I mainly do research on the history of the British Empire and the Commonwealth. I am also interested in inter-imperial relations, particularly those between the British Empire and the Japanese Empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since I dealt with the transition of British external policy toward its first application to join the European Economic Community (EEC) from the Anglo-American and Commonwealth perspectives in my doctoral thesis (which was submitted to Kyoto University, Japan, in 2006), I am still interested in European Integration as well as Britain’s relations with its Commonwealth partners.
The following scholars are interested in this topic:
My research investigates the political economy of governance and environmental management in developing countries. One main strand of my research addresses the ways that foreign donors can support better environmental management in the countries where they work. My book Giving Aid Effectively examines when and why member states and civil society groups can make the multilateral development banks, which manage approximately half of all international development finance, responsive to their environmental performance. Other recent projects investigate when foreign aid catalyzes private sector investment in emerging technologies, when externally-financed institution building persists over time, and how remotely sensed data can be used as part of geospatial impact evaluation to improve the evidence behind environment and development interventions.
Another main strand of my research investigates experimentally the effects of transparency on governance and political accountability. I am currently leading or co-leading several field experiments that investigate when information about the programmatic performance of politicians changes vote choice, whether citizen-sourced data on public services improves the governance of urban public services, how transparency encourages citizens to seek accountability from governments, why national-level transparency rating programs affect the actions of local governments in authoritarian contexts. All of these field experiments are designed and implemented as part of strong partnerships with implementing agencies around the world.
My research was inspired by the wide concern about the security implications of climate change. I especially pay attention to the mechanism under which climate variability might exacerbate different types of intrastate conflicts, including non-violent and violent conflicts. In addition, I am also interested in how information-driven coordinating collective phenomena unfold with security threats in place. Specifically, I will focus on the signal processing between political elites and mass public to identify the relationship between information signal processing and the diffusion of conflicts in space and time. Individuals do not form opinions, beliefs, and actions in an isolated environment but are exposed to social influence through social networks and physical, ideological, cultural, or emotional proximity to others.