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

Ariel David Adesnik - History, Oxford University

Project: The Rebirth of American Democracy Promotion: Carter and Reagan in Central America

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Fellowship year: 2005

Mentor: Melvyn Leffler, University of Virginia

David Adesnik is Policy Director at the Foreign Policy Initiative.

He focuses on defense and strategy issues. Previously, Adesnik was a visiting fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. For two years, he served as deputy director for Joint Data Support at the U.S. Department of Defense, where he focused on the modeling and simulation of irregular warfare and counterinsurgency. Adesnik also spent several years as research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses. In that capacity, he spent several months in Baghdad as an operations research and systems analyst for Multinational Corps–Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2008, he was part of the foreign policy and national security staff for John McCain’s presidential campaign. 

Adesnik's academic interests include the impact of rhetoric on foreign policy, democracy promotion, and Latin America. He received his Ph.D. and Masters of Philosophy from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His dissertation focused on the Reagan administration’s approach to democracy promotion. David received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Harvard University, and the University of Virginia. His work has been published in Foreign Policy, The Weekly Standard, The National Review, The Washington Free Beacon, The Washington Quarterly, Forbes.com, FoxNews.com and The Daily Caller. David has served as a commentator on several cable television networks and radio programs.

Selected Recent Publications

"The Logic of American Exceptionalism.The Journal of International Security Affairs, no. 26 (Spring/Summer 2014).

"Rand Paul Sees No Threat From Terrorist Safe Havens In Iraq.Forbes, June 20, 2014.

"O’s Counterterrorism Fund.National Review Online, June 4, 2014.


Gwendoline Alphonso - Government, Cornell University

Project: Progressive & Traditional Family Orders: Parties, Ideologies, and the Development of Social Policy across the 20th Century

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Gwendoline M. Alphonso is Assistant Professor of Politics at Fairfield University.

Alphonso is interested in the study of state-society relations, particularly the intersection of culture and morality with law and political development. Her primary research interests are two-fold: first those pertaining to American Politics: United States Congress, Political Parties, American Political Development, Gender and Politics, Politics of the Family, Social Policy; and second those relating to Law: Feminist Legal Theory, Family Law, Comparative Constitutional Law and Theories of Criminal Law and Punishment.

Alphonso's dissertation examined the origins and evolution of partisan family ideology and its effect on social policy through three periods in 20th century American political history – the Progressive Era (1900–1920), the postwar Period (1946–1960), and the Contemporary period (1980–2005). The overarching contention is that the family has been a central organizing principle of political development and the historical development of American social policy, a claim that has been largely overlooked in political and policy analysis. Through extensive inductive analysis of party platforms, congressional hearings, family bill sponsorship/co-sponsorship and roll call data in the House and Senate, she identified patterns in the development of partisan family ideologies, contending that there have been two competing family ideologies – the progressive and traditional – that have persisted across the past century. She explored the two family ideologies as part of broader family political orders, defined as "constellations of ideas, policies, institutions, and practices regarding the family that hang together and exhibit a coherence and predictability." The dissertation documented and explained the change and evolution of the progressive and traditional family orders, their partisan composition and attendant social policies. By inserting social policies into evolving family orders and unearthing elite interests, partisan dynamics, electoral family conditions, and family ideologies, the project hoped to account for why certain types of policy ideas, such as same-sex marriage, gain ascendance during certain periods while others decline.

Selected Recent Publications

"Resurgent Parenthood – Organic Domestic Ideals & the Southern Family Roots of Conservative Ascendancy, 1980-2005.Polity 48 (2016): 205-223. 

"From Need to Hope: The American Family & Poverty in Partisan Discourse." Journal of Policy History 27, no. 4 (Autumn 2015): 592-635.

Public & Private Order: Law, Race, Morality and the Antebellum Courts of Louisiana, 1830-1860.”  Journal of Southern Legal History 23 (2015): 117-160. 

Of Families or Individuals?Southern Child Workers & the Progressive Crusade for Child Labor Regulation, 1899-1920.” in James Marten (ed). Children and Youth during the Gilded Age and Progressive Period (New York: New York University Press, 2014).


