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Josef Korbel School of International StudiesSié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy

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Sié Center

Visiting Scholars and Post-Doctoral Fellows

The Visiting Scholars Program at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center is open to professors, lecturers and researchers with independent funding who wish to spend one month to one year at the Center to pursue research activities. Visiting scholars will receive access to the University facilities, including the libraries; email privileges; office space; and the opportunity to meet and work with students and colleagues with similar academic interests. Visiting scholars may be asked to teach one course related to their research during the term of their appointment and give a presentation in the Sié Center Research Seminar Series.

The Sié Center also hosts post-doctoral fellows. The Center currently has three post-doctoral fellows who will be in residence for a two-year term, 2014 - 2016. With Sié Center faculty and policy community mentors, fellows conduct their own research and contribute to a collaborative research effort on nonviolent strategies in violent conflicts designed to inform (and be informed by) contemporary policy concerns and strategies. 

Apply to be a Visiting Scholar

Interested scholars should send their curriculum vitae, a two-page description of their research project (including why time at the Sié Center would be beneficial), a statement of financial support, and the proposed dates of residency to Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Current Post-Doctoral Fellows

Cassy Dorff Cassy Dorff
Personal website

Cassy Dorff received her PhD in Political Science from Duke University in Spring of 2015 and will begin her tenure-track position as Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico in the fall of 2016. Her research investigates the causes, consequences and evolution of political conflict, with an emphasis on civilian agency in violent settings. Dr. Dorff's current projects employ a variety of methodological approaches, including surveys and network analysis,  to understand the ways in which civilians influence the evolution of political conflicts.  Her work has been published in outlets such as American Journal of Political Science, International Studies Review, and Political Science Research Methods. Her dissertation analyzed civilian resilience and resistance in the case of the Mexican Criminal Conflict. First, it explored the conditions under which civilians are likely to participate in collective groups in their neighborhood. Second, using an original survey experiment conducted during 2014 in Mexico it examined civilian perceptions of the efficacy of nonviolent and violent methods of resistance. Last, using a network approach, the project considered how organized civilian action affects the intensity of conflict at an aggregated level.

Devin Finn Devin Finn
Personal website 
Devin Finn is a PhD candidate in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. In her research Devin focuses on connections between processes of political mobilization and violence, with an emphasis on civil wars and insurgencies in Latin America and South Asia. Over the last two years Devin carried out field research in various sites in India and Peru, with the objective of understanding the varied forms through which ordinary people participate in a range of non-violent and violent political actions and how these modes of engagement intersect and diverge over time. Her broader research interests include the dynamics of violence in civil war; governance and corruption; state formation; wartime civilian protection; qualitative methods; and epistemology. Devin has worked as a researcher at the United States Institute of Peace, the United Nations, and the Inter-American Dialogue. She completed a M.A. in International Studies and Human Rights at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and a B.A. in Political Science from Duke University. She has studied and worked in Bangladesh, Peru, and Spain. 

Steve Zech Steven T. Zech
Personal website
Steven T. Zech is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington, Seattle (expected spring 2015). His dissertation, “Between Two Fires: Civilian Resistance during Internal Armed Conflict in Peru,” examines civilian self-defense forces in the Ayacucho and Junín regions of Peru and explains variation in community responses to militant violence. Steve was a research affiliate at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos in Lima while carrying out fieldwork in Ayacucho and Junín between 2011 and 2014. Steve’s general research interests include political violence and terrorism, non-state actors, social identity, and network analysis. He teaches courses on political violence and terrorism and has worked as a researcher on collaborative projects related to global transnational terrorism, ethnic conflict, and militant violence in Iraq. In Steve’s previous position as a research assistant at the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory, he worked on projects related to network analysis in terrorism studies and insurgent alliance formation in Iraq.

2016-2017 Post-Doctoral Fellows

MajaMaja Halilovic-Pastuovic
Maja Halilovic-Pastuovic is currently a visiting research fellow in the Irish School of Ecunemics, Trinity College Dublin. She holds a BSc (Hons) degree in psychology, an MPhil in ethnic and racial studies and a PhD in sociology. A graduate of Trinity College, her PhD focused on the ethno-racial state of post-Dayton Bosnia and the policies and politics of the Dayton Agreement. Prior to joining the Irish School of Ecumenics, Dr. Halilovic-Pastuovic worked at the Department of Sociology in Trinity College where she was involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in the areas of sociology of race and ethnicity, sociology of identity and sociology of forced migration and conflict. Most recently she has developed modules on forced migration and ethnic cleansing as well as post-refuge transnationalism. At present her research focuses on segregated education in post-Dayton Bosnia, and youth radicalisation and fundamentalism in the country. She will spend two years at the Sié Center as a recipient of the European Commission's Marie Curie fellowship.

