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

The Elliott School
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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.

Charles Glaser Named Winner of 2020 Michael E. Brown Research Prize

Charles Glaser headshot


The Elliott School of International Affairs is pleased to announce that Charles Glaser, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, is the recipient of the 2020 Michael E. Brown Research Prize. Named after ESIA’s former dean, the annual prize recognizes a faculty member whose research contributes to scholarly and policy-relevant understanding of important global issues.

Glaser’s work distinguishes him as one of the greatest security scholars of this generation. His first book, Analyzing Strategic Nuclear Policy, is one of the last contemporaneous accounts of the Soviet threat to U.S. nuclear security. His second book, Rational Theory of International Politics, is one of the foundational texts of modern realist theory, solidifying Glaser’s status as one of the greatest realist theorists to ever write on the topic. Glaser has also extensively published on topics like global energy security (Crude Strategy: Rethinking the U.S. Military Commitment to Defend Persian Gulf Oil), cyber security, and international order. His scholarly articles regularly appear in the prestigious journal International Security, and he influences policy and public thought on international relations through his regular publications in Foreign Affairs. Esteemed funders like the Department of Defense and the Carnegie Corporation sponsor his scholarship, and he has received awards and fellowships from the International Studies Association, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Elliott School is proud to be Glaser’s scholarly home and looks forward to his continued contributions to the field of international relations.

Research Spotlights

Sarah Wagner presents What Remains: Bringing America's Missing Home from the Vietnam War

After the Berlin Wall: Memory and Making of the New Germany 1989 to the Present (book cover)


More than 1,600 Americans remain unaccounted for and presumed dead from the Vietnam War, and for their families, the war is not truly over until they come home. Advances in forensic science are now making it possible to identify and repatriate remains from