I am a PhD candidate in the FullSizeRenderDepartment of Political Science at Vanderbilt University specializing in international relations and political methodology. I earned a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College in 2011.

My research interests include domestic politics and international conflict, states of emergency in democracies, and statistical methodology. In my dissertation I collect original data on emergency provisions, examining 147 state constitutions, over 500 amendments, and numerous legislative acts in democratic states from 1816 to the present. I then examine the conditions under which the use of emergency powers, and thus conflict itself, is attractive to leaders of democracies. Using this novel dataset of emergency provisions within democracies, I test the relationship between emergency power strength and both conflict propensity and crisis escalation by exploiting the specificity of the state’s constitution as a plausibly exogenous determinant of emergency power strength in an instrumental variable analysis.  An unforeseen consequence of allowing democratic leaders enhanced power to navigate external conflicts is an increased propensity for conflict, and that institutional rules designed to preserve the democratic order may in fact undermine it.

My CV is available here, and my working papers can be viewed on my research page.

You can contact me at bryan.a.rooney@vanderbilt.edu.