International Relations

When do nations go to war? What affects trade and immigration patterns? Which counter-terrorism strategies work? Is the enemy of my enemy truly my friend? How does war affect leaders, public opinion and elections? These are just some of the critical international politics questions that faculty scholars and students contemplate and research at UC Davis. Traditionally, international politics focused exclusively on the influence of the international system on the behavior of states. While arguments about the democratic peace theory have clearly challenged that approach, our perspective focuses on the intersection of domestic and international politics, examining international conflict, international cooperation and international political economy.

We employ numerous analytical approaches, including rational choice, network analysis, political psychology, and prospect theory. Faculty members frequently co-publish with graduate students, and also work closely with other subfields. Our research employs a variety of empirical methods, including statistical analyses, mathematical models, computational models, experiments and case studies. Our goal is to ask questions that have relevance for the global future, re-examine answers from the international relations past, and to examine them creatively and rigorously.