Robert Ralston

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Contact Me


I am a predoctoral fellow at the Albritton Center for Grand Strategy at Texas A&M and a Ph.D. candidate (ABD) in Political Science at the University of Minnesota. I broadly study international security, grand strategy, and civil-military relations, with a specific focus on the domestic politics of great power politics and the politics of military service. I have methodological interests in automated text analysis, content analysis, and survey design. My dissertation examines the politics of international decline and "declinism."

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • M.A. : Political Science, Virginia Tech, 2014.
  • B.A.: Political Science, Winthrop University, 2012.

Curriculum Vitae


  • International Relations
  • International Security
  • Grand Strategy
Courses Taught
  • Instructor: POL3810 "The United States and the Rise of China"
  • Russian Politics (TA)
  • Citizens, Consumers, and Society (TA)
  • Human Rights and Democracy in the World (TA)
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Tobin Project : Prospectus Development Workshop , June 2017
  • University of Arizona Methods Workshop: Machine Learning, Social Network Analysis , January 2016
  • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR): Short Course: Text Analytics , Summer 2015
  • The Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR): Coursework in Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (Content Analysis, Discourse Analysis, and Process Tracing) , Summer 2015
  • Milton Wolf Seminar 2014: Foreign Policies of the Internet in a time of Surveillance and Disclosure: Emerging Scholars Program hosted by the Diplomatische Akademie Wien and the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania


  • Graduate Research Assistant (Ron Krebs) 2016-19:
  • Human Rights Watch Advisory Project: Budgetary Analysis and Human Rights, 2016


  • MPMC Organizer: 2017-2018
  • MIRC Organizer: 2015 - 2016
  • Taking Social Cohesion to Task: Perceptions of Transgender Military Inclusion and Concepts of Cohesion: Ralston, Robert, Jen Spindel, Journal of Global Security Studies, Forthcoming.
  • Ron Krebs, Aaron Rapport (2018). Americans’ Blind Faith in the Military Is Dangerous.. Foreign Policy, Link
  • Ralston, Robert James, Ron Krebs (2018). Democracy in the Crucible of Conflict. Oxford Encyclopedia of Politics, Link
  • Ron Krebs (2017). "Trump and Obama Have One Surprising Thing in Common -- The Words They Use.". The Conversation, Link
  • Jen Spindel (2017). The Transgender Ban and Politics of Exclusion. Duck of Minerva, Link
  • Ralston, Robert James, Manion, Megan, Matthews, Thandi, and Ian Allan (2017). Budget Analysis as a Tool to Monitor Economic and Social Rights. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 9, 146–158. Link
  • Graduate Research Partnership Program Fellowship (GRPP), College of Liberal Arts