Clara Altman - History, Brandeis University

Project: Courtroom Colonialism: Philippine Law and U.S. Rule, 1898-1935

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Fellowship year: 2013

Mentor: Mary Dudziak, Emory University

Clara Altman is the Director of the Federal Judicial History Office at the Federal Judicial Center.

In that capacity, she works to promote the preservation of the history of the federal courts and the federal judiciary in a variety of ways.  In particular, the Federal Judicial History Office develops programs relating to the history of the judicial branch and assists federal courts with their own judicial history programs.

Altman earned a B.A. in History and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and a Ph.D. in American History from Brandeis University.  She was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought at Amherst College.  Her scholarly work concerns legal history and the U.S. in the world with a focus on U.S. engagement with foreign legal cultures and institutions from the nineteenth century to the present. Her dissertation, “Courtroom Colonialism: Philippine Law and U.S. Rule, 1898-1935” is a historical account of the development of the Philippine legal system under U.S. rule between the occupation of the islands and the start of the Philippine Commonwealth.  The project was based in archival research in English and Spanish language sources in the Philippines and the United States and was supported by grants from the American Historical Association, Bentley Library at the University of Michigan, and the Mellon Foundation, in addition to the Miller Center. Altman has also written on the state of the field of legal history.  In her chapter, “The International Context: An Imperial Perspective on American Legal History,” in A Companion to American Legal History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) Altman proposes a new, global framework for the field, emanating from three categories of analysis: the constitutional order, the international order, and what some scholars have called “legal borderlands."


Saladin Ambar - Political Science, Rutgers University

Project: The Rise of the Hudson Progressives: How Governors Helped Shape the Modern Presidency

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Fellowship year: 2008

Mentor: Sidney Milkis, University of Virginia

Saladin Ambar is Associate Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University.

He teaches courses in American politics on the American presidency and governorship, race and American political development, and political parties and elections. Professor Ambar is the author of How Governors Built the Modern American Presidency (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012) which won the Robert C. and Virginia L. Williamson Prize in the Social Sciences, and the newly released Malcolm X at Oxford Union: Racial Politics in a Global Era (Oxford University Press, 2014).  He is currently working on a book about the political career and thought of former New York Governor, Mario M. Cuomo. Since his arrival in 2009, Professor Ambar has been active in Lehigh's Africana Studies program where he has taught courses in Black Political Thought, along with a First Year Seminar on the Political Philosophy of Barack Obama.

Ambar's dissertation explored how pre-presidential executive office and leading Progressive Era state executives built a line of practices that reinvigorated and expanded the scope of presidential action. The central case studies of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt's governorships are examined against a backdrop of shifting executive practices, exemplified by such instrumental governors as Grover Cleveland, Bob LaFollette, and Hiram Johnson. This study challenged the presumption of the modern presidency's origins. It posited that the modern American presidency cannot be fully apprehended without recognition of its ties to developments launched by state executives.

Selected Recent Publications

Malcolm X at Oxford Union (Oxford University Press, 2014)

How Governors Built the Modern American Presidency (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012)

Malcolm X at the Oxford Union.” Race and Class (London, UK: April, 2012): 24-38.


Francesca Ammon - American Studies, Yale University

Project: Waging War on the Landscape: Demolition and Clearance in Postwar America

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Francesca Ammon is Assistant Professor of City & Regional Planning and Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.

Professor Ammon is an historian of the built environment. Her teaching, research, and writing focus on the changing shapes and spaces of the 20th- and 21st-century American city. She grounds her interdisciplinary approach to this subject in the premise that the landscape materializes social relations, cultural values, and economic processes. In particular, Professor Ammon is interested in the ways that visual culture informs planning and design, the dynamic relationships between cities and nature, the politics of place and space, and the roles of business and the state in shaping the physical landscape.

Professor Ammon is currently a colloquium member of the Penn/Mellon Foundation Humanities + Urbanism + Design Initiative. She is on the board of the Society for American City & Regional Planning History (SACRPH). Before joining the PennDesign faculty, Professor Ammon was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She has also held the Sally Kress Tompkins Fellowship, jointly sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) and the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). While completing her Ph.D. in American Studies, she held a fellowship as a Whiting Fellow in the Humanities and was the John E. Rovensky Fellow with the Business History Conference.

