Welcome! I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri–St Louis. Previously, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the department of political science at DePauw University. In 2019 I earned my PhD from the University of Georgia.
My research interests are at the intersection of international and comparative political economy, human rights, and political violence. I would describe my overarching research agenda as exploring the consequences of governments behaving badly. I am also interested in the way political-economic factors (sovereign debt and default, foreign direct investment, structural adjustment programs, etc) influence human outcomes (such as human rights, human capital, or health).
As a PhD student, I worked as a research assistant for the Subnational Analysis of Repression Project (SNARP), under the supervision of Chad Clay. Since earning my PhD I also joined the team at the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI), focusing on the measurement of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights found in the ICESCR. In addition to my work measuring human rights, I have several projects focused on the intersection of political economy and respect for human rights, including papers evaluating the role of state capacity and the role of human rights INGOs in improving respect for physical integrity rights, a paper assessing the human rights costs of sovereign default, and a paper that demonstrates shaming by human rights INGOs negatively impacts the sovereign credit rating of a state (now published at The Journal of Human Rights).
My public-facing work has appeared in The Washington Post, in The Conversation (once about the pandemic’s impact on human rights, and once on global pressure campaigns and human rights), and in Political Violence at a Glance (once on election violence and multinational firms, and once on the prospects for violence in the buildup to the 2020 United States Presidential election).
I also previously served as an adjunct lecturer at Oxford College of Emory University, where I taught research design, intermediate international relations, introduction to international relations, and introduction to statistics. As a graduate instructor at the University of Georgia, I taught courses in international political economy, development, human rights, and survey courses in international relations and comparative politics, among others. At DePauw University, I taught Introduction to International Relations and International Political Economy. At UMSL, I teach Human Rights, Political Violence, International Political Economy, Political Analysis, Introduction to International Relations, Data Generation Skills for Political Science and Public Policy, and the Geography of Governance.
In my free time, I enjoy board games, bowling, and basketball. Feel free to browse the website and contact me for more information. I can be reached at stephen.m.bagwell(at)gmail.com.