Theory Talk #46: David Lake

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

David A. Lake on Declining American Hegemony, Dyadic International Hierarchy, and the Seductiveness of Open Economy Politics


International order is a core preoccupation within International Relations, and the empirical configurations of international power relations have principal objects of study in the U.S. and beyond. Questions of how international hierarchy comes about and is maintained, and how one can understand the role of the U.S. in determining that structure, are subsequently at the heart of the discipline. On both core questions, David A. Lake has made powerful and lasting contributions that both challenge conventional wisdom and engage the most difficult questions. In this thoughtful Talk, David Lake—amongst others—explains how international hierarchy can best be conceptualized, relates this to shifting great power relations and U.S. interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and comments on the seductiveness of Open Economy Politics.


What is, according to you, the biggest challenge or principal debate in current IR? What is your position or answer to this challenge or in this debate?

I’m not sure there’s a principal debate these days. We’ve moved away from the paradigmatic debates that seemed so central in the 1980s and 1990s, and I actually think that’s a good development for the field. I never found those sorts of existential debates very useful. Are states unitary? Are they rational? Do they pursue wealth? There’s no answer to those types of questions. So, they’re fun to argue about, and you could argue at great length about them, precisely because there’s no definite answer to any of those questions. I think it’s a very productive stage in the development of the discipline to begin moving beyond debates about first principles to address more substantive empirical questions, and that’s where I think we ought to be focusing our ambitions. We should be looking at contingent, mid-level theories that address particular problems and issues in international politics, and trying to develop theories that are tailored to the specific problems we are trying to understand. We should be moving away from some grand theory that is supposed to cover the discipline of international relations, and focusing our energies on building contingent theories that will explain, for instance, global climate change and the lack of cooperation there, human rights compliance, the financial crisis, and so on. There’s no reason to believe there’s going to be a single theory, or a single core set of paradigmatic assumptions, that’s going to apply equally well to all topics. And so, moving to this midlevel range I think is going to be a very productive move within the discipline. This takes us away from these huge challenges, or major debates in the field, down to much more specific debates: What’s the best model to understand this problem? What’s the essence of the political problem that makes environmental cooperation so difficult to achieve, for instance? I think it focuses our attention in a more productive way.

That said, I do think there is a central epistemological cleavage in the field that’s not so easily bridged, or not so easy to go beyond. This divide is characterized in different ways, but one set of labels would be a nomological versus a narrative form of explanation. A nomological form uses the hypothetico-deductive method to state theory in logical form, derive hypotheses with empirical implications, and then test those hypotheses in the most rigorous way possible. Narrative forms of explanation are much more historical and much more sensitive to the conjunctures that arrive simultaneously to produce a particular event that the scholar might be interested in. These are two ways of understanding the world around us, and they’re not easily reconciled. I can’t give you a principled reason why one would be better than the other. I think a lot of it is driven by intuition: What is satisfying to you as scholar? What kind of explanation do you find satisfying in some deep way? I read a lot of history—I read more history than political science to be perfectly honest—and I get a lot out of it. But I don’t find histories satisfying as causal explanations because of all the intricacies. How do you judge one narrative as better than another? The literature on any war is voluminous, for instance, and how you compare narratives of a particular conflict is a very difficult problem for me. My own intuition is that I want to have a general theory that produces a set of hypotheses that can be tested in a more rigorous way. I find nomological explanations more inherently satisfying than narratives. But, that’s a personal taste. I can’t give you some long, principled reason why we should prefer one over the other. With that in mind, this is a divide in the field. It harkens back (most people don’t read it now) to the second great debate in IR between Hedley Bull and J. David Singer in the late 1960s. We’re now in the same debate, forty years later, and we’re tapping into many of the same themes that drove that second debate. We haven’t moved that much beyond the old positions, and I don’t think we will. This is a divide on which different people will come down in different ways.

So, is that a great debate? Is that a principal challenge? No, I just think we need to learn to respect each other on both sides of this divide and find value in what different scholars do, even if you or anyone else doesn’t find one epistemology wholly satisfying. I think we have this epistemological debate, and that’s a challenge, but in terms of grand theories I’m glad to see we’ve moved away from that.  


How did you arrive at where you currently are in IR?

