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Eric Parajon

Below I include information on my research (both published and ongoing). Please feel free to contact me for a copy of a paper or with any questions.

Peer-reviewed Publications:

7. Can Increasing Awareness of Gender Gaps in International Relations Help Close Them? Evidence from a Scholar Ranking Experiment
    with Emily B. Jackson, Daniel Maliniak, Susan Peterson, Ryan Powers and Michael J. Tierney. International Studies Perspectives 2023.
    Abstract:We report the results of a survey of IR scholars on the use of an increasingly common policy designed to close recognition gaps in IR: gender balance in citations (GBC) statements. GBC statements remind and encourage authors submitting work to peer-reviewed outlets to consider the gender balance among the works they cite. We find that these policies enjoyed wide support among IR scholars in our sample countries soon after journals began instituting the policies, but women were more supportive than men of the policies. We also report the results of a question order experiment that allows us to study how raising awareness of gender gaps in the IR discipline affects the proportion of women that scholars list among the most influential IR scholars in the last 20 years. The effects of exposure to the gender treatment vary, however, by respondents’ gender and whether respondents teach in the United States. The treatment effects were much larger for women than for men in the United States, but the reverse was true outside the United States.
    Replication materials
6. Experts Agree: Trump’s Foreign Policy was a Disaster. But is the Damage Lasting?
    with Emily B. Jackson and Michael J. Tierney, In Boyer, Mark A., and Cameron Thies (Editors). Forum: Did “America First” Construct America Irrelevant? International Studies Perspectives (August 2021).
    Abstract:With former President Donald Trump’s time in office at an end and much of the world anxiously awaiting President Joseph Biden’s policy shifts, it is a good time to take stock of Trump’s foreign policy actions and their likely implications for the future of international cooperation and US leadership. Trump’s approach to foreign policy reflects an oft-expressed commitment to put America first, but IR experts believe that this approach has damaged the United States’ reputation abroad and damaged its ability to organize multilateral cooperation. In this essay, we leverage survey data from the TRIP Project to address these questions. Instead of providing a single expert’s opinion on Trump’s foreign policy and the future of the global order, these data allow us to provide the aggregated view of an expert community. While US IR scholars disagree on many academic and policy issues, the consensus is clear when it comes to Trump. Scholars overwhelmingly disapprove of Trump’s foreign policy performance and believe his actions have damaged America’s reputation abroad and its ability to lead multilateral initiatives. If a Biden administration reaffirms a commitment to multilateralism, the United States may be able to maintain a strong leadership position, but it will be no easy task.
5. Does Social Science Inform Foreign Policy? Evidence from a Survey of U.S. National Security, Trade, and Development Officials
    with Paul C. Avey, Michael C. Desch, Susan Peterson, Ryan Powers and Michael J. Tierney, International Studies Quarterly 66, no. 1 (2022).
    Abstract:Scholars continue to debate the relationship of academic international relations to policy. One of the most straightforward ways to discern whether policymakers find IR scholarship relevant to their work is to ask them. We analyzed an elite survey of US policy practitioners to better understand the conditions under which practitioners use academic knowledge in their work. We surveyed officials across three different policy areas: international development, national security, and trade. We also employed multiple survey experiments in an effort to causally identify the impact of academic consensus on the views of policy officials and to estimate the relative utility of different kinds of research outputs. We found that policymakers frequently engage with academic ideas, find an array of research outputs and approaches useful, and that scholarly findings can shift their views. Key obstacles to using academic knowledge include practitioners’ lack of time as well as academic work being too abstract and not timely, but not that it is overly quantitative. Additionally, we documented important differences between national security officials and their counterparts who work in the areas of development and trade. We suggest that this variation is rooted in the nature of the different policy areas.
4. Assessing the Renaissance of Individuals in International Relations Theory
    with Marcus Holmes and Richard Jordan. PS: Political Science & Politics 54, no. 2 (2021): 214–219
