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

Michael Beckley - Political Science, Columbia University

Project: The Unipolar Era

Beckley photo

Michael Beckley is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Tufts University.

Beckley's research focuses on national power (how to measure it and why some countries are more powerful than others) and has been featured in numerous academic journals and popular media including NPR, TheWashington Post, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, and Harvard Business Review. Prior to Tufts, Michael was a fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and at Dartmouth College and worked at the U.S. Department of Defense, the RAND Corporation, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 

Titled “The Unipolar Era,” Beckley’s dissertation set out to debunk the notion that the United States was being eclipsed by China as the dominant power. In particular, he aimed to demonstrate that GNP alone does not determine the strength of a nation’s military. Instead, he argued the level and comprehensive integration of a state’s economic development matter most. Beckley won the article of the year award (2010) from the Journal of Strategic Studies and in 2009 received the International Studies Association’s Carl Beck Award for best paper by a graduate student.

Selected Recent Publications

"The Myth of Entangling Alliances: Reassessing the Security Risks of U.S. Defense Pacts." International Security 39, no. 4 (2015): 7-48.

"The Myth of Entangling Alliances." War on the Rocks, June 9, 2015.

"How Big a Competitive Threat Is China, Really?" Harvard Business ReviewFebruary 29, 2012.

China and Pakistan: Fair-Weather Friends.Yale Journal of International Affairs 7, no. 1 (Winter 2012).
 


Emily Charnock - Political Science, University of Virginia

Project: From Ghosts to Shadows: The National Party Organizations and Interest Groups

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Emily Charnock is the Keasbey Research Fellow in American Studies at Selwyn College at the University of Cambridge.

In her dissertation, “From Ghosts to Shadows: The National Party Organizations and Interest Groups,” Charnock explores the institutional impact of the relationship between key interest groups and the parties with which they have traditionally been allied. Her project promises to inform our current debate about the way interest groups like the Tea Party or labor can drive the political debate and party’s agendas. Charnock has published a co-authored piece in Political Science Quarterly.

Selected Recent Publications

"The Second Emancipation Proclamation." Virginia Quarterly Review, August 28, 2013.

"What happened to post-partisanship? Barack Obama and the New American Party System." with Sidney M. Milkis, Perspectives on Politics 10, no. 1 (2012): 57-76.

"What to Expect in the Second Term: Presidential Travel and the Rise of Legacy Building, 1957-2009." with James A. McCann and Dunn Tenpas, Brookings Institute: Issues in Governance Studies 54 (December 2012)


Jack Epstein - History, Ohio University

Project: Behind the Menancing Racket: Organized Labor, Federal Anti-Racketeering Policy, and the Law and Order Origins of the Modern American State, 1927–1970

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Fellowship year: 2012

Mentor: Daniel Ernst, Georgetown University Law Center

Jack Epstein is an Instructor at Tulane University.

Epstein’s dissertation promises to recast the history of the New Deal state and its policy and political legacies, by exploring the emergence of federal racketeering laws. Conservatives up to the 1970s, he contends, used these mechanisms to undermine the New Deal state by fostering competition and resisting federal intervention in labor markets. Titled “Behind the Menacing Racket: Organized Labor, Federal Anti-Racketeering Policy, and the Law and Order Origins of the Modern American State, 1927-1970,” Epstein’s project challenges traditional assumptions about the development of political ideologies. 


Sheena Chestnut Greitens - Department of Government, Harvard University

Project: Intelligent Autocrats: Secret Police & State Violence Under Authoritarianism

Greitens photo

Fellowship year: 2012

Mentor: Jacob Shapiro, Princeton University

Sheena Chestnut Greitens is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri and a Non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution

Greitens earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard University in April 2013. Her work focuses on East Asia, international security, and the internal politics of authoritarian regimes. She is currently working on a book manuscript on the management of internal security in non-democracies.

Her dissertation explores a particularly timely question: why are some authoritarian regimes at times more or less violent than others? By exploring a variety of regimes, Greitens' work has the potential to shed light not just on the nature of these states, but on the kinds of foreign policies best suited to dealing with authoritarian governments.

Her work on China and North Korea has been published widely in academic, policy, and media outlets in English, Chinese, and Korean. She has previously held positions at the U.S. Department of State’s Policy Planning Staff, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Oxford University Press, and fellowships at the U.S. Institute of Peace, the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, and Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.

Selected Recent Publications

For Sheena's most recent publications and media appearances, visit the Brookings website.


