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.


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.


Christopher Cimaglio - Communications, University of Pennsylvania

Project: "Contested Majority: The Representation of the White Working Class in US Politics from the 1930s to the 1990s"

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“Contested Majority” examines how American politicians, journalists, pollsters, academics, social movement groups, and others have studied, written about, and claimed to speak for white working class people and how this work has shaped American politics. While popular and scholarly accounts of the rise and decline of liberalism and the rise of conservatism in the twentieth century US have often given the white working class a very prominent role (for instance, as the New Deal’s popular base and the forefront of the white reaction that provided an electoral majority for conservatives), this work sometimes frames the white working class as a homogenous group with uniform political views—centered, since the late 1960s, on cultural and racial conservatism.  Placing primary emphasis on how white workers have been represented in national politics and media and those who have represented them, “Contested Majority” offers a different angle on a familiar story.  It traces how prominent understandings of white working class politics, identity, and culture—from a militant, progressive working class combating economic royalists to culturally conservative and racially anxious “Middle Americans” and “Reagan Democrats” opposed to liberal elites—emerged, circulated, impacted political contestation, and shaped elite decision-making.  In doing so, “Contested Majority” points to the power of the white working class majority as a political symbol, one that has consistently featured in debate around fundamental issues in American politics, including the legitimacy of capitalism, unions, challenges to prevailing understandings of race, gender, and class, and an activist state combating inequality.


Jesse R. Driscoll - Political Science , Stanford University

Project: Exiting Anarchy: Militia Politics and the Post-Soviet Peace

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Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: Mark Beissinger, Princeton University

Jesse Driscoll is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.

Driscoll's primary area of interest is mapping the processes by which hierarchies emerge after periods of violence. His working hypothesis is that in the modern state system, national governments establish legitimate authority through a process of identifying, labeling, monitoring, and ultimately socializing unruly populations. How (and whether) third-party assistance can aid in these tasks is disputed. Driscoll's work has focused especially on theories that account for both variation in patterns of violence against civilians and variation in settlement strategies by armed groups. He is currently managing a number of research projects in Georgia and Tajikistan, mapping social networks, party formation, voter intimidation, and the range of technologies used by semi-authoritarian regimes to stay in power.

Driscoll's dissertation demystified the mechanisms of civil war settlement in the Former Soviet Union. By carefully comparing the experiences of two states – Georgia and Tajikistan – Driscoll reconstructed narratives of state renovation based on patterns of local similarities inside new fragile states. He gathered empirical materials for his dissertation over 21 months of fieldwork in Tajikistan and Georgia. With more than 300 field interviews, Driscoll's dissertation presented a revisionist history of the conflict resolution processes that took place in these two states. He argued that peace emerged in Georgia and Tajikistan through a process that bore only a superficial resemblance to the idealized one imagined by foreign donors. The areas he examined are 1) disarming militias, 2) institutionalizing presidential power, and 3) territorial reintegration.


Joshua Dunn - Politics, University of Virginia

Project: Judges, Lawyers, and Experts: Law vs. Politics in Missouri vs. Jenkins

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Joshua Dunn is Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Dunn's research primarily focuses on constitutional history and judicial policymaking. He is the author of Complex Justice: The Case of Missouri v. Jenkins (University of North Carolina Press), which explores the judicial attempt to desegregate the Kansas City, Missouri school system. He co-edited, with Martin West, From Schoolhouse to Courthouse: The Judiciary's Role in American Education (Brookings Institution Press). He also co-authors, with Martha Derthick, a quarterly article on law and education for the journal Education Next. Previously he taught at the College of William & Mary and was a fellow in contemporary history, public policy, and American politics at the Miller Center of Public Affairs in Charlottesville, Virginia. He recieved his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2002.

Selected Recent Publications

Complex Justice: The Case of Missouri v. Jenkins. (University of North Carolina Press, 2008).

Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University. with Jon Shields (Oxford University Press, 2016).

