MIRTH – A Monday Workshop on Research in International Relations

On Monday afternoons during the academic year, IIS hosts a colloquium centered around contemporary research in International Relations. At the majority of MIRTH seminars,  an external speaker presents and receives feedback on new research, bringing a steady stream of fresh ideas to campus and providing an opportunity for graduate students across cohorts, departments, and other nearby universities to engage with research-in-progress. For students and faculty with research interests in International Relations, the workshop represents the intellectual heart of the community.  It also provides an important forum for PhD students to practice their job talks while they are on the academic job market and provides a venue for faculty and advanced graduate students to share work with one another.  External speakers and faculty are encouraged to present early work rather than research that is published or nearly so.  Feedback tends to be both plentiful and constructive. MIRTH also hosts professional development workshops for graduate students over the course of the semester, and participating graduate students rotate as formal discussants for external speakers. 

Berkeley has long held an speaker series in International Relations, with visiting speakers presenting a few times a semester in 223 Moses Hall since at least the early 1970s, an endeavor that was organized jointly with Stanford Political Science.  In the mid-1980s, after Bay Area traffic got worse, Professor Vinnie Aggarwal changed the IR colloquium to a Berkeley-only affair, which he ran jointly with Professor Steve Weber.  In Spring 2009, Professor Ron Hassner took it over, and turned it into a weekly seminar series.  It was named by one of the PhD student participants, Jay Purcell, as "Monday International Relations THing," but other faculty coordinators have since referred to it as "Monday International Relations THeory" and the full name of the workshop continues to provoke spirited debate.

Individuals wishing to sign up for the MIRTH mailing list and receive notifications of upcoming talks should contact the PhD student coordinator. Past rosters of speakers are listed below.  

2020-2021 Faculty coordinator: Marika Landau-Wells

2020-2021 PhD student coordinator: Andrew Blinkinsop

Although a long list of faculty across campus participate from time to time, the regular faculty participants include: Vinnie Aggarwal, Ryan Brutger, Ron Hassner, Susan Hyde, Marika Landau-Wells, Aila Matanock, and Michaela Mattes.  

Time and Location

MIRTH usually meets on Monday afternoons in Moses 233. For the Fall 2020 semseter, the seminar will meet Mondays, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. on Zoom. Meeting details will be circulated in advance. 

Fall 2020

August 31
Kickoff & IR Group Discussion

September 7
No MIRTH - Labor Day

September 14
Jacob Shapiro (Princeton University)

September 21
Practice Job Talk
Katherine Beall (University of California, Berkeley)

Semptember 28
Practice Job Talk
Elizabeth Herman (University of California, Berkeley)

October 5
Practice Job Talk
Caroline Brandt (University of California, Berkeley)

October 12
Mark Bell (University of Minnesota)

October 26
Jakana Thomas (Michigan State University)

November 2
IR Group Discussion / Workshop

November 9
Robert Jervis (Columbia University)

November 16
Catherline Worsnop (University of Maryland)

November 23
No MIRTH - Thanksgiving Week

November 30
Leonardo Baccini (McGill University)

Past Events

Spring 2020

January 27
Introductory meeting

February 3
"The Enemy of my Enemy: When Firms Support Climate Change Regulation"
Amanda Kennard (New York University)

February 10
"Resurrecting Compliance in Assessing Law's Impact on Behavior"
Tonya Putnam (Columbia University)

February 17
No MIRTH - President's Day

February 24
"Putting Terror in its Place: An Experiment on Mitigating Fears of Terrorism Among the American Public"
Chris Gelpi (Ohio State University)

March 2
"Its Own Worst Enemy: Liberal Legitimation and the Fragility of International Order"
Ron Krebs (University of Minnesota)

March 9
"Trading Sovereignty for Autonomy: Regional organizations and intervention"
Katherine Beall (University of California, Berkeley)

March 16
Rich Nielsen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  ***Note: Canceled due to the CoVID-19 pandemic.***

March 23
No MIRTH - Spring Break

March 30
Mini ISA

April 6
Second Year Paper Presentations

April 13
Guy Grossman (University of Pennsylvania)
  ***Note: Canceled due to the CoVID-19 pandemic.***