Professor Ammon was the 2010-2011 Miller Center Ambrose Monell Foundation Fellow in Technology and Democracy.

Selected Recent Publications

“Post-Industrialization and the City of Consumption: Attempted Revitalization in Asbury Park, New Jersey.” Journal of Urban History 41. no. 2 (March 2015): 158-174.

“Unearthing Benny the Bulldozer: The Culture of Clearance in Postwar Children’s Books.” Technology and Culture 53, no. 2 (April 2012): 306-336.


Josh Ashenmiller - History, University of California, Santa Barbara

Project: The Strange Career of Environmental Impact Assessment

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Josh Ashenmiller is Professor of History at Fullerton College in California.

Ashenmiller has taught U.S. history at Fullerton College since 2006. Prior to that, he taught at Scripps College, Claremont-McKenna College, Cal State Northridge, Campbell Hall School, and River Oaks School. He has published articles in the Pacific Historical Review and various historical encyclopedias. In addition to teaching, he has worked on the Faculty Senate, Program Review Committee, and the accreditation self-study.

Ashenmiller wrote his dissertation on environmental impact assessment (EIA) and discussed a strong continuity between environmental impact assessment and the long tradition of federal attempts to manage economic growth, dating to the establishment of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887.


Nancy A. Banks - History, Columbia University

Project: The Struggle over Affirmative Action in the New York City Building Trades, 1961–1976

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Fellowship year: 2004

Mentor: Thomas Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania

Nancy Banks is the Dean of Students at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School.

While much scholarly work has been devoted to federal civil rights policy in the 1960s – including several studies on the growing commitment by the civil rights movement and the federal government in that decade to Affirmative Action – Banks believed there had been scant attention paid to Affirmative Action as it relates to the building trades unions, nor to the bitter and lengthy conflicts between civil rights activists, minority workers, and union members. Drawing upon a number of sources – including government documents and court records; the correspondence of political leaders, union officials, and civil rights organizations; and personal interviews with workers, politicians, and labor activists – Banks dissertation explored how Affirmative Action conflicts played out in New York City between 1961 and 1976, and analyzed the impact that they had on the development, implementation, and evolution of the nation's union-targeted affirmative action policies.


Warren Bass - History; Journalism, Columbia University

Project: JFK and Israel: The Kennedy Administration and the Origins of the U.S.–Israel Alliance

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Warren Bass is Senior Editor of The Wall Street Journal review section.

Bass was formerly a fellow with the RAND Corporation, adviser to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, and the nonfiction book review editor of The Washington Post. He was a staffer on the 9/11 Commission and one of the writers and editors of its report. He has a Ph.D. in history and an M.Sc. in journalism from Columbia. His book, Support Any Friend: Kennedy’s Middle East and the Making of the U.S.-Israeli Alliance (Oxford, 2003), was one of the Christian Science Monitor's best books of 2013. 


Betsy Beasley - American Studies, Yale University

Project: “Serving the World: Energy Contracting, Logistical Labors, and the Culture of Globalization, 1945-2008”

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Betsy A. Beasley is a Ph.D candidate in American Studies at Yale University.  Her dissertation traces the rise of Houston as a global city in the half-century following World War II, arguing that the city’s business elite, especially those in oilfield services companies including Brown & Root, Schlumberger, and Hughes Tool, imagined and enacted a new vision of globalism.  Vehemently resistant to the demands of labor unions, corporate executives positioned the U.S. not as a center of manufacturing and production but as a white-collar headquarters offering expertise in logistics, engineering, and resource management to the rest of the globe.  This project charts the material developments that established Houston as a global center of petrochemical services alongside the cultural narratives that influenced and helped make sense of social, political, and economic change. 

Whereas the most common vision of American global power in the postwar years emphasized the U.S. as an industrial producer whose commodities and high standard of living would be exported around the world, this project highlights an alternative vision based on exporting service and expertise and importing commodities and raw materials, a different globalism that would come to dominate American culture and politics in the post-industrial 1970s.  Drawing methodologically from geography, cultural history, and the history of capitalism, Beasley examines a management vision of U.S. global power while also exploring the resistance of organized labor to this imperial project and the attempts of executives to convince global oil consumers to support U.S. expertise as the best means to ensure access to inexpensive petroleum.   