I don’t like the term “arrived!” It’s not quite accurate, in the sense that one does not arrive, instead you evolve, you muddle through, you get to a particular understanding of the world. I like to think I have some distance to go before I’ve arrived anywhere, so we’ll punt on the concept of arrival. I take this as a question about how I came to focus upon hierarchy in international relations, which we’ll talk about in more detail later I gather. I’ve always been interested in questions of international order. That’s a substantive theme that runs through most of what I’ve done: How it arises? What makes it stable? Why does it collapse? When I was in college and grad school in the mid-1970s, living through the so-called crises of the 1970s, I started thinking hard about macroeconomic policy coordination and inflation. As I was moving towards the dissertation, I got taken pretty heavily by Hegemonic Stability Theory (HST, pdf). I have always had this ambivalent relationship with HST, part of my ambition was to clarify its logic, re-found it upon more rigorous, deductive terms. But at the same time, I was always a bit of an outsider, or critic, of the theory, because many of its intuitive propositions were actually not quite correct. As it turned out, HST was not a particularly fruitful path for any of us to have been going down.

The turning point from that general interest to beginning to think about hierarchy was probably more in the mid-1980s, when I was reading a couple of things in close proximity to each other. One was Richard Ashley’s “Poverty of Neorealism” (read here, pdf) (which many people might find surprising). However, it was a decisive intellectual piece in my own development, as it took mainstream IR theory at the time to task for not having a theory of the state. Almost side by side with that, when I was teaching at UCLA, we had a wonderful political economy reading group that used to meet every Tuesday for lunch and we spent some time reading Oliver Williamson’s The Economic Institutions of Capitalism on markets and hierarchy (read chapter one here, pdf). It stimulated me to think about hierarchy and political authority in different ways than I previously understood them: Here’s a completely different theoretical approach to these issues that had not at the time come into political science very deeply. Reading those two pieces in a relatively short period of time sort of sucked me down the rabbit hole and sent me back to the old literatures on imperialism, sovereignty, and state formation that had not been on the IR reading list for a while. I began to think about Why is the world organized politically in the way that it is? That was a huge topic that I was never going to get my mind around, so instead I pulled one thread out of that, which was to focus on international hierarchy, opening up the state as a sovereign unit and beginning to look for authority relations between states.

I’ve now done two different books on international hierarchy. One was the Entangling Relations book that I published in 1999, which was very Williamsonian in approach. It was a theory of variations in hierarchy, and drew pretty heavily on his work on opportunism and governance costs to explain how countries organize their relations with one another. I thought I was done with that until the Iraq war. In the run up to the war, the main topic/question—the word—that was on many people’s lips was legitimacy. How was the U.S. going to maintain its legitimacy if it acts alone? If it ignores the UN? What puzzled me about that was everyone was talking in terms of legitimacy, but very few of us in IR theory had written anything extensive on legitimacy at the international level. Constructivists had dipped their feet into that pond, but it was more the legitimacy of norms, the way norm entrepreneurs could legitimate particular values and diffuse them throughout the international system. But the question of the legitimacy of state policy at the international level had not been a central topic, so I wanted to think about legitimacy in the context of these hierarchical relationships that I had written about in the Entangling Relations book. That led me to a much more social conception of hierarchy. The Entangling Relations book is very economistic, drawing its intellectual foundations out of economics rather than sociology. Hierarchy in International Relations, published in 2009 (2006 manuscript of the full book here, pdf), is much more framed around a social view of authority, wherein both ruled and rule have to understand the relationship that they’ve entered into. So, in terms of where I am now, I describe it as a much more social view of hierarchy than what I had ten years ago, and that really grew out of trying to think hard about this issue about what makes something legitimate. What do we mean by the concept of legitimacy? 

Now I want to stress that when I theorize legitimacy in a more social way, it’s social without ideas. This is a crucial difference. At heart I'm still a materialist. It’s the old Marxist in me! Back in my undergraduate days, when I first began thinking about political problems, the first tool in the toolbox I pulled out is: “what is the individual, or group, interest here?” And those interests are largely defined by the material structure. My intuition about politics is that people pursue their material interests pretty well. They know their material interests and how to structure their environment to bring about the realization of those material interests. So the struggle for me was coming to a position where I could understand legitimate authority as a social phenomenon, but still ground it in a view of politics that is strategic, materialist, and largely rationalist. Marrying those two up was the difficult part in trying to bring legitimacy into the theory of international hierarchy in a useful way.


What would a student need to become a specialist in IR?

Everyone comes to IR with a different set of interests and different backgrounds. What I think a student needs is first and foremost a sense of curiosity, a deep desire to know why the world works the way it does. If you have that, then everything flows from it. Some people come in with a pre-existing theoretical commitment of some kind or another, and this inhibits their intellectual development. Foremost, come in with a profound sense of curiosity.

