About My Research


My scholarship lies at the intersection of international relations, history, and political theory. Specifically, I am interested in the influence that ideas--and, more specifically, the intellectuals who wield ideas--can have on foreign policy. Drawing upon my previous training, I approach this agenda with the perspective and tools of an historian.

My book project examines three “great transformations” in British foreign economic policy: the adoption of the fixed exchange rate regime in the 1690s, the shift toward free trade in the 1780s, and the abandonment of the gold standard in the 1930s. In each case, I show how a major intellectual—John Locke, Adam Smith, and JM Keynes, respectively—persuaded key policymakers to embrace his foreign economic policy framework. A portion of the material on Adam Smith was published in the journal International Organization. Some of the material on the 1930s comprises a paper that is now forthcoming with that same journal. More...

I am also in the early stages of my second major project, provisionally entitled “Dollar Odyssey: The Ideological Origins of American Financial Hegemony.” This project traces the odyssey of the US dollar from its inception through its ascent as the global reserve currency to the present. As with my work on Britain, this project analyses the key shifts in the American monetary system: the battle between Hamilton and Jefferson over the design of the system following independence; Andrew Jackson’s evisceration of the central bank in the 1830s; the creation of the Federal Reserve System in the 1910s; the ascent of dollar hegemony in the 1940s; the displacement of the Bretton Woods System in the 1970s; and the challenges faced by the dollar today.

I have a paper on the 1830s “Bank War.” I also have a rough working paper on the monetary debates between Hamilton and Jefferson in the 1790s.


Journal Articles

  • “Shocking Intellectual Austerity: The Role of Ideas in the Demise of the Gold Standard in Britain.” International Organization (forthcoming). More…
  • “This Means (Bank) War! Corruption and Credible Commitments in the Collapse of the Second Bank of the United States.” Journal of the History of Economic Thought. (forthcoming) More...
  • “Before Hegemony: Adam Smith, American Independence, and the Origins of the First Era of Globalization.” International Organization 66(3): 395-428. More…

Publications (Additional)

  • “International Regimes and War” in Christopher J. Coyne, ed. The Handbook on the Political Economy of War. (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming February 2011). (with Avery White). Publisher
  • “Hayek, Oakeshott, and the Concept of Spontaneous Order,” in Peter McNamara and Louis Hunt, eds. Liberalism, Conservatism, and Hayek’s Idea of Spontaneous Order. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2007). (with Richard A. Boyd).  Publisher | Amazon
  • “The Necessary & Proper Clause,” in Joseph R. Marbach, Ellis Katz, and Troy E. Smith, eds. Federalism in America: An Encyclopedia. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005).
  • “John Cary,” in Donald Rutherford, ed., Biographical Dictionary of British Economists. (Bristol: Thoemmes, 2004).

Book Reviews


  • Review of Steil, B. The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013). The Review of International Organizations (8, 2013). Link
  • Review of Chwieroth, J. Capital Ideas: The IMF and the Rise of Financial Liberalization. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010). Comparative Political Studies (44-1, Dec 2010). Link

Invited Talks & Conference Presentations



“This Means (Bank) War! Corruption and Credible Commitments in the Collapse of the Second Bank of the United States.”
  • Princeton University (February 2015)
  • American Political Science Association (Washington, DC: August 2014)
  • International Studies Association (Toronto: March 2014)
  • Bowdoin College (October 2013)
  • International Political Economy Society (Claremont Graduate School: Oct 2013)

“Shocking Intellectual Austerity: The Role of Ideas in the Demise of the Gold Standard in Britain.”
  • The University of Pennsylvania (February 2013; February 2015)
  • Princeton University (February 2013)
  • Duke University (November 2012)
  • European Political Science Association (Edinburgh: June 2014)

“Keynessandra No Longer: JM Keynes, the 1931 Financial Crisis, and the Death of the Gold Standard in Britain.”
  • American Political Science Association (Washington, DC: September 2010)
  • Cornell University (March 2015)

“Before Hegemony: Adam Smith, American Independence, and the Origins of the First Era of Globalization.”
  • Trinity College, Dublin (February 2015)
  • Queen’s University, Belfast (February 2015)
  • Harvard University (March 2012)
  • History of Economics Society (St. Catharines: June 2012)
  • International Studies Association (Montreal: March 2011)
  • International Political Economy Society (Harvard: November 2010)
  • New England Political Science Association (Newport: April 2010)

“The 1925 Return to Gold: Keynes and Mr. Churchill’s Economic Crisis.”
  • American Political Science Association (Toronto: September 2009)

“The Creation of Britain’s Fixed Exchange Rate Regime.”
  • International Political Economy Society (University of Pennsylvania: November 2008)