Research

Lantis has extensive field research experience in international politics, and he regularly employs elite interviews to develop original case studies of foreign and security policy decision-making processes. Lantis received a J. William Fulbright Senior Scholarship for research in Australia in 2007, where he served as Visiting Scholar in the Department of International Relations at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at The Australian National University in Canberra and the School of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Lantis has also served as a Visiting Scholar in the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University; at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada; and in the German Council on Foreign Relations.

Current research projects include:

Congressional Foreign Policy Entrepreneurship:  This research explores the power of junior congressional entrepreneurs to influence U.S. foreign policy. I advance a new model of inside/outside strategies of congressional foreign policy advocacy that includes coordination with interest groups and the use of policy narratives and social media to support preferred foreign policy pathways. The project employs a mixed-methods approach, including structured, focused case studies of innovation and obstruction in contemporary U.S. foreign policy debates. Results of this study were published in my new book with the University of Michigan Press, as well as planned academic journal articles over the next three years.

Critical Norm Theory and Nonproliferation: This research program critically examines constructivist security studies theory regarding the power of international norms to regulate state behavior.In a series of previously published essays, I argued for the need for a better model of pathways for the dissemination of norms (internalization through domestic structures). My book with Stanford University Press (2016) advanced an agentic constructivist model of the relationship between technology innovations and international norm change. It developed case studies of the political implications of cutting-edge advances, including the atomic bomb, armed drones, advanced satellite reconnaissance, and cyber-warfare. I also have developed research projects on critical norm theory and nuclear nonproliferation with colleagues at the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt/Leibniz Institut Hessische Stiftung Friedens und Konfliktforschung (PRIF/HSFK). Dr. Carmen Wunderlich and I are exploring dynamics of norm contestation and nuclear nonproliferation through past publications and future conference papers and academic journal articles.

Strategic Culture in the 21st Century:  This research analyzes the role of strategic culture in shaping national security policy. The argument that culture influences strategy is both age-old and a subject of renewed study. However, past scholarship and exchanges typically ended without resolution of key issues and left a gap between theory and practical policy applications.  This research program includes an examination of strategic culture and tailored deterrence, as well as a study of thelinks between strategic culture, weapons of mass destruction policy, and threat assessment. I have served as a consultant for a series of projects over the past decade, some of which have resulted in publications in the open-source literature.

U.S. Political Polarization, Factionalism, and Foreign Policy:  This research program explores the impact and influence of ideological factions such as the House Freedom Caucus and the Progressives on various aspects of the U.S. foreign policy-making process. I have presented conference papers and have articles in development that examine how the rise of a new generation in Congress and active factions have impacted key areas of U.S. foreign policy-making. In collaboration with Dr. Patrick Homan (Dominican University), we are advancing a new book, conference papers, and articles on factionalism on foreign policy.

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