PUBLICATIONS

BOOKS

NATIONAL ROLE CONCEPTIONS IN A NEW MILLENNIUM: DEFINING A PLACE IN A CHANGING WORLD
(CO-EDITED WITH MICHAEL GROSSMAN AND FRANCIS SHORTGEN)

2022 (Routledge)

Since the end of the Cold War, the international system has been characterized by the preponderance of American power.  Yet in the past decade, US relative power has declined, and the international system has begun to move from unipolarity, dominated by Washington, to one characterized by multiple new rising power centers and an increase in multipolarity.  These changes have led national leaders to redefining how they see their country’s place in the global hierarchy as well as the roles they believe their countries should play internationally. This book will aim to investigate the changes through the lens of role theory which provides us with an opportunity to investigate the transformation of the international system through an examination of the role conceptions espoused by the different global actors.

US GLOBAL LEADERSHIP ROLE AND DOMESTIC POLARIZATION: A ROLE THEORY APPROACH

2021 (Routledge)

In this book Gordon Friedrichs offers a pioneering insight into the implications of domestic polarization for U.S. foreign policymaking and the exercise of America’s international leadership role.
Through a mixed-method design and a rich dataset consisting of polarization data, congressional debates and letters, as well as co-sponsorship coalitions, Friedrichs applies role theory to analyze three polarization effects for U.S. leadership role-taking: a sorting effect, a partisan warfare, and an institutional corrosion effect. These effects are deployed in two comparative case studies: The Iran nuclear crisis as well as the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Friedrichs effectively exposes the drivers of polarization and how this extreme divergence has translated into partisan warfare as well as institutional corrosion, affecting direction and performance of the U.S. global leadership role.
Through advancing role theory beyond other studies and developing the concept of "diagonal contestation" as a mechanism that allows us to locate polarization within a "two-level role game" between agent and structure, U.S. Global Leadership Role and Domestic Polarization is a rich resource for scholars of international relations, foreign policy analysis, American government and polarization.

THE POLITICS OF RESILIENCE AND TRANSATLANTIC ORDER: ENDURING CRISIS?
(CO-EDITED WITH SEBASTIAN HARNISCH AND CAMERON THIES)

2019 (Routledge)

This edited volume bridges the "analytical divide" between studies of transatlantic relations, democratic peace theory, and foreign policy analysis, and improves our theoretical understanding of the logic of crises prevention and resolution.
The recent rise of populism and polarization in both the U.S.A and Europe adds to a host of foreign policy crises that have emerged in transatlantic relations over the last two decades. Through examining how democracies can manage to sustain and maintain mechanisms of crisis resilience that are embedded in the democratic peace, and particularly transatlantic relations, this book helps enhance the understanding of inter-democratic crisis resolution across issue areas. In doing so, it addresses some of the most important and prevalent crises of our time, such as anti-terrorism intervention in Afghanistan; Iran’s nuclear program; burden-sharing within North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO; key aspects of the international order, such as binding norms for cyber security and the integration of China into the Western-led international economic order; as well as domestic order shifts, such as the British vote to leave the European Union (EU) and the impact of the Trump administration populist foreign policy on transatlantic crisis resolution.
This book will be of key interest to students and scholars of International Relations, Transatlantic Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis, and Comparative Politics.

PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES

FROM FACTIONS TO FRACTIONS: INDIA’S FOREIGN POLICY ROLES ACROSS DIFFERENT PARTY SYSTEMS

India Review Vol 18, No. 2 (2019)

India’s government under Narendra Modi represents a return to single party rule. This paper investigates whether and why single party governments in India differ in their extremity of foreign policies from coalition governments. It particularly focuses on how different forms of government influence the saliency, contestation, and enactment of national conceptions about India’s global role. First, I situate India within the academic debate regarding coalitional governments and foreign policy. I suggest that one reason why India challenges scholars‘ assumption is the missing link between partisan conceptions of India’s global role and their institutional representation. Second, I propose a role theoretical approach and argue that the process of self-identification, consisting of ego and anticipated alter expectations, conditions a state’s role set and extreme foreign policy. It is hypothesized that the nature of contestation of national role conceptions varies between factions and fractions because of the nature of India’s party system, as well as the relative significance of external others for India’s identity. Third, I examine instances of role-taking in the field of nuclearization and Sino-Indian relations. Findings suggest that contested role conceptions during single-party rule caused more extreme variances in international role-taking, while coalition governments proved to induce more complementary role-taking processes.

