My research studies the impact of international actors and processes on politics, ranging from the macro-level (interstate conflict, trade disputes, civil war) to the micro-level. My main interests in political methodology are Bayesian approaches to multilevel structures, and data visualization. Please e-mail me for a copy of my full research statement.

My Google Scholar profile is here.

Journal articles
Ph.D. dissertation


Tir, Jaroslav and Johannes Karreth. 2018. Incentivizing Peace: How International Organizations Can Help Prevent Civil Wars in Member Countries. New York: Oxford University Press.
Civil wars are among the most difficult problems in world politics. While mediation, intervention, and peacekeeping have produced some positive results in helping to end civil wars, they fall short in preventing them in the first place. In Incentivizing Peace, we show that considering civil wars from a developmental perspective presents opportunities to prevent the escalation of nascent armed conflicts into full-scale civil wars. We demonstrate that highly structured intergovernmental organizations (IGOs such as the World Bank, IMF, or regional development banks) are particularly well-positioned to engage in civil war prevention. When such IGOs have been actively engaged in nations on the edge, their potent economic tools have helped to steer rebel-government interactions away from escalation and toward peaceful settlement. Incentivizing Peace provides enlightening case evidence that IGO participation is a key to better predicting, and thus preventing, the outbreak of civil war.


Karreth, Johannes. 2018. "The Economic Leverage of International Organizations in Interstate Disputes." International Interactions 44 (3): 463-490.
How can IGOs help states resolve disputes and prevent them from using military force? How can they do this especially when states expressed disagreements and are descending into a conflictual trajectory without actively using IGO features targeting conflict resolution? I show that specifically IGOs with high economic leverage over their member states shape state behavior during interstate disputes and substantially lower the risk that such political disputes escalate to armed conflicts.

Karreth, Johannes, Timothy Passmore, and Jaroslav Tir. 2024. "The Role of Foreign Aid in Procuring Civil War Party Consent to Peacekeeping." Foreign Policy Analysis.
The success of peacekeeping operations relies heavily on the conflict parties providing unrestricted consent to the intervention. We highlight the role of international economic incentives in the form of foreign development aid in overcoming crucial hurdles to the provision of unrestricted consent. Data on 119 civil wars suggest that incentives based on development-oriented aid can facilitate the type of peacekeeping operations that are most likely to enhance human security.

Karreth, Johannes, Jaroslav Tir, Jason Quinn, and Madhav Joshi. Forthcoming. "Civil War Mediation in the Shadow of IGOs: The Path to Comprehensive Peace Agreements." Journal of Peace Research.
Mediation can help resolve civil wars, but often requires conflict parties and mediators to continue negotiation after failure. What leads to successful repeat mediation? We show that a conflict country's memberships in IGOs with high economic leverage increase the odds of (1) mediation occurring and (2) mediation subsequently leading to the signing of comprehensive peace agreements, one of the most effective tool to end civil wars and stabilize post-conflict countries.

Karreth, Johannes, Jason Quinn, Madhav Joshi, and Jaroslav Tir. 2023. "International Third Parties and the Implementation of Comprehensive Peace Agreements After Civil War." Journal of Conflict Resolution 67 (2-3): 494-521.
Comprehensive peace agreements are the most impactful negotiated settlements ending civil wars — when they are implemented at high rates. We demonstrate why implementation varies: (1) IGOs with high economic leverage, and (2) prior foreign aid both set incentives that reduce domestic barriers to implementation.

Karreth, Johannes, Jaroslav Tir, and Douglas M. Gibler. 2022. "Latent Territorial Threat and Democratic Regime Reversals." Journal of Peace Research 59 (2): 197-212.
We show that democracies facing higher territorial threat from neighboring states are more likely to revert to autocratic institutions. The article presents a new, latent measure of territorial threat using Bayesian estimation and brief reviews of individual cases of democratic reversals as evidence for this argument.

Karreth, Johannes, Patricia Sullivan, and Ghazal Dezfuli. 2020. "Explaining How Human Rights Protections Change After Internal Armed Conflicts." Journal of Global Security Studies 5 (2): 248-264.
The human rights climate of a post-conflict country is not simply a perpetuation of pre-conflict conditions. Instead, we show with a new dataset that when governments systematically and extensively target civilians during counterinsurgency campaigns, post-conflict human rights conditions decline substantially compared to pre-conflict levels.

