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

Noel Anderson - Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Project: The Geopolitics of Civil War: External Military Aid, Competitive Intervention, and Duration of Intrastate Conflict

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While civil wars proliferated during the Cold War, their numbers have declined in the post-Cold War period. What is more, new conflicts breaking out since 1990 have much shorter average durations than their Cold War predecessors. What explains changing trends in the incidence and duration of civil war? To answer this question, Anderson’s dissertation explores how inter-state competition affects intra-state conflict. He argues that the varying prevalence of what he calls competitive interventions—two-sided, simultaneous military assistance from different third-party states to both government and rebel combatants—is central to the decline in war, and he develops a theory of competitive intervention that models and explains why this form of external military aid prolongs violent intrastate conflicts. The theory explores the micro-foundations of military aid and civil war; explains the unique strategic dilemmas competitive interventions entail for third-party interveners; and accounts for the decline in the incidence and duration of civil war by linking changes at the level of the international system to variation in the prevalence of competitive intervention over time. To test his theory, Anderson combines statistical analyses of a novel time-series dataset of military aid to civil war combatants (1975-2009) with detailed case studies, fieldwork, and archival research. His results shed new light on the international dimensions of civil war, address ongoing debates concerning the utility of military aid as a foreign policy instrument, identify which forms of intervention facilitate—and which impede—conflict management strategies, and inform policies prescriptions aimed at resolving today’s most violent conflicts.


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).
 


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.


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).
 


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

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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."


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.


Peter Henne - Government, Georgetown University

Project: Varieties of Hesitation: Religious Politics and US-Muslim Counterterrorism Cooperation

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Fellowship year: 2013

Mentor: John Owen, University of Virginia

Peter Henne is Assistant Professor of Political Science

Peter Henne is currently assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Vermont. Henne's research and teaching focus on the Middle East and global religious politics. He is particularly interested in the different ways states restrict or support religion, and what effect this has on their international and domestic politics. His first book—which will be published by Cambridge University Press—analyzes how Muslim states' relationship with Islam affects their counterterrorism policies; the study includes a large-n statistical analysis as well as in-depth case studies of Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates

Henne received his PhD in Governemnt from Georgetown University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Vassar College. Henne's dissertation analyzes the effects of religion on Muslim states’ cooperation with U.S.-led counter-terrorism initiatives. Muslim responses to US counter-terrorism initiatives—both before and after 9/11—have been marked by both significant religiously-influenced opposition among Muslim societies and general cooperation on the part of Muslim states. At the same time, there has been great variation in the extent of Muslim states’ cooperation, and occasional periods of tension between the United States and Muslim states. Peter points to debates over the proper role of religion in society and the political and institutional conditions of religion in Muslim states to explain these patterns of opposition and cooperation. In response to religious-secular divide in recent decades, some Muslim states have established close ties to religious groups over recent decades, granting these groups disproportionate political power and giving the state an incentive to adopt religiously-motivated policies. Others have allied with secular groups, and maintained some autonomy from religious groups. When the former domestic situation coincides with a religiously-contentious international issue—like the American-led “Global War on Terror”—religious groups gain influence over the state’s foreign policy. This can result in tensions over US counter-terrorism initiatives. The latter group of states, in contrast, can insulate their foreign policy from domestic religious politics. Peter’s dissertation includes a quantitative study of counter-terrorism cooperation and case studies of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. 

Peter Henne was the lead researcher for a report the Pew Research Center released in February 2015. The report analyzes trends in government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion around the world. He has made several media appearances to promote the report, including on NPR's All Things Considered.

Selected Recent Publications

"Pew Study On Religion Finds Increased Harassment Of Jews." interview by Tom Gjelten, All Things Considered, NPR, February 26, 2015.

"Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities.Pew Research FactTank, February 26, 2015.

"A look at the damage governments inflict on religious property.Pew Research FactTank, July 10, 2014.

"How Religious Harassment Varies by region Across the Globe." with Angelina Theodorou, Pew Research FactTank, May 2, 2014.


Zane Kelly - Political Science, University of Colorado, Boulder

Project: Finance at War: Debt, Borrowing, and Conflict

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Fellowship year: 2010

Mentor: Erik Gartzke, University of California, San Diego

Zane Kelly is Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Washington.

Kelly's areas of specialization include international relations, comparative politics, and political methodology.

