Alumni (National Fellow)

Sarah Kreps

National Fellow
B.A. Harvard University (1998)
M.S. Oxford University (1999)
Ph.D. Georgetown University (2007)
Professional Sector:
Dream Mentor:
Jeff Legro
University of Richmond
Fields of Interest:
Foreign Policy
International Relations
National Security Policy
Region: Middle East
Science and Technology


Sarah Kreps is an associate professor of government and adjunct professor of law at Cornell University. She is also a Faculty Fellow in the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity at the Cornell Tech Campus in New York City. Kreps is the author of four books, including, most recently, “Taxing Wars: The American Way of War Finance and the Decline of Democracy” (Oxford University Press, 2018), which deals with the causes and consequences of how advanced industrialized democracies such as the US, UK, and France pay for its wars. She has also written two books on drones, including “Drones: What Everyone Needs to Know” (Oxford University Press, 2016). Kreps opinions have been featured in a series of media outlets including The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, CNBC, and Reuters. Kreps has held fellowships at the Council on Foreign Relations (and is a life member), Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and the University of Virginia’s Miller Center for Public Affairs. She has a B.A. from Harvard, M.Sc. from Oxford, and Ph.D. from Georgetown. Between 1999-2003, she served on active duty in the United States Air Force.

Thesis Description:

Power, Arms, and Allies: U.S. Multilateralism in an Age of Unipolarity
Kreps dissertation asked: Why does the unipolar power often intervene multilaterally when it has the capacity to act alone? What explains the variation between the broad multilateralism associated with interventions such as the first Gulf War and, conversely, cases in which the U.S. is more willing to exercise its freedom of action and intervene more unilaterally, as in the 2003 Iraq war? Kreps’s dissertation addressed these questions through a combination of theoretical and empirical work on U.S.-led interventions since 1945. Kreps discussed the role of domestic politics, normative constraints, international structure, and the “shadow of the future” on U.S. decisions to intervene multilaterally when a unilateral option is available. Ultimately, her research explained why and under what conditions the hegemony intervenes multilaterally against a weaker adversary and when the U.S. privileges unilateral approaches to intervention.

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