The Elliott School
Where Research Happens
Through award-winning research, the Elliott School of International Affairs strives to create knowledge, share wisdom and inspire action. Together, our centers, institutes, research initiatives and cross-disciplinary faculty combine in-depth analysis with practical applications to better address the future's most pressing global challenges.
What We Do
Elliott School Research Professor of International Affairs, Associate Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies; and Director of the Rising Powers Initiative, Deepa Ollapally, has been awarded grants from the U.S. Department of State’s Embassy in India and the Smith Richardson Foundation for two projects spanning from 2020-21.
Her project, “Shared Values and Worldviews in US-India Relations,” is the outcome of her Indo-Pacific expertise and the Sigur Center staff’s dedicated research & funding support to its affiliated faculty, scholars, and MA Asian Studies students. The grant is part of the DOS' efforts to strengthen ties between the U.S. and India through exchanges and programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. American experts on U.S.-India relations will participate in a series of seminars and workshops organized by the Sigur Center and Christ University in Bangalore - India’s Silicon Valley. The partnership will connect both American and Indian experts across a wide swath of industries to reach a more multifaceted understanding of the challenges faced by both countries.
Dr. Ollapally's other project, “Big Power Competition for Influence in the Indian Ocean Region,” will be administered by the Rising Powers Initiative and result in an eponymous book. Dr. Ollapally will assess the changing patterns of geopolitical influence by major powers in the Indo-Pacific during the 2010s, focusing on the rivalry between the U.S. and China, in addition to the relationships between states, such as India, Japan, Australia, Singapore, and others in the Indian Ocean region. She plans to conduct extensive fieldwork in Asia to decipher the way in which the “balance of influence” is heading, hedging, and China's unprecedented rise in the Indian Ocean. Dr. Ollapally expressed that "There's a profusion of work coming out on the Indo-Pacific, but it is overly focused on the Pacific side, giving short shrift to the Indian Ocean side. I want to fill that gap in the literature and policy orientation.”
New in Research
Eric Schluessel, Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs, was named the winner of the John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian history since 1800 for his recently released book Land of Strangers: The Civilizing Project in Qing Central Asia. The John K. Fairbank Prize is offered annually by the American Historical Association for an outstanding book in the history of China proper, Vietnam, Chinese Central Asia, Mongolia, Manchuria, Korea, or Japan.
In his work, Schluessel explores the encounter between Chinese power and a Muslim society through the struggles of ordinary people in the oasis of Turpan by revealing the human consequences of a bloody conflict and the more insidious violence of reconstruction. He traces the emergence of new struggles around essential questions of identity, showing how religious and linguistic differences converged into ethnic labels. Reading across local archives and manuscript accounts in the Chinese and Chaghatay languages, he recasts the attempted transformation of Xinjiang as a distinctly Chinese form of colonialism.
The prize honors the memory of the late John K. Fairbank, Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History and director of the East Asian Research Center at Harvard University, and president of the Association in 1968.
Professor Henry Hertzfield, Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs and Director of the Space Policy Institute, has been awarded a contract with the World Intellectual Property Organization to conduct a case study exploring the history and future of innovation in the space industry.
His study, “The Changing Direction of Innovation in the Space Industry”, will utilize his expertise in space policy and economics to highlight the history of key innovations that have contributed to progress in space exploration while analyzing the forces that have shaped them since the early “space race” days. By exploring shifts in public and private sector space activities, the study will provide an in-depth look into the intensifying need for innovation in space. Professor Hertzfield will analyze changes in innovation by making use of academic literature and publicly-available data to construct an extensive look into the past of various technological innovations, while looking into the future of key policy measures that are bound to shape the direction of innovation in space exploration.
Jennifer Brinkerhoff, Professor of International Affairs, International Business, Public Policy and Public Administration was named a Distinguished Scholar by the Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration Studies (ENMISA) section of the International Studies Association (ISA). The ENMISA Distinguished Scholar award recognizes "senior scholars who have had an impact in Ethnicity and/or Nationalism and/or Migration studies" and "have a substantial record of publishing in the field and service to ISA." The ISA, founded in 1959, is the main professional association for international studies, with its headquarters in the University of Connecticut.
Dr. Brinkerhoff's research focuses on development management, institutional reform, public-private partnership, state-society relations, NGOs, diaspora and development. She has consulted for the World Bank, USAID, the U.S. State Department, and the United Nations. Her recent publications include Institutional Reform and Diaspora Entrepreneurs: The In-Between Advantage (Oxford University Press) and Digital Diasporas: Identity and Transnational Engagement (Cambridge University Press). She holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and an MPA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.