In his dissertation, Kelly argued that the foreign policy options available to states are strongly conditioned by their financial circumstances and relationships. Sovereign debt and access to international credit influence the range of choices available to even the most powerful nations; yet international relations literature largely overlooks the impact of finance on state behavior. War finance involves strategic choices between taxes and debt, and between international and domestic creditors. By making government accountable to a diverse international constituency, borrowing abroad allows leaders to sidestep the conventional relationship between taxpayers and government.

His dissertation contributed to existing literature in three ways: by offering an alternative explanation for peace among nations; by expanding regime characteristics to include variation in credit-worthiness; and by enlarging state-capacity beyond taxation and domestic elements. Kelley argued that as the ratio between wartime demand for capital relative to domestic capacity increases, so does the likelihood that states will seek foreign investment during wartime. He then explored four main conclusions: first, states that are able to raise money through sovereign debt will be more likely to engage in conflicts and international borrowing is more likely to precede major wars; second, controlling for other measures of state capacity, overall higher levels of sovereign debt will act as a constraint on belligerent leaders; third, mutual holdings of debt will make states less likely to engage in conflict with one another; fourth, changing terms of foreign loans reflect both the likelihood of interstate war and the probability that one side will prevail over another.


Ronald Krebs - Political Science, University of Washington

Project: A School for the Nation? Military Institutions and the Boundaries of Nationality

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Fellowship year: 2002

Mentor: Elizabeth Kier, University of Washington

Ronald Krebs is Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota.

Krebs was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor for 2006–2008. He has been awarded research fellowships by the Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellows Program at the University of Texas at Austin, the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard, and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. Krebs conducts research at the juncture of international relations and comparative politics, with a particular interest in the consequences of war and military service. Krebs has recently begun a major research project exploring the effects of war on democratic institutions and processes. His book, Fighting for Rights: Military Service and the Politics of Citizenship, explores the conditions under which and the mechanisms through which military participation policies shape contestation over citizenship rights. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2003.

Krebs' dissertation, "A School for the Nation? Military Institutions and the Boundaries of Nationality," explored the political consequences of patterns of military inclusion and exclusion in several historical and national contexts, including the United States, Israel, and imperial Germany. In it, Krebs surveyed the political legacy of the desegregation of the U.S. armed forces, including a case study of African-Americans' military service in the 20th century which explained why black claims-making premised upon military service failed to move white audiences after World War I.

Selected Recent Publications

Narrative and the Making of US National Security. (Cambridge University Press, August 2015)

"Rhetoric, Legitimation, and Grand Strategy." ed. with Stacie E. Goddard. Special issue of Security Studies. 24, no. 1 (January-March 2015).

In War's Wake: International Conflict and the Fate of Liberal Democracy. Edited with Elizabeth Kier. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.


Sarah Kreps - Government, Georgetown University

Project: Power, Arms, and Allies: U.S. Multilateralism in an Age of Unipolarity

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Sarah Kreps is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University and the co-director of the Cornell Law School International Law-International Relations Colloquium.

Kreps' research focuses on issues of international security, particularly questions of conflict and cooperation, alliance politics, political economy, and nuclear proliferation. Current projects examine the effect of war on domestic institutions; the ethics of conflict; and the relationship between financial costs of war and democratic accountability.

Her dissertation asked: Why does the unipolar power often intervene multilaterally when it has the capacity to act alone? What explains the variation between the broad multilateralism associated with interventions such as the first Gulf War and, conversely, cases in which the U.S. is more willing to exercise its freedom of action and intervene more unilaterally, as in the 2003 Iraq war? Kreps's dissertation addressed these questions through a combination of theoretical and empirical work on U.S.-led interventions since 1945. Kreps discussed the role of domestic politics, normative constraints, international structure, and the "shadow of the future" on U.S. decisions to intervene multilaterally when a unilateral option is available. Ultimately, her research explained why and under what conditions the hegemony intervenes multilaterally against a weaker adversary and when the U.S. privileges unilateral approaches to intervention.

Selected Recent Publications

Coalitions of Convenience: United States Military Interventions after the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 2011).

"The Next Drone Wars: Preparing for Profileration.Foreign Affairs, March/April 2014.

"Ground the Drones? The Real Problem with Unmanned Aircraft.Foreign Affairs, 4 December 2013.

"Political Parties at War: A Study of American War Finance, 1789-2010." with Gustavos Flores-Macias, American Political Science Review 107, No. 4 (November 2013): 833-848.


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)
 


Kyle M. Lascurettes - Politics, University of Virginia

Project: Orders of Exclusion: The Strategic Sources of International Orders and Great Power Ordering

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Fellowship year: 2011

Mentor: John Ikenberry, Princeton University

Kyle Lascurettes is Assistant Professor of International Affairs at Lewis & Clark College.

