usually employ classic guerrilla tactics as well, and their overall strategy combines both violent and political means. Furthermore, these acts of political violence do not merely constitute isolated campaigns of terrorism, but are usually part of a broader conflict such as an insurgency or civil war. The purpose of the present article is twofold. The first is to offer some empirical evidence in support of our claim that most major contemporary terrorist groups also employ other, non-terrorist, modes of warfare, notably guerrilla tactics. In the second part, we offer our reflections of these findings for theory and policy. Our main recommendation is for governments to adopt an approach that separates the official labeling of these groups from the analysis of their origins, conduct, and threat potential. While official policy statements might continue to label actors involved in terrorism as terrorist groups, we argue that the policy analysis informing these governments’ pronouncements and decisions should adopt greater nuance by regarding most of these actors as insurgent groups.

Policy Writing and Commentary


UK Government Report

"Security Sector Governance in Ukraine 2014-2023"

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War on the Rocks


Foreign Affairs




The Washington Post


World Peace Foundation

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