Author Biography

Jonathan was previously a political and legislative staff member working in California state politics. He started his political career doing legislative research for the California State Assembly specializing in military and veteran’s issues. He staffed political campaigns for the California State Assembly, Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives within the San Francisco Bay Area. He accepted a mayoral appointment as a City Commissioner serving on the Community Services Commission of his hometown of Vacaville, California where he worked on parks, recreation, public safety, and open space issues. After his time as a City Commissioner, he served in the United States Air Force stationed at Beale, Air Force Base with the 940th Air Refueling Wing. Jonathan attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, New Jersey and is a Master of Business Administration candidate at Western Governor’s University in Salt Lake City, Utah. His academic interests include political psychology, military policy, and foreign electoral espionage.



Subject Area Keywords

Democracy and democatization, Espionage, Foreign policy, Intelligence analysis, Irregular warfare, Psychology


News of Russia potentially influencing the 2016 US Presidential election shines a light on the United States' own history of foreign electoral intervention. The United States has a tumultuous history of foreign electoral intervention starting in 1947 with the founding of the Central Intelligence Agency. Since then, the US has intervened in as many as eighty-one elections around the world. This article provides a novel theory, called the vested interest theory, that is used to identify the vested interest of the United States, or any global power, in a foreign electoral intervention. It identifies vested interest by utilizing a threefold methodology of analysis: the methods and tactics of a predator-country, the stated justification, and the magnitude of the election in relation to the global power. This article applies the vested interest theory to four landmark elections in the history of the United States: the 1948 Italian election, the 1964 Chilean election, the 1970 Chilean election, and the 2002 Bolivian election. With the application of the vested interest theory, this article develops a unique perspective of how and why the United States intervenes in foreign elections.


This research was partially supported by the Heavin School of Arts and Sciences at Thomas Edison State University by creating an environment of academic curiosity that resulted in the fruition of this research. I would also like to thank Dr. Randall Otto, PhD and James Traber, JD for their feedback on earlier drafts of the manuscript.