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).
 


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.


George Xuezhi Guo - Political Science, University of Virginia

Project: The Guanxi (Interpersonal Relations) of Chinese Communist Elite: Theory and Practice

Guo photo

Fellowship year: 2002

Mentor: Lowell Dittmer, University of California, Berkeley

George Xuezhi Guo is Professor of Political Science at Guilford College.

Guo specializes in comparative politics, international politics, East Asian politics, and comparative political thought.

Guo constructed his dissertation around the model of guanxi, an ideal which has deep cultural roots embedded in Chinese philosophy and thought as well as the inspired ideal personality which is preoccupied with a man-centered social system and ethic-oriented social norms. His dissertation, "The Guanxi (Interpersonal Relations) of Chinese Communist Elite: Theory and Practice," established a theoretical model of guanxi in Chinese interactions as exemplified in a study of Chinese Communist Party elite politics. While guanxi is used as an instrument to acquire social resources or political advantages, Guo argued that it also functions as a social norm to comply with social rituals, as a vehicle for communicating emotional attachments, and as a moral obligation to uphold mutual dependence and to ensure mutual stability between people within their networks. In this respect, Guo fundamentally disagreed with the prevalent view of guanxi as consisting only of cunning tactics for pursuing individual personal interests.


Elizabeth Ingleson - History, University of Sydney

Project: The End of Isolation: Rapprochement, Globalisation, and American Trade with China, 1972-1979

Ingleson photo

Fellowship year: 2016

Mentor: Thomas Borstelmann, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Elizabeth Ingleson is a history PhD student at both the University of Sydney and the United States Studies Centre. Elizabeth’s research examines the origins of the contemporary trade relationship between the United States and China. Beginning in 1972—when President Nixon and Chairman Mao ended over twenty years of economic and political isolation—she explores how the new trade relationship was re-established and became part of the politics of rapprochement.

She explores businesspeople as crucial agents of diplomacy, looking at the American trade culture that developed, and applying cultural and business history methodologies to the diplomatic history of rapprochement. Additionally, she explores the American political ideas about trade with China, which assumed burgeoning trade ties would assist the rapprochement process by creating mutual interests from which political negotiations could develop. This reflected the 1970s context in which the notion of interdependence became a key idea in American foreign policy: an idea that was in many ways a precursor to that of globalization.

Her research raises questions about the relationships between politics, economics, culture and business in America. She argues that even though America’s trade with China in the 1970s was important politically, by the end of the decade rather than shaping the politics of rapprochement the reverse became true. The trade between the two countries was instead substantially influenced by political considerations—none more so than the political desire for interdependence.

The historical experience of the 1970s shows the nuances in the contemporary correlation made between trade and peace in Sino-American relations. Rather than a linear dynamic, politics deeply influenced trade, highlighting the key role that deliberate cultivation and political willpower played in supporting and encouraging what is today the world’s most important trade relationship.

Selected Recent Publications

"History lessons from China for future relations with Cuba." The Conversation, February 11, 2015.


Adam Liff - Politics, Princeton University

Project: Shadowing the Hegemon? National Identity, Global Norms, and the Military Trajectories of Rising Powers

Liff photo

Adam Liff is Assistant Professor of East Asian International Relations in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University.

Professor Liff also serves as an Associate-in-Research at Harvard University's Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. His primary disciplinary fields of academic inquiry are international relations and security studies with a particular focus on contemporary security affairs in the Asia-Pacific region. Liff’s scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in International Security, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Strategic Studies, Security Studies, and The China Quarterly, and he has been cited widely in global media, including in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Reuters, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Financial Times, and The Economist. Other recent publications include several book chapters in edited volumes and articles published or forthcoming in Foreign Affairs, The Washington Quarterly, Foreign Policy, Asahi Shimbun, Asan Forum, The National Interest, The Diplomat, PacNet, and Asia-Pacific Bulletin. Professor Liff holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Politics from Princeton University and a B.A. from Stanford University.
 

Liff’s dissertation sought to develop a general theory of great power emergence by explaining variation in the military trajectories of rising powers in the modern era, past and present. By analyzing data gathered on seven cases of rising powers, including during eighteen months of field work in mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States, Liff argued against the prevailing materialist conventional wisdom that rising powers’ major strategic choices are in all cases shaped primarily by shrewd calculations of the state’s economic and security interests. Rather, he shows that in many cases of historical and theoretical significance, non-material variables—above all, national identity and prevailing contemporaneous global norms of appropriate ‘great power’ behavior—have powerful and independent effects on rising powers’ decisions about military policy.


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.
 


← Return to Fellowship home