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Department of Political Science

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

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Richard Saunders

Office: Bellamy 570
Email Address:

CV:Richard Saunders CV

Degree Program:


Areas of Interest:

International Relations/Comparative Politics – Specialty in conflict and security

Research Activites:

My dissertation applies a behavioral perspective to explain international conflict processes including onset of international rivalry, dispute resolution between rivals and the timing of war and other violent episodes between parties to ongoing disputes. The first major chapter is complete and under review, while the second chapter is a complete draft. Chapter 1 draws on Prospect Theory to explain how major domestic political changes such as revolution in one state lead to the breakdown of friendly relations between that state and others into enmity. Chapter 2 explains how major changes to the institutional structure of a state, such as regime change, effect dispute resolution efforts between long-lasting rivals. Finally, chapter 3 will explore how changes in the domestic politics of a state effect the timing of violent episodes between states engaged in ongoing disputes. Other projects: My second project centers around military air power. We seek to explain the determinants of air power as well as the effects of air power on the conduct and outcomes of military operations. The first paper in this project “Command of the Skies: An Air Power Dataset” (with Mark Souva) was published in Conflict Management and Peace Science in July. We are working on a follow up paper now and intend to have it under review in the early fall.

Selected Publications:

  • “Command of The Skies: An Airpower Dataset,” with Mark Souva (2019). In Conflict Management and Peace Science.
  • “Peacemaking and Election Violence,” with Inken Von Borzyskowski (forthcoming). In Contemporary Peacemaking, edited by Roger Mac Ginty and Anthony Wanis. Palgrave Macmillan.