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Baggott Carter, Erin

Political Science and International Relations
Contact Information
Assistant Professor 
Department of Political Science and International Relations
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
  • Ph.D., Political Science, Harvard University, 2016
  • M.Sc., Modern Chinese Studies, University of Oxford, 2009
  • A.B., Government and Economics, Harvard College, 2008
Erin Baggott Carter is an Assistant Professor at the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. She received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University in 2016.
Erin’s research focuses on Chinese foreign policy and computational social science. She draws upon field research in China, documents about American foreign policy gained through Freedom of Information Act requests, and datasets of Chinese propaganda. Erin's book project finds that the United States and China employ diplomacy to build trust and substantive cooperation, but that the domestic politics of each country can fundamentally destabilize this process.
Her research has been supported by the USC Center for International Studies, the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Tobin Project.
  • Carter, E., & Carter, B. (2021). When Autocrats Threaten Citizens with Violence: Evidence from China. British Journal of Political Science, 1-26.

  • Carter EB, Carter BL. Propaganda and Protest in Autocracies. Journal of Conflict Resolution. 2021;65(5):919-949.

  •  Carter EB, Carter BL. Questioning More: RT, Outward-Facing Propaganda, and the Post-West World Order. Security studies. 2021;30(1):49-78.

  • Carter EB, Carter BL. Focal Moments and Protests in Autocracies: How Pro-democracy Anniversaries Shape Dissent in China. The Journal of conflict resolution. 2020;64(10):1796-1827.

  • Carter EB. Diversionary cheap talk: economic conditions and US foreign policy rhetoric, 1945-2010. International interactions. 2020;46(2):163-198.

  • “The Economic Sources of Chinese Foreign Policy.” Under review. (2016)

  • “Small Events in High Politics.” Working paper. (2016)
  • “The Influence of Congress in America’s China Policy.” Working paper. (2016)
  • “A Rationalist Theory of Autocratic Propaganda.” With Brett Carter. Under review. (2016)
  • “Diversionary Cheap Talk : Domestic Discontent and US Foreign Policy, 1945-2010.” Under review. (2015)
  • “The Domestic Foundations of Interstate Peace.” Working paper. (2015)
  • “Reporting Bias on Civilian Deaths in the New York Times.” With James Fearon and Brett Carter. Working paper. (2015)
  • “Leader Facial Traits in International Politics.” With Sparsha Saha and Dustin Tingley. Working paper. (2015)
Honors and Awards
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program (declined) (2016)
  • International Security Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard Belfer Center (declined) (2016)
  • Recommended for National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant (withdrew due to dissertation completion) (2016)
  • Predoctoral Fellowship, Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation (2015)
  • Zukerman Predoctoral Fellowship, Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation (2014)
  • National Security Graduate Fellowship, Tobin Project (2014)
  • International Security Predoctoral Fellowship, Harvard Belfer Center (declined) (2014)
  • Term-Time Merit Fellowship, Harvard GSAS (declined) (2014)
  • Certificate of Distinction in Teaching (2013)
  • Summer research grant, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies (2013)
  • Summer research grant, Institute of Quantitative Social Science (2013)
  • Dissertation grant, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (2012)
  • Fellow, Program on Global Society and Security, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (2012)
  • Graduate Student Associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (2012)
  • Summer research grant, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies (2011)
  • Fulbright Scholarship to China (declined) (2009)
  • Harvard University Michael von Clemm Fellowship for postgraduate study at Oxford (2008)
Conferences and Travel
  • The China Card: Politics vs. Policy, University of Southern California (2016)
  • Understanding the Communist Party of China, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing (Young Scholar Exchange) (2016)
  • Political Behavior Workshop, University of Toronto (Keynote Speaker) (2014)
  • Presidential Panel on Text Analysis, International Studies Association, Toronto (2014)
  • New Directions in Analyzing Text as Data, London School of Economics (2013)
  • Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Conference, Talloires (Rapporteur) (2013)
  • Graduate Student Conference in Comparative Politics, UCLA (2013)
  • Swiss Political Science Association Annual Congress, Zurich (2012)
  • NBER Conference on African Development Successes, Zanzibar (2011)