photo: person walks across footbridge; research happening in the field; photo by Associate Professor Mona Atia


Elliott School Research

Through award-winning research, the Elliott School of International Affairs strives to create knowledge, share wisdom, and inspire action. Together, our centers, institutes, and research initiatives and cross-disciplinary faculty combine in-depth analysis with practical applications to better address the future's most pressing global challenges.


Research Spotlights

Capital Cities and Urban Sustainability – A New Volume from Robert W. Orttung

Capital Cities and Urban Sustainability


Demographic demands and environmental challenges have raised the importance of sustainable cities to new heights. In this context, the latest edited volume from Elliott School Research Professor Robert W. Orttung comes at a critical time. Using a series of case studies, Capital Cities and Urban Sustainability takes a timely look at policies in key urban issue areas. Addressing sanitation, technology, contracting, and more, the volume features chapters from international scholars on a variety of cross-disciplinary topics. Ultimately, while recognizing cities’ leadership in sustainable practices, the publication also outlines how municipalities can better employ innovative policies to ensure a more sustainable future for all constituencies and across the globe. Don’t miss out on this book critics praise as “unique,” “conceptually stimulating,” and “data rich.” And definitely don’t skip the chapters contributed by Elliott School Professors Linda Yarr and Robert W. Orttung.

Paul D. Williams: What Went Wrong with the Somali National Army?

AMISOM and the Somali National Army


Elliott School Associate Professor of International Affairs Paul D. Williams discusses this crucial question and more in new commentary published by War on the Rocks. Professor Williams brings substantial expertise to the subject. In 2018, he offered groundbreaking work on the African Union Mission in Somalia with his book: Fighting for Peace in Somalia: A History and Analysis of the African Union Mission (AMISOM), 2007-2017. Providing a holistic evaluation of this mission, the book is singular in its scope. It also cemented Williams as a leading voice on all things AMISOM. In subsequent pioneering research, published in February 2019 by the Journal of Strategic Studies, Williams shed new light on the international community’s eleven-year struggle to build the Somali National Army. Now, in “What Went Wrong with the Somali National Army,” Professor Williams analyzes why Somalia needs an army, what explains past failure, and how stakeholders can find a better way forward. Read the analysis in its entirety at War on the Rocks.



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