"The Paradoxes of Politics in Colorado Springs." The Forum 12, no. 2 (2014): 329-42.

"Who Governs in God's City?" Society, 49 no. 1 (2012): 24-32.


Jasmine Farrier - Government, University of Texas - Austin

Project: Why Congress Delegates Decisions on the Budget: Institutional Origins and Consequences

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Fellowship year: 2001

Mentor: Louis Fisher, Congressional Research Service, Government Division, Library of Congress

Jasmine Farrier is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville.

Jasmine Farrier grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and developed her interest in political science as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In graduate school, she studied American political development at the University of Texas at Austin and received her Ph.D. in Government in 2000. In 2002, Farrier joined the Dept. of Political Science at the University of Louisville.  Her current research includes a new book project on inter-branch lawsuits, separation of powers, and constitutional law.

Selected Recent Publications

Passing the Buck: Congress, the Budget, and Deficits. (University Press of Kentucky, 2014).

"The Contemporary Presidency: Judicial Restraint and the New War Powers.Presidential Studies Quarterly 46, no. 2 (2016): 387-410.

"Louis Fisher on Congress and the Budget: Institutional Responsibility and the Other Taboos." PS: Political Science & Politics 46, no. 3 (2013): 510-514.

"Barack Obama and Budget Deficits: Signs of a Neo-Whig Presidency?Presidential Studies Quarterly 41, no.3 (2011): 618-634.


Brendan Green - Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Project: Two Concepts of Liberty: American Grand Strategy and the Liberal Tradition

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Brendan Green is the Stanley Kaplan Visiting Fellow in the Department of Political Science and Leadership Studies at Williams College.

Green's dissertation synthesized and added to scholarly literature that explores the effect of liberal ideology on political life in America and liberalism's influence on American foreign policy traditions. Green argued that differing visions of the concept of liberty led to the splintering of American liberal thought. He developed a theory of liberalism's effects on foreign policy and tested it on American Grand Strategy toward Europe in the 20th century, arguing that the early 20th century and inter-war period featured a back and forth contest between positive and negative versions of liberalism, resulting in the American intervention in World War I, followed by two decades of isolation. After World War II, Green contended, a still relevant conception of negative liberty among American foreign policy elites shaped America's search for an exit from Europe because it was perceived to be less costly; the expansion of the state and the mobilization of resources for foreign policy was perceived to interfere with liberty at home. He argued that by the early 1960s, positive liberty had achieved widespread acceptance among the foreign policy elite, causing a switch to a firm commitment in Europe. Not only was there no longer any perceived trade-off with liberty at home, but the positive conception of liberty implied a need to reinforce and spread market democracy abroad – key prerequisites of achieving a positive notion of political freedom. This led to a continued European commitment and its expansion, through peaceful and warlike means, after the Cold War.

Selected Recent Publications

U.S. Military Innovation Since the Cold War: Creation Without Destruction, with Harvey Sapolsky and Benjamin Friedman, (Routledge 2009).


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.


Christopher J. Lebron - Political Science, Massachusetts institute of Technology

Project: Power, Race, History and Justice in America

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Fellowship year: 2008

Mentor: Kwame Appiah, New York University

Christopher J. Lebron is Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Philosophy at Yale University

Lebron's general interests are in issues of social justice, and political theory methodology. 

His dissertation put forth a conception of justice termed democratic partnership developed for the purpose of addressing extant racial injustices in American society. He began from the premise that significant patterns of injustice in any society can only be understood, hence properly addressed, when we consider the development of the injustice over the course of a specified historical period. Further, any resulting injustice importantly centered on those aspects of social existence which undermine one's ability to partake and benefit from that society's resources and political life – he offered that this is the ability to have a sufficient amount of self-respect. Historically grounded injustices are best addressed, so he argued, by a normative theory informed by a robust conception of power, which he termed historically evolved socially embedded power. To give context to the claims of justice and this conception of power, he sought to provide a relevant political historical narrative focusing on the relations of power between major social, political, and economic institutions and persons of color and which considers the broader impact on society over time. Democratic partnerships are only fulfilled when the appropriate institutions take on the stipulated responsibilities while persons of color utilize the social bases of self-respect in order to be substantive equal members of democratic society.