Sullivan, Patricia and Johannes Karreth. 2019. "Strategies and Tactics in Armed Conflict: How Governments and Foreign Interveners Respond to Insurgent Threats." Journal of Conflict Resolution 63 (9): 2207-2232.
We introduce a new data set on the strategies and tactics employed by belligerents in 197 internal armed conflicts that occurred between 1945 and 2013. The Strategies and Tactics in Armed Conflict (STAC) data set is a rich new source of information on how regimes and their foreign supporters have responded to insurgent threats and the effects of actors' force employment choices on a wide variety of intra- and postconflict outcomes.

Scogin, Shana, Johannes Karreth, Andreas Beger, and Rob Williams. 2019. "BayesPostEst: An R Package to Generate Postestimation Quantities for Bayesian MCMC Estimation." Journal of Open Source Software 4 (42): 1722.
We introduce an R package to generate and plot postestimation quantities after estimating Bayesian regression models using Markov Chain Monte Carlo. Quantities of interest include predicted probabilities and changes in probabilities in generalized linear models and analyses of model fit using ROC curves and precision-recall curves. The package also contains two functions to create publication-ready tables summarizing model results with an assessment of substantively meaningful effect sizes.

Karreth, Johannes and Jaroslav Tir. 2018. "International Agreement Design and the Moderating Role of Domestic Bureaucratic Quality: The Case of Freshwater Cooperation." Journal of Peace Research 55 (4): 460-475.
The international community has relied on institutionalizing cooperative arrangements over freshwater resources to prevent interstate violence over water. Questioning the underlying assumption, we show that the cooperation-inducing effect of international institutions is conditional on the quality of domestic bureaucracies. Strong domestic bureaucracies are central to achieving meaningful international cooperation over freshwater resources.

Karreth, Johannes, Shane P. Singh, and Szymon M. Stojek. 2015. "Explaining Attitudes toward Immigration: The Role of Regional Context and Individual Predispositions." West European Politics 38 (6): 1174-1202.
Migration neither increases hostility nor tolerance toward immigrants uniformly. How people in Western Europe respond to increasing diversity through migration depends on their ideological predispositions. Measuring migration and diversity at the regional level in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland shows the importance of capturing the relevant context when testing arguments about individuals' exposure to trends and resulting policy attitudes.

Sullivan, Patricia and Johannes Karreth. 2015. "The Conditional Impact of Military Intervention on Internal Armed Conflict Outcomes." Conflict Management and Peace Science 32 (3): 269-288.
Contrary to previous arguments, interventions on behalf of governments (and also rebels) in civil conflicts are not ineffective (or effective) across the board. How much they affect the odds of conflict victory of their supported target depends on whether that target's primary challenge is a lack of conventional war-fighting capacity.

Karreth, Johannes and Jaroslav Tir. 2013. "International Institutions and Civil War Prevention." Journal of Politics 75 (1): 96-109.
Even though they are typically associated with more peaceful relations between states, IGOs also contribute to preventing violent political conflict within countries. IGOs with central formal structures provide positive and negative incentives to conflict parties to refrain from escalating political violence.

Karreth, Johannes, Jonathan Polk, and Christopher Allen. 2013. "Catchall or Catch and Release? The Electoral Consequences of Social Democratic Parties' March to the Middle in Western Europe." Comparative Political Studies 46 (7), 791-822.
Political scientists and party strategists alike have argued that a winning strategy for major parties in electoral democracies is to move toward the center to increase their vote share. We show that when considered at the individual voters' level and over time, moving toward the center changes the composition of Social Democratic voters toward less attached voters, and it leads to a loss of former core voters. In the long run, moving to the center does not promise lasting electoral gains for these parties.

Stinnett, Douglas, Bryan Early, Cale Horne, and Johannes Karreth. 2011. "Complying by Denying: Explaining Why States Develop Nonproliferation Export Controls." International Studies Perspectives 12 (3), 308-326.
UN Security Council Resolution 1540 created a binding obligation for all UN member states to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Addressing the question whether compliance with this piece of international law is influenced most by a state's economic and governmental capacities and has little to do with interest-based factors.


My dissertation, Costs and Commitment: The Leverage of International Institutions in Conflicts between States, is available for download from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Manuscripts not linked here are currently under review or revision; please e-mail me for drafts.