Michael Joseph

[email protected]

Major- International Relations

Minor- Research Methods

I am a predoctoral fellow with the Bradley Foundation and PhD candidate in political science at The George Washington University (graduating May 2017). My research, published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, explains why communication between world leaders remains credible when costly signals and audience costs fail. Using game theory I argue that leaders can use diplomacy to: (1) develop stable expectations under uncertainty; (2) enhance monitoring and enforcement functions for international institutions; and (3) negotiate in ways that build trust and avoid war. I test my theories with archival research and elite survey experiments. These experiments are the first to identify how foreign policy staff process information because the subjects are real-world analysts in Washington, D.C., and the vignettes simulate their jobs. My research harness six years’ experience as a public policy consultant in the United States, Iraq, and Australia for various IGO and government clients. These experiences and innovative research designs ideally place me to advance studies of rational diplomacy, peace and conflict under uncertainty.  My dissertation, entitled More Talk, Less Action, tests my theory in a tough case. It explains how rational leaders communicate their motives during the most high-stakes and uncertain period in world politics: power transitions. 



University of New South Wales, Bachelors of International Studies
Australian National University, Masters of Strategic Studies