Selected Recent Publications

The Color of Our Shame: Race and Justice in Our Time (Oxford University Press, July 2013).

What, To the Black American, Is Martin Luther King Jr. Day?New York Times Opinionator-The Stone, January 18, 2015.


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.


Emily Pears - Politics, University of Virginia

Project: “Chords of Sympathy: The Development of National Political Attachments in the 19th Century”

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Emily Pears is an Assistant Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College.

Her research is in the areas of 19th-century U.S. federalism, American political development, American nationalism and U.S. state building. Emily received her B.A. in Government from Claremont McKenna College and M.A in American Politics from the University of Virginia. She previously worked as a policy advocate for voting rights and redistricting reform issues in San Francisco and Sacramento, California.

Emily’s dissertation begins with the question of when and how citizens’ political attachments originally shifted from the state governments to the national government during the 19th century.  Looking specifically at how state building, party organization and cultural homogenization impacted citizens’ differential attachments to their state and national governments, Emily argues that across the United States state legislatures continued to hold public sway well past the civil war period.  While the national state grew significantly during the course of the 19th century, administrative functions at the state and local level remained the most visible to American citizens, allowing and encouraging them to maintain strong attachments to their state governments.  Party building in the 1830’s and 1840’s created an organizational structure that allowed individuals to connect their local activities to national political causes.


Justin Peck - Politics, University of Virginia

Project: Reclaiming Power: An Analysis of Congressional Reassertion Efforts, 1828–2002

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Justin Peck is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at San Francisco State University

His research is in the areas of separation of powers (Congress and the presidency), American Political Development, and American political institutions, and race policy.  His work has appeared in Studies in American Political Development (“Between Reconstructions: Congressional Action on Civil Rights, 1891-1940” (April 2010), co-authored with Jeffery A. Jenkins and Vesla M. Weaver University of Virginia), and is forthcoming at the Law and History Review (“Building Toward Major Policy Change: Congressional Action on Civil Rights, 1940-1950,” coauthored with Jeffery A. Jenkins, University of Virginia.) His writing has also been published by the online edition of Dissent magazine.

Justin received a B.A. in Politics and History from Brandeis University in 2005. After graduating he went on to work on the legislative staff and presidential campaign of then-Senator Christopher J. Dodd. After spending two years in Washington, D.C. he made the transition to University of Virginia.

Justin's dissertation examines Congressional efforts to reassert authority vis-à-vis the executive branch.  He defines congressional reassertion as any attempt by Congress–using the formal law-making process–to challenge or contest executive branch governing authority. Through a detailed search of the History of Joint Bills and Resolutions, he compiles an index of legislative reassertion bills.  He then categorizes reassertion strategies over time, systematically analyzes the motivations underlying those who instigate such efforts, and specifies the political conditions that generate them.  In so doing, he uses both historical and large-n methodology to provide insight into one neglected aspect of Congressional behavior, to illustrate patterns in reassertion activity over time, and to demonstrate the policy consequences that inhere to conflicts over “who governs” in our system of separate institutions sharing powers.

Selected Recent Publications

"Congressional Reassertion of Authority.” in Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science. ed. Rick Valelly. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013)

Building Toward Policy Change: Congressional Action on Civil Rights, 1941-1950.” with Jeffery A. Jenkins.  Law and History Review 31 (February 2013): 139-198


Robert Saldin - Politics, University of Virginia

Project: War and American Political Development: Parties, State Building, and Democratic Rights Policy

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Robert Saldin is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Montana, the Director of the Project on American Democracy and Citizenship, and a Fellow in Ethics and Public Affairs at the Mansfield Center.

