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Christina Cottiero

Postdoctoral Fellow

Christina Cottiero

Christina Cottiero is a postdoctoral fellow at IGCC. Her research interests include international cooperation, with an emphasis on regional organizations, African international relations, and cooperation among authoritarian regimes. As part of her work on the IGCC Authoritarian International Organizations project, Christina has created a dataset of authoritarian regional organizations that includes information about the scope of these organizations’ activities. She is also managing ongoing data collection on authoritarian election monitoring and lending by authoritarian regional organizations for use in a series of papers around this issue.

Christina is currently working on a book that explores why many illiberal leaders cooperate through regional integration organizations, which are widely associated with liberal international order and democracy promotion. The book presents a new theory of illiberal cooperation and tests propositions derived from the theory using a multi-method approach focused on African regional organizations and security cooperation in the post-Cold War period. In addition to new data, the book relies on interviews and archival research conducted in Nigeria. This research has recently been supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, IGCC, and jointly by the U.S. Institute of Peace-Department of Defense Minerva Program, where Cottiero was a 2019-2020 Peace and Security Scholar. Christina earned a Ph.D. in 2021 from the UC San Diego Department of Political Science.


Recent Publications

Turning the Tools of the Liberal International Order Upside Down (Podcast)
Sept. 7, 2021
Multilateral international organizations are a key part of the rules-based global liberal order, facilitating global and regional cooperation, and shared notions of human rights, democracy, and capitalism. But the number and influence of regional international organizations (RIOs) with powerful authoritarian members is on the rise, helping to stall democratization and promote autocratic regimes. In this episode of Talking Policy, IGCC fellow Christina Cottiero charts the growth of authoritarian RIOs since the end of World War II and analyzes their pathways for influence, including through election monitoring, peacekeeping, and development assistance.

The Rise of Authoritarian Regional International Organizations
Aug. 12, 2021 | IGCC Working Paper
The number and influence of regional international organizations (RIOs) with powerful authoritarian members is on the rise, helping stall democratization and preserve autocratic regimes. This working paper by Stephan Haggard and Christina Cottiero charts the growth of authoritarian RIOs since the end of World War II and analyzes their pathways for influence, including through election monitoring, peacekeeping, and development assistance.