Matthew A. Baum

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I am an assistant professor of political science and communication studies at UCLA. I completed my Ph.D. in political science at UC San Diego in 2000. My research focuses on integrating domestic political variables into theories of international conflict and cooperation in general, and American foreign policy in particular, as well as in the role of the mass media and public opinion in contemporary American politics.

My dissertation, entitled "Tabloid Wars: The Mass Media, Public Opinion and the Decision to Use Force Abroad" , argued that the Information Revolution has fundamentally changed how the mass media -- particularly television -- covers foreign crises and that this, in turn, has increased the American public's attentiveness to such crises.  I developed and tested a formal model, which showed that an attentive public can, under some circumstances, make it difficult for presidents to use force as a foreign policy tool.  

An article based on one part of my dissertation appeared in the March 2002 issue of the American Political Science Review ("Sex, Lies, and War: How Soft News Brings Foreign Policy to the Inattentive Public" ). I have also completed two additional articles and a book based on the dissertation. One of the articles was published in June 2004 in Presidential Studies Quarterly and the other is scheduled to be published in October 2004 in Journal of Conflict Resolution. The book -- Soft News Goes to War: Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy in the New Media Age -- was published in December 2003 by Princeton University Press.

I have published additional articles in the American Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly and Comparative Political Studies , as well as a second article in the American Political Science Review (March 1999, "Has Cable Ended the Golden Age of Presidential Television? ").  I have also published several op-ed articles and book reviews, and a chapter for a 2002 SUNY Press edited volume ("Technology, Development and Democracy," edited by Juliann Allison).  I also have several additional articles currently under review for publication and a second book chapter scheduled to be published in 2004.

I have presented papers at the meetings of the Western, Southern, and Midwestern Political Science Associations, the International Studies Association, the Peace Science Society International and the Political Methodology Group, as well as at APSA

Courses I have taught at UCLA include "Introduction to World Politics," "Mass Media, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy" (both as undergraduate and graduate seminars),  "Political Communication," and "Domestic Sources of Foreign Policy" (graduate seminar).

My skills include advanced statistics, formal theory, and qualitative case study research.  My dissertation advisors were: David Lake (Chair), Neal Beck , Miles Kahler, Sam Kernell , Paul Papayoanou, and Michael Schudson.