The second thing I think students need to have is a deep knowledge of history. I think of myself as a theorist, and most of my recent work uses large-n quantitative methods, but I still fervently believe that all our work needs to be disciplined by a knowledge and understanding of history. You need to discipline your theory: Does this make sense in the world that I know? If you find a relationship that jumps out at you as statistically significant, that doesn't mean that it is right. You still have to say: “Does this relationship or action fit with my understanding of this country's policies, with this particular historical period that I'm looking at?” An historical perspective is missing particularly, I think, in how we are training our graduate students these days.

Further, students should be able to work at a theoretical level, typically formal theory. A new emphasis these days is on agent-based modeling, which is a useful platform that hasn't been explored in IR as much as it could be. But you have to have some set of theoretical skills. You also need a working knowledge of statistical methods, if only to understand the work being published in the field, and certainly the ability to use it in appropriate ways in your own research. The final thing I think all good students should know is something about research design. That is the underdeveloped part of IR these days. Many other parts of political science have moved forward and developed a set of research designs that can give you greater leverage over causal inference, and we in IR are not exploiting these as much as we should. So, if students want to develop a skill set, a greatly undeveloped area is research design.


Let's talk about your more recent work in hierarchy. You're asking students of IR to challenge the older formal-legal model that says legitimate authority resides inside the state, whereas outside the state there is no legitimate authority, and is therefore anarchical. You claim we should see relations among actors as predicated along a continuum of relational authority. I was hoping you could talk about how this proposal alters the way that students should understand world politics.

This is a good question to ask about my work on hierarchy. First, I think that this traditional approach, this way of thinking about variations of hierarchy in the international system, really negates the focus on world politics itself. It suggests that world politics really isn't a separate area of inquiry, but is part and parcel of politics in general. There are elements of hierarchy in international relations, and this dissolves the divide between domestic and international politics. Once you open up that door and start to walk through it, the difference between these arenas really sort of blur together. The same processes that give us domestic politics in these sort of “more hierarchical” systems should be found in international politics. Not necessarily in the same way, but they can be modified depending on other variables in the environment; we want to look for more subtle variations than we have in the past. At the same time, it challenges scholars who work on domestic politics. What makes hierarchy stick within a country? We take for granted that it’s the constitution. The constitution, however, is nothing more than an anarchic agreement, right? Who enforces the constitution? Internationally nobody, and all of the parties are bound to the constitution only by the extent by which they accept its rules. On both sides it tears apart that dividing line between what used to be understood as domestic politics and international politics.

The other way an understanding of hierarchy affects the way we think about world politics is that sovereignty becomes a variable. All recognized states today possess some quality or quantity of sovereignty, but it varies quite dramatically and, I think, in rather unexpected ways. The more issues a state regulates, the greater its sovereignty. The more issues one state regulates in another state, then the more hierarchical the relationship. This becomes a continuum, not just a single condition that we assume is absolute, and it changes the old way by which we think about sovereignty.

Finally, it opens up the question about how these variations matter: How do they matter for policy? How do they help us explain IR? The variations are quite important. In Hierarchy in International Relations, I tried to show that subordinate states spend less on defense, they trade more with other subordinate states, they are more likely to join the dominate state in multilateral coalitions, and so on. Dominant states, in turn, are more likely to come to the aid of subordinates in a crisis, they are less likely to abuse the authority that they have been granted. Hierarchy creates a very different dynamic in relations between states and within the system that we haven't appreciated in the past.


Where in contemporary international politics do you see a lot of relational authority and where do you see areas that are still on the anarchical side of that spectrum?

I think that we have to recognize that international politics isn't all of one piece. Just to continue the previous point, it's not an anarchic or a hierarchic system, but actually a variegated tapestry of varying relationships. There are hierarchical relationships out there—the United States and Central America is a paradigmatic case. Russia and some of the states of the former Soviet Union is another. But at the same time, there are lots of relationships between states that are essentially anarchic. Relations between the US and China today, for instance, are in a condition of pure anarchy. As I've tried to operationalize hierarchy, the U.S today probably has some degree of hierarchy over roughly half of the states in the world. These are clustered mostly in Central and Latin America, Europe and Northeast Asia, and with some scattered examples in the Middle East. There is tremendous regional clustering to these patterns, even though theoretically I treat them as dyads. This means that with half the countries in the world, the U.S. has relationships that are at least partly hierarchic. The other half of these relationships are still essentially anarchic, and this includes relations with many of the non-European great powers, such as Russia, China, and the BRICs more generally. A lot of what we think we know about international politics is still relevant to these anarchic relationships. We still expect relations between the US and China and the US and the BRICs to be characterized by self-help, balancing, the difficulty of making credible commitments, and all of the things we traditionally think follow from anarchy. But, in more hierarchical relationships, the nature of politics and the policies that countries adopt within those relationships are quite different. They are not so dependent on self-help, balancing, and all the rest of it. There is a syndrome of policies that follows from hierarchy that we haven't recognized yet, that I think are quite important.  


