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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 East Asian security. 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. 

Image by Ridwan Meah


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. 


Broadly, I am interested in topics of East Asian security. Below are topics that I study extensively. 

Alliance Politics 

How can a weaker ally, or 'protege,' coerce their stronger partner, or 'patron,' for greater autonomy? My primary argument is that proteges have agency; they can and do coerce their patron for greater autonomy. My dissertation project asks two interrelated questions. First, when can allied preferences diverge? Second, if allied disagreement is likely, how can a protege coerce their patron for greater autonomy? I argue that proteges with insecure regimes can threaten their own collapse to get their patron to give into their demands. This is a tough lies to get away with; patrons are therefore likely to concede when their protege does threaten it. Failure to do so would waste resources the patron has, and may currently, contribute to the protege's defense. I test this logic with casework on the U.S.-ROK, U.S.-Japan, and U.S.-Philippine alliances and large-n statistics to capture broader trends of coercion across the Indo-Pacific. 

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 political neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, neuroeconomics, 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. 




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.


Email: (UNL) & (USC)

Twitter: @NoelleTroutman

University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

1023 Oldfather Hall 

Lincoln, NE 68588

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