Stephen B. Kaplan PhD

George Washington University

Welcome to my website!


I am an associate professor of political science and international affairs in the Department of Political Science at George Washington University, and a current global fellow at the Wilson Center.  


My research and teaching interests are on the frontiers of international and comparative political economy, where I specialize in the political economy of global finance and development, the politics of macroeconomic policy-making, Chinese foreign economic policy, and Latin American politics.



How does China leverage state-to-state loans to develop economic and political relations? Latin American loans lack conditionality and offer long-term risk-tolerant terms, in other words, patient! The "anti-Washington Consensus"?

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China and Russia are Venezuela’s two main bilateral creditors, accounting for one-quarter of the nation’s foreign debt. To what extent do these nations share geopolitical ends in the Western Hemisphere? Or might their financial ties reflect divergent foreign economic policy approaches? 



Political economy theory expects politicians to use budget deficits to engineer an election-timed boom, known as the political business cycle. We challenge and contextualize this view by incorporating global financial constraints faced by national governments into an electoral framework. 


How has China’s foreign policy towards Venezuela changed in the last few years? Is this about debt-trap diplomacy, or a more nuanced credit-trap dilemma?

For more details, see here 

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