Antislavery and the Isolation of Haiti, 1804-1862

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Virtual Seminar

  • Lindsay Hundley

* Please note all CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.


Seminar Recording:


About the Event: In recent years, the world has increasingly witnessed international conflict along ideological fault lines. Western policymakers warn that authoritarian countries like Russia and China are seeking to exploit divisions within democratic societies to promote autocratic tendencies, while for decades, authoritarian countries have accused the West of doing the same—of manufacturing domestic uprisings as a way to force liberalism upon them. While history is filled with examples of conflicts along these types of ideological lines, there is little consensus among scholars or policymakers about whether states’ governing ideologies matter for their foreign policy behavior and if they do, why.

This presentation will focus in on British and U.S. reactions to the Haitian Revolution to advance our understanding of the relationship between ideology and international conflict. I show that Britain and the United States both initially isolated Haiti due to fears that the Haitians would promote or otherwise inspire the spread of slave rebellions throughout the Caribbean and U.S. South. However, after outlawing slavery in its colonies, Britain’s foreign policy towards Haiti quickly diverged from that of the United States. Britain formally ended its regime dispute with Haiti, deepened its economic links with the country, and even began cooperation with Haitian leaders to police the Atlantic slave trade. Taken together, the case strongly suggests that British and U.S ideological stance on slavery was a primary source of their disputes with the Haitian regime.



About the Speaker: Lindsay Hundley holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. Her primary research examines why states fight over the leadership and institutions of other countries, and her book project explores the role of political ideology in shaping both how leaders perceive threats from other states and their willingness to resort to subversion. In other research, Lindsay leverages advances in political methodology to shed new light on enduring questions in international politics, with a particular emphasis on experimental tests of formal models and the use of machine learning techniques to process and analyze political texts. Her work has been published at the Journal of Politics and International Studies Perspectives.

Before joining CISAC, Lindsay was a pre-doctoral research fellow with the International Security Program at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. At Stanford, she was a Gerald J. Lieberman Fellow -- one of the University's highest distinctions awarded to doctoral students for outstanding accomplishments in research, teaching, and academic leadership.