2015-16 Post-Doctoral Fellows in US Foreign Policy and International Security

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The 2015-16 USFP/IS Fellows are: (top l-r) Daniel Altman, Daniel Bessner, Kate Geoghegan, Mauro Gilli and (bottom l-r) Alexander Lanoszka, Kathleen Powers, Joshua Shifrinson, Simon Toner

Daniel Altman received a PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015.  He is currently developing a book manuscript with the working title Red Lines and Faits Accomplis in International Politics.  In contrast to prevailing conceptions of crises as conflicts conducted by signaling resolve and coercing concessions, this project examines how states make unilateral gains by fait accompli that exploit gray areas and other gaps in deterrent red lines.  The project has three branches: 1) Using new data on all ‘land grab’ faits accomplis since 1918, it shows that states far more often wrest territory from adversaries by fait accompli than by coercion and that nearly two-thirds of land grabs specifically targeted territorial gray areas.  2) Through case studies of the 1948-1949 Berlin Crisis and 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, it describes how states conduct crises by “advancing without attacking,” making unilateral gains by fait accompli that outflank or exploit gray areas in red lines against the use of force. 3) It explores how states work around nonproliferation red lines to incrementally progress toward nuclear weapons.  His broader research interests include coercion, deterrence, crisis, signaling, the causes of war, misperception and war, and nuclear proliferation.
 
Daniel Bessner is Assistant Professor in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. in History from Duke University in 2013, and spent the 2013-2014 academic year as a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University’s Einaudi Center for International Studies. His research addresses U.S. foreign relations, cultural and intellectual history, U.S.-Europe relations, Jewish studies, and the history of the human sciences. His book manuscript, provisionally entitled Democracy in Exile: Hans Speier and the Rise of the Defense Intellectual, is under contract with the United States in the World series at Cornell University Press. His articles have appeared or will appear in several publications, including the Intellectual History Review, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Religions, Armed Forces & Society, and Terrorism and Political Violence. In 2014, the International Society for Intellectual History awarded him the Charles Schmitt Prize for Best Article by a young historian for an essay on Murray Rothbard and modern libertarianism. He can be reached at [email protected].
 
Mauro Gilli, originally from Italy, is a PhD candidate in political science at Northwestern University. His dissertation investigates the challenges of imitating military technology and in particular how the "advantage of backwardness" has changed since the Second Industrial Revolution. In support of my research, in 2013 I was awarded the Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship. Related to military innovations, I have co-authored two articles, one published and one forthcoming in Security Studies.
 
Kate Geoghegan is a 2014-2015 Bankard Fund Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Virginia specializing in U.S. foreign policy. Her research interests include U.S.-Soviet relations, the role of non-governmental actors in U.S. foreign policy, and the rise of democracy assistance as a tool of U.S. influence abroad. Originally from Maine, Kate received her B.A. in history from Williams College in 2007 and worked after graduation as a teacher and basketball coach at the Anglo-American School of Moscow, Russia. At the University of Virginia, she has served as a member of the Society of Fellows and assistant director for the Center of International Studies, while in 2013-2014 she was a Smith Richardson pre-doctoral fellow in the Yale International Security Studies program. Kate is currently completing her dissertation, entitled “The Specter of Anarchy, the Hope for Transformation: The U.S. Response to Soviet Reform and Collapse, 1983-1993,” which highlights the role of non-state actors in U.S. efforts to shape political, economic, and geostrategic change in the USSR during the volatile years surrounding its dissolution. She has presented her work at Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Annual Meeting (SHAFR) and Yale and has received grants supporting her research from SHAFR, the American Historical Association, and the Scowcroft Institute.
 
Alexander Lanoszka’s research focuses on alliance politics, nuclear proliferation, theories of empire and international hierarchy, and American foreign policy. He is using his fellowship year at Dickey to finish his book manuscript on security guarantees and nuclear proliferation and begin a new research project on the Warsaw Pact and nuclear balance in the last decade of the Cold War. His peer-reviewed work has appeared in International Theory and Security Studies. He has produced public affairs commentary for The Monkey Cage (Washington Post) and the online edition of The National Interest. He took part in the 2014 Nuclear Scholars Initiative, organized by the Center of Strategic and International Studies. He was previously the Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his PhD at Princeton University in 2014 and his undergraduate education at the University of Windsor in Canada. 
 
Kathleen Powers specializes in international relations and political psychology, where her research engages the intersection of international conflict and cooperation, foreign policy, political attitudes, and social identity. Her work on the moral drivers of foreign policy attitudes has been published in the Journal of Politics. She is currently working on several projects, including pieces on the structure of foreign policy attitudes and the psychology of operating weapons from a distance. At Dartmouth, her primary focus will be to develop her dissertation project “Beyond Identity: Social Relations for International Cooperation and Conflict” into a book manuscript. This project explores the social relations at the foundation of national and transnational identities and their implications for foreign policy preferences. Kathleen will earn her Ph.D. in Political Science from the Ohio State University in 2015, and holds B.S. degrees in Political Science and Psychology from Arizona State University.
 
Joshua Shifrinson is an Assistant Professor with the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government.  A graduate of MIT, his research focuses on power transitions, American grand strategy, and the intersection of IR theory with diplomatic history.  While with the Dickey Center, Shifrinson will focus on finalizing a book manuscript analyzing how states respond to the decline of other great powers, drawing on extensive archival research on the declines of the United Kingdom and Soviet Union. 
 
Simon Toner is a PhD candidate in the International History Department at the London School of Economics and the International History Stonex PhD Scholar at LSE IDEAS. He is currently completing his dissertation which he has been working on under the supervision of Prof. Arne Westad. Based on Vietnamese and American archival sources, the dissertation explores the development vision and policies of the South Vietnamese state during Nguyen Van Thieu's presidency  (1967-75). In particular it focuses on the politics of development in the South Vietnamese- US relationship as well as the South Vietnamese regime's engagement with transnational development networks in the Global South. While at the Dickey Center he plans to work on turning his dissertation into a book manuscript as well as beginning a new project which will explore American perceptions of and responses to urbanization in the Global South during the Cold War.

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