My work emphasizes both historical research and analytical methods in an attempt to answer some of the broad questions concerning state-society relations, institutional change, and the long-term factors underlying contemporary national and international politics. In the broadest sense, my interest is in the relationship between war-making and state formation. Currently my area of research is focused on problems that are situated at the intersection of security studies, law, and public policy.
I am currently working on two projects: an article co-authored with Guy Oakes, The Origins of the Truman Loyalty Program Reconsidered: Institutional Developments and Political Contingencies. This essay considers the rationalization of internal security programs in the postwar 80th-82nd Congresses and its consequences for both political development and citizenship in the United States during the early Cold War.
The second project considers the institutional roots of the Department of Homeland Security and the problem of balancing anti-terrorism, civil liberties, and civilian defense in the post-September 11, 2001 period. This will be the topic of my second book. It is a comparative study of the internal security policies in United States, Great Britain, and Israel. This project examines two primary issues: war and state-building as it relates to the post-9/11 period; and, given that the DHS hopes to selectively institutionalize some programs that are used in both Great Britain and Israel as tools for internal security, I am interested in examining what kind of public policy is possible in a robust federal republic such as the US.
Finally, I am involved in research (linked in many ways to the above) that is tied to my participation in the Social Science Council's (SSRC) program, "Reframing the Challenge of Migration and Security."
Atomic Fantasies and Make-Believe War: The American State, Social Control, and Civil Defense Planning, 1946-1952, Political Power and Social Theory 9 (1995)
Conference Report: Social Science History Association, International Labor and Working-Class History 48 (Fall 1995), with Kim Geiger
Preparing for Cold War: The Politics of Home-Front Mobilization, 1946-1952," Center for Studies of Social Change, The Working Paper Series, No. 202 (December 1994), with Kim Geiger
From Real War to Imaginary War: The American State, Civil Defense Plans, and the Home Front, 1946-1952," Center for Studies of Social Change, The Working Paper Series, No. 184 (April 1994)
"Managing Nuclear Terror: The Genesis of American Civil Defense Strategy," International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 5 (Spring 1992): 361-401, with Guy Oakes
Recent Conference Papers:
"Narrative and Public Policy: The Evolving Preventive Policing Paradigm and Internal Security in the United States" Pepared for delivery at ISAC/ISSS Annual Conference 2008. Co-Sponsored by Institute on Globalization and Security (University of Denver) October 23 - October 25, 2008 Vail, Colorado.
"State Structure and the DHS: The Hybridization of Disaster Planning and the Prospects for Homeland Security in the United States" Prepared for delivery at the 2006 joint meeting of the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association and the International Security and Arms Control Section of the American Political Science Association, Tucson, AZ, 26-28 October 2006.
"The Paradoxes of Civilian Defense: Political Development and the Fate of Homeland Security in the United States" Prepared for delivery at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, August 30th-September 3, 2006. Copyright by the American Political Science Association.
"External Shocks and Domestic Institutional Development: U.S. Homeland Defense Policies in Comparative-Historical Perspective." With Fiona Adamson. Prepared for delivery at the 47th Annual International Studies Association Convention, San Diego, CA, March 22-25, 2006
"The Fifth Column Tactic: Predatory Investigations and the Politics of Internal Security in the 80th Congress." With Guy Oakes. Prepared for delivery at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, September 2 - September 5, 2004
"Antebellum State Building: War Making and the Polk Administration." with Nathan Piwowarski. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Political Science Association, March 14-18, 2001, Fort Worth Texas. Co-Winner, 2001 Pi Sigma Alpha Best Paper Award.