I am currently the Dowd Professor of Peace and War in Political Science and the Chair of the Curriculum of Peace, War, and Defense at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. My research focuses generally political competition involving non-state actors. I am currently conducting research on American foreign policy and transnational terrorism, internal conflict and the rise of extremism within insurgencies, and the growth of insurgent movements from small cells to large scale rebellions. My book entitled Monsters to Destroy: Understanding the War on Terror is published with Oxford University Press.

My recent book Monsters to Destroy: Understanding the War on Terror analyzes the strategic logic for American involvement in the war on terror. The book makes the case that the U.S. fights the war largely to protect its financial dominance and control over global energy markets. It is available here. My book is also available as an audiobook, and it has been identified as one the Best War on Terror Books of All Time and one of the Best War on Terror Audiobooks of All Time by Book Authority.


For more information about my published research and working papers related to violent non-state actors, please see below:

Terrorism and Insurgency Research

I am also involved in several projects analyzing the use of economic sanctions by states in the international system. These projects are derived largely from my work on the Threat and Imposition of Sanctions Data (TIES). To view my published and working papers in this area, or to access the TIES dataset, please follow the links below:

Sanctions Research

Threat and Imposition of Sanctions (TIES) Data Project (New Data Page)

I currently teach two upper level undergraduate courses on terrorism and conflict in Africa, as well as two graduate level courses. For more information, please see my teaching page:


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