Lascurettes received his Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia in 2012.  His research is in the areas of international security and international organization, and his interests include the strategic use of ideas in international relations, psychology and world politics, the intersection of trade and interstate conflict, and how states and statesmen learn from history in global affairs.

Lascurettes' dissertation was awarded the American Political Science Association Kenneth N. Waltz Prize for best dissertation in the field of international security and arms control.  The project sought to explain the preferences of great powers for establishing or reestablishing order in the international system, here defined as a set of established, foundational rules accepted by a significant number of important actors at a given time. He argues that powerful states most often advocate visions of order that will weaken or discredit the entity they find most threatening to their preferred vision of order, be it another powerful state, an ideological movement or a transnational network. If successful, they are thus able to create an order premised on weakening, opposing and above all excluding this threat from reaping the benefits of stable international order. The project is macro-historical in scope and analyzes a broad set of cases to elucidate general patterns of preferences for order from the advent of the modern state system through the American Century to the present.


Adam Liff - Politics, Princeton University

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

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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.


Sean L. Malloy - History, Stanford University

Project: Henry L. Stimson and the American Foreign Policy Tradition

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Sean Malloy is Associate Professor of History at University of California, Merced.

Malloy's research interests include the study of war and morality, particularly with respect to the targeting of civilians in wartime. Most recently, Malloy's work has focused on the American decision to use atomic weapons against Japanese cities and civilians in August 1945. 

Malloy's dissertation, "Henry L. Stimson and the American Foreign Policy Tradition," focused on the former Secretary of War's conceptions of international relations and political economy and their contribution to the development of American foreign policy in the 20th century. He also examined the variety of methods that Stimson sought to employ in order to ensure the level of international stability that he believed necessary for American security. Malloy focused particularly on Stimson's link between the growth of American trade and the propagation of democracy and peace, both in the developed and developing world.

Selected Recent Publications

Atomic Tragedy: Henry L. Stimson and the Decision to Use the Bomb Against Japan (Cornell University Press, 2008).

"Liberal Democracy and the Lure of Bombing in the Interwar United States." in Bruce Schulman, ed., Making the American Century: Studies in 20th Century Culture, Politics, and Economy. (Oxford University Press, 2014): 109-123. 

"Uptight in Babylon: Eldridge Cleaver's Cold War." Diplomatic History 37, no. 3 (June 2013): 538-571.

"'A Very Pleasant Way to Die': Radiation Effects and the Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb Against Japan.Diplomatic History 36, no. 3 (June 2012): 515-545.


Oriana Skylar Mastro - Politics, Princeton University

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

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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.
 


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)


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.


Aaron Rapport - Political Science, University of Minnesota

Project: Planning in the Shadow of the Future: U.S. Military Interventions and Time Horizons

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Fellowship year: 2010

Mentor: Jack Levy, Rutgers University

Aaron Rapport is a Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University.

He is also a Fellow at Corpus Christi College and was previously an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Rapport's research interests include international security, political psychology, and U.S. foreign policy. He has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses on these topics, as well as qualitative research methodology.  His book, Waging War, Planning Peace: U.S. Noncombat Operations and Major Wars came out in 2015 and was part of Cornell University Press’s Security Affairs series. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the journals International Security, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Peace Research, and Security Studies.

Rapport's dissertation examined cases of major U.S. involvement in military campaigns from 1945 to 2003 in order to illuminate factors that caused state leaders to underestimate the long-term costs of foreign military intervention. Scholars of international relations have noted that the tendency to underestimate long-term costs of military action has pervaded thinking in the United States as well as that of other state leaders considering intervention. He argued that the cognitive process by which people evaluate future events can help account for poor strategic assessment.

Selected Recent Publications

Waging War, Planning Peace: U.S. Noncombat Operations and Major Wars (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015).

"Whatever He Decides, Afghanistan Will Hurt Obama.The Providence Journal, October 2009.
 


Jonathan Renshon - Government, Harvard University

Project: Fighting for Status: Prestige Motivations and Conflict in World Politics

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Fellowship year: 2011

Mentor: William Wohlforth, Dartmouth College

Jonathan Renshon is Trice Faculty Scholar and Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Renshon received his Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Harvard University in 2012. The focus of his research lies at the intersection of the psychology of judgment and decision-making and international security. His work has appeared in Political Psychology, Foreign Policy and Journal of Conflict Resolution. He is also a researcher in the Emotion and Decision-Making Group at the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory.

