Tony Pierucci, M.S. ’14, recently defended his dissertation in political science at Purdue University. His dissertation title is “Signaling or Safeguarding: The Logic of Mobilization in Crisis Bargaining.” His dissertation research uses game theory to understand when mobilization is an efficient strategy in diplomatic crises. The central argument is that mobilization is a bet-hedging strategy, in which a state simultaneously signals its resolve over a foreign policy issue and prepares for war in the event deterrence fails. This suggests that mobilization is most valuable in a diplomatic crisis when early preparation provides military benefits, there is pessimism about the success of deterrence, and the state is risk-averse.
Pierucci received a B.A. in political science from Loyola University Chicago in 2012, an M.S. in political science from Illinois State in 2014, and an M.S. degree in economics from Purdue University in 2018 prior to completing his Ph.D. at Purdue University in 2020. He is currently working as a senior economic analyst at Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria and plans to continue working for Caterpillar. He also plans to publish his ongoing research projects that focus on game theoretic applications in international security.