Michael KalinMichael Kalin
Personal website
Michael Kalin is currently a Sié Center visiting scholar and a PhD candidate in Political Science at Yale University specializing in International Relations and Comparative Politics. He has enduring interests in conflict, international security and foreign policy, with geographical expertise in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Broadly speaking, his research agenda focuses on the causes and consequences of communal violence with particular interest in religious conflict. His dissertation, which focuses on Chad and Pakistan, involves designing interventions that reduce prejudice and promote tolerance between religious groups and evaluating their impact empirically. Before attending graduate school, he worked for several years as a political analyst supporting the Government of Canada’s National Security Advisor, Prime Minister and Cabinet as well as a political officer in Afghanistan with the Canadian embassy in Kabul. He has also worked with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). He received an MPhil in Oriental Studies from Oxford University, and completed his BA at McGill University. 

Evan PerkoskiEvan Perkoski
Personal website
Evan Perkoski is currently a research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Evan defended his dissertation, "Organizational Fragmentation and Trajectory of Militant Splinter Groups," at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2015. The project seeks to understand important variation in the behavior and durability of militant splinters – those groups that form by breaking away from preexisting organizations. Owing to their experienced membership base, splinters often pose especially enduring challenges to international security. Otherwise, Evan's research interests include violent and nonviolent uprisings, the interactions between nonstate actors, and the organizational dynamics of terrorist, insurgent, and rebel groups.

Past Visiting Scholars

Luke Abbs
Luke Abbs is a Sié Center visiting scholar and an Economic and Social Research Council (ERSC)-funded PhD candidate in International Conflict Analysis at the University of Kent. Luke currently researches the relationship between inequality and low intensity forms of social conflict such as rioting, protest, demonstrations and communal conflict. Luke's more general research interests include: group identity, resource-scarcity, food prices, the relationship between social conflict and armed conflict, social movements, conflict management, and quantitative methodology. Luke completed his BA in Politics and International Relations with a year in the Czech Republic, and in 2013 he finished his MA in International Conflict Analysis. Both degrees were achieved at Kent with first class honors. Luke received two School of Politics and International Relations prizes, the John Burton Prize and Global Society Prize for best dissertation and best result in his MA year. In addition to his research, Luke currently runs the Conflict Analysis Research Centre (CARC) Research Group, is a member of the Quantitative Research Reading Group, and volunteers in his community as an accredited community mediator.

Zakia Shiraz
Zakia Shiraz is a post-doctoral fellow at the Warwick Institute of Advanced Study. Her doctoral research on Colombia analysed the internal dynamics of the civil conflict from the onset of La Violencia in 1946. Colombian security has been traditionally framed as an extension of U.S. foreign policy with great emphasis placed on the various initiatives enforced by successive U.S. administrations through the Cold War, War on Drugs and the Global War on Terror. The internal security dynamics and the driving forces behind the implementation security policy within Colombia itself are neglected. Zakia's thesis used fresh archival material, interviews and press clippings with an emphasis on academic literature from Colombian authors to explore the development of the conflict since 1946 and offer an up to date, historical analysis of the Colombian conflict. Zakia has spent time as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centro de Recursos para el Análisis de Conflictos (Conflict Analysis Resource Centre,CERAC) in Bogotá, Colombia where currently she is a Research Associate. During her stay in Denver, Zakia participated in a Sié Research Seminar on March 5th.

Helga Malmin Binningsbø
Senior Researcher, PRIO

Eugenio Cusumano
Visiting Scholar, Fulbright-Schuman Program
Eugenio Cusumano holds a PhD in political science from the European University Institute and a MA in international relations from the University of Bologna and the London School of Economics. His research interests focus on the different ways states generate and employ military power, their political, cultural, and bureaucratic determinants, and their strategic consequences. His dissertation focused on the use of private military and security services in the United States and the UK. More generally, he is interested in democratic control over the use of force, civil-military relations and security sector reform, environmental and energy security, and the external relations of the European Union. In the academic year 2011-2012, he was a guest lecturer at the University of Maastricht, where he taught a course on EU external economic policies.