You've talked about hierarchy as a dyadic relation among states, but we can also talk about international organizations and other types of non-state actors as also forging hierarchical relationships.

Most certainly! The concept of international authority and variations in hierarchy generalizes out to other actors. My own interest here, and what I focus on, is a particular kind of international hierarchy, which is state-to-state. The reason why I did that is because in my mind it is the most challenging area to show that there is in fact hierarchy, that there is authority at play. It will still be a contested position, no doubt, but I think it is a bit more intuitive that there are areas of world politics in which authority is wielded by international organizations—certainly in the case of the EU, some issue areas by the UN, particularly international trusteeships and failed states. I think it'll be relatively easy to show that there are elements of hierarchy, authority and legitimacy at play in those relationships. And so I wanted to start with the more difficult area to show that even in relationships between states in a post-colonial/post-imperial world, there are still these authority relationships at play. But certainly, the argument is general. In fact, several of my graduate students—Chad Rector, Kathleen Hancock—have looked at more supranational forms of authority, taking some of these same arguments and extending them to federations. I think we can expand this further and look more generally at patterns of authority by other sorts of actors. I tried to show what that agenda might look like in my ISA Presidential Address (read it here, word doc) on rightful rules. There, I tried to extend some of the arguments I developed on state-to-state hierarchy to supranational organizations and also private authorities, focusing particularly on credit rating agencies. 


We've talked about the decline of American hegemony for 40 plus years, but today, the signs of U.S. hegemonic decline are quite pronounced. I was wondering, thinking about your framework, how might the U.S. have to renegotiate its hierarchical exchanges as it continues to decline while the BRICs and the rest of the world rises?

The United States is clearly going to have to renegotiate its hierarchical contracts over time. The core of relational authority, which I develop in the hierarchy book, is the exchange of social order, which is provided by the dominant state in return for compliance from the subordinate state. It is a kind of a contract, an exchange, where the subordinate gives up just enough of its sovereignty and autonomy in order to get the dominate state to provide enough of the social order to make it worthwhile. I think as U.S. power capabilities decline it becomes more difficult for the U.S. to continue to provide the same degree of social order that it did in the past. As the degree of social order declines, it reduces the benefits of the subordinates, so they’re going to be willing to give up less of their sovereignty because they are getting less in return. These relationships will change. There will be a pressure from the subordinates to renegotiate the deal. In turn, I think the U.S. still gets a pretty good bargain from its provision of social order. We benefit from this as well, which is, I think, not sufficiently recognized. As the pressure from the subordinates builds to renegotiate these contracts, the U.S. can redistribute some of these gains back to the subordinates, to keep the degree of hierarchy at the same level in equilibrium. But that will have the effect of reducing the benefits to the average American of providing social order. There will be push back from the taxpayer and the average American for continuing to carry this hegemonic burden. So, it’s going to get squeezed from both sides—from the subordinates who feel they’re getting less protection and want a better deal and from the American taxpayers who are getting less out of the relationship than they did in the past. What this emphasizes is that hierarchy is not a constant, it’s a variable. It’s a dynamic, evolving thing that changes through time, and so what authority is exercised by whom over what is going to change and be tested—it’s being tested now and it will be even more contested in the future. So, this is a very fluid relationship that evolves as the interests, abilities, desires of the parties themselves change over time.

In a way, I’ve come back full circle to a modified HST as I think about these issues. HST was looking at the underlying power capability of states, and I actually think that focusing on structure turned out to be a blind alley we went down there. Thinking about the nature of authority relationships between countries, however, brings us back to the same insights that strong states provide order, subordinate states benefit from that order, and this is the glue that holds it all together. As material capabilities decline, it changes the nature of the hierarchical relationship, so I worry about the long-term consequences, just as we did back in the 1970s in thinking about HST. As American power erodes, the nature of the international order becomes more fragile, more easily contested, and will eventually be scaled back with unknown consequences. I think American leadership has been important in sustaining international order over the last six decades, and as that begins to erode order will become more fragile and problematic. We’ll have to see how that works out.


