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Michaela Mattes

Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley

Michaela Mattes is an associate professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of international conflict and cooperation. She focuses on two related sets of questions. First, she studies how adversaries manage and resolve disagreements between them. Much of her focus has been on the design and effects of security institutions, such as conflict management agreements and military alliances, in order to understand which types of agreements work, why they are effective, when they are more or less likely to succeed, and why they are designed the way they are. More recently, she has been working on how hostile countries reconcile in the absence of binding agreements. This research looks at reconciliation overtures between adversaries as well as at international apologies. Second, she examines the role of domestic politics in countries’ foreign policy behavior and especially their willingness and ability to pursue international cooperation.

Mattes was a co-PI on an NSF-funded data collection project on changes in leaders’ domestic supporting coalitions and a DoD Minerva-funded project on domestic security institutions. Her work has appeared in the American Journal of Political ScienceInternational OrganizationJournal of PoliticsInternational Studies QuarterlyJournal of Conflict ResolutionJournal of Peace Research, and Conflict Management and Peace Science.

Expertise & Interests

  • International conflict
  • International cooperation