Robin Markwica is a Max Weber Fellow in the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute and a Research Associate in the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford.
He obtained an M.Phil. in Modern History from the University of Cambridge (Corpus Christi College) and a D.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Oxford (Nuffield College). Inbetween, he held a research fellowship at Harvard University’s Department of Government.
His research interests include International Relations theory, international security, war and peace, foreign policy analysis, constructivist and psychological approaches to International Relations as well as emotion research.
Robin's new book Emotional Choices: How the Logic of Affect Shapes Coercive Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2018) develops the logic of affect, or emotional choice theory, as a third action model besides the rationalist logic of consequences and the constructivist logic of appropriateness.
Emotional choice theory posits that actors' behavior is shaped by the dynamic interplay among their norms, identities, and five key emotions: fear, anger, hope, pride, and humiliation. Robin uses the theory to shed light on the puzzling phenomenon that states often rather wage costly wars against a stronger opponent than give in to its coercive demands to change their behavior.
To infer emotions and to examine their influence on decision making, he develops a methodological strategy combining sentiment analysis and an interpretive form of process tracing. The book applies emotional choice theory to Soviet decision-making during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 and Iraqi behavior in the Gulf conflict in 1990-91, offering a novel explanation for why U.S. coercive diplomacy succeeded in one case but not in the other.