Research

My research agenda investigates how leaders affect the conduct of international security. Broadly speaking, my work considers the conditions under which these individuals substantively impact the escalation, onset, and duration of international conflict as well as how the characteristics of these individuals impact their states' national security and foreign policies. I have multiple ongoing research programs that, while distinct, are connected through their examination of the role of individuals in international security and how leaders use the tools of coercion to pursue their foreign policy goals. Currently, my primary research project is my book manuscript. 

Book Project: Leaders, Perceptions, and Reputations for Resolve

In my book manuscript, I investigate the process by which individual leaders establish reputations for resolve. I theorize that the process of leadership transitions creates conditions that substantively impact how leader-specific reputations form and change across interactions. My theory predicts that both the statements and behavior of leaders are critical to establishing these reputation, but that there are also conditions under which different reputational cues will be more or less influential to these reputations. More specifically, reputational cues that emerge from early interactions will be particularly influential to the formation of perceptions of resolve. I further consider how these leader-specific reputations are constrained by the characteristics of a leader's state and the context in which leaders interact with each other. To test my theory against alternative explanations, I employ two distinct survey experiments as well as historical case studies of Soviet-American foreign policy using process tracing methods. My findings show that the processes by which leaders establish their reputations for resolve are more complicated than one would initially assume as certain types of reputations are stickier than others and specific signals of resolve vary in their influence over time. Most notably, early interactions are highly influential to reputation development. In this regard, early statements of resolve create expectations of future action. Leaders who fail to meet these expectations face harsh reputational consequences. Furthermore, inconsistency in one's statements of resolve can damage a leader's reputation and lead adversaries to believe you are indecisive and unwilling to commit the resources necessary to see through a course of action. As a whole, my book illuminates how a leader's statements and behavior contribute to these reputations as well as how these reputations change across interactions to influence the strategies leaders pursue during diplomatic interactions and crisis bargaining. 

Peer Reviewed Articles: 

Danielle L. Lupton "Signaling Resolve: Leaders, Reputations, and the Importance of Early Interactions," International Interactions, Forthcoming

Abstract: How do leaders develop reputations for resolve across repeated interactions? While scholars find that leaders can acquire individual reputations for resolve, we know relatively little about how these leader-specific reputations form to begin with. This article examines how leaders develop reputations for resolve from the very beginning of their tenures and presents three key hypotheses regarding these leader-specific reputations. First, statements are more influential to reputational assessments during initial interactions. Second, statements create expectations of future behavior, which interact with a leader's subsequent actions to influence reputation development. Third, initial perceptions of resolve significantly condition later assessments. Through a process tracing survey experiment, I find evidence that resolute statements are more substantively influential during early interactions. I also find early perceptions of resolve do significantly influence later perceptions. Furthermore, statements create expectations of future behavior, and it is by meeting or defying these expectations that a leader’s reputation for resolve is improved or injured within the experiment. These results remain robust even when controlling for contextual factors, including state characteristics. The implications of these findings for both scholars and policy makers are discussed, and this study illustrates how individual leaders develop these reputations for resolve across interactions.

Danielle L. Lupton. 2017. "Out of the Service, Into the House: Military Experience and Congressional War Oversight," Political Research Quarterly 70(2): 327-339.

Abstract: While evidence from international security and civil-military relations shows that elites with military experience have distinct policy preferences from elites who have not served in the armed forces, the effects of military service are not apparent in congressional voting records on foreign and defense policy. If elites with military experience have distinct policy preferences, why has this gap failed to manifest itself in congressional policy positions? I argue that the effects of military service are most pronounced on issues where this experience is highly salient: on the oversight of war operations. Using a pooled cross-sectional time series analysis of an index of roll call votes in the House of Representatives during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, I find that Congresspersons with military experience are significantly more likely to vote to increase congressional oversight over war operations, including increased access to information and limiting the deployment of troops in theater. Further tests confirm these findings are not simply due to partisan effects. I discuss how my results carry serious implications for war termination and the declining number of veterans in Congress during the post-9/11 era, as well as the impact of military service on foreign policy and international security.

Replication Data: Stata Data FileStata Do File

Working Papers: In addition to my book manuscript, I have multiple articles in differing stages of review, including three single-authored papers. The first of these working papers addresses the impact of resolute leader and state behavior on future crisis initiation to better understand how this behavior affects the future vulnerability of actors to international threats (R&R at the Journal of Global Security Studies). The second explores how differences across subject populations can influence experimental results. The third builds on my work published in Political Research Quarterly and uses cohort effects and the Vietnam draft lottery to further test for the effects of military service on U.S. Congressional foreign policy.

Other work builds upon my interest in leaders and how they use the tools of coercion to pursue their foreign policies. Current co-authored working papers consider the impact of leaders on economic growth (with John Doces), the use and ethics of cyberwarfare (with Valerie Morkevicius), the application of jus ad vim principles to modern warfare (with Valerie Morkevicius), how military culture impacts elites as well as surrounding publics (with Justin LoScalzo, Colgate '16), how embedded and interpersonal relationships impact intelligence sharing among alliance partners (with Jonathan Brown and Alex Farrington, R&R at the Journal of Global Security Studies), and the effect of dynastic relationships on Congressional domestic and foreign policy (with Steven Sprick Schuster and Sahar Parsa).