The purpose of his dissertation is to investigate how the concern for status and prestige affects states’ decisions in the domain of international security. There is widespread agreement, both within the political science discipline and the foreign policy community, that status matters, though very little in the way of focused research on how and when it does so. This has left us with two significant gaps in our understanding of how status affects national security and foreign policy behavior. Firstly, and most importantly, our understanding of status in international politics has been guided thus far by intuition, not by evidence. Furthermore, relying on the assumption that "status matters" has left us with no extant theory of variation in states’ concern for status or understanding of its specific implications for foreign policy or international conflict. What is needed—and what his research is designed to provide—is an investigation into the systematic ways in which the desire to increase or prevent the loss of status affects the behavior of states, especially as these concerns relate to the propensity for violent conflict.

Selected Recent Publications

"Status Deficits and War." International Organization (Forthcoming: June 22, 2016) 

"Emotions and the Micro-Foundations of Commitment Problems." with Jooa Julia Lee and Dustin Tingley, International Organization (June 2, 2016)

"The Interaction of Testosterone and Cortisol Is Associated With Attained Status in Male Executives." with Gary D. Sherman et al. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2015)

"Physiological Arousal and Political Beliefs." with Julia J. Lee and Dustin Tingley, Political Psychology 36, no. 5 (2015): 569-585.


Damion Thomas - History, University of California, Los Angeles

Project: "The Good Negroes": African-American Athletes and the Cultural Cold War, 1945–68

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Fellowship year: 2002

Mentor: Jeffrey Sammons, University of North Carolina

Damion Thomas is Assistant Professor of Physical Cultural Studies and affiliate faculty in the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland.

Thomas's research interests include:  Sport and United States race relations, Black internationalism, African American popular culture, U.S. foreign relations, and Black masculinity. His book, Globetrotting: African American Athletes and Cold War Politics, provides a transnational perspective to the study of domestic American racial affairs by examining U.S. government attempts to manipulate international perceptions of U.S. race relations during the early days of the Cold War.  As nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin American gained their independence, the State Department began to send prosperous African Americans overseas to showcase African Americans as the preeminent citizens of the African Diaspora, rather than as victims of racial oppression. Athletes were prominently featured in the State Department goodwill tours, designed to undermine anti-Americanism. However, as African-American athletes began to provide counter narratives to State Department claims about American exceptionalism—most notably during the 1968 Mexico City Olympic protest—the transatlantic relationships these tours fostered were co-opted as a means to foster African Diasporic cultural and political agendas.

Thomas's dissertation, "'The Good Negroes': African-American Athletes and the Cultural Cold War, 1945–1968," examined State Department attempts to manipulate international perceptions of United States race relations by sending African-American athletes abroad as cultural ambassadors. This project argued that the politics of symbolism associated with the African-American athletes and integrated teams were designed to give legitimacy to existing racial inequalities in American society during the Cold War/Civil Rights Era. The symbol of the integrated athlete allowed the government to argue that the racial order was not an impediment to the advancement of individual African Americans.

Selected Recent Publications

Globetrotting: African American Athletes and Cold War Politics (University of Illinois Press, 2012).


James G. Wilson - History, University of Virginia

Project: Bolts from the Blue: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the End of the Cold War

Wilson photo

James Graham Wilson is a Historian at the U.S. Department of State.

He received his B.A. from Vassar College in 2003, and subsequently worked as a research assistant to Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. He has presented portions of his dissertation in Rome, Geneva, Cologne, and Amsterdam, and has received the U.Va Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Humanities & Social Sciences as well as the U.Va Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Recent articles have appeared in Diplomacy and Statecraft, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of American Studies.

James's first book, The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev's Adaptability, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War was published by Cornell University Press in 2013.  It was based upon his dissertation, which drew upon fresh archival evidence that illuminates decision-making in Washington and Moscow during the last ten years of the Cold War. It contends that policymakers neither formulated a strategy for victory nor even articulated what victory meant—at least until the Berlin Wall crumbled in November 1989; that the revolutions of 1989-1990 were made possible by broad historical forces such as changes in the international economy and the nascent information age; and that the twilight struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union ended peacefully because of Gorbachev's devotion to new thinking, new faces, and the Soviet leader's (ill-founded) belief that he could reconfigure communism to adapt to a new era.

Selected Recent Publications

"Key Figures at the End of the Cold War." C-Span Discussion, April 28, 2014.

The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev's Adaptability, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War (Cornell University Press, 2013)


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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