Let’s talk about Open Economy Politics (OEP). You’ve written about the paradigm itself and given some support to it, while also critiquing it a bit. Why do you think it’s an appealing paradigm, especially for current IPE students?

I find it very amusing to have somehow gotten billed as the spokesperson for OEP. This started when I was asked to write a review essay for the Oxford handbook on the state of the art of IPE (pdf here). That was the genesis. I surveyed the field and, at least in North American IPE, it was pretty clear that there was an emerging approach to thinking about questions of political economy. And so I tried to sketch out what that approach was, how it worked, and what it meant. I went down the road of trying to articulate what OEP is, and have been interpreted as a defender of it. I do not consider most of my own work to be a part of OEP. It takes a much more social view, and I’m much more interested in issues of authority and legitimacy that are outside the approach. So, it’s ironic and somewhat amusing to me to be in the position of defending OEP.

Recognizing the irony, I think it’s a very attractive approach because it allows us to deduce interests from prior economic theories that predict the distributional effects of international economic openness. Interests are the building blocks of all politics, as I know it. How values are allocated authoritatively is the core problem of politics, and so OEP begins from economic theories of the distributional implications of exchange, and then it predicts the interests of this factor or that sector based on those economic theories. The attraction is that it escapes the tautology that lies at the core of most other approaches to thinking about interests. Most of the time when we ask “what is the interest of this actor?” we have to infer it from their behavior. “This group wanted tariffs because it lobbied for them” or “called for them in the public domain.” In all cases, when we look at behavior and try to infer what the interest of the actor is, we’re only seeing the strategy they adopted, not in some sense what they really wanted. You’ll ask for, or lobby for, what you think you can get given the political environment, not for what your real interest is. So, at the core of all these more inductive approaches is a sort of a tautology, particularly if you want to use interests to explain outcomes. Drawing upon economic theory allows us to break the circle, if you will, and say we’re going to assume that the interests of this factor of production are defined by economic theory. From that, we can then say something about what their preferences might be in an issue area. By building off of economic theory, OEP has a rigorous way to deal with the question of interests that I find lacking in most other approaches.

The other advantage of OEP is that it’s proven to be remarkably broad in the range of policies to which it can be applied. It provides a good first cut in explaining trade policy, monetary policy, international financial policy, foreign direct investment, etc. From the same core theory we can predict a lot of policy preferences over many different issues, which is an enormously powerful thing to be able to do. So for me, the attractiveness of the theory is its focus on interests. Within that, it can then build in institutions, international bargaining, and so on. But there’s nothing particularly unique about OEP in terms of understanding that political institutions play a role in aggregating interests and that interstate bargaining occurs within and without institutions. It’s truly this focus on interest that is unique to OEP, and I think it’s greatest contribution.

But, as you said, I have gently critiqued OEP. There’s a lot that can be improved, as it has become clearer and clearer over time that the economic theories that, at one level, make this approach so attractive also limit it. Other things seem to go into the preferences of individuals and groups as they think about trade policy, monetary policy, and so on. Gender and religion matter a lot in individual-level surveys about preferences over foreign economic policies. So, we need to open up and go beyond these economic theories, although I think they’ll still be a good foundational place to start. Also, OEP takes the state of the global economy as exogenous—the world is open. From that exogenous characteristic, then they deduce what the interests of the particular factor/sector will be, but in fact the state of the global economy is a product of what states did in the past, it’s a product of their policies. This makes interests themselves endogenous, something with which OEP has not yet come to grips.


What you’re working on now?

I’m working on a variety of things. I’ve got a book project underway with MatMcCubbins, a former colleague at UCSD, on causal inference and research design in political science, which is why I’m emphasizing that in IR. I have a collaborative project with one of my graduate students, Danielle Jung, on agent-based models of markets, networks, and hierarchy. There we’re trying to study the origins and functions of these three basic forms of social organization. This is inspired by IR and what I’ve done in the past, but we intend this to be a more general model of social interactions.

