I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University. My research focuses on international relations and Chinese foreign policy. I am also interested in novel approaches to collecting historical and experimental data.

My dissertation explores the origins of foreign trade policy in imperial China. With colleagues at AidData, I track contemporary Chinese official finance throughout the developing world.  I have produced a range of policy analyses on Chinese foreign policy, including monographs on Beijing's naval anti-piracy operations. Finally, I work on the Harvard Digital Lab for the Social Sciences.

Featured Research

Online Volunteer Laboratories for Social Science Research. With Ryan D. Enos and Mark Hill. Under review.

Conceptual and Historical Foundations of Foreign AidWith Daniel Markovits and Dustin H. Tingley. Working paper.

Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to AfricaWith Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley C. Parks and Michael J. Tierney. Forthcoming, International Studies Quarterly.

Tracking Under-Reported Financial Flows: China’s Development Finance and the Aid-Conflict Nexus Revisited (lead article). With Bradley C. Parks, Michael J. Tierney, Axel Dreher and Andreas Fuchs. Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol. 61, No. 5 (2017): 935-963.

‘Ground-Truthing’ Chinese Development Finance in Africa: Field Evidence from Uganda and South Africa. With Edwin Muchapondwa, Daniel Nielson, Michael J. Tierney, and Bradley C. Parks. Journal of Development Studies Vol. 52, No. 06 (2016): 780-796.

Six Years at Sea…and Counting: Gulf of Aden Anti-Piracy and China’s Maritime Commons Presence. With Andrew S. Erickson. Washington, D.C.: Jamestown Foundation (July 2015): pp. 200.

China’s Blue Soft Power: Antipiracy, Engagement, and Image Enhancement. With Andrew S. Erickson. Naval War College Review  Vol. 68, No. 1 (Winter 2015): 71-91.

Many in the West Fear Chinese ‘Aid’ to Africa. They’re Wrong. Here’s Why. With Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, and Michael J. Tierney. The Monkey Cage, October 20, 2015.

China’s `Facts of Ground’: Putting Neighbors Between a Rock and a Hard Place. With Andrew S. Erickson. War on the Rocks , March 2, 2015.

Pandora’s Sandbox: China’s Island-Building Strategy in the South China Sea. With Andrew S. Erickson.  Foreign Affairs (online), July 13, 2014.

Aid to Africa: Harmful or Helpful? With Bradley C. Parks.  China Economic Quarterly Vol. 18, No. 2 (June 2014): 29-33.

No Substitute for Experience: Chinese Anti-Piracy Activities in the Gulf of Aden. With Andrew S. Erickson. Newport, RI.: Naval War College Press China Maritime Studies No. 10 (November 2013): pp. 196.