Saldin's dissertation examined how wars affect American politics from the outside in and argued that they provide an explanatory framework that ties American state development, policy making, elections, and political parties together. In contrast to much of the existing American Political Development and Realignment literature, which focus solely on domestic factors, Saldin's project argued that wars affect American politics in several ways. He discussed how a greater appreciation of war's domestic impact offers guidance in understanding current domestic and international events.

Selected Recent Publications

War, the American State, and Politics Since 1898 (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

"What War's Good For: Minority Rights Expansions in American Political Development." in New Directions in American Politics, ed. Raymond La Raja (Routledge, 2013).

"William McKinley and the Rhetorical Presidency." Presidential Studies Quarterly 41, no. 1 (2011).


Kevin Wallsten - Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

Project: Political Blogs and the Bloggers Who Blog Them: An Analysis of the Who's, What's and Why's of Political Blogging

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Kevin Wallsten is Assistant Professor of Political Science at California State University in Long Beach.

Despite the recent explosion in blogging, there have been relatively few empirical studies of the political blogging phenomenon. Wallsten's research project situated the role of political blogs in the American political system by addressing four sets of interrelated questions. First, who blogs and why? Second, do political bloggers use their blogs primarily as "soapboxes" (meaning they are expressions of personal opinions), "transmission belts" (meaning they simply provide links to websites or quote sources with little or no commentary from the blogger), "mobilizers" (meaning they are calls to action) or "listening posts" (meaning they elicit feedback from their audience)? Third, to the extent that these actors use their blogs as soapboxes for expressing their opinions, what is the content of this political expression? Finally, what impact are political blogs having on public discourse, mainstream media coverage and the policy making process? Taken together, the answers to these questions shed light on what the emergence of political blogs means for the quality and functioning of democracy in the United States.

Selected Recent Publications

"Racial prejudice is driving opposition to paying college athletes. Here’s the evidence." with Tatishe M. Nteta and Lauren A. McCarthy, The Monkey Cage, The Washington Post (December 30, 2015)

"Why American Catholics may not be persuaded by Pope Francis’s message on immigration." with Tatishe Nteta, The Monkey Cage, The Washington Post (September 27, 2015) 

"It’s time to end anonymous comments sections." with Melinda Tarsi, The Monkey Cage, The Washington Post (August 19, 2014).

Old Media, New Media Sources: The Blogosphere’s Influence on Print Media News Coverage.” International Journal of E-Politics 4, no. 2 (July 2013). 


Emily Zackin - Politics, Princeton University

Project: Positive Rights in the Constitutions of the United States

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Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: Tom Burke, Wellesley College

Emily Zackin is Assistant Professor of Political Science at The Johns Hopkins University.

Zackin's research interests include constitutional law and civil liberties, American political and constitutional development, social movements, constitutional theory, and American political thought.  Her book Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places: Why State Constitutions Contain America’s Positive Rights was published by Princeton University Press in 2013.

As a Miller Center fellow in 2008-09, Zackin's dissertation examined the long tradition of positive rights in American politics, focusing specifically on movements directed at amending state constitutions. She examined three movements from different historical periods (education rights, labor rights, and victims' rights), each of which resulted in widespread constitutional activism at the state level. Zackin argued that even if we accept the conventional distinction between positive and negative rights, the American constitutional tradition still includes positive rights. Her research demonstrated that, although state constitutions are more detailed and less enduring than the U.S. constitution, they are recognizably constitutional and trump both legislatures and courts, thereby allowing activists to mobilize around them to change government policy.

Selected Recent Publications

Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places: Why State Constitutions Contain America's Positive Rights (Princeton University Press, 2013).

American Constitutional Exceptionalism Revisited” with Mila Versteeg, University of Chicago Law Review 81, no. 4 (Fall 2014): 1641-1707.

"Kentucky’s Constitutional Crisis and the Many Meanings of Judicial Independence.Studies in Law, Politics & Society 58 (2012): 73-99.

"What’s Happened to American Federalism?" (Review Essay) Polity 43, no. 3 (July 2011): 388–403.


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