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Recent Graduates

In December 2016, the SIS PhD program celebrated the graduation of seven students. In May 2017, two more received their PhDs.

Meet our new PhDs

Since the conclusion of World War II, peacemakers have mandated and held at least 23 referendums in efforts to forge, legitimate, and enact peace agreements. Dr. Collin’s research on the use of referendums in peace processes shows that such votes risk electoral violence, conflict recurrence, and the collapse of a peace agreement. Using cases based on extensive interviews in East Timor, Indonesia, north and south Cyprus, and South Sudan, she develops a typology of peacemaking referendums and argues that overall the most meaningful contributions of peacemaking referendums stem from the agreement to hold a vote rather than the vote itself.

Dr. Collin’s broader research agenda focuses on referendums as part of peacebuilding and democratization and on the role of direct democracy in the global wave of populist authoritarianism. She is currently a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution in the foreign policy program.

Wealthy liberal states that are major destinations for migrants have reached out to countries of origin and transit to help them contain irregular migration. Some pairs of states have been more than happy to cooperate, whether because they share an interest in fostering orderly migration or because they see an opportunity for concessions in exchange for their help. But other partner states have objected, claiming wealthy states are exploiting them to do their dirty work and forcing them to act as "gendarmes" for the North. Dr. Tennis’ dissertation, Contentious Cooperation: Controlling Migration between Sending and Receiving States, argues that partner states’ responses depend on how leaders in partner states secure their power domestically. Combining a cross-national comparison of outcomes, plus case studies of negotiations between the US and Mexico and Haiti, Spain and Senegal, and Italy and Tunisia and Libya, Dr. Tennis develops a typological theory of partner state behavior based on domestic institutions. She argues that non-democratic states tend to use agreements opportunistically, strategically linking migration control to unrelated issue areas like aid provision or reduced criticism of domestic human rights conditions. Consolidated democracies usually cooperate as long as demand is high. They prioritize good relations with the destination state, and usually only demand concessions in linked issue areas. The most unpredictable partners are weak democracies and transitioning regimes that have not yet fully democratized. Prone to nationalism and radical rhetoric, these regimes are the most likely to publicly critique or refuse agreements in order to gain short-term domestic support.

Dr. Tennis is currently a Teaching Assistant Professor at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

Seidel’s dissertation, titled “‘Where Is the Palestinian Gandhi?’: Power and Resistance in Late Modernity,” draws from discourse and postcolonial theory and explores how certain forms of resistance are identified while other forms are obscured. In particular, his dissertation explores political economies of resistance in Palestine as well as transnational solidarities that intersect with Palestine. He argues that giving greater attention to the constitutive role of marginalized communities in the production of concepts and practices of resistance helps us identify overlooked and seemingly everyday practices that have implications for peacebuilding and development policy and practice.

Tim’s dissertation won the Edward Said Award from the Global Development Studies Section of the International Studies Association (2016) and the Dissertation Award from the Peace and Justice Studies Association (2017). He teaches about politics, development, and peacebuilding in the Department of Applied Social Sciences and the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. He also serves as director for the Center for Interfaith Engagement (CIE), a center that promotes collaboration among scholars and practitioners to promote a more just and peaceful world through interreligious and intercultural understanding.

Student Awards

2017 SIS Student Award Winners - Doctorate

  • Excellence in Research Assistance: Laura Bosco

  • The William C. Olson Award for outstanding teaching by a PhD student: Eleni Ekmektsioglou

  • The Samuel L. Sharp Memorial Prize for creative work in international relations at the graduate level – Anne Kantel

Select External Awards

  • Lucas Dolan was the Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace, Middlebury College Language Schools. 

  • Tim Seidel received the 2016 Edward W. Said Award from the Global Development Studies Section of the International Studies Association.

  • Brandon Sims was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship in Hindi from the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Select Student Publications

Laura Bosco

Laura authored "UN Peacekeeping Data" in "The Known Knowns and Known Unknowns of Peacekeeping Data," International Peacekeeping, Govinda Clayton, editor (forthcoming in print).

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Julis Fischer-Mackey

Julis Fischer-Mackey and Professor Robin Broad published "From Extractivism toward Buen Vivir: Mining Policy as an Indicator of a New Development Paradigm Prioritizing the Environment," Third World Quarterly (forthcoming).

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Jiajie He

Jiajie He's article "Normative Power in the EU and ASEAN: Why They Diverge?" was published in International Studies Review 18 (1), 2016.

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PhD Placements

University Faculty Placements

  • Brandeis University
  • Brigham Young University
  • College of Charleston
  • Eastern Mennonite University
  • Florida International University
  • Franklin & Marshall College
  • Gallaudet University
  • George Mason University
  • Georgetown University
  • George Washington University
  • Goucher College
  • The Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • Kent State University
  • Kennesaw State University (Georgia)
  • Marietta College (Ohio)
  • Marine Corps University
  • Maquarie Univeristy (Australia)
  • Ohio University
  • Panteion University (Greece)
  • San Francisco State University
  • Syracuse University
  • Thunderbird: The American Graduate School of International Management
  • Towson University
  • U.S. Naval Academy
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Costa Rica
  • University of London
  • University of Miami
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of North Carolina (Charlotte)
  • University of Warwick
  • Virginia Tech
  • Waterloo University (Canada)

Government and non-governmental positions

  • Brookings Institution
  • Indonesian Ministry of Information
  • Inter-American Defense College
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • International Relations Institute, Pakistan
  • International Research and Exchange Board
  • National Institute of Justice
  • Oxfam
  • Singapore Business Times
  • US Department of Commerce
  • US Department of the Interior
  • US Department of State