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

Jesse R. Driscoll - Political Science , Stanford University

Project: Exiting Anarchy: Militia Politics and the Post-Soviet Peace

Driscoll photo

Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: Mark Beissinger, Princeton University

Jesse Driscoll is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.

Driscoll's primary area of interest is mapping the processes by which hierarchies emerge after periods of violence. His working hypothesis is that in the modern state system, national governments establish legitimate authority through a process of identifying, labeling, monitoring, and ultimately socializing unruly populations. How (and whether) third-party assistance can aid in these tasks is disputed. Driscoll's work has focused especially on theories that account for both variation in patterns of violence against civilians and variation in settlement strategies by armed groups. He is currently managing a number of research projects in Georgia and Tajikistan, mapping social networks, party formation, voter intimidation, and the range of technologies used by semi-authoritarian regimes to stay in power.

Driscoll's dissertation demystified the mechanisms of civil war settlement in the Former Soviet Union. By carefully comparing the experiences of two states – Georgia and Tajikistan – Driscoll reconstructed narratives of state renovation based on patterns of local similarities inside new fragile states. He gathered empirical materials for his dissertation over 21 months of fieldwork in Tajikistan and Georgia. With more than 300 field interviews, Driscoll's dissertation presented a revisionist history of the conflict resolution processes that took place in these two states. He argued that peace emerged in Georgia and Tajikistan through a process that bore only a superficial resemblance to the idealized one imagined by foreign donors. The areas he examined are 1) disarming militias, 2) institutionalizing presidential power, and 3) territorial reintegration.

Kathryn Gardner - Political Science, University of Notre Dame

Project: Politicizing Religion: A Comparative Look at the Origins and Development of Muslim Incorporation Policies in France, Great Britain, and the United States, 1945–2008

Gardner photo

Gardner earned her Ph.D. in Political Science and M.A. International Relations from the University of Notre Dame and her B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Miami University. Her research interests include international relations, comparative politics, institutionalization of Islam in Europe, and religion-state relations.

Gardner's dissertation addresses Western governmental policies toward Muslim minorities using controlled cross-case and within-case methods. She seeks to identify, analyze, and explain the origins and evolution of national Muslim incorporation policies and how and why they differ across three country cases: France, Great Britain, and the United States. Moreover, Gardner's dissertation focuses on how transnational events affected Western governments' perception of religion, specifically Islam, rendering it a central policy problem, and thereby explaining the timing of the policy shift and its construction as a "religious problem."

Nicole Hemmer - History, Columbia University

Project: Messengers of the Right: Media and Modern American Conservatism

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Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University

Nicole Hemmer is Assistant Professor in Presidential Studies at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs.

She works in the Presidential Recordings Program, transcribing and analyzing White House tapes from the Johnson and Nixon presidencies. Since completing her fellowship at the Miller Center in 2009, Hemmer has taught U.S. political history at Manchester University and the University of Miami. She was also awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney in 2011-12, and is currently a research associate there. Hemmer's work as a historian bridges the divide between academia and the public. She has written about politics and history for the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times, and is a weekly contributor to U.S. News & World Report. Her book, Messengers of the Right, a history of conservative media, will be published by Penn Press in August 2016. She recently launched a new history podcast, Past Present. Having worked in a number of different capacities as a scholar, Hemmer returned to the Miller Center to continue building a career as a scholar who, through writing, broadcasting, and research, brings historical insights to contemporary debates about American politics and culture.

Selected Recent Publications

Hemmer writes about politics and history as a weekly contributor to U.S. News & World Report.

"The Dealers and the Darling: Conservative Media and the Candidacy of Barry Goldwater," in Barry Goldwater and the Remaking of the American Political Landscape, ed. Elizabeth Tandy Shermer (University of Arizona Press, 2012).

Stefan Heumann - University of Pennsylvania, Political Science

Project: The Tutelary Empire: State- and Nation-Building in the 19th Century U.S.

Heumann photo

Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: Richard White, Stanford University

Stefan Heumann is the Deputy Program Director of the "European Digital Agenda" at The New Responsibility Foundation in Berlin.

Heumann's research interests include imperialism, the politics of U.S. state expansion, and American political development.

Heumann used a historical-institutionalist approach in his dissertation, locating the origins of key U.S. institutions in British imperial policies in North America and tracing their development throughout the 19th century. He argued that state-building, understood as the establishment of governing authority as well as the construction and expansion of administrative capacity and bureaucratic autonomy, is distinguished from nation-building, the process of inclusion and exclusion of diverse populations within the polity. The concept of tutelage, Heumann stated, captures the approach of the U.S. government to populations who were subjected to U.S. governing authority without sharing the political rights, protections, and privileges of those residing within one of the states of the Union.

Christopher Jones - History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Project: Energy Highways: Canals, Pipes, and Wires Transform the Mid-Atlantic

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Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: John McNeill, Georgetown University

Christopher Jones is Assistant Professor of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University.

Jones is a historian of energy, technology, and environment who studies how we have come to use and depend on fossil fuel energy sources and how these decisions have changed the ways we live, work, and play. 

