Richard W. Maass, Ph.D.


My first book, which explains how democracy and xenophobia limited U.S. territorial expansion, is under contract with Cornell University Press and will be forthcoming in 2019. The book develops a theory of annexation, arguing that domestic political consequences often weigh more heavily than material profitability in the minds of decision-makers, and it tests that theory using twenty-three detailed case studies of decision-making by U.S. leaders facing opportunities to annex territory. Why did the United States seize some opportunities to expand but reject others, and why did annexation fade from the U.S. foreign policy agenda?

I also have several related article-length projects in the works. One of the case studies, focused on the War of 1812, is published in article form in Diplomatic History, Vol. 39, No. 1 (January 2015), pp. 70-97, titled “‘Difficult to Relinquish Territory Which Had Been Conquered’: Expansionism and the War of 1812.” It is available online here.

My November 2015 piece Want to help the Islamic State recruit? Treat all Muslims as potential terrorists on The Monkey Cage @ The Washington Post was recently awarded the Best Post of the Year award by the International Studies Association's Online Media Caucus. I continue to be heartened by its usefulness in generating conversation on such an important issue.

All awards should come with trophies this amazing.

Other published research of mine includes:

A correspondence regarding the utility of military primacy for the United States, discussing critiques of its economic profitability and highlighting its benefits for U.S. national security. This correspondence is published in International Security, Vol. 38, No. 4 (Spring 2014), pp. 188-205, and is available online here.

An article, co-authored with Eteri Tsintsadze-Maass, developing groupthink as a cause of irrational terrorist radicalization and demonstrating the plausibility of the mechanism through an in-depth case study of the Weather Underground. This article is published in Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 26, No. 5 (October 2014), pp. 735-58, and is available online here.

An article applying quantitative content analysis to Cicero's major political writings to draw meaningful distinctions between his use of the concepts civitas and res publica, and applying the resulting insights in a reinterpretation of his ideal state as a political society supported by the three pillars of justice, a mixed constitution, and active citizenship. This article is published in Historical Methods, Vol. 45, No. 2 (April-June 2012), pp. 79-92, and is available online here.


I have also reviewed several interesting books:

Frank Ninkovich's The Global Republic: America's Inadvertent Rise to World Power in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society (forthcoming)

Dale Copeland's Economic Interdependence and War at H-Diplo

Jeffrey Meiser's Power and Restraint: The Rise of the United States, 1898-1941 in Political Science Quarterly

Philippe Le Billon's Wars of Plunder: Conflicts, Profits and the Politics of Resources at H-War


I welcome correspondence regarding any and all of my research at: