I teach in the Department of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University and currently serve as the co-Director of the Global and International Studies (GLIS) program. I previously held the Jeffrey L. and Sharon D. Hyde Early Career Professorship. I completed my Ph.D. at UCLA in 2007. Prior to arriving in State College, I was a post-doctoral research associate at Princeton University and a visiting faculty fellow at the University of Notre Dame.  I spent the first six months of 2016 on leave in Cape Town as a visiting scholar at Economic Research Southern Africa (ERSA).

My first book (with Abel Escriba-Folch), Foreign Pressure and the Politics of Autocratic Survival (Oxford University Press) examines whether foreign policy tools destabilize dictatorships. A second book project, with Barbara Geddes and Erica Frantz, is entitled How Dictatorships Work. My research has also been published in the American Journal of Political Science, the Annual Review of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Research & Politics, and World Politics. This research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Minerva Research Initiative.

I can be contacted at joseph.g.wright (at) gmail (dot) com