Beasley holds a B.A. in history from the University of Georgia and an M.S. in Urban Affairs from Hunter College of the City University of New York.  Her work has been supported by the American Historical Association, the New Orleans Center for the Global South at Tulane University, and the Coca-Cola World Fund. She co-hosts and produces "Who Makes Cents: A History of Capitalism Podcast" with David Stein.

Selected Recent Publications

Fighting for a Radical City: Student Protesters and the Politics of Space in 1960s and 1970s Downtown Manhattan.Urban History Review 37, no. 2 (March 2009)

Another New Kind of Marriage.Public Seminar,  July 20, 2015.


Michael Beckley - Political Science, Columbia University

Project: The Unipolar Era

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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).
 


Sean Beienburg - Politics, Princeton University

Project: Constitutional Resistance in the States, 1880–2010

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Fellowship year: 2014

Mentor: John Dinan, Wake Forest College

Sean Beienburg is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University.

Beienburg's teaching and research interests include the U.S. Constitution and constitutional law, American political development and thought, federalism, parties and interest groups, and Prohibition.

His dissertation examined how states’ rights claims and efforts to evade, ignore, and resist federal constitutional development played an increasingly central role in the political climate. He questioned whether such state activity was a normal part of American political development or a dangerous aberration recalling the divisions before the Civil War. He analyzed whether such efforts were primarily the seeds of Southern resistance to racial integration or had a more honorable, broader legacy. Beienburg sought to understand such developments by providing an account of state constitutional resistance since 1880. In short, this project aimed to better understand the historical legacy of state participation in constitutional politics in order to make sense of its current manifestations.

Selected Recent Publications

"The People Against Themselves: Rethinking Popular Constitutionalism." Law and Social Inquiry 41, no. 1 (Feb 2016)

"Contesting the U.S. Constitution through State Amendments." Political Science Quarterly 129, no. 1 (March 2014): 55-85.


Laura Blessing - Politics, University of Virginia

Project: The New Politics of Taxation: The Republican Party and Anti-Tax Positions

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Laura Blessing is a Senior Fellow at The Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University.

Blessing earned her PhD from the University of Virginia. While at UVa she taught courses on Congress, the Presidency, and Media and Politics for students at both UVa and Sweet Briar College.  After defending her dissertation she worked on Capitol Hill as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow.  She served as the legislative assistant for tax policy for Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee.  She is currently working on a book on the politics of tax policy from the mid-century to today. Blessings' areas of expertise include the politics of tax policy, legislative politics, the legislative process, the state of partisanship, Congressional operation and history, and Executive-Legislative relations.

Blessing's dissertation investigated the development of our current tax politics.  In the mid-1950s to mid-1970s a balanced budget consensus and low levels of politicization were apparent.  Since then, these have changed, with profound consequences.  This transformation has been caused, not by ideological or economic factors, but rather by a national Republican party-building strategy.  This is evident in a number of different measures, both qualitative and quantitative, from roll call votes and party platforms to the coordination strategies of national party leaders.  The party has used an explicitly anti-tax strategy to win elections and build a powerful coalition of many otherwise disparate groups. 


Rebecca Bohrman - Political Science, Yale University

Project: Sifting Immigrants: The Political and Historical Roots of Administrative Failure in the I.N.S.

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Bohrman has over seven years of corporate research experience, in which she has used her qualitative and quantitative research skills to help clients with benchmarking, media strategies, corporate social responsibility campaigns, media monitoring, corporate crises, internal and external communications, and executive transitions.

In her dissertation, she argued that the INS's problems can be traced to its institutional design, and that these problems are perpetuated by the particular alignment of political conflict over immigration issues. Immigration administration is at the center of American politics, affecting everyone from legal and undocumented immigrants to workers and employers, yet Immigration and Naturalization Service has been troubled since its inception. Bohrman's dissertation explained why the INS has been an agency in disarray, by answering the question: why has Congress so rarely tried and even more rarely succeeded in giving the INS greater administrative capacity?


