Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Mauro F. Guillen

Second Advisor

Randall Collins


This dissertation presents three articles that study crises from a sociological perspective. The first two articles studies the effects of global trade networks on financial and political crises with the implantation of big data and supervised machine learning methods on a dataset for a sample of 70 countries for the years between 1962 and 2009. Using the institutional and network theories, the first article finds support that normative pressures lead countries to commit sovereign defaults. Countries are more likely to commit sovereign default if other structurally equivalent or role equivalent countries did so in the previous year. The second article finds that role equivalent and structurally equivalent countries occupying a similar position in the global trade networks are affected similarly by revolutionary waves and experience revolutionary situations simultaneously. The third article argues that state secularization is a process involving mobilization, political tactics, and resources as opposing forces struggle over three major institutional dimensions. Examining the history of state secularization in Turkey, Mexico, and France in the aftermath of revolutions, this article demonstrates that the degree of secularization is determined by political contention. (1) The revolutionary state attempts to seize church property, which opens the way for further struggles. (2) If the church administers law through its own courts, or has an autonomous code of law, revolutionary states struggle to substitute secular courts and state-enacted law. (3) Churches often control education; a revolutionary state eventually attempts to take control of education when it mobilizes sufficient resources for the required state capacity. Taking all these dimensions together, the struggle over secularization has many partial outcomes and stopping places, and thus mixed patterns are much more typical than an ideal type transition to pure secularist modernity.