I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. I study international relations and religion, with a special interest in American Foreign Policy. I teach Introduction to Political Science, International Relations, American Foreign Policy, and Religion and International Relations.
My research focuses on how religion motivates and influences political action. I am particularly interested in what I call “providential beliefs”, a special category of religious beliefs composed of adherents who believe both that God has a plan and that they have a role to play in bringing it about.
The concept of providential beliefs is applicable to a number of topics in political science. I recently published an article in Foreign Policy Analysis that examines the influence of providential beliefs on the foreign policy attitudes of Americans, and I contributed a book chapter on religiously-motivated political violence in Iraq to “Religion, Conflict, and Military Intervention” (Durward and Marsden, eds., 2009). I am currently conducting research on religion and politics in local congregations in Little Rock.
I am also working with Amber Boydstun of the University of California Davis on a project to examine media and presidential frames of the war on terror. The use of religious rhetoric to discuss the war on terror is also of interest to me.
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