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

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. 


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).
 


Beverly Gage - History, Columbia University

Project: The Wall Street Explosion: Capitalism, Terrorism, and the Origins of the FBI

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Beverly Gage is Professor of History and Director of Undergraduate Studies in History at Yale University.

She is a historian of 20th-century American politics and society and teaches courses on modern American political history, liberalism and conservatism, communism and anticommunism, and the craft of historical writing. She is currently writing a major new biography of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover titled G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the American Century, to be published by Viking in 2017. Her first book, The Day Wall Street Exploded, explored the dramatic story of the 1920 bombing of Wall Street and the history of early-20th-century terrorism. It is currently in production as a documentary film for broadcast on The American Experience (PBS) in late 2015. Gage writes widely for publications including The New York TimesWashington Post, The Nation, and Slate. She appears frequently on the PBS NewsHour, among other outlets, as a historical and political commentator. In 2015-2016, she was elected to serve as the first Chair of Yale’s inaugural Faculty of Arts and Sciences Senate.

Gage received her B.A. in American Studies (magna cum laude, with distinction) from Yale College in 1994, and her Ph.D. in History from Columbia University in 2004. Her dissertation received the 2004 Bancroft Dissertation Award for graduate work in U.S. History. In 2009, she received the Sarai Ribicoff award for teaching excellence in Yale College. She is a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians and an elected member of the Society of American Historians.

Selected Recent Publications

The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in its First Age of Terror (Oxford University Press, 2009)

"More 'Progressive' Than Thou" The New York Times Magazine, January 12, 2016.


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.


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.


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.
 


Jamie Morin - Political Science, Yale University

Project: Squaring the Pentagon: The Politics of Post-Cold War Defense Retrenchment

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Fellowship year: 2003

Mentor: Alton Frye, Council on Foreign Relations

Jamie Morin is the Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation for the Department of Defense.

As director, he leads an organization responsible for analyzing and evaluating the Department's plans, programs, and budgets in relation to U.S. defense objectives, projected threats, allied contributions, estimated costs, and resource constraints. To support better defense decision making, CAPE develops analytical tools and methods for analyzing national security planning and the allocation of resources. 

Prior to joining CAPE, Morin served for five years as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller. As the Air Force's chief financial officer, he was the principal advisor to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force on financial matters, responsible for the financial and analytical services necessary for the effective and efficient use of Air Force resources. 

From 2003 until his current appointment, Dr. Morin was a member of the professional staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget. In this capacity, he served as the committee's lead analyst for the defense, intelligence, and foreign affairs budgets, responsible for drafting the relevant sections of the congressional budget resolution and advising the Senate on enforcement of budget rules. Additionally, he advised the Chairman of the Budget Committee on the full range of national security issues.

In his dissertation, Morin explored how the politics of defense budgeting in the 1990s differed from that of the late Cold War, and how that affected America's national defense. He identified negative consequences stemming from the post-Cold War drawdown, but rejected the idea that they resulted from over-eager cutting of the defense budget. Rather, he argued that they resulted from a budgetary process that failed to optimally balance spending and effectiveness because it was too inflexible to deal appropriately with an uncertain future. Morin's hypotheses placed their roots in the political science literature on defense politics, but were also shaped by his extensive interviews with a long list of defense policymakers, congressional staff, and lobbyists.


Shannon Nix - History, University of Virginia

Project: ‘The Soul of our Foreign Policy’: Human Rights Politics, U.S. Foreign Policy, and the Struggle for Central America, 1976-1984

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Shannon Nix’s dissertation examines a series of transnational political struggles waged on the terrain of human rights and their influence on U.S. policy toward overlapping Central American crises during the Carter and Reagan administrations.  While recognizing the importance of traditional U.S. policymakers, it draws attention to the contribution of non-governmental organizations in Washington and their transnational advocacy networks. Often staffed by former missionaries, as well as civil rights and antiwar activists, many had close ties to mainstream religious groups. Increasingly disillusioned with U.S. Cold War policy, they sought to change Washington’s policy toward nations tragically riven by intransigent inequality and civil war. Building on longstanding commitments to the Social Gospel, fused with emerging theological commitments to ecumenicism and social justice, they used human rights politics to shape both policy and the domestic political climate. More than a Cold War struggle for Central American hearts and minds, this was, quite literally, one for the “soul of American foreign policy.”


Sarah E. Robey - History, Temple University

Project: The Atomic American: Citizenship in a Nuclear State, 1945-1963

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Fellowship year: 2016

Mentor: Brian Balogh, University of Virginia

Robey has been selected as the Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellow in Technology and Democracy .