April 20
No MIRTH - post-MPSA

April 27
Judith Goldstein (Stanford University)
  ***Note: Canceled due to the CoVID-19 pandemic.***

Fall 2019

September 2
No MIRTH - Labar Day

September 9
Ron Krebs (University of Minnesota) - postponed

September 16
Lauren Prather (University of California, San Diego)

September 23
Samuel Zeitlin (University of California, Berkeley)

September 30
Caroline Brandt (University of California, Berkeley)

October 7
Melissa Carlosn (University of California, Berkeley)

October 14
Andrew Reddie (University of California, Berkeley)

October 21
Deirdre Martin (University of California, Berkeley)

October 28
Jakana Thomas (Michigan State University)
  ***Note: Canceled due to wildfire-caused prompted power outages.***

November 4
Jeffrey Friedman (Dartmouth College)

November 11
No MIRTH - Veterans' Day

November 18

November 26
No MIRTH - Thanksgiving week

December 2
Rachel Wellhausen (University of Texas, Austin)

Spring 2019

January 28
Introductory Meeting

February 4
Michael Tomz (Stanford University)

February 11
Andrew Reddie (University of California, Berkeley)

February 25
Nirvikar Jassal (University of California, Berkeley)

March 4
Sarah Kreps (Cornell University)

March 11
Lauren Prather (University of California, San Diego)

March 18
Kathryn Sikkink (Harvard University)

March 25
No MIRTH (Spring Break)

April 1
David Lake (University of California, San Diego)

April 15
Deborah Avant (University of Denver)

April 22
Austin Wright (University of Chicago)

April 29
Peter Andreas (Brown University)

Fall 2018

September 10 
Lauren Peritz (University of California, Davis)

September 17 
Melissa Lee (Princeton University)

October 1 
Caroline Brandt (University of California, Berkeley)

October 8 
Sarah Kreps (Cornell University)

October 15 
Adam Lichtenheld (University of California, Berkeley)

October 22 
Emilie Hafner-Burton (University of California, San Diego)

October 29 
Lynn Eden (Stanford University)

November 5 
Michael Gilligan (New York University)

November 12 

November 19 

November 26 
Erica De Bruin (Hamilton College)

December 3 
David Lake (University of California, San Diego)

Spring 2018

January 22
Introductory meeting

January 29
"Leaders, Advisors, and the Political Origins of Elite Support for War"
Elizabeth Saunders (George Washington University)

February 5
"Sex Differences in Motivation for Fighting?"
 Rose McDermott (Brown University)

February 12
"Tokens of Power: Ambiguity and War"
 Ann Hironaka (University of California, Irvine)
  ***Note: Location for this week only is 119 Moses Hall (The Harris Room)***

February 19
No MIRTH - Presidents' Day

February 26
"Norm Adoption among International Organizations, 1980-2015" 
Jonas Tallberg (Stockholm University/Stanford University)

March 5
Lisa Martin (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

March 12
"Endogenous Intractability: Why Some Persistent Problems Persist"
Bob Powell (University of California, Berkeley)

March 19
Michael Gilligan (New York University)

March 26
No MIRTH - Spring Break

April 2
"A Transformation of Political Violence? Terrorism and the Decline of War"
Kristian Gleditsch (Essex University)

April 9
"Forces of Darkness: The Strategic Dynamics of Intrastate Armed Conflict and the Location of Battles"
Scott Gates (University of Oslo/PRIO)

April 16
"Social Science and the Iraq War"
Roger Petersen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Fall 2017

August 28
"The Adhocracy: Permeation of Global Governance Structures by Pressure Groups"
Tana Johnson (Duke University)

September 4
No MIRTH - Labor Day 

September 11
"Negotiating globalization: Trade agreements in high-technology industries" 
Bora Park (Duke/University of California, Berkeley)

September 18
"Francis Bacon (1561-1626) on Peace" 
Samuel Garrett Zeitlin (University of California, Berkeley)

September 25
"British Strategic Culture and Counterinsurgency in Religious Conflicts" 
Jason Klocek (University of California, Berkeley)
***Note: Location for this week only is Barrows 202***

October 2
"Cybersecurity Policymaking in Japan" 
Benjamin Bartlett (University of California, Berkeley)

October 9
"Backlash: Resistance and Defiance to International Norms" 
Rochelle Terman (CISAC/University of California, Berkeley)

