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Help finding faculty focused on fragile states/interventions


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I would love some help looking for schools that have faculty who share my interests. Unfortunately, most programs just have long lists of faculty with bios that may or may not work, so it's hard to get an idea of who is doing research in what.



I am interested fragile states


More specifically I'm interested in answering the questions:


1. How/why do conflicts (particularly intrastate conflicts) end? What drives actors' decisions to stop fighting. I'm interested in formal models of state and insurgent decision making, the role of leadership in conflict resolution, and the effectiveness of various third party interventions in ending a conflict.


2. What drives the failure or success of fragile states? I've seen a lot of work done on the economic variables which drive the success of fragile states. It seems like a ton of work is currently being done on CVE, civil society building, rule of law promotion, etc. ie. "soft power solutions," to the problem of fragile states. I'd like to look into the evidence coming out of these programs to see what is or isn't effective, and then see what the success/failures of these programs tells us about current theories on the determinants of fragile states' success. This seems like it would be a good dissertation topic. USAID Forward is really pushing this sort of new capacity building/civil society focused aid programming, and they do a good job publishing project evaluations and datasets.


I could also blend questions one and two by looking at aid programs and interventions aimed at countering extremism and reducing violence, and then fitting the results into current theories/models on groups' decision making, recruitment, etc.


I've spent a lot of time looking at faculty publications, so far I am interested in:





I've also sort of written off:




- due to lack of shared interests with faculty, or in the case of Columbia, the funding, length of study, and cost of living in NYC just didn't seem to add up.


I've also been looking at  Northeastern but not closely enough to have made a decision yet. I'm hoping find 4-5 places to apply to, one of which is Duke since I'm already there and know that I like the faculty.


Also, I feel like Duke and MIT might be kind of reaches, so I'd rather not round out the rest with "Harvard, Yale, Princeton."

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Yes. Problem is: a large portion of research in these areas is written by people who don't work in polsci programs. You have people in pubpol, anthropology, criminology etc. all writing on similar topics. I'm also finding a large proportion of publications coming from people who don't teach.


It's unsurprising given the interdisciplinary nature of terrorism studies and the study of fragile states, but it does make the search harder.  Hence, trying to ask if anyone else has already looked into this.

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I would take a look at two schools that I know off the top of my head. Penn State has James Piazza, Douglas Lemke, and Zaryab Iqbal. Arizona State has Cameron Thies, David Siroky, and Will Moore joining in the fall from Florida State. Hope this helps.

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due to lack of shared interests with faculty, or in the case of Columbia, the funding, length of study, and cost of living in NYC just didn't seem to add up.


I get the first part, but how is columbia different than other programs w/r/t funding and length of study?


also check out HE Goemans at Rochester.

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Thanks for all the help, much appreciated!


The thing I found worrying about Columbia is that students with masters need to enroll, then wait for a semester to be granted advanced standing. Their FAQ points out that the funding is not enough to raise a family on, which I can believe given the high rents and general cost of living in the city.


That and of course, I'd be worried about getting in. I don't want to apply for mostly schools where I have a narrow chance of making it in and MIT seemed like a better fit.


For anyone with similar questions in the future, UMD seems like a great fit, although the research focus of the faculty seems to address civil wars more than fragile states, there is a lot of overlap in some areas.

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