Cluster III:  Politics of Overseas Military Bases and US Force Posture

My first monograph, Activists, Alliances, and Anti-U.S. Base Protests (Cambridge University Press 2011) focused on the politics of overseas bases from a social movements/domestic politics perspective. This naturally led to an interest in U.S. global force posture and its impact on regional security and local (host nation) politics. A review essay on this topic appeared in Perspectives on Politics. In another paper published in Comparative Strategy with Stacie Pettyjohn, I critically examined the history and expansion of overseas U.S. bases. Most accounts either adopt a Marxist-leftist perspective where U.S. bases function as tools for American imperialism and militarism, or they present a sterile, geopolitical view of overseas bases driven by U.S. strategic interests. We try to adjudicate between these two accounts. Some of my early ideas were developed in my senior seminar The Politics of Overseas U.S. Bases (POL 572A) and The Politics of Overseas Bases and American Empire (POL 443).

I also launched a project with Isaac Kardon at the Naval War College on great powers and overseas basing with a team of eleven researchers exploring Chinese, Russian, and US bases in comparative perspective. This led to a virtual workshop organized in December 2020 hosted by the Center for Study of Statesmanship in December 2020. We aim to host a conference at the Naval War College later in 2021 and are in the process of putting together a special journal issue. 

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