Carl Bon Tempo - History, University of Virginia

Project: The Politics of American Refugee Policy, 1952–1980

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Carl Bon Tempo is Associate Professor of History at the State University New York, Albany.

Bon Tempo's work explores the links between domestic political history and America’s role in the world. He maintains a particular focus on the histories of refugees, immigration, and human rights.

Bon Tempo wrote his dissertation on the formation and implementation of the American government's policies toward refugees between 1952 and 1980, arguing that the study of refugee policies provides an opportunity to examine how Americans (in and out of government) conceived of citizenship and "American-ness" in the post-World War II era – and that these conceptions vitally influenced the intent and character of specific refugee policies and programs. He displayed that post-World War II era American refugee policies and laws, and the contentious deliberations that produced them, resembled the larger debates about citizenship and national identity occurring during that period.

Selected Recent Publications

Americans at the Gate: The United States and Refugees During the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2008).

From the Center-Right: Freedom House and Human Rights in the 1970s and 1980s” in  Petra Goedde and William Hitchcock, eds, The Human Rights Revolution: An International History,  (New York: Oxford University Press, January 2012).

American Exceptionalism and Modern Immigration History in the United States.” in Jamey Carson and Sylvia Soderlind, eds., American Exceptionalisms (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, December, 2011.)


Rebecca Brubaker - International Politics, University of Oxford

Project: From the Un-Mixing to the Re-Mixing of Peoples: Understanding U.S.-Led Support for Minority Returns Following the Ethnic Conflict in Bosnia

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Fellowship year: 2014

Mentor: Susan Hyde, University of California, Berkeley

Rebecca Brubaker completed her doctorate in the Department of International Development, University of Oxford, where her research focused on international solutions to forced displacement following ethnic conflicts. Following graduation, she became a Visiting Fellow at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to her scholarship, she has worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Migration Unit, the UN Development Program, and spent extensive time in the field. Brubaker is the recipient of numerous awards including a Fulbright Scholarship, a Rhodes Scholarship, and a Smith Richardson Fellowship (Yale). 

Brubaker’s dissertation focused on the U.S.-led response to the 1990s' ethnic conflict in Bosnia. Her work illuminated the multilateral attempt to reverse the ethnic conflict through the return of displaced people.  The policy emphasis on “re-mixing” people, interpreted through a policy of minority returns, and supported and coordinated on an international scale, was unprecedented in contemporary history.


Emily Brunner - History, University of Chicago

Project: Irish-American Nationalists and the Dilemmas of National Belonging

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Fellowship year: 2005

Mentor: Timothy Meagher, Catholic University of America

Emily Brunner is Senior Academic Advisor at the University of Iowa.

Her scholarly interests include American Progressive reform, Irish nationalism, and the problem of state power in the post-World War I era. She received the O'Shaughnessy Award for her research topic, "Irish American Nationalists and the Dilemma of National Allegiance: 1910–24" from the University of Chicago Department of History.

Brunner's dissertation examined how Irish nationalist leaders responded to changing ideas about citizenship and how they contributed to the debate about what it meant to be a member of a state and a nation. She began with an exploration of the conditions during this period that made it more difficult for Irish-Americans to claim to be both Irish and American. Next Brunner discussed the debate over the boundaries of legitimate dissent while examining the connections between Irish-American nationalism and the global feminist movement, analyzing ways in which Irish nationalist women employed global feminist networks to access and sway audiences that might otherwise have been hostile to their cause.

Selected Recent Publications

"Coaching pre-medical students towards professionalism." with Kate Karacay. Clearinghouse, 2013.


Sarah S. Bush - Politics, Princeton University

Project: The Democracy Establishment

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Fellowship year: 2011

Mentor: Miles Kahler, University of California, San Diego

Sarah Bush is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Temple University

Bush is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Temple University. Prior to starting at Temple, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. I received my Ph.D. from Princeton University in November 2011.

Her research and teaching interests include international relations, democracy promotion, non-state actors in world politics, gender and human rights policy, and Middle East politics. Her book, which is forthcoming at Cambridge University Press, explores how how and why the United States and other developed countries turned to democracy promotion at the end of the Cold War and what the impact of doing so has been. The book combines large-N analysis of new and existing data sets of democracy assistance projects with case studies that draw on field research in Jordan and Tunisia. Other ongoing projects examine the effects of American democracy promotion on public attitudes in the Middle East. Her previous research has been published or is forthcoming in the journals International Organization and International Studies Quarterly.

