Miller Center

Miller Center National Fellowship

Beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year, the National Fellowship Program, a longstanding initiative of the Miller Center, will fall under the leadership of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation at U.Va.. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, created in 1980, currently offers the premier graduate fellowship and undergraduate scholarship at the University. To learn more about the National Fellows Program, including how to apply, click here.

Meet The Fellows

Victor Nemchenok - History, University of Virginia

Project: A Dialogue of Power: Development, Global Civil Society, and the Third World Challenge to the International Order, 1970–1988

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Victor Nemchenok is an Internal Affairs Analyst for the Defense Department.

Nemchenok’s dissertation opens up a new avenue for international development studies by looking at the other side of the story: how experts and NGOs from the global “south,” the third world, interpreted and contested leading nation’s efforts at modernization over the 1970s and 1980s. His dissertation is titled “A Dialogue of Power: Development, Global Civil Society, and the Third World Challenge to the International Order, 1970-1988.” Nemchenok has published in Cold War History, The Middle East Journal, and Diplomacy and Statecraft.


Douglas O’Reagan - History, University of California, Berkeley

Project: Science, Technology and Diplomacy: American, British, and French Efforts to Extract German Science and Technology During and Following the Second World War

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Fellowship year: 2014

Mentor: James Hershberg, George Washington University

Douglas O'Reagan has been selected as the Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellowship in Technology and Democracy.

Douglas O'Reagan is a postdoctoral fellow in Digital Humanities in the Departmentof History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2016 where he works closely with faculty members of Humanities subjects (History, Literature, Global Studies and Languages, and Comparative Media Studies/Writing) to produce a comprehensive assessment of the needs, current capacity, and future uses of digital humanities at MIT.  Prior to joining MIT, O'Reagan was visiting Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities in the Department of History at Washington State University

O'Reagan's dissertation, "Science, Technology and Diplomacy: American, British, and French Efforts to Extract German Science and Technology During and Following the Second World War," provided a comparative perspective and analysis of the possibilities and difficulties of international technology transfer.  Following the Second World War, the United States, United Kingdom, and France operated cooperative yet competitive efforts to extract technology, industrial machinery, and scientific personnel from Germany. The United States and United Kingdom began these efforts in a joint study of German military technology for use against Japan, yet they quickly expanded to cover all aspects of civilian industrial technology, and the newly-established Gaullist French government eagerly joined in, each nation anticipating great value from these "intellectual reparations." Some aspects of these programs have become something like common knowledge - the most famous case being the German aeronautical engineers led by Wernher von Braun drafted into American space research through "Operation Paperclip" – but they have rarely been considered in a wider context, as a phenomenon international in character but with key differences in the programs' implementation and goals in each national context. O'Reagan's dissertation also examines the role of access to shared technology in postwar international economic integration; how each nation's postwar challenges, and a growing perception of the importance of science and technology in overcoming them, impacted early Cold War diplomacy; and how these local circumstances shaped each country's experience of the broader phenomenon of the drawing together of industry, academic institutions, and governments experienced by each nation during and quickly following the war.

Selected Recent Publications

"Learning to Code, Learning to Collaborate.Berkeley Digital Humanities blog, July 9, 2015.

"French Scientific Exploitation and Technology Transfer from Germany in the Diplomatic Context of the Early Cold War." International History Review (February 13, 2014)

HistoriCal Outreach Podcast


R. Joseph Parrott - History, University of Texas - Austin

Project: “Struggle for Solidarity: New Left Politics and African Decolonization"”

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R. Joseph Parrott is a Chauncey Postdoctoral Fellow with the International Security Studies program at Yale University. He studies the intersections of decolonization and the Cold War, the effects of transnational activism on Western domestic politics, and Pan-Africanism. He earned his PhD in history from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2016 with a dissertation entitled “Struggle for Solidarity: New Left Politics and African Decolonization.”

Dr. Parrott is currently revising a manuscript that examines the formation of a broad solidarity network in the United States and Europe in support of African nationalism. Drawing on theories of globalization and transnationalism, he argues that the technological and political decentralization of the international system linked peoples across geographical and linguistic borders in ways that directly influenced Euro-American perceptions of the global South. Western activists rallied to the cause of socialist liberation in Mozambique, Angola, and Guinea-Bissau despite official support for North Atlantic ally Portugal. Westerners merged the domestic pursuit of racial equality with goals of African self-determination to craft grassroots movements that articulated an ideology of global social justice and economic reform. The popularity of this New Left internationalism directly influenced policymakers sensitive to public opinion in the wake of the Vietnam War, most clearly evidenced by successful domestic opposition to Gerald Ford’s anti-communist intervention in postcolonial Angola. Cutting across intellectual, diplomatic, and socio-cultural histories of the Cold War, the project argues that the growth of an influential solidarity network helped transform American debates over foreign policy and intervention in the global South.

