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Bryce A. Beschorner

Education

University of Kentucky, PhD, Political Science (expected 2023)

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, BA, Political Science (2017)

About

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Kentucky. My research interests include nuclear politics, U.S. foreign policy, and international security and cooperation, more broadly. In addition to my research, I am an accomplished teacher at the University of Kentucky, being named one of the College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Teaching Assistants for 2021-2022. 

In my research I use a mixed methods approach and broadly focus on the relationship between nuclear technology, U.S. foreign policy, and international cooperation and security. More specifically, I examine why states do not design more constraining arms control agreements and use the relatively successful case of U.S.-Soviet arms control negotations in the 1970s, as well as the relatively unsuccessful case of the recent neogotiations over Iran's nuclear program between the U.S., Iran, and others to support my theory. My subsequent research builds off this first puzzle and explores what happens when arms control agreements fail or are ineffective. One of the consequences of the ineffectiveness of many arms control agreements is that is has allowed states to conduct more nuclear weapons tests than is necessary for weapons development. I argue that states also use nuclear weapons tests as part of a brinkmanship strategy to win international crises, and this helps explain why states have conducted so many nuclear weapons tests. I use the case of the 1969 Soviet-China Border Crisis to support this argument, as the Soviets conducted more nuclear weapons tests during the crisis than the Chinese and ended up winning the crisis. Finally, I once again examine what happens when arms control agreements fail or are ineffective, but this time focus on how it can lead to increased cooperation between states, especially between the leading state in the international nonproliferation regime, the United States, and potential  nuclear proliferators. 

For more information on my teaching and research, please see my personal website.  

Course Taught
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Introduction to Political Analysis
  • Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • American Government
  • Model United Nations
  • War and Conflict
  • Peace Studies Capstone seminar
  • International Organizations
Research Articles

Under Review

  • "Testing for Victory: Nuclear weapons tests, brinkmanship, and nuclear crisis outcomes."

Working Papers

  • "Dangerous Design: Threat and Arms Control Agreement Design."

Email me for a draft for any of these manuscripts.