    Abstract:The study of microfoundations, especially individuals, is enjoying a renaissance in international relations (IR) scholarship. Yet, this rise is more difficult to find in publication data. Using the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) journal-article database, we show that only 13.7% of IR articles in 12 leading journals use the first image. This proportion remains approximately the same from 1980 through 2018. Interrogating the data, we show that this distribution does not stem from epistemological or methodological commitments, such as positivism, quantitative analysis, or formal modeling. We suggest several reasons for this apparent disjuncture between qualitative assessments of the rebirth of first-image theorizing and the quantitative data that imply a slower or perhaps more limited return.
    Replication materials
3. Epistemic Communities and Public Support for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
    with Daniel Maliniak and Ryan Powers. Political Research Quarterly (August 2020).
    Abstract:We study how informing the public about the views of international policy experts shapes public support for international cooperation. Using survey experiments, we test whether variation in levels of support among experts with differing types of domain-specific knowledge can shape public support for a recent and politically salient international treaty: the UNFCCC COP21 Paris Climate Agreement. Our results show that the public is, under certain conditions, deferential to the views of experts, with respondents reporting increasingly higher levels of support for the COP21 agreement as support among experts increased. In addition, we provide suggestive evidence that domain-specific expertise matters: When it comes to support for the COP21 agreement, the public is most sensitive to the views of climate scientists, while exposure to the views of international relations and international economics experts have less dramatic and less consistent effects. Despite these results, we find that it is exposing the public to information about opposition to a proposed treaty among members of relevant epistemic communities that has greatest and most consistent effects. Our findings thus provide new insight into the conditions under which epistemic communities can shape public support for particular policy alternatives.
    Replication materials
2. The Blind Men and the Elephant: Comparing the Study of International Security Across Journals
    with Jack Hoagland, Amy Oakes, and Susan Peterson. Security Studies 20, no. 3 (2020): 393-433.
    Abstract:We use two major datasets collected by the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) Project to map the international security subfield, examining conventional wisdom about the subfield’s gender composition, theories, methods, and policy relevance. At first glance, articles in security journals appear similar to security articles, in general, political science and international relations field journals on these variables. On closer inspection, however, we find that much of the standard thinking about international security describes only two security journals, International Security (IS) and Security Studies (SS). First, women author a small percentage of articles in these two journals, with little increase over time, whereas a growing share of articles in other top journals has a female author or coauthor. Second, more articles in IS and SS employ a realist theoretical approach, and these journals have been slower to embrace nonparadigmatic scholarship. Third, in contrast with articles published in the other journal types, only a small percentage of articles in IS and SS use quantitative methods. Finally, these journals are more policy prescriptive than journals representing other parts of the discipline. IS, in particular, publishes more articles containing explicit policy recommendations than any other journal. Our understanding of the international security subfield may reveal only part of the metaphorical elephant explored by the blind men if observers do not consider variation in security-related research across different journals and types of journals.
1. Do You Feel Welcome? Gendered Experiences in International Security Studies
    with Maria Rost Rublee, Emily B. Jackson, Susan Peterson, and Constance Duncombe. Journal of Global Security Studies 5, no. 1 (2020): 216-226
    Abstract:Unlike in the broader field of international relations, relatively little research on gender representation and gendered experiences exists within the subfield of security studies. This article begins to fill that gap by sharing the results of a 2019 survey of members of the International Security Studies Section (ISSS) of the International Studies Association (ISA). The survey results show striking gender differences in members’ experiences, with women more likely than men to describe ISSS as “insular,” “clubby,” and an “Old Boys’ Network”; more likely to report experiences of hostility and exclusion; and more likely to believe that diversity initiatives are needed. Our analysis reveals that women in the ISSS report (1) harassment, (2) negative experiences participating in various section activities, (3) more significant barriers to attending and being selected for the section’s ISA program, and (4) a sense of feeling unwelcome at ISSS meetings, all at higher rates than male respondents.

Research In Progress/Under Review:

  • ​Expert Endorsements, Partisan Cues, and Public Support for International Cooperation (with Daniel Maliniak, Susan Peterson, and Ryan Powers). Invited to revise and resubmit to World Politics.
    • Abstract:Can international policy experts sway public support for international cooperation? And how might complementary or contrasting cues from partisan political leaders moderate the influence of experts? We study these questions using pre-registered survey experiments fielded on 3,500 Americans. We find that the American public is responsive to cues from international policy experts, but the magnitude of the effect depends on the valence of the cue and the political context in which it is sent. In our experiments, we exposed respondents to endorsements and/or denouncements of proposed international agreements from either foreign policy experts, political elites, or both. We find that cues denouncing proposed agreements are generally more potent than otherwise identical cues from the same actors endorsing the policy and that, on average, cues from experts can move the public just as much as cues from political elites. In addition, we find evidence that domain-relevant knowledge can make expert endorsements more powerful than otherwise identical endorsements from experts without domain-relevant expertise. Finally, we document important counterbalancing effects that occur when experts and political elites disagree on the wisdom or folly of a given policy and reinforcing effects when experts and political elites are in agreement.
  • International Economic Competition as a Catalyst for Climate Coalitions: Converting Climate Skeptics in the United States (with Tyler Ditmore)
    • Abstract:Green spending policies are popular, yet they encounter strong opposition from ideological groups skeptical of climate change. This paper explores methods to persuade climate skeptics to endorse green spending by proposing a new theory on how individuals ideologically evaluate climate policies. We argue that individuals’ support or opposition to climate policies not only depends on their stance towards the environmental objectives, but also on their views about the economic mechanisms employed to achieve these goals. We hypothesize that framing climate policies as enhancing national competitiveness may increase support, particularly among conservatives and anti-globalists, who are typically skeptical of climate initiatives. To examine this theory, we conducted two pre-registered survey experiments with 2,337 American participants. The first experiment, a vignette, prompted respondents to consider competitive dynamics with China, leading to a significant increase in approval for corporate tax subsidies for electric vehicle manufacturers. In pre-specified heterogeneity analyses of partisanship and climate opinions, we observed this trend particularly among ex-ante climate skeptics, who shifted from opposing green corporate subsidies to supporting them. In a conjoint experiment, we generalize these treatment findings across a higher number of dimensions. We found broad support for individual tax incentives and job creation, while climate skeptics showed a greater preference for corporate tax incentives and economic competitiveness. These findings offer crucial understanding for policymakers seeking politically sustainable approaches to promoting environmental initiatives, while providing insight into the evolution of international distributive conflict over the green transition. Furthermore, we offer insight into the realignment of the international order as countries enact more economically nationalist policies in pursuit of global goods.
  • Counter-sterotypical Cue-Giving and Support for Spending on Climate Mitigation: Enlisting the Military as Environmental Protector (with Marc J. Hetherington and Cindy D. Kam)
    • Abstract:How can rank-and-file Republicans be persuaded to support climate change mitigation? We test whether counter-stereotypical information cues from the U.S. Military can induce Republicans in the electorate to depart from their party’s orthodoxy. Republicans highly esteem the U.S. Military and perceive it as conservative. Yet, counter to conservative stereotype, the U.S. Military views climate change as a national security threat. That combination has the potential to shift Republicans’ preferences on the issue. Using a survey experiment, we demonstrate that Republicans express more support for mitigation spending when the U.S. Military conveys its concern that climate change is increasing demand for military operations and challenges its capacity to meet obligations. The pattern emerges especially strongly among those who, pre-treatment, express the most affection for the U.S. Military. The treatment effect reduces party polarization in the electorate substantially. However, when Joe Biden cues the information reporting the Military’s views about climate change and national security, Republicans’ spending preferences are not statistically different from the control.
  • The Effect of Racial Resentment and Out-Group Cues on Support for Climate Policy Among White Americans
    • Abstract:Understanding American public opinion on climate action is vital for enacting effective climate legislation. I argue that racial perceptions influence how racially resentful White Americans determine who deserves to benefit from climate policy. I test the relationship between out-group racial preferences and climate attitudes using data from the Cooperative Election Study and a survey experiment on a representative sample of Americans. In the observational data, I find that heightened racial resentment is linked to reduced support for both domestic and international climate policies, regardless of political affiliation. In the experimental results, providing White respondents with cues about people of color disproportionately benefiting from climate action or being harmed by climate change decreases their support for climate action compared to a control group, with the largest negative impact among highly racially resentful respondents. These findings demonstrate how out-group cues influence the opinions of White Americans on climate policy, irrespective of partisanship.
  • Global Political Knowledge in Survey Responses (with Mark Crescenzi, Bailee Donahue, and Anthony Lindsay)
    • Abstract:Scholars of American political behavior have long relied on the ability to assess survey participant knowledge when designing survey instruments. The use of a battery of questions about American politics is a tried and true way to identify participants with topical expertise, but these questions may not be as useful in identifying participants with expertise in International Relations. With the increased salience of survey experiments in IR scholarship, the need for such a tool in IR research is clear. We develop a new battery of survey questions designed to assess a participant’s global political knowledge. We then compare survey responses from participants with high and low levels of this knowledge and identify important differences. Lastly, we demonstrate that individuals with high-levels of global political knowledge hold different views on foreign policy issues than others, including individuals with high-levels of political knowledge that is limited to American politics, confirming the value in identifying global political knowledge in IR survey research.

Media Publications:

Snap Poll: What Foreign-Policy Experts Make of Trump’s Coronavirus Response
    with Emily B. Jackson, Susan Peterson, Ryan Powers, and Michael J. Tierney, Foreign Policy, May 2020
Has Trump abused his presidential powers, as the House charges? Foreign policy scholars think so
    with Emily B. Jackson, Susan Peterson, Ryan Powers, and Michael J. Tierney, Monkey Cage, January 2020
There Really is an Expert Consensus: Multilateralism Still Matters​​
    with Susan Peterson, Ryan Powers, and Michael J. Tierney, Lawfare, January 2019
IR Theory After Trump: A First Image Renaissance?​ Part 2
    with Marcus Holmes and Richard Jordan, Duck of Minerva, January 2019
IR Theory After Trump: A First Image Renaissance?​ Part 1
    with Marcus Holmes and Richard Jordan, Duck of Minerva, January 2019
Snap Poll: What Experts Make of Trump’s Foreign Policy. International relations scholars evaluate two years of U.S. foreign policy
    with Susan Peterson, Ryan Powers, and Michael J. Tierney, Foreign Policy, December 2018