Meet the Fellows

The 2015–2016 dissertation fellows come from five campuses and four departments (anthropology, agricultural and resource economics, economics, and political science) across the University of California. 

Herb York Global Security Fellows

  • Philippe Assouline

    Political Science, UCLA

    Proposal Title: Framing and Intractable Conflicts

  • Maya Duru

    Political Science, UC San Diego

    Proposal Title: Electoral Targeting of Disaster Crop Insurance in Mexico

  • Ian Finn

    Economics, UC Irvine

    Proposal Title: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Antebellum Slave Revolts in the United States

  • Myung Chul Kim

    Political Science, UCLA

    Proposal Title: The Meaning of Nuclear Proliferation: Nuclear Revolution Revisited

  • Adam Lichtenheld

    Adam Lichtenheld

    Political Science, UC Berkeley

    Proposal Title: Making Migrations: Population Displacement as a Tool of Statecraft

    I am interested in forced migration, civil war, and peacebuilding. My research focuses on the use of population displacement as a tool of statecraft, UN peacekeeping, and the links between refugee flows, nationalism, and violence.

  • Jacob Marder

    Jacob Marder

    Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis

    Proposal Title: The Impact of Chinese Rare Earth Policy on U.S. Defense Interests

    I am interested in the relationships between geopolitics, economic development, and natural resources. My dissertation examines these linkages in the context of the global market for rare earth metals, which are used in products ranging from smart phones to smart bombs. This industry has received substantial attention from U.S. policymakers owing to China’s role in producing over 90 percent of global supply. My research examines China’s comparative advantage in production, along with the effect that recent volatility in the market has had on affecting entry by U.S. producers.  I spent seven months living as an exchange student in China in 2007. From 2009 to 2011, I served with the U.S. Peace Corps in Ghana.  

  • Matthew McCoy

    Anthropology, UCLA

    Proposal Title: Experiencing the Peace Walls: Ethics, Security, and Segregation in Post-Conflict Belfast
  • Eric Mosinger

    Eric Mosinger

    Political Science, UC Irvine

    Proposal Title: Brothers or Others in Arms? Explaining Rebel Fragmentation in Civil War

    My research focuses on the social basis of insurgency and other forms of political violence. I have recently conducted fieldwork in Colombia and Nicaragua in order to better understand how interactions among civilians, soldiers, and social networks shape the organizational structures of armed groups. My dissertation investigates the causes of rebel movement fragmentation and unification. The project springs from my long-standing interest in peacebuilding: when the international community attempts to navigate the bewildering jumble of rebel factions in contemporary civil wars, they do so without a roadmap and frequently apply misguided policies. Preliminary findings point to the need for peacebuilders to focus not only on militant groups, but also to engage with the civilian constituencies that foster and constrain them. My fieldwork has also been supported by grants from the Center for Citizen Peacebuilding and the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Irvine.

  • Matthew Nanes

    Matthew Nanes

    Political Science, UC San Diego

    Proposal Title: Conflict Management from the Bottom-Up: Non-Elite Integration of Participatory Institutions in Divided Societies

  • Timothy Peterka

    Political Science, UC Davis

    Proposal Title: Chiefs and Votes: Subnational Authority and Opposition Party Politics in Africa

  • Arman Rezaee

    Arman Rezaee

    Economics, UC San Diego

    Proposal Title: Inseminating Transparency in Pakistan

    I am a PhD candidate in economics at the University of California, San Diego. My research focuses on government workers' incentives to perform when delivering public services as well as the incentives of governments as a whole when doing so. Specifically, through both archival research and field experiments, I aim to understand how these incentives have been shaped by and are changed by technology, including recent technological advances that allow for increased government transparency and accountability to citizens. I am also interested in the impacts of technology on economic decision-making more broadly. My work is primarily in Pakistan, although I also have active projects in Uganda and the Philippines. Prior to beginning my PhD, I obtained a masters in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
  • Amanda Rizkallah

    Amanda Rizkallah

    Political Science, UCLA

    Proposal Title: Coffins and Castles: How Civil War Networks Shape the Post-War Political System

    My interest in the long-term consequences of civil war began at a young age, on trips to visit family in Lebanon. I was continually confronted by the legacies of war and reconstruction—gleaming skyscrapers next to deserted bullet-riddled apartments, sharply segregated neighborhoods, and a general reticence to talk about anything related the country’s protracted civil war. These experiences led to an interest in studying the political and social outcomes of conflicts. My research examines how patterns of wartime territorial control and population displacement shape post-war political competition and governance. I also examine how the terms of a war’s ending settlement interact with wartime patterns of control to structure post-war politics.

  • Rochelle Terman

    Rochelle Terman

    Political Science, UC Berkeley

    Proposal Title: Backlash: Defiance, Human Rights, and the Politics of Shame

    I am interested in shame and defiance as they relate to international norms. My dissertation examines backlash to global human rights “naming and shaming” campaigns, especially around women’s rights in the Muslim world, and explores resistance to and defiance against these campaigns. My other research interests include gender, technology, religion, and text as data.

  • Paul Thissen

    Political Science, UC Berkeley

    Proposal Title: Order and Violence on the Edges of Weak States: A Study of Institutional Legacies

  • Sherry Zaks

    Political Science, UC Berkeley

    Proposal Title: Resilience Beyond Rebellion: An Organizational Approach to Rebel-to-Party Transformations 

IGCC Herb York Fellow

  • Jiakun (Jack) Zhang

    Jiakun (Jack) Zhang

    Political Science, UC San Diego

    Proposal Title: Multinational Firms and the Microfoundations of the Commercial Peace

    My research interests lie at the intersection of international political economy and security, with a focus on contemporary China. My dissertation investigates the impact of interstate conflict on multinational firms operating in belligerent countries as well as the political strategies that these firms adopt to influence the policies of home and host governments. Firms play a crucial and understudied role in commercial peace theories; my research seeks to explore their role as strategic actors in the politics of war and peace. Prior to coming to UC San Diego, I worked as a China researcher for the Eurasia Group in Washington, DC. I was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant to conduct fieldwork in Beijing on the economic effects of political crises on China based foreign multinationals during the 2014-2015 academic year. I also serve as senior advisor to UC San Diego’s China Focus Blog and can be found on Twitter @HanFeiTzu

NSSC Nuclear Security Policy Fellow

  • Jill Pestana

    Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, UC Irvine