October 16
"Hierarchy and the Provision of Order in International Communities" 
Kyle Beardsley (Duke University)

October 23
"The Sketch of Brazil's Grand Strategy under the Worker's   Party's Governments"
Carlos Milani (University of California, Berkeley/State University of Rio de Janeiro)

October 30
"Labor, Capital, and Beliefs about New Technologies: The case of Autonomous Weapons"
Michael Horowitz (University of Pennsylvania)

November 6
"Critiques of Torture, Weak and Strong"
Ron Hassner (University of California, Berkeley)

November 13
"What the revolution in qualitative transparency means for you"
Andrew Moravcsik (Princeton University)

November 20
No MIRTH - Thanksgiving week

November 27
"NATO's Lessons in Failure: Institutional Memory in International Crisis Management"
Heidi Hardt (Univeristy of California, Irvine)

December 4
Dustin Tingley (Harvard University)

Spring 2017

February 6
Robert Keohane (Princeton University)

February 13          
Joshua Kertzer (Harvard University) 

February 27         
Jessica Kertzer (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

March 6                   
Scott Sagan (Stanford University) 

March 13
Robert Rager (University of California, Los Angeles) 

March 20
David Leblang (University of Virginia)

April 10
Phillip Lipscy (Stanford University) 

April 17
Simone Dietrich (University of Essex)

April 24
Eugene Gholz (University of Texas, Austin)

May 1
Barbara Koremenos  (University of Michigan)

Fall 2016

September 12
“Democracy, Autocracy, and Everything in-Between: Understanding How Domestic Institutions Affect Environmental Protection”
Jana von Stein (Victoria University of Wellington)

September 19
“The Political Logic of Electrification in Post-Conflict Uganda”
David Dow (University of California, Berkeley)

September 26
“Threat Perception and Religion in Counterinsurgency Campaigns”
Jason Klocek (University of California, Berkeley)

October 3
“Constraint and Conflict: The Strategic Effects of Human Rights Agreements”
Emily Ritter (University of California, Merced)

October 10
“How Do Current Politics Systematically Shape Retellings of 9/11 in High School History Textbooks Worldwide?”
Elizabeth Herman (University of California, Berkeley)

October 17
“Life and Limb: New Estimates of Casualty Aversion in the U.S.”
Tanisha Fazal (University of Notre Dame)

October 24
“How Government Reactions to Violence Worsen Social Welfare: Evidence from Peru”
Mike Findley (University of Texas, Austin)

October 31
“Strength without Numbers: The Political Influence of European Farmers”
Alice Ciciora (University of California, Berkeley)

November 7
"Rebel Propaganda in Civil War"
Barbara Walter (University of California, San Diego)

November 14
“Security Competition in a 21st Century Multipolar World”
Barry Posen (MIT)

Spring 2016

January 25
"The Relational Politics of the Universal Periodic Review"
Rochelle Terman (University of California, Berkeley)
February 8
"Regional Integration under Unipolarity: Intra-/Inter-Regional Bargaining and Regionalism"
Shiping Tang (Fudan University)
February 22
"Judicial Power in Authoritarian Regimes: New Measures and Preliminary Findings"
Fiona Shen-Bayh (University of California, Berkeley)
February 25
Elizabeth Wood (Yale University)
  ***Note: Joint session with the Comparative Colloquium
February 29
"The Political Economy of Territorial Ambitions"
Jeff Colgan (Brown University)
March 7
Welcoming the Unwelcome: Refugee Flows, Integration, and Political Instability
Burcu Savun (University of Pittsburgh)
March 14
Melissa Griffith (University of California, Berkeley)
Caroline Brandt (University of California, Berkeley
March 28
Sara Mitchell (University of Iowa)
April 4
Erica Chenoweth (University of Denver)
April 11
"Aims, Claims, and the Bargaining Model of War"
Ken Schultz (Stanford University)
April 18
Piki Ish-Shalom (Hebrew University)
April 25
Nicholas Sambanis (Yale University)