Before completing his degree, Dr. Parrott held pre-doctoral fellowships with the Miller Center, Yale ISS, and the Black Metropolis Research Consortium at the University of Chicago. He has received grants from three presidential libraries, the Council for European Studies, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the New York Public Library among others. He is currently working to assemble an academic study of Revolutionary Tricontinentalism, and his writings have appeared in the peer-reviewed Race & Class, WGBH’s OpenVault, and on various academic and popular history websites including OZY, the History News Network, and Exeter’s Imperial and Global Forum. Dr. Parrott holds an MPP degree from the University of Virginia. Follow him on Twitter at @RJParrott_

Selected Recent Publications

"When Black Power Went Global." Ozy. 27 May 2016.

"Charleston Shooting Exposes America's Pro-Apartheid Cold War Past." Imperial and Global Forum. 6 July 20165.

A Luta Continua: Radical Filmmaking, Pan-African Liberation, and Communal Empowerment.” Race & Class 57, no. 1 (July-September, 2015): 20-38.


Stephen Porter - History, University of Chicago

Project: Defining Public Responsibility in a Global Age: Refugee Resettlement in the U.S., 1933 to 1980

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Stephen Porter is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati.

Steve Porter explores the intersection of humanitarianism and extensions of U.S. power over the long twentieth century. He has considered these issues in his book, Benevolent Empire? U.S. Power, Humanitarianism, and the World’s Dispossessed(University of Pennsylvania Press, Oct. 2016), as well as through shorter publications and professional presentations. Central to his research interests are changing conceptions of ethical responsibilities and rights as well as the ways in which a panoply of state and non-state actors have collaborated – productively and otherwise – in innovative strategies to managing refugee crises and other humanitarian dilemmas wrought by war, persecution, upheaval, and other disruptive phenomena so emblematic of the modern world order. These efforts include both international aid initiatives on behalf of vulnerable populations abroad and domestic programs to systematically resettle select groups of political refugees admitted to the U.S.
 
His current research agenda includes pursuing these themes through the past several decades. He is additionally examining how Cold-War era U.S.-Americans, operating outside of government, engaged with counterparts in communist countries in efforts at nongovernmental diplomacy when their respective states largely maintained adversarial postures toward one another.
 
At the University of Cincinnati, he has served as director of the International Human Rights Certificate, chair of the Tolley Scholarship in International Human Rights, and chair of the Taft Center’s Human Rights Research Group. He is a former fellow of the Institute for Historical Studies. He has a PhD in History from the University of Chicago.

Selected Recent Publications

Benevolent Empire: U.S. Power, Humanitarianism, and the World's Dispossessed. (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).

Humanitarian Diplomacy after World War II: The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.” in Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy. (Oxford University Press, 2015).


Robert Rakove - History, University of Virginia

Project: Befriending the Nonaligned: Kennedy, Johnson and the Neutral Powers

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Robert Rakove is a Lecturer in History at Stanford University.

Rakove studies the history of U.S. foreign relations.  His book, Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World examines a critical period in the history of the relationship between the United States and the postcolonial world.  He is broadly interested in the interaction between the Cold War and decolonization.  

Rakove's dissertation examined the goals and strategies behind the policy of nonalignment, as well as its impact on world events in the 1960s. More broadly, this project pondered the dilemmas posed by efforts to reach beyond existing geopolitical relationships. Inevitably, it must consider basic structural questions: were the nonaligned states, each fielding major regional aspirations, viable partners for Washington? Were there inherent structural obstacles that could not be overcome? The dilemmas of great power status were central to this project, and the lessons we might learn from studying the challenges faced by Kennedy and Johnson bear some relevance in today's multipolar world.

Selected Recent Publications

Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Two Roads to Belgrade: The United States, Great Britain and the First Nonaligned Conference.” Cold War History 14, No. 3 (2014) 337-357


Jose Luis Ramos - History, University of Chicago

Project: The Other Revolution: Politics, Culture, and the Transformation of U.S.-Mexican Relations after the Mexican Revolution, 1919–1930

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Luis Ramos is Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Valparaiso University.

