Prof. Sechser Shares Expertise in Invited Talks

August 16, 2021
Todd Sechser headshot

On June 25, Professor Todd Sechser gave an invited presentation at the Albritton Center for Grand Strategy at Texas A&M's Bush School. Dr. Sechser presented his paper “Expectations, Surprise, and Public Support for War,” co-authored with Laura White (Ph.D. candidate in Politics) and Benjamin Harris (Col. 2016). In his presentation, Dr. Sechser argued that expectations play a sizeable role in shaping how the public reacts to information about casualties in U.S. military interventions. To support his argument, Dr. Sechser presented the findings of a survey experiment which showed that individuals were more sensitive to casualties when they did not meet the individual’s expectations for the conflict. The Q&A portion of the session covered expectation-setting by elites, the increasing disconnect between civilians and the military, the concept of “acceptable casualties,” and how misleading expectations could lead to disillusionment with “small wars.” Read more about Dr. Sechser's Bush School presentation here.

Professor Sechser also gave an invited presentation to the Japanese Ministry of Defense's National Institute for Defense Studies on July 29, 2021. His talk, titled "Extended Deterrence and Nuclear Weapons," discussed three papers he has written on the subject of alliances and nuclear deterrence, evaluating the costs and benefits of using the U.S. "nuclear umbrella" to protect American allies.