The next step in the hierarchy project is to begin to think about the domestic politics of hierarchy, particularly in subordinate states. Central to the exchange relationship I was mentioning earlier is the presumption that the subordinate state is made better off as a whole by buying into the social order, and that’s clearly a simplification. As I begin to think about that more deeply, it may well be that the country as a whole may be better off; but it’s certainly the case that different groups in that society are going to benefit to different degrees. And so I’m trying to understand what it means to have a distribution of preferences and gains over the social order. Social orders are hierarchically constructed and are not neutral in their rules. I know I have had a tendency to gloss over this point in my earlier writings, but I’m very aware that social orders are always in the interests of dominant parties. Dominant states write rules that are to their benefit, up to the limit to which they can get support from subordinate states. The content of these rules are going to affect different groups within subordinate societies in different ways, and we can expect to find variation within societies and variation between societies. Establishing a hierarchical relationship with a country with average preferences that are very different and distinct from the dominant state is a more difficult and costly enterprise. The gains from the relationship have to be larger in order to offset those costs. What does that look like? How does that play out? How can we begin to think about this? I suspect how the gains from hierarchy are distributed is an important determinant of the nature of the regime in subordinate country.

Let’s think about the hierarchies that were created after World War II and endured between the U.S. and Western Europe. The U.S. and Western Europe are different and distinct, yet have relatively similar preferences over the nature of the international order. The benefits were very large, so they could buy all groups within Europe into a consensus around an American-led international order. And the relationship with the U.S. was consistent with democracy; the medium voter within subordinate European states could sign on to the system, so to speak. That’s not true in other subordinate countries, particularly if you begin to think about the American effort in Iraq and Afghanistan today. We’re extending a hierarchy over these countries, and it’s not clear that the benefits of hierarchy are very large for anybody. The preferences of these subordinate societies are also very different and distinct from those of the U.S. So, what we’ve done there is take our very limited gains and sought to buy off and keep in power elites that are willing to rule in our name over their countrymen, who may not want to have a hierarchical relationship with the U.S. That sort of relationship is inconsistent with democracy, and the only way to sustain it is through some sort of autocratic rule. To play out the implications of this: how do the benefits vary? How do the preferences of domestic society vary? How does that lead to different hierarchical relationships? Essentially, how do we unpack the subordinate party to these hierarchical relationships?

Whether or not the hierarchies now in place in Iraq and Afghanistan are sustainable over the long run is going to be an interesting question. What is certainly true to my mind is that U.S. domination is not going to be compatible with democratic rule. This puts the U.S. in a real bind. Are we going to support subordinate elites who will comply with the American-led international order, or are we going to back a more democratic movement in these societies, which may be more legitimate on their own terms within their states? This is a real trade-off. Whether or not we can sustain it over the long run is an open question, but it’s pretty clear to me that we will not make a hierarchical relationship compatible with a democratic regime within the subordinate countries of Iraq or Afghanistan. 


David A. Lake is the Jerri-Ann and Gary E. Jacobs Professor of Social Sciences and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. He has published widely in international relations theory and international political economy. Lake's most recent book is Hierarchy in International Relations (2009). In addition to over seventy scholarly articles and chapters, he is the author of Power, Protection, and Free Trade: International Sources of U.S. Commercial Strategy, 1887-1939 (1988) and Entangling Relations: American Foreign Policy in its Century (1999) and co-editor of ten volumes including Politics in the New Hard Times: The Great Recession in Comparative Perspective (2013) and The Credibility of Transnational NGOs: When Virtue is not Enough (2012). He is also a co-author of a comprehensive new textbook on World Politics: Interests, Interactions, and Institutions (2009, second edition 2013). Lake has served as Research Director for International Relations at the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (1992-1996 and 2000-2001), co-editor of the journal International Organization (1997-2001), chair of UCSD’s Political Science department (2000-2004), and Associate Dean of Social Sciences at UCSD (2006-2011). He is currently serving as Acting Dean of Social Sciences at UCSD. He is the founding chair of the International Political Economy Society, was Program Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (2007), and is past President of the International Studies Association (2010-2011). He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1984 and taught at UCLA from 1983-1992.



Relevant links

  • Faculty Profile at theUniversity of California, San Diego
  • Read Lake’s Open Economy Politics: A Critical Review, (Review of International Organization, 2009) here (pdf)
  • Read Lake’s International Political Economy: A Maturing Interdiscipline (Prepared for Barry R. Weingast and Donald Wittman, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy) here (pdf)
  • Read Lake’s The New Sovereignty in International Relations (2003, International Studies Review) here (pdf)
  • Read Lake’s Fair Fights? Evaluating Theories of Democracy and Victory (International Security, 28(1), 2003) here (pdf) 
  • Read Lake’s comment The State and International Relations (Oxford Handbook in International Relations, 2009) here (pdf)