Ramos’s dissertation is a revisionist interpretation of 20th century United States-Mexican history. He examines the origins of a rich and unacknowledged history of collaboration that began during the 1920s, the decade after the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Due to assumptions that political and cultural conflict has determined US-Mexican history, there is no historical explanation for the remarkable improvement of US-Mexican relations after the Mexican Revolution, the persistence of Mexican sovereignty, and the increasing influence of American culture. To answer these questions, his project traces how Americans and Mexicans collaborated in the reconstruction of post-Revolutionary Mexico and US-Mexican relations in six areas traditionally examined as evidence of conflicting interests: the oil controversy, inter-American politics, the external debt, rural reconstruction, immigration, and public health. Luis argues that in the aftermath of World War I and the Mexican Revolution, a political and cultural transformation in how Americans and Mexicans understood each other encouraged mutually beneficial political arrangements that leveraged power asymmetry, sustained Mexican sovereignty, and spurred common networks of progressive reformers that connected the political and intellectual agendas of American progressivism and Mexican revolutionary nationalism. This marked an exceptional embrace of revolutionary nationalism and the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship unlike any other in Latin America, what he calls the other revolution. His work contributes to studies of US-Mexican history and to broader debates on the relationship between international politics, culture, and nationalism.


Jonathan Renshon - Government, Harvard University

Project: Fighting for Status: Prestige Motivations and Conflict in World Politics

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Fellowship year: 2011

Mentor: William Wohlforth, Dartmouth College

Jonathan Renshon is Trice Faculty Scholar and Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Renshon received his Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard University in 2012. The focus of his research lies at the intersection of the psychology of judgment and decision-making and international security. His work has appeared in Political Psychology, Foreign Policy and Journal of Conflict Resolution. He is also a researcher in the Emotion and Decision-Making Group at the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory.

The purpose of his dissertation is to investigate how the concern for status and prestige affects states’ decisions in the domain of international security. There is widespread agreement, both within the political science discipline and the foreign policy community, that status matters, though very little in the way of focused research on how and when it does so. This has left us with two significant gaps in our understanding of how status affects national security and foreign policy behavior. Firstly, and most importantly, our understanding of status in international politics has been guided thus far by intuition, not by evidence. Furthermore, relying on the assumption that "status matters" has left us with no extant theory of variation in states’ concern for status or understanding of its specific implications for foreign policy or international conflict. What is needed—and what his research is designed to provide—is an investigation into the systematic ways in which the desire to increase or prevent the loss of status affects the behavior of states, especially as these concerns relate to the propensity for violent conflict.

Selected Recent Publications

"Status Deficits and War." International Organization (Forthcoming: June 22, 2016) 

"Emotions and the Micro-Foundations of Commitment Problems." with Jooa Julia Lee and Dustin Tingley, International Organization (June 2, 2016)

"The Interaction of Testosterone and Cortisol Is Associated With Attained Status in Male Executives." with Gary D. Sherman et al. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2015)

"Physiological Arousal and Political Beliefs." with Julia J. Lee and Dustin Tingley, Political Psychology 36, no. 5 (2015): 569-585.


Joy Rohde - History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Project: "The Social Scientists' War": Expertise in a Cold War Nation

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Joy Rohde is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Rohde specializes in U.S. national security policy and the history of science. She is interested broadly in the role that scientific experts—especially social scientists—play in American national security and foreign policy. Her book, Armed with Expertise: The Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War, investigates the Cold War origins and contemporary consequences of the Pentagon’s social research contracting system. Her current research projects include a study of the role social scientists play in the Global War on Terror and a longitudinal study of the myriad ways the American state has deployed cultural knowledge over the last century to understand, manage, and control its perceived enemies.

In the late 1950s, Army officials and civilian social scientists joined forces to combat the spread of communism to the so-called "emerging nations" of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This fusion of social science and statecraft reached its acme at the Special Operations Research Office (SORO), an interdisciplinary research institute created in 1956 by the Army and American University. For 15 years SORO's political scientists, social psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists worked with Pentagon officials to illuminate the complex social processes involved in the creation of stable, democratic nations. But as the Vietnam War intensified in the late 1960s, a vocal community of academicians lambasted their Army-funded peers as servants of a war-mongering state, forcing SORO's closure in 1969. Rather than severing their close ties to the American state, however, SORO's experts relocated to a network of Washington think tanks and consulting agencies. From there, social scientists continued to influence American national security policy while the authority of their academic counterparts waned. Rohde's dissertation used the case of SORO to examine the multifaceted ways that social knowledge and state power extended, shaped, and reinforced one another during the Cold War.

