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University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Welcome! I am a fifth year political science Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and 2021-2023 U.S.-Asia Grand Strategy Predoctoral Fellow at the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California. I study international security-- especially East Asia. I specialize in alliance politics, nuclear security, and neuroeconomic decision-making. 

In addition to my work at UNL, I am a New Voices in National Security Research Fellow at the Bridging the Gap Project, Research Assistant for Dr. Jacquelyn Schneider at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, 2022-2023 Hans J. Morgenthau Fellow at the Notre Dame International Security Center, and former Summer Associate and current Adjunct in the Defense and Political Science Division at the RAND Corporation. 

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I received my B.A. in Political Science from the University of Northern Iowa, specializing in International Peace and Security and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

I am a member of the Political Attitudes and Cognition (PAC) Lab affiliated with the Department of Political Science and the Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and am interested in how actors make decisions-- primarily integrating neuroeconomic frameworks with research in international security. I apply this interest to a variety of contexts in international politics; including, nuclear bargaining, allied relations, wargaming, and how actors navigate risk and uncertainty. Much of my research focuses on East Asia, namely, the Korean Peninsula. 

I enjoy running, reading, and listening to BTS in my spare time. 

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Broadly, I am interested in international security. Below are topics that I study extensively. 

Alliance Politics 

My dissertation examines 'alliance cohesion,' or the ability of allies to agree on security preferences and means of preference implementation. Within this study, I argue that alliances with few members and a clear power hierarchy between them are most likely to be cohesive. No doubt, this research has clear policy implications. Namely, large alliance structures are unwieldy. Thus, the maintenance multiple American bilateral alliances within the context of East Asia may be more likely to facilitate allied cooperation compared to a large, multilateral structure like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 

Nuclear Proliferation & Reversal 

I am interested in the bargaining dynamics between influencers (i.e., counterproliferators) and targets (i.e., proliferators) to achieve a target's commitment to nuclear reversal. My research incorporates work from biopolitics and political psychology to answer these questions by considering how variables such as ideology can influence the cost-benefit framework of elite actors to accept or reject negotiation opportunities for nuclear reversal. My current research with Dr. Rupal N. Mehta and Dr. Ingrid J. Haas seeks to further unpack the link between the neural processes associated with preference formation and behavior within these high-risk bargaining contexts. 


I am interested in understanding how actors bargain in high-risk contexts (e.g., nuclear negotiations). I integrate  frameworks from neuroeconomics, cognitive neuroscience, and political neuroscience with research in international security. I am interested in understanding the interaction between mental scarcities (relating to cognition and emotion) and environmental constraints (more commonly examined in the IR security literature). I apply this interest to a variety of contexts including nuclear bargaining, (mis)information campaigns, and wargaming. 

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Political Science 100: Introduction to American Politics (Recitation Sections & as Online Instructor)

This course is meant to provide students with an introduction to American politics. Students are given an overview of primary topics in American government including: the branches of government, public opinion, bureaucracy, and elections. Additionally, students are introduced to scientific methodology including data compilation and interpretation. Within recitation sections, students break down material learned in large lectures and engage in interactive activities.

Political Science 160: Introduction to International Relations (Recitation Sections)

This course is meant to provide students with an introduction to international relations. We examine theoretical paradigms used to study IR along with major topics including: international security, human rights, and international political economy. Within recitation sections, students break down material learned in large lectures and engage in interactive activities.

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Email: (UNL) & (USC)

Twitter: @NoelleTroutman

University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

1023 Oldfather Hall 

Lincoln, NE 68588

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