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Lauren Barden-Hair

Dissertation Fellow
UC Berkeley

Lauren Barden-Hair is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research targets international influences on the domestic sphere, specifically how states use indirect means to meddle in other countries. Her dissertation establishes and analyzes an understudied tool of economic statecraft—states using multinational firms, under the guise of independent economic pursuits, to provide access to other states’ domestic spheres. The project addresses why states decide to operate via firms over other available options, identifies verifiable patterns in the firms that participate, and develops theories about the mechanisms that explain the cooperation. This research speaks to contemporary concerns about the degree to which major firms and their home governments can be considered independent (i.e. Huawei) and broadens the discussion about when multinational corporations can be national security threats to host nations. Her findings propose a policy and scholarly shift in our understanding of multinational firm behavior and establish the costs and consequences of secretly repurposing international commercial channels, for both firms and the states that use them.

Proposal Title: Corporate Double Takes: When Firms Agree to Facilitate Foreign Security Policy

Lauren Barden-Hair.

Expertise & Interests

  • International relations
  • Foreign meddling
  • Non-state actors, security, and globalization
  • Comparative political economy
  • Survey experiments