Selected Recent Publications

The Taming of Democracy Assistance: Why Democracy Promotion does not Confront Dictators (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Anti-Americanism, Authoritarian Regimes, and Attitudes about Women in Politics: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Jordan.” with Amaney Jamal. International Studies Quarterlyol 59, no. 1 (2015): 34-45.
"International Politics and the Spread of Quotas for Women in Legislatures.International Organization 65, no. 1 (2011): 103-137.


Brent Cebul - History, University of Virginia

Project: The Rise of Antigovernment Governance: The Politics of Federal Economic Development and Local Business Mobilization, 1938–1994

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Brent Cebul is the Mellon Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond.

In 2014-2015, he was a Postdoctoral Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Virginia in August 2014 and continues to serve as an Associate Fellow at UVa's Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture where he is a project investigator for the Thriving Cities Project and serves as the associate director of the program on Culture, Capitalism, and Global Change. Cebul's current book project, Developmental State: Business, Poverty, and Economic Empowerment from the New Deal to the New Democrats, recenters the history of 20th-century liberalism by highlighting the recurring governing pattern of local-national, public-private partnerships begun in the New Deal.

Cebul’s dissertation was a social and political history of local business leaders’ perceptions of the federal government’s proper role in fostering community and economic development from the New Deal through the early 1990s. The project explored how business constituencies in the rural Sunbelt and deindustrializing Rustbelt created kindred public-private institutions that benefited from and sought to expand local, state, and federal developmental capacities. By illuminating the intertwined themes of localism and the evolution of fiscal federalism through the lens of the development policies of the New Deal, the Great Society, and Nixon and Reagan’s New Federalisms, the dissertation challenged assumptions about the decline of liberalism, the rise of conservatism, and business leaders’ embrace of neoliberal policy prescriptions. 


Seth Center - History, University of Virginia

Project: Spreading the American Dream?: Power, Image, and U.S. Diplomacy, 1968–1976

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Seth Center is a Historian in the Special Projects Division of the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State.

His principal duty consists of conducting policy-supportive historical analyses. He serves as historian for Deputy Secretary William J. Burns. 

Center is researching, writing, and managing the “Iraq History Project” focused on the role of diplomacy and diplomats in Iraq between 2003 and 2012. He is researching and writing the history of public diplomacy and “The War of Ideas” requested by the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. On the request of policymakers, including the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Under Secretary, he produces short historical analyses and briefs to support budget justifications, policy formulation, and Congressional testimony. He is researching and writing a “Lessons Learned” study on historical case studies of learning in intelligence and policy for the Director of National Intelligence “Lessons Learned” initiative. In this role he supports historically-based departmental “Lessons Learned” projects with other bureaus and interagency partners including the intelligence community and military. Other duties include advising department principals on preserving and managing historical records; serving on the Department’s Electronic Records Working Group for the Under Secretary for Management; conducting oral histories with current and former officials including Secretaries of State, diplomats, military officers, and intelligence professionals; and briefing/lecturing internal government (diplomatic, intelligence, and military) audiences on US foreign policy, military and intelligence policy and history, and State Department history.

Center's dissertation examined how America's image-makers in the United States Information Agency defined America's image problems in the midst of the turmoil and transformations of the 1970s, designed a program focused on the Bicentennial of the American Revolution to allay global anxiety and hostility, and implemented public diplomacy effort overseas. It concluded with an analysis of the international response to the campaign. 

Selected Recent Publications

The Evolution of American Public Diplomacy: Four Historical Insights, State Department Fact Sheet (December 2, 2013).
 


Christy Chapin - History, University of Virginia

Project: Ensuring America's Health: Publicly Constructing the Private Health Insurance Industry, 1945–1970

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Fellowship year: 2010

Mentor: Deborah Stone, Dartmouth College

Christy Chapin is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Her interests include political, business, and economic history as well as capitalism studies. Chapin has published articles in Studies in American Political Development and the Journal of Policy History. Her book, Ensuring America’s Health: The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Insurance System, was published by Cambridge University Press in summer 2015.  Professor Chapin is now at work on a new project entitled The U.S. Economy and the Emergence of Financial Capitalism.

