Ciara Sterbenz

E. John E Rosenwald, Jr. '52 TU'53 Postdoctoral Fellow

With a substantive focus on East Asia, Sterbenz's dissertation examines when and where leaders strategically pursue low-grade, aggressive foreign policy - short of outright conflict - for domestic ends, leveraging interstate rivalry to amplify perceptions of foreign threat, rile anti-foreign nationalism, and bolster regime support. She collects novel data tracking elite rhetoric about foreign affairs in South Korea, China, and Japan, and examines the link between escalating international tensions and domestic insecurity, paying particular attention to where leaders invoke histories of conflict and colonialism to justify aggressive foreign policy with long-time rivals, casting foreign behavior as a violation of national sovereignty, identity, or pride.

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  • B.A. Columbia University
  • M.A. University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A. University of California, Los Angeles