ALLIANCES REBALANCED? THE SOCIAL MEANING OF THE U.S. PIVOT AND ALLIES’ RESPONSES IN NORTHEAST ASIA
(CO-AUTHORED WITH SEBASTIAN HARNISCH)

The Korean Journal of International Studies Vol. 15, No. 1 (2017)

Pundits and policymakers have articulated growing concerns about a coming clash between the U.S. and China. In this view, the U.S. Pivot to Asia is a (merely hidden) attempt of the Obama administration to preempt the competition with Beijing through strengthening a formidable web of military alliances and partnerships to frustrate Chinese ambitions. If this interpretation was true, U.S. allies in the region would heed Washington’s call to arms, because their military dependence would make them comply. Our role theoretical appraisal of the U.S. Pivot and reactions suggests that the material dynamics of security dilemmas in the region have been exaggerated: both, factions within the U.S. and U.S.’ allies, Japan and South Korea, differ considerably in casting China as a military threat while they continue to treat China as an economic partner. Focusing on the social structure of security dilemmas, we examine role taking behavior by U.S. allies in all three dimensions of the Pivot. We find that security dynamics depend as much on the role-taking of U.S. allies, and their respective historical experiences, as on the alleged intentions of the two protagonists. It follows that security cooperation and/ or competition in Asia is what concerned states as role holder make of it.

SCHWERPUNKTVERLAGERUNG, RICHTUNG UNGEWISS? DER „US-PIVOT TO ASIA“ UND SEINE UNINTENDIERTEN KONSEQUENZEN” [A PIVOT TO NOWHERE? THE U.S. PIVOT TO ASIA AND ITS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES]
(CO-AUTHORED WITH SEBASTIAN HARNISCH)

ASIEN 139 (2016)

The phrase “unintended consequences” is often used in the political (science) discourse, yet it still remains theoretically underspecified. We conceptualize unintended consequences in role theoretical terms in three steps, and then apply it to the United States’ policy vis-à-vis the Asia-Pacific region under the Obama administration — the so-called “Pivot to Asia.” First, we model unintended consequences as a gap between the initial role-taking of an actor and the deviant but commensurate counterrole taking of an Other. Second, we examine the Obama administration’s initial roletaking in the diplomatic, security, and economic realms, under the assumption that domestic contestation in the US may lead to unclear signaling about the Pivot’s intentions. Third, we investigate counter-role taking by Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia in order to draw conclusions about their interpretation of US role-taking and its consequences for the region’s social structure. Our analysis exposes differentiated patterns of unintended consequences due to deviant counter-role taking by these nations vis-à-vis the US, China, and other actors in the region along all three dimensions of the Pivot.

MEDIATISATION OF EXPERTISE? HOW MEDIA AFFECTS COMMUNICATION PATTERNS IN EXTERNAL ECONOMIC POLICY ADVICE IN GERMANY AND THE UNITED STATES
(CO-AUTHORED WITH DOROTA STASIAK, EVA SAVINOVA UND ANDREA RÖMMELE)

Zeitschrift für Politikberatung, Vol. 8, No. 2-3 (2016)

A common strategy of today’s advisory organisations is to supplement personal, direct transmission of expertise with the public dissemination of recommendations. By doing so, these advisory bodies rely on multiple channels and forms of communication. The present article adopts this communication-oriented perspective to analyse the possible reasons and broader consequences of “expertise going public” within the framework of mediatisation. Building on an analysis of the internet presence of selected German and American organisations offering economic policy advice, as well as questionnaires and interviews conducted among their representatives, it asks if they adapt to media logic or already adopt it and on the practical and theoretical implications of such, often implicit, choices.

UNDER REVIEW

POLARIZED WE TRADE? INTRA-PARTY POLARIZATION AND U.S. TRADE POLICY

Presented at the "Domestic Polarization and U.S. Foreign Policy: Ideas, institutions, and policy implications" Workshop (Heidelberg University, 2020)

Domestic polarization has evaporated the Cold War bipartisanship consensus for U.S. free trade agreements, leading to more delayed, more polarized and even unsuccessful ratifications in Congress. Despite existing research on the politics of U.S. trade policy, we lack sufficient evidence whether this decline in bipartisanship is because foreign policy preferences of members of Congress have become ideologically polarized or simply more partisan. This paper explores how intra-party polarization, in relation to inter-party polarization, steers U.S. trade policy. I examine two cases of U.S. trade negotiations: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and the US-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA). By relying on a unique dataset and coding scheme of congressional letters to the president and co-sponsorship alliances, I first derive trade policy preferences from members of Congress and align them with their DW-nominate ideology scores. I then proceed via a structured focused comparison of both negotiations to identify the conditions under which trade agreements become more likely supported by Congress (or not). Findings suggest that U.S. trade policy preferences reflect intra-party polarization between ideologically extreme and moderate partisans. The cases further show that intra-party polarization shapes both the outcome and congressional support of U.S. trade negotiations by dispersing required trade concessions from negotiation partners as well as shifting ratification pivots away from the party means. The paper sheds light on ideology as a driver for legislative conflict and brings attention to the understudied phenomenon of intra-party polarization for the direction of U.S. trade policy and international relations.