Jone's dissertation argued that energy transporters occupied a central position between producers and consumers and actively shaped the mid-Atlantic's energy history through choices about how canals, pipes, and wires were built, how they were operated, and where they went. His project consisted of three sections analyzing the transportation and consumption of coal (1820–1860), oil (1860–1900) and electricity (1900–1930). In his work, Jones drew on and integrated the insights of historians of technology, energy, industrialization, regional development, and the environment. He additionally highlighted the social effects of the transportation of energy and included social policy implications.

Selected Recent Publications

Christopher Jones is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

Routes of Power: Energy and Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2014).

David Karpf - University of Pennsylvania

Project: Network-Enhanced Goods and Internet-Mediated Organizations: The Internet's Effects on Political Participation, Organization, and Mobilization

Karpf photo

Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: Henry Farrell, George Washington University

Dave Karpf is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, where he teaches courses in strategic political communication. His primary area of research is on the Internet and American political associations. He is the author of two books -- The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy (Oxford University Press, 2016).  

Karpf's dissertation argued that the Internet is enabling new forms of political association, engaging geographically diffuse communities-of-interest in a host of participatory activities that were infeasible under previous information regimes. He discussed how this is leading to the emergence of internet-mediated organizations that take advantage of the online environment to construct novel solutions to traditional collective action problems. In 2009, Karpf earned his Ph.D in Political Science from UPenn. 

Selected Recent Publications

The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy (2012, Oxford University Press).

Walter Ladwig - International Relations, Oxford University

Project: Assisting Counterinsurgents: U.S. Security Assistance and Internal War, 1946–1991

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Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: Daniel Byman, Georgetown University

Walter Ladwig is Lecturer in International Relations at King's College London.

Ladwig's research interests include international security and foreign policy, defense politics, military strategy and operations, counterinsurgency, and the political and military implications of India’s emergence as great power. His work has appeared in International SecurityAsian SurveyComparative StrategyAsian SecuritySmall Wars and InsurgenciesMilitary ReviewStrategic InsightsWar in History, and Joint Force Quarterly, in addition to half-a-dozen chapters in edited volumes. He has commented on international affairs for the BBC, Reuters, the Associated Press and the New York Times and his commentaries have appeared in the New York TimesWall Street Journal, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, and the Indian Express.

Ladwig's dissertation explored U.S. efforts to assist allied nations in counterinsurgency, with a specific focus on the use of American aid to induce political and economic reform, as part of a broader counterinsurgency strategy. He argued that insurgency is primarily a political phenomenon, and as such, any response to it must be primarily political as well. The cases Ladwig studied in his project suggest that the U.S. must gain sufficient leverage to compel the local ally to adopt the reforms and policy changes necessary to overcome the insurgency. The preliminary hypothesis of his study was that the sequencing of aid is the key factor in successfully encouraging needed reform.

Selected Recent Publications

Indian Military Modernization and Conventional Deterrence in South Asia.Journal of Strategic Studies 38, No. 4 (2015).

Diego Garcia: Anchoring America’s Future Presence in the Indo-Pacific.Harvard Asia Quarterly 15, No. 2 (Summer 2013)

"The Forgotten Force: Police-Building in Iraq and Afghanistan." World Politics Review, May 2013.

A Neo-Nixon Doctrine for the Indian Ocean: Helping States Help Themselves.” Strategic Analysis, (May 2012)

Emily Zackin - Politics, Princeton University

Project: Positive Rights in the Constitutions of the United States

Zackin photo

Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: Tom Burke, Wellesley College

Emily Zackin is Assistant Professor of Political Science at The Johns Hopkins University.

Zackin's research interests include constitutional law and civil liberties, American political and constitutional development, social movements, constitutional theory, and American political thought.  Her book Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places: Why State Constitutions Contain America’s Positive Rights was published by Princeton University Press in 2013.

As a Miller Center fellow in 2008-09, Zackin's dissertation examined the long tradition of positive rights in American politics, focusing specifically on movements directed at amending state constitutions. She examined three movements from different historical periods (education rights, labor rights, and victims' rights), each of which resulted in widespread constitutional activism at the state level. Zackin argued that even if we accept the conventional distinction between positive and negative rights, the American constitutional tradition still includes positive rights. Her research demonstrated that, although state constitutions are more detailed and less enduring than the U.S. constitution, they are recognizably constitutional and trump both legislatures and courts, thereby allowing activists to mobilize around them to change government policy.

Selected Recent Publications

Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places: Why State Constitutions Contain America's Positive Rights (Princeton University Press, 2013).

American Constitutional Exceptionalism Revisited” with Mila Versteeg, University of Chicago Law Review 81, no. 4 (Fall 2014): 1641-1707.

"Kentucky’s Constitutional Crisis and the Many Meanings of Judicial Independence.Studies in Law, Politics & Society 58 (2012): 73-99.

"What’s Happened to American Federalism?" (Review Essay) Polity 43, no. 3 (July 2011): 388–403.

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

Zimmerman photo

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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