Selected Recent Publications

"Police militarization is a legacy of cold war paranoia." The Conversation, October 22, 2014.

Armed with Expertise: The Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013). 

From Expert Democracy to Beltway Banditry: How the Anti-War Movement Expanded the Military-Academic-Industrial Complex.” in Mark Solovey and Hamilton Cravens, eds., Cold War Social Science: Knowledge Production, Liberal Democracy, and Human Nature (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012): 137-53.

The Last Stand of the Psychocultural Cold Warriors: Military Contract Research in Vietnam.Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 47 (2011): 232-50.


Amanda Rothschild - Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Project: "Courage First: Dissent, Debate, and the Origins of US Responsiveness to Mass Killing"

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Amanda Rothschild’s dissertation, “Courage First: Dissent, Debate, and the Origins of US Responsiveness to Mass Killing,” proposes a novel theory explaining US policy in response to mass killing. Rothschild argues that the most critical factors historically responsible for shaping US policy include the degree of congressional pressure for action, the level at which dissent occurs within the government, and the extent to which the president views the atrocities as a political burden. To develop her theory, Rothschild investigates the policies of seven presidential administrations regarding five cases of mass killing: the Armenian Genocide of 1915; the Holocaust from 1938 to 1945; mass killings in Bangladesh in 1971; atrocities in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995; and the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The presidential administrations under examination include the administrations of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, and William Clinton. In developing her case studies, Rothschild draws on primary source documents from eight archives across the United States and on several oral history interviews. Her conclusions highlight the enduring role of dissent in shaping US policy on mass killing, the significance of individual leaders in international relations, and the critical relationship between domestic politics and foreign policy. Rothschild's findings not only provide new historical data and theoretical insights relevant to academic literature in political science, international relations, international security, and diplomatic history, but also offer novel ideas for understanding present day debates on US foreign policy, atrocity prevention, and human rights. 


Robert Saldin - Politics, University of Virginia

Project: War and American Political Development: Parties, State Building, and Democratic Rights Policy

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Robert Saldin is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Montana, the Director of the Project on American Democracy and Citizenship, and a Fellow in Ethics and Public Affairs at the Mansfield Center.

Saldin's dissertation examined how wars affect American politics from the outside in and argued that they provide an explanatory framework that ties American state development, policy making, elections, and political parties together. In contrast to much of the existing American Political Development and Realignment literature, which focus solely on domestic factors, Saldin's project argued that wars affect American politics in several ways. He discussed how a greater appreciation of war's domestic impact offers guidance in understanding current domestic and international events.

Selected Recent Publications

War, the American State, and Politics Since 1898 (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

"What War's Good For: Minority Rights Expansions in American Political Development." in New Directions in American Politics, ed. Raymond La Raja (Routledge, 2013).

"William McKinley and the Rhetorical Presidency." Presidential Studies Quarterly 41, no. 1 (2011).


Matthew Scroggs - Politics, University of Virginia

Project: "Democracies Under Fire: How Democratic Targets and Allies Respond to Coercive Threats"

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Fellowship year: 2017

Mentor: William Wohlforth, Dartmouth College

When do states concede to coercive threats? While the majority of research has focused on the states initiating these challenges, comparatively little attention has been given to the targets, the states that actually face the choice of whether to stand firm or back down. Matthew Scroggs' project examines the role that a target’s regime-type, broadly construed as democratic versus non-democratic states, plays in the decision-making process, arguing that democracies are more likely to concede when threatened due to the higher costs they pay for foreign policy failure and the relative ease that challengers have in identifying whether democracies are vulnerable to coercion. Further, Scroggs' argument also extends to the role of democratic allies, who are less reliable when threats of violence are employed against their protégés. Scroggs utilizes in-depth case studies, such as the Suez Crisis and the U.S.S. Pueblo incident, to demonstrate how his theory works in practice, as well as statistical analysis with data from the Militarized Compellent Threat (MCT) and Threat and Imposition of Economic Sanctions (TIES) datasets to show the external validity of his claims.


Jennifer See - History, University of California

Project: American Cold War Policy in its Wider International and Domestic Context, 1945–47

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Fellowship year: 2003

Mentor: Melvyn Leffler, University of Virginia

Jennifer See is a Faculty Fellow in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

See's dissertation examined American diplomacy at the origins of the Cold War. It explored a brief two-year period, beginning in summer 1945. Fluidity and contingency characterized these months that marked the end of one world conflict and the beginnings of another. By the end of these two years, in relations with the Soviet Union, once ally against Germany and now bitter rival, containment had replaced collaboration in the American policy lexicon. She discussed three main threads that were apparent through her studies: the connection between American domestic politics and foreign policy decisions; the international context of U.S. policy; and the importance of ideology in defining the Cold War world for decision-makers.