POPULIST MINDS THINK ALIKE? NATIONAL IDENTITY CONCEPTIONS AND FOREIGN POLICY PREFERENCES OF POPULIST LEADERS

Presented at the annual conference of the World International Studies Committee, Buenos Aires (postponed to 2021)

The global wave of populist state leaders has drawn the attention of foreign policy analysts recently. Despite significant contributions, we still know little about populist leaders’ conceptions of their nation’s identity and how these inform foreign policy preferences. What understanding do populists have about what their nation stands for and how high it stands in comparison to others? In this article, I introduce a theoretical model of identity-driven foreign policymaking that examines the national role conceptions and foreign policy preferences of five populist leaders (Trump, Maduro, Duterte, Modi, Orbán) via an original quantitative content analysis of foreign policy speeches. The analysis reveals that populists largely share an oppositional nationalist identity conception vis-à-vis a generic foreign other that is driven by two key emotions: fear and pride. The article further assesses whether this identity translates into foreign policy revisionism towards international order by examining the voting behavior in the UN General Assembly. The empirical evidence largely supports the theoretical assumptions. This way, the paper contributes to the methodological approaches currently available to foreign policy analysis to study individuals, as well as provides comparative empirical evidence of what populists think and what emotions drive their decision to challenge international order structures.

WHEN LEADERS DISAPPOINT: FAILED LEADERSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS AND ITS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

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THE EFFECTS OF POLARIZATION FOR U.S. FOREIGN POLICY: REVISITING THE TWO-LEVEL GAME

Presented at "New Directions in Foreign Policy Analysis" Workshop, London University, City (2019)

Polarization has been a prevalent phenomenon in American politics, yet its foreign policy implications remain understudied. A common assumption is that polarization undermines the utilization of America’s material power via a coherent grand strategy. In this article, I argue that polarization does not make the U.S. incapable of enacting a foreign policy per se but instead affects the selection of foreign policy instruments and conduct. While polarization has steadily increased over time, U.S. foreign policy has become much tougher vis-à-vis others, yet at the same time less effective and more costly. Conceptualizing the domestic politics level as a determinant factor for the executive’s behavior on the international affairs level reveals three polarization effects responsible for this: (1) a sorting effect of partisan foreign policy preferences inclines the executive to seek relative gains internationally; a partisan conflict effect nullifies Congress as a veto player and reduces America’s international bargaining power; and an institutional corrosion effect inclines the executive branch to manipulate domestic support via wedge-issue and to simultaneously engage in costly side-payments to interfere in the domestic politics of negotiation partners. In sum, polarization increases the opportunity costs of U.S. foreign policy execution and contributes to global instability due to a domestic politicization of national security, short-sighted government resource allocation for political gains, and harder to manage international order maintenance. These findings bear larger implications for polarized democracies’ handling of international affairs.

LEADING BY EXAMPLE OR EXTORTION? U.S. LEADERSHIP ROLE TRANSITION UNDER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

Chapter in edited volume A Hegemonic Transition? Reconfigurations of Global Economic and Security Orders in the Age of Trump (edited by Florian Böller and Welf Werner, forthcoming)

This paperaddresses the question of U.S. hegemonic transition under the current Trump administration via an assessment of America’s international leadership role. Leadership roles are an essential element of international orders, particularly hegemonic orders such as the liberal international order. By employing a role theoretical approach, I argue that leadership roles provide hegemony with agency and require consensual followers to stabilize inter-state orders and overcome situations of uncertainty, such as power asymmetries or international crises. By looking at changes to U.S. leadership role-taking and counter-roles by followers, I examine role transition and changes to the material and ideational underpinnings of the liberal international order that occur despite continuous stability of U.S. hegemony. The paper is structured as follows: First, I introduce the concept of international leadership roles to the scholarship on hegemonic stability and transition, and develop four distinct ideal types of leader-follower constellations in international politics. Second, I briefly discuss two key mechanisms at work that facilitate or prevent leadership role transition, i.e. imitation and alter-casting. In a third step, I apply a plausibility probe of U.S. leadership role transition to the case of the Iran nuclear crisis. Nuclear proliferation is a particular interesting policy area because leadership changes do not correspond with changes to the material asymmetry of U.S. hegemonic order. The empirical analysis suggests that role transition is usually preceded by role conflict but only consequential for inter-state hegemonic orders when both leader and followers choose new roles for themselves in response.

For a complete list of my publications, see my CV.