Nuclear weapons altered the relationship between the American state and its citizens in the early Cold War. From the Trinity Test forward, Americans grappled with the consequences of the nuclear weapons revolution. Among other challenges facing the nation, it was clear that military defense against a nuclear strike was nearly impossible and civilian preparation programs could cost billions of dollars. Should deterrence peacekeeping fail, Americans would face an attack without military protection, making large-scale civilian casualties unavoidable. “And yet,” Senator Brien McMahon puzzled in 1950, “the first duty of a sovereignty is to protect its people.” Nuclear weapons unsettled Americans’ ideas about federal protection, individual responsibility, and public safety. Under the threat posed by nuclear weapons technology, these conflicting concerns shaped domestic and international policy and framed national identity in the Atomic Age.

“The Atomic American: Citizenship in a Nuclear State, 1945-1963” explores the ways American policymakers, civilians, and scientists understood nuclear survival to be a product of the democratic relationship between the citizen and the state. Many new voices of authority emerged at the intersection of nuclear science and American civic culture: scientists became policy experts, science fiction marshaled moral critique, politicians assumed unpopular platforms for disarmament, and housewives became environmental advocates. By examining how nuclear survival was both a grassroots phenomenon and a top-down federal project, this dissertation demonstrates that the state, its citizenry, and science were interconnected agents of change in American Cold War society.


Joy Rohde - History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Project: "The Social Scientists' War": Expertise in a Cold War Nation

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Joy Rohde is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Rohde specializes in U.S. national security policy and the history of science. She is interested broadly in the role that scientific experts—especially social scientists—play in American national security and foreign policy. Her book, Armed with Expertise: The Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War, investigates the Cold War origins and contemporary consequences of the Pentagon’s social research contracting system. Her current research projects include a study of the role social scientists play in the Global War on Terror and a longitudinal study of the myriad ways the American state has deployed cultural knowledge over the last century to understand, manage, and control its perceived enemies.

In the late 1950s, Army officials and civilian social scientists joined forces to combat the spread of communism to the so-called "emerging nations" of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This fusion of social science and statecraft reached its acme at the Special Operations Research Office (SORO), an interdisciplinary research institute created in 1956 by the Army and American University. For 15 years SORO's political scientists, social psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists worked with Pentagon officials to illuminate the complex social processes involved in the creation of stable, democratic nations. But as the Vietnam War intensified in the late 1960s, a vocal community of academicians lambasted their Army-funded peers as servants of a war-mongering state, forcing SORO's closure in 1969. Rather than severing their close ties to the American state, however, SORO's experts relocated to a network of Washington think tanks and consulting agencies. From there, social scientists continued to influence American national security policy while the authority of their academic counterparts waned. Rohde's dissertation used the case of SORO to examine the multifaceted ways that social knowledge and state power extended, shaped, and reinforced one another during the Cold War.

Selected Recent Publications

"Police militarization is a legacy of cold war paranoia." The Conversation, October 22, 2014.

Armed with Expertise: The Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013). 

From Expert Democracy to Beltway Banditry: How the Anti-War Movement Expanded the Military-Academic-Industrial Complex.” in Mark Solovey and Hamilton Cravens, eds., Cold War Social Science: Knowledge Production, Liberal Democracy, and Human Nature (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012): 137-53.

The Last Stand of the Psychocultural Cold Warriors: Military Contract Research in Vietnam.Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 47 (2011): 232-50.


Matthew Scroggs - Politics, University of Virginia

Project: "Democracies Under Fire: How Democratic Targets and Allies Respond to Coercive Threats"

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Fellowship year: 2017

Mentor: William Wohlforth, Dartmouth College

When do states concede to coercive threats? While the majority of research has focused on the states initiating these challenges, comparatively little attention has been given to the targets, the states that actually face the choice of whether to stand firm or back down. Matthew Scroggs' project examines the role that a target’s regime-type, broadly construed as democratic versus non-democratic states, plays in the decision-making process, arguing that democracies are more likely to concede when threatened due to the higher costs they pay for foreign policy failure and the relative ease that challengers have in identifying whether democracies are vulnerable to coercion. Further, Scroggs' argument also extends to the role of democratic allies, who are less reliable when threats of violence are employed against their protégés. Scroggs utilizes in-depth case studies, such as the Suez Crisis and the U.S.S. Pueblo incident, to demonstrate how his theory works in practice, as well as statistical analysis with data from the Militarized Compellent Threat (MCT) and Threat and Imposition of Economic Sanctions (TIES) datasets to show the external validity of his claims.


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