Daniel Kono

Daniel Kono Portrait

Position Title

678 Kerr Hall
1 Shields Avenue, Davis CA 95616


  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of North Carolina, 2002
  • M.A., Political Science, University of North Carolina, 1997
  • B.S., Political Science, Stanford University, 1992


Daniel Kono’s interest in international political economy stems from, and has evolved with, ongoing public policy debates. His dissertation research focused on international trade agreements, a topic that generated intense political conflict (e.g., the “Battle of Seattle”) while he was in graduate school. He began studying foreign aid after the Millennium Development Project spurred a heated debate about its political and economic effects. Most recently, the political challenge of climate change has led him to ask why some governments have adopted more ambitious climate change policies than others. In exploring these topics, he strives for research that is normatively useful as well as positively rigorous, and that can help inform these important policy debates.

Research Focus

Professor Kono’s research explores three topics in international political economy: international trade, foreign aid, and climate change. He is particularly interested in linkages between these domains, such as the trade-aid relationship and the impact of trade on climate change policy.


  • Kono, D. Y., & Tomashevskiy, A. (2015) Extra credit: Preferential trade arrangements and credit ratings, International Studies Quarterly 59(2): 291-302.
  • Kono, D. Y., & Montinola, G. (2015) Foreign aid, time horizons, and trade policy, Comparative Political Studies 48(6): 788-819.
  • Kono, D. Y., & Rickard, S. (2014) Buying national: Democracy, public procurement, and international trade, International Interactions 40(5): 657-682.
  • Kono, D. Y., & Montinola, G. (2013) The uses and abuses of foreign aid: Development aid and military spending, Political Research Quarterly 66(3): 615-629.
  • Kono, D. Y., & Montinola, G. (2009) Does foreign aid support autocrats, democrats, or both? The Journal of Politics 71(2): 704-718.
  • Kono, D. Y. (2008) Democracy and trade discrimination, The Journal of Politics 70(4): 942-955.
  • Kono, D. Y. (2007) Making anarchy work: International legal institutions and trade cooperation, The Journal of Politics 69(3): 746-759.
  • Kono, D. Y. (2006) Optimal obfuscation: Democracy and trade policy transparency, American Political Science Review 100(3): 369-384.


Professor Kono’s teaching reflects his research interests. He regularly teaches undergraduate courses on international relations (POL3), international political economy (POL123), and the causes and consequences of income inequality (POL124). He also teaches graduate seminars on the political economy of international trade and the environment.


  • International Visitors Programme Grant, Dublin City University (2009)
  • Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance Fellowship, Princeton University (2007-2008)
  • Royster Society of Fellows Dissertation Fellowship (2001-2002)
  • National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant ( 2000-2001)
  • National Science Foundation/Ford Foundation Traineeship for the Study of Democracy and Democratization (1997-1998)