Fall 2015

August 31
Introductory meeting
September 21
"Party Institutionalization in Autocracies: Theory and Evidence"
Anne Meng (University of California, Berkeley)
September 28 
"More Than A Game: How the World Cup Affects Interstate Conflict"
Andrew Bertoli (University of California, Berkeley)
October 5
"Domestic Political Audiences, Superpower Alliance Management, and the Escalation of International Disputes"
Matthew Kroenig (Georgetown University)
October 12
"Free-Riding on Enforcement in the WTO"
Leslie Johns (University of California, Los Angeles)
October 19
"A Club Good: The Provision of Refugee Protection and Sovereignty in the Middle East"
Melissa Carlson (University of California, Berkeley)
October 26
Giacomo Chiozza (Vanderbilt University) 
November 2
"An Economic Theory of War"
Nuno Monteiro (Yale University)
November 9
"When Should State Secrets Stay Secret"
Genevieve Lester (National Defense University)

November 16
"Band of Believers? The Influence of Religion on Rebel Group Structure"
Jason Klocek (University of California, Berkeley)
November 30
"When are International Institutions Effective? The Impact of Domestic Veto Players on Compliance with WTO Rulings"
Lauren Peritz (University of California, Davis)

Spring 2015

February 2
Initial MIRTH Meeting
February 9
Stephen Krasner (Stanford University)
March 2 
James Morrow (University of Michigan)
March 9
Erik Voeten (Georgetown University)
March 16
Joshua Shifrinson (Texas A&M University)
March 30
Robert Gulotty (Stanford University/University of Chicago)
April 6
Helen Milner (Princeton University) 
April 20
Nicholas Sambanis (Yale University)
April 30
Stathis Kalyvas (Yale University)
  ***Note: Special IR/CP Joint Workshop, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.]***

Fall 2014

September 15
"The Evolution of Peace in the International System"
Paul Diehl (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
September 22
"Rationally Impatient Citizens: Can Democracies Fight Long Asymmetric Wars?"
Ali Sanaei (University of Michigan)
September 29 
"More Than A Game: How the World Cup Affects Interstate Conflict"
Andrew Bertoli (University of California, Berkeley)
October 6
"Targeting to Win: How and Why Militant Groups Choose What to Attack"
Bob Pape (University of Chicago)
October 13
"The False Promise of Complete Contracts: Non-Compliance With Alliance Agreements"
Dan Reiter (Emory University)
October 20
Richard Steinberg (University of California, Los Angeles Law School)
October 23 - NOON TALK, 223 Moses Hall
Jack Snyder (Columbia University) 
October 27
Eelco van der Maat (Vanderbilt University)
November 3
Zeev Maoz (University of California, Davis)

November 17
"Careful Commitments: Democratic Sales and Alliance Design"
Ashley Leeds (Rice University)
December 1
Josh Shifrinson (Texas A&M University)

Spring 2014

February 3
Pablo Pinto (Columbia University)
February 24
Deirdre Martin (University of California, Berkeley)
Adam Lichtenheld (University of California, Berkeley)
March 17
Miles Kahler (University of California, San Diego)
March 31
Judith Kelley (Duke University)
April 7
Bora Park (University of California, Berkeley)
Fiona Shen-Bayh (University of California, Berkeley)
April 14
Jon Pevehouse (University of Wisconsin, Madison) 
April 28
Bruce Russett (Yale University) 

Fall 2013

September 16
"Intentions in International Politics"
Sebastian Rosato (University Notre Dame)
September 23
"Offshore Balancer or Liberal Hegemony?  Revisiting Nineteenth Century British Grand Strategy"
Paul MacDonald (Wellesley College)
September 30
"Survival Migration:  Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement" 
Alex Betts (Oxford University)
October 7 
Title TBA
Richard Steinberg (University of California, Los Angeles School of Law)
October 14
"Why Statebuilding Fails: The Social Origins of State Weakness and the Limits of External Intervention"
Katherine Michael
October 21
Chris Gelpi (Ohio State University)
November 4
"Choosing Terror: Efficacy and Legitimacy Costs in Rebel Groups' Use of Terrorism in Civil Wars"
Page Forna (Columbia University)
November 18
Desha Girod (Georgetown University)
November 25
Beth Simmons (Harvard University)
December 2 **location TBA**
"'Normal (Social) Science,' Academic Professionalization and the Flight from Reality in Political Science"
Michael Desch (University of Notre Dame)