Her dissertation explored how insurance companies became the primary financiers and coordinators of health care by evaluating how federal policy and debates interacted with two institutional levels: first, trade and professional associations and second, ground-level organizations such as individual firms and physician offices. She showed that by 1970, government policy had helped create an expensive, corporate model of health care. Cost problems were built into the system, because doctors behaved as semi-autonomous "managers" whose interests and pecuniary concerns diverged from those of the financiers – insurance companies. Chapin concluded that federal policy helped position insurance companies at the heart of a distinctive public-private system.


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)


Anthony Chen - Sociology, University of California - Berkeley

Project: From Fair Employment to Equal Opportunity and Beyond: Race, Liberalism, and the Politics of the New Deal Order, 1941–1971

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Anthony S. Chen is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Northwestern University.

Previously, Chen was Assistant Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In addition to holding appointments in the Department of Sociology and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, he was also a Faculty Associate in the Program in American Cultures. From 2005 to 2007, he held the position of Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco. Chen's book, The Fifth Freedom (Princeton, 2009), won the President's Book Award from the Social Science History Association. Chen received his B.A. from Rice University 1994 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002.

Selected Recent Publications

The Fifth Freedom: Jobs, Politics, and Civil Rights in the United States, 1941-1972. (Princeton University Press, 2009)

Political Parties and the Sociological Imagination: Past, Present, and Future Directions.” with Stephanie L. Mudge. Annual Review of Sociology 40 (2014): 305-330.


Jenny Diamond Cheng - Political Science, University of Michigan

Project: Are Children Citizens?: The Minimum Voting Age and Liberal Democratic Citizenship

Cheng photo

Fellowship year: 2005

Mentor: Carol Sanger, Columbia Law School

Jenny Diamond Cheng is a Lecturer in Law at Vanderbilt University’s Law School.

Cheng's research focuses on the intersection of law and political theory. Her doctoral dissertation addressed the question: Given their disenfranchisement, to what extent does it still make sense to think of children as "citizens"? Her research focused on political discussions of the minimum voting age from 1942 to the present. The decades in and after World War II witnessed a quiet but persistent movement to reduce the voting age from 21 to 18, which gathered steam in the late 1960s and culminated with the passage of the 26th Amendment in 1971. A close reading of the debates about the voting age over the last six decades reveals competing ideas about the meaning of the franchise and profound confusion about children's place in the polity. In her dissertation, Cheng explored the theoretical links between voting, military service, and education while additionally examining how advocates for lower voting ages have sought to frame youth as the natural heirs to the women's suffrage and African-American civil rights movements.

Selected Recent Publications

"Leave the Voting Age Alone.New York Times, 28 May 2012.


Merlin Chowkwanyun - History and Public Health, University of Pennsylvania

Project: The Dilemmas of 'Community Health': 1945-2000

Chowkwanyun photo

Merlin Chowkwanyun is Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and a member of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health.

Chowkwanyun’s work centers on three themes: the history of public health and health policy; racial inequality; and social movements. He is working on a book examining the development of post-WWII medical care and environmental health hazards in four regions (Los Angeles, Cleveland, Central Appalachia, and New York) and another about political unrest at medical schools and neighborhood health activism during the 1960s and 1970s. With Adolph Reed, he is writing an essay collection that questions the dominant theoretical assumptions and frames in disparities research (under contract with the University of California Press). With the Center for Public Integrity, he is part of a group of environmental health journalists and historians on a database featuring millions of previously unseen corporate documents that have emerged in recent environmental health lawsuits. He teaches courses on health advocacy and mixed methods.

Selected Recent Publications

"Q&A with Pau Gasol: The NBA All-Star's Health Advocacy Off-the-Court," Culture of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, April 20, 2015.

"Grassroots Isn't Always Best." Boston Review, February 23, 2015.

"We keep pledging to study the cause of riots like Ferguson’s. And we keep ignoring the lessons." The Washington Post, August 18, 2014.

"Training Historians and the Dual Degree." Chronicle of Higher Education, January 28, 2014.


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