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Evan W. Sandlin


  • Ph.D. Candidate University of California Davis, Department of Political Science
  • B.A. California Lutheran University, Department of Political Science, Magna Cum Laude (2012)

Research Focus

Dissertation Title: Negotiating with American Identity: Analyzing the Tradeoff Between Interests and Values in United States Foreign Policy

From its founding, United States politicians and policymakers have espoused reverence for national values in the creation of US foreign policy. Yet, there are countless examples of traditional US values being disregarded in favor of interests. Why does this happen? When will this happen? In this dissertation I answer these questions with a social theory of US foreign policy. US values are a greater determinant of US policy when these values are more connected to US national identity. I test this theory at the micro-level through a survey experiment using US foreign policy vignettes. I demonstrate that this theory holds at the macro-level by analyzing the interaction between material and ideational determinants of US military assistance.

Dissertation Committee Names: Dr. Miroslav Nincic (Chair), Dr. Gabriella Montinola, and Dr. Brandon Kinne.