Robert Henderson - University of Maryland

Project: “Dream Deregulated: The Transformation of Housing Finance, 1968–1985”

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Robert Henderson is a writer and analyst at Sage Computing.

His dissertation sheds light on the historical roots of a most vexing current political and economic dilemma – the deregulation of America’s housing markets. While many scholars have explored the political ideology of suburbanization, Henderson pushes the field in new directions by investigating the financial and regulatory mechanisms underpinning the markets themselves. His dissertation is titled “Dream Deregulated: The Transformation of Housing Finance, 1968-1985.”


Andrew Kelly - Political Science, Northwestern University

Project: Entering the New Frontier: The Origins and Development of Scientific Capacity in the United States and Great Britain

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Fellowship year: 2012

Mentor: Gerald Berk, University of Oregon

Andrew Kelly has been selected as the Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellowship in Technology and Democracy.

Andrew Kelly is the Patrick Henry Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.  Kelly's dissertation, “Entering the New Frontier: The Origins and Development of Scientific Capacity in the United States and Great Britain,” explores the role of exchanges of scientific expertise and the effect on expanding state capacity in the United States and Great Britain. His fellowship will be supported by the Monell Foundation and is a perfect example of how the Miller Center along with Monell are contributing to a fast-growing new field that seeks to shed light on the co-evolution of technology and democracy.

Kelly is currently working on a new project that examines the growth of private insurance plans within Medicare, and how the public-private partnerships that developed have impacted policy change over time.

Selected Recent Publications

Rocco, Philip, Andrew S. Kelly, Daniel Beland, and Michael Kinane, “The New Politics of US Health Care Prices: Institutional Reconfiguration and the Emergence of All-Payer Claims Databases.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (Volume 42, Number 1: 5-52.  February 2017).

Kelly, Andrew S.  “Boutique to Booming: Medicare Managed Care and the Private Path to Policy Change.”  Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (Volume 41, Number 3: 315-354.  June 2016).​


Aila Matanock - Political Science, Stanford University

Project: International Insurance: Explaining Why Militant Groups Participate in Elections as Part of a Peace Agreement

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Fellowship year: 2012

Mentor: Susan Hyde, University of California, Berkeley

Aila Matanock is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Matanock was previously a visiting Scholar at the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) at the University of California, San Diego.  Her research interests include international engagement during and after civil conflict, post-conflict peace-building, state-building, and development. 

Matanock's dissertation focused on the role of electoral competition between militant groups and governments, especially as a component of negotiated settlements.  In contrast to broadly pessimistic views of elections as a conflict resolution tool, her research finds that, when these inclusive elections are part of an agreement, the duration of peace between the signatories is longer. Specifically, international actors are able to engage in monitoring and sanctioning violations of the deal through the transparency that elections provide.  The project draws on evidence from field interviews with former militant group, government, and civic leaders and on a newly collected cross-national dataset.  Her other projects focus on the role of international actors and armed non-state actors in governing weak and post-conflict states.  She has designed and run several survey experiments in Colombia and Mexico that explore the levels of social support for armed non-state actors, as well as their strategies for gaining more support.

Selected Recent Publications

"The Empiricists’ Insurgency.” with Eli Berman, Annual Review of Political Science vol. 18, no 1 (2015)

Governance Delegation Agreements: Shared Sovereignty as a Substitute for Limited Statehood.Governance (2014)


Rachel Moran - History, Penn State University

Project: Body Politic: Federal Policy-Making on American Physique, 1890–1965

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Rachel Louise Moran is Lecturer in History at the University of North Texas

Rachel recently completed a dual Ph.D. in History and Women’s Studies at the Pennsylvania State University in 2013, after which she was a Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in the PSU history department. 

She is currently working on a book manuscript that explores how the United States government developed policies over time meant to quite literally ‘shape’ American citizens.  Moran explores federal nutrition and exercise policy, and consider the overlap of citizenship, policy, health, and weight. From the height-weight tables of the Children’s Bureau to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Moran argues that managing and molding American bodies has long been an interest of federal agencies.

In addition to the Miller Center Fellowship, Moran has also held a Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship. She has previously held the Crawford Family Fellowship in Ethical Inquiry and Cornell University’s Fellowship in the History of Home Economics.

Selected Recent Publications

Weighing in about Weight: Advisory Power in the Bureau of Home Economics.” in Remaking Home Economics: Resourcefulness and Innovation in Changing Times, ed. Sharon Y. Nikols and Gwen Kay (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2015)


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.


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