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

Clara Altman - History, Brandeis University

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

Altman photo

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."


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).
 


Sheena Chestnut Greitens - Department of Government, Harvard University

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

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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.


Oriana Skylar Mastro - Politics, Princeton University

Project: Settling the Score: The Interactive Effect of Fighting and Bargaining on War Duration and Termination

Mastro photo

Oriana Skylar Mastro is an assistant professor of security studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where her research focuses on Chinese military and security policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, war termination, and coercive diplomacy. She is also the 2016-2017 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Mastro also serves as officer in the United States Air Force Reserve, for which she works as a Political Military Affairs Strategist at PACAF. Previously, Dr. Mastro was a fellow in the Asia-Pacific Security program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a University of Virginia Miller Center National Fellow and a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Pacific Forum Sasakawa Peace Fellow. Additionally, she has worked on China policy issues at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, RAND Corporation, U.S. Pacific Command, and Project 2049. Highly proficient in Mandarin, she also worked at a Chinese valve-manufacturing firm in Beijing as a translator and has made appearances on a Chinese-language debate show. She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D in Politics from Princeton University.

Her current research is focused on: coercive diplomacy, military transparency, U.S. military posture in Asia, Chinese military modernization, patterns in Chinese foreign policy, and the effects of economic liberalism in Asia. She is working on a book manuscript that evaluates the conditions under which leaders offer peace talks during wars.

Selected Recent Publications

 "A Global Expeditionary People’s Liberation Army: 2025-2030." in The Chinese People’s Liberation Army in 2025. ed. Roy Kamphausen and David Lai. Carlisle (PA: U.S. Army War College, 2015), 207-234

"China's Military is About to Go Global.The National Interest, December 182014.

"Why Chinese Assertiveness is Here to Stay.The Washington Quarterly 37, no. 4 (2014): 151-170.

"The Problems with the Liberal Peace in Asia," Survival 56 (2014): 129-158.
 


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