Research Team



When I was stuck out in the wilds of West Texas, I largely worked by myself.  Since then, I have worked with a number of co-authors and depending on many graduate and undergraduate students.


David Auerswald, National War College: Book project and articles focused on the domestic and alliance politics of multilateral military operations.

R. William Ayres, Wright State University: Articles and book on irredentism (For Kin or Country).

Johanna Birnir, University of Maryland: Research on institutions and ethnic conflict, improving Minorities at Risk dataset.

Amy Cox, Arcadia University, defended her dissertation in 2009: she works on terrorism in the Western world.   She has worked on my project, Democracy at Risk? Elections, Institutions and Ethnic Conflict.

Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, Iowa State University: new project on diaspora mobilization and impact.

Erin Jenne, Central European University: Articles on separatism, new project on diaspora mobilization and impact.

David Lanoue, Columbus State University.  Article and related papers on institutions and ethnic conflict.

Jonathan Paquin, Université de Laval (former doctoral student): article on international politics of ethnic conflict.

Samuel Stanton, Grove City College (my first doctoral student): article on institutions and ethnic conflict.

David Steinberg, University of Oregon (former undergraduate student): Articles analyzing the role of governments in exacerbating or ameliorating ethnic conflict.

Ora Szekely completed her dissertation this summer and will be teaching at Clark University in the fall of 2011. She did extensive research and editing for For Kin or Country and War and Intra-State Conflict, Governments and Security.  She also helped on the project on the complexity of multilateral military operations, and we are co-authoring a paper on how bureaucratic competition might actually have positive consequence, not just negative ones.

Suranjan Weeraratne, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (starting fall 2011).  His dissertation was on variations in violence against the Chinese in Indonesia.   He has worked on a variety of projects with me, with most of the effort on Democracy at Risk? Elections, Institutions and Ethnic Conflict.   

Marie-Joëlle Zahar, Université de Montréal: Edited volume and articles on application of deterrence theory to intra-state conflict.

Ph.D Students

My graduate students share many qualities: they are bright, work really hard, asking interesting questions.  They largely focus on the intersection between international and domestic politics, trying to understand the causes and dynamics of intense political conflict--violence.  They will all make great professors, so if you have any questions about hiring any of these folks (and you should hire them), contact me.

Aisha Ahmad is completing her dissertation on the economic foundations of Islamic movements in Afghanistan and Somalia, exploring the relationships between local business communities and the Taliban and Islamic Courts Union, respectively.   Her dissertation has been supported by a SSHRC doctoral award, her field research was funded by the IDRC doctoral field research grant, and she won the SDF award to fund the completion of her PhD.   She has also been awarded the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy doctoral award, which was further recognized with the Harold D. Lasswell Award.  Her work on Afghanistan has significantly informed my own.  She is spending 2011-12 as a Religion and International Affairs Fellow at the Belfer Center at Harvard University

Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé defended her dissertation during the fall of 2010: "Tackling the Anarchy Within : The Role of Deterrence and Great Powers in Peace Operations."  She focuses on peacekeeping deployments in Africa, considering how deterrent strategies interact with the relative power of intervening countries to improve peace operations’ efficiency.  She has worked with me on my efforts to understand the fiscal consequences of nationalist politics in Quebec and on the civil-military relations of France as it operates in Afghanistan.

Mark Mattner is a Ph.D. candidate (but not mine) in Political Science at McGill, researching community responses to oil production in Africa. He has worked with me on the politics of Germany's efforts in Afghanistan.

Jessica Trisko is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at McGill specializing in the International Relations of Development and the Political Economy of Violence. Her dissertation, "Aiding and Abetting: Foreign Aid and State Coercion," has been funded by a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Doctoral Fellowship and the Security and Defence Forum's Doctoral Scholarship.
Drawing upon the international security and contentious politics literatures, Jessica argues that foreign aid increases the likelihood of state violence against civilians through its effect on the recipient state?s coercive capacity. The coercive effect of foreign aid is, however, conditioned by the structural characteristics of the recipient state and its past history of conflict. This hypothesis is tested using a time-series cross-national dataset and through multiple case studies. Jessica is currently a Visiting Fellow with the Program on Order, Conflict and Violence at Yale University and has previously taught POLI 346: American Foreign Policy at McGill.


Past and present members of my research team at McGill include a number of undergraduates:  Rachel Brydolf-Horowitz, Chris Chhim, Bronwen DeSena, Vania Draguieva, Katarina Germani, Gisele Irola, Alexia Jablonski, Michelle Meyer,  Jenyfer Maisonneuve, Claudia Martinez Ochoa, Lauren Van Den Berg, and Lori Young, Isabelle Bi, Rohan Badhwar, and Majd Al Khaldi.  David Lehman was a master's student when he helped me on Kin or Country and now works in Canada's Department of National Defence.