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Fostering interdisciplinary research and debate

Faculty clusters foster the sharing of research and ideas across scholarly domains at the School of International Service. Clusters build on faculty strengths and serve as catalysts for cross-field dialogue and debate.


This cluster focuses on the African continent. But while this narrowly refers to a geographical region, we collectively and more broadly interrogate the idea of Africa as it is sometimes (mis)construed in policy planning and the popular imagination. This includes discussions of colonialism as a critical juncture, or an event in a longer, more continuous historical experience of coercion or violence.

Lead Faculty: Kwaku Nuamah

Members: Susanna Campbell, Dylan Craig, Lauren Carruth, Daniel Esser, Gina Lambright, Adrienne LeBas*, Carl LeVan, Jordanna Matlon, Naomi Moland, Rachel Sullivan Robinson, Lauren Sinclair, Megan Stewart, Nina Yamanis

America & the World

The America and the World research cluster brings together scholars who focus on the history of America’s relations with the world, changing US foreign policy institutions and processes, US relations with particular countries and regions, and US national security policies.

Lead Faculty: Shoon Murray

Members: Jeffrey Bachman, Philip Brenner, Audrey Kurth Cronin, Max Paul Friedman, Jong Eun Lee, Randy Persaud, Joshua Rovner, Sarah Snyder, Jordan Tama, Stephen Tankel, Sharon Weiner

Complex Governance

The Complex Governance cluster brings together SIS faculty and Ph.D. students who share research interests in new forms of governance — novel in both actors and processes as well as spanning multiple levels (global, regional, national, subnational). The disciplinary range of the cluster is wide, spanning anthropology, sociology, history, and political science.

Lead Faculty: Megan Stewart

Members: Adam Auerbach, Susanna Campbell, Derrick Cogburn, Ken Conca, Arunjana Das, Todd Eisenstadt*, Jonathan Fox, Agustina Giraudy, Tamar Gutner, Randall Henning, Eric Hershberg*, Bryan Hickel, Eunbi Jung, Miles Kahler, Min Jung Kim, Adrienne LeBas*, Nanette Levinson, James Mittelman, Malini Ranganathan, Rachel Sullivan Robinson, Chris Rudolph, Michael Schroeder, Susan Shepler, Jeremy Shiffman*, Stephen Silvia, Sarah Snyder, Jordan Tama, Matthew Taylor, Yang Zhang

Ethnographies of Empire

The Ethnographies of Empire Research Cluster provides an intellectual space for SIS scholars whose work uses ethnography, critical theory, and historical research to interrogate structures of domination rooted in historical legacies and contemporary iterations of “empire,” broadly conceived. We use the term “empire” to refer to exploitative economic orders and manifestations of power in rule and sovereignty. We explore how empire is historically and geographically situated, and ways it organizes material and social difference.

Lead Faculty: Marcelo Bohrt, Anthony Fontes

Members: Robin Broad, Lauren Carruth, Christine Chin, Elizabeth Cohn, Erin Collins, Ken Conca, Maria de Jesus, Daniel Esser, Julia Fischer-Mackey, Jonathan Fox, Scott Freeman, Carole Gallaher, T. Garrett Graddy-Lovelace, Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Anne Kantel, Ibram Kendi, Nanette Levinson, Veronica Limeberry, Jordanna Matlon, James Mittelman, Shadi Mokhtari, Mirjana Morosini, Randolph Persaud, Malini Ranganathan, Cathy Schneider, Susan Shepler, Rose Shinko, Stephen Silvia, Maina Chawla Singh, Sarah Snyder, Amanda Taylor, J. Ann Tickner, Kimberly Tower, Sharon Weiner, Wanda Wigfall-Williams, Yang Zhang

Global Economy & Development

Centered around a weekly seminar, the cluster has established itself as an intellectual fixture for the presentation and discussion of high-quality academic research on policy relevant issues relating to the global economy and economic development. Previous speakers have been drawn from local academic institutions and places like the World Bank, the IMF, the Federal Reserve and the Census Bureau.

Lead Faculty: Stefanie Onder

Members: Adam Auerbach, Daniel Bernhofen, Robert Blecker*, Claire Brunel, Susanna Campbell, Austin Davis, Boris Gershman*, Austin Hart, John Heath, Jessica Leight*, Gabriel Mathy*, Walter Park*, Jennifer Poole, Stephen Silvia

Global Health

The goal of the global health cluster is to provide a locus for those involved in global health research and teaching at SIS. For the past two years the cluster has focused on brainstorming (1) how to make global health research at SIS (and AU) more visible to external audiences ranging from potential students to funders to other academics, and relatedly, (2) how to develop a global health certificates at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Lead Faculty: Rachel Sullivan Robinson

Members: Nicole Angotti*, Kim Blankenship*, Claire Brunel, Lauren Carruth, Maria de Jesus, Daniel Esser, Jeremy Shiffman*, Nina Yamanis

Historical International Studies

The Historical International Studies (HIS) research cluster was founded in order to build an intellectual community among SIS scholars who use historical methods to interrogate economic, political, social structures and changes on the cross-national, transnational, and international levels. As SIS scholars have increasingly come to apply a historical lens to their field, the time was ripe to share our insights in an interdisciplinary forum.

Lead Faculty: Elizabeth Thompson, Sarah Snyder, Yang Zhang

Members: Amitav Acharya, Robert Adcock, Boaz Atzili, David Banks, Daniel Bernhofen, Marcelo Bohrt, Philip Brenner, Erin Collins, Keith Darden, Lucas Dolan, Eleni Ekmektsioglou, Daniel Esser, Tyler Evans, Max Paul Friedman, Carole Gallaher, T. Garrett Graddy-Lovelace, Matthew Hartwell, Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Robert Kelley, Min Jung Kim, Ji Young Kwon, Ji-young Lee, Garret Martin, Jordanna Matlon, James Mittelman, Mirjana Morosini, Randolph Persaud, Malini Ranganathan, Stephen Silvia, Jordan Tama, J. Ann Tickner, Matthew Timmerman, Anthony Wanis-St. John

Political Violence & Security

The Political Violence and Security cluster aims at bringing together faculty and PhD students with an intellectual and research focus on understanding the causes and consequences of violent political behavior of states, non-state actors, and individuals, across, between and within formal political boundaries. Our research seeks to understand political violence, security, and insecurity across a range of disciplines, approaches, regions, and levels of analysis.

Lead Faculty: Boaz Atzili, Joe Young

Members: Laura Bosco, Chuck Call, Susanna Campbell, Audrey Kurth Cronin, Keith Darden, Lucas Dolan, Brandon Donelson-Smith, Eleni Ekmeksioglou, Tyler Evans, Yumna Fatima, Anthony Fontes, Jaclyn Fox, Carole Gallaher, Andrew Hagopian, Claudia Hoffman, Ben Jensen, Min Jung Kim, John King, Ji-Young Lee, Balazs Martonffy, Dave Ohls, Randy Persaud, Joshua Rovner, Cathy Schneider, Dan Schneider, Megan Stewart, Jordan Tama, Stephen Tankel, Sharon Weiner

* denotes non-SIS AU faculty