Simon Stevens - History, Columbia University

Project: “Strategies of Struggle: International Pressure and the End of Apartheid, 1958-1994”

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Simon Stevens is the Max Webber Post-doctoral Fellow in History at the European University Institute, St. John's College at the University of Cambridge.  He carried out his PhD research in the Department of History at Columbia University in New York. Previously he received his BA and MPhil in History from the University of Cambridge. Stevens was a Choate Memorial Fellow at Harvard University, and held pre-doctoral fellowships at the Center for the US and the Cold War at New York University in addition to his Miller Center National Fellowship.

Stevens will submit hisdissertation in August 2015. Entitled ‘Strategies of Struggle: Boycotts, Sanctions, and the War Against Apartheid,’ his project analyzes the role in the strategy and tactics of the global anti-apartheid movement of campaigns for consumer, sports, and cultural boycotts, governmental trade sanctions, and corporate disinvestment.  He explores the multiple shifts in how the core constituents of the anti-apartheid movement believed apartheid might be ended, and how various forms of international action might best contribute to that end.

Stevens' research interests include transnational activism and activist movements, African political and diplomatic history, American foreign relations, Britain's post-imperial international relations, decolonization, the Cold War, internationalisms, human rights, and humanitarianism. While a doctoral candidate Stevens serves as a Teaching Fellow on courses in international, African, and American history.

Simon's publications include "'From the Viewpoint of a Southern Governor': The Carter Administration and Apartheid, 1977-1981" in Diplomatic History (2012), and  "Why South Africa? The Politics of Anti-Apartheid Activism in Britain in the Long 1970s" in The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s, edited by Jan Eckel and Samuel Moyn (Pennsylvania University Press, 2014). He has presented papers in venues including the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations annual meeting, the Ghana Studies Association conference, the Center for the United States and the Cold  War Seminar at New York University, the Department of Historical Studies Seminar at the University of Cape Town, and the Cold War Research Seminar at the London School of Economics.


Katherine Unterman - History, Yale University

Project: Nowhere to Hide: International Rendition and American Power

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Fellowship year: 2011

Mentor: Elizabeth Cobbs, Stanford UniversityTexas A&M University

Katherine Unterman is Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M University.

Katherine Unterman received her Ph.D. in History from Yale University in 2011. She also holds a Masters in Legal Studies from Stanford Law School and a B.A. from Harvard University. Dr. Unterman began teaching at Texas A&M University in Fall 2011. She specializes in 19th century U.S. history, American foreign relations, and legal history. Her book manuscript, Nowhere to Hide: International Fugitives and American Power, examines the history of international manhunts and the pursuit of fugitive criminals.

Covering the 1850s through the 1930s, Unterman's dissertation chronicled the international rendition of fugitives as both a set of practices that reached American power across borders, and the cultural ideas that justified it. With extensive research on extradition, international law, and criminology, she traces the evolving mechanics of international manhunts—the treaties, technologies, and procedures that enabled American law to reach beyond its borders. Equally important, she also analyzes jurisdiction as discourse: a set of ideas and representations of a shrinking world, where someone who broke American law had nowhere to hide. She argues that law needs to be considered alongside military and economic power as a tool of U.S. informal imperialism at the turn of the twentieth century. Bridging domestic and international history, she explains how Americans downplayed the question of other nations' sovereignty by treating international policing as a matter of maintaining law and order at home. These late-nineteenth-century precedents were eventually institutionalized by government agencies like the FBI and DEA, and have even been used to justify the practice of extraordinary rendition today.

Selected Recent Publications

Uncle Sam’s Policemen: The Pursuit of Fugitives Across Borders. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015)

Boodle over the Border: Embezzlement and the Crisis of International Mobility, 1880-1890.Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 11, no. 2 (April 2012).


Vanessa Walker - History, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Project: Ambivalent Allies: Advocates, Diplomats, and the Struggle for an 'American' Human Rights Policy

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Vanessa Walker is the Joseph W. And Diane Zerbib Assistant Professor of History at Amherst College.

Walker's primary areas of interest are the history of U.S. foreign relations and the history and politics of human rights. With both of these topics, she likes to focus on the interchange between international and domestic spheres and actors. She approaches foreign relations in broad terms to engage ideology, race, gender, culture, and (of course) policy, as important forces in shaping the United States’ global interactions through out its history.  Moreover, she likes to explore how foreign entities—both governmental and non-governmental—have shaped the country domestically, influencing American ideals, identities, society, and government institutions. Her current book project, for example, brings together high-level diplomatic and political history with that of activist networks and social movements to argue for the centrality of Latin America in the development of U.S. human rights policies and debates in the Ford and Carter presidencies. At its core, the project is a study of how foreign policy is made in a democracy, situating diplomacy in a larger social and political domestic context, and it traces the deep and inextricable connections between international structures and policies, and domestic dissent and reform in the 1970s. Although her primary focus is on the United States, Walker has also done research in Latin America and the Middle East, and enjoys offering comparative and transnational courses rooted in broader global contexts, such as seminars on Cuba and the United States and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Walker's dissertation examined the interactions between advocacy groups and foreign diplomats in the 1970s and early 1980s, revealing the way human rights policy was conceptualized, implemented, and evaluated. Highlighting the role that Chilean and Argentine advocates played in catalyzing the emerging human rights movement in Washington, D.C., her dissertation sought to place this advocacy-diplomacy relationship in its proper international context. More broadly, Walker considered how the Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations approached human rights as a component of the U.S. relations with Latin America. Her dissertation placed particular emphasis on the Carter administration's relations with Chile and Argentina, and reevaluated its successes and failures in the context of a larger human rights moment, and its objectives to redirect U.S. foreign policy away from Cold War containment and intervention.

Selected Recent Publications

At the End of Influence: Rethinking Human Rights and Intervention in U.S.-Latin American Relations.Journal of Contemporary History, 46, No. 1 (January 2011): 109-135.

Critically Relevant and Genuinely Critical.” In "Fifty Years of William Appleman Williams’ Tragedy of American Diplomacy: An Anniversary, a Discussion, and a Celebration,” Passport, 40, No. 2 (September 2009): 35-6.


James G. Wilson - History, University of Virginia

Project: Bolts from the Blue: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the End of the Cold War

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James Graham Wilson is a Historian at the U.S. Department of State.

He received his B.A. from Vassar College in 2003, and subsequently worked as a research assistant to Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. He has presented portions of his dissertation in Rome, Geneva, Cologne, and Amsterdam, and has received the U.Va Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Humanities & Social Sciences as well as the U.Va Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Recent articles have appeared in Diplomacy and Statecraft, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of American Studies.

James's first book, The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev's Adaptability, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War was published by Cornell University Press in 2013.  It was based upon his dissertation, which drew upon fresh archival evidence that illuminates decision-making in Washington and Moscow during the last ten years of the Cold War. It contends that policymakers neither formulated a strategy for victory nor even articulated what victory meant—at least until the Berlin Wall crumbled in November 1989; that the revolutions of 1989-1990 were made possible by broad historical forces such as changes in the international economy and the nascent information age; and that the twilight struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union ended peacefully because of Gorbachev's devotion to new thinking, new faces, and the Soviet leader's (ill-founded) belief that he could reconfigure communism to adapt to a new era.

Selected Recent Publications

"Key Figures at the End of the Cold War." C-Span Discussion, April 28, 2014.

The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev's Adaptability, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War (Cornell University Press, 2013)


Anne Mariel Zimmerman - Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia

Project: Special Relationships, Dollars, and Development: U.S. Foreign Aid and State-Building Egypt, Jordan, South Korea, and Taiwan

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Anne Peters is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University.

In Peters's dissertation, she aimed to explain the relationship among U.S. aid, regime stability, and economic outcomes. She argued that weak institutional legacies and disparate regime coalitions have compelled Jordanian and Egyptian elites to undertake a strategy of redistribution of aid, distorting state institutions and driving up the real exchange rate, while unified coalitions and strong institutional legacies allowed Taiwanese and Korean elites to marshal aid funds toward the creation of developmental institutions. Peters provided a much-needed description of the coalitional politics of foreign aid in Egypt and Jordan, and emphasized the importance of political feasibility when formulating U.S. aid strategies.

Selected Recent Publications

Why Obama Shouldn’t Increase Democracy Aid to Egypt.” Foreign Policy, 14 February 2011.
Protests in Egypt: the real reason for Obama’s Two-Handed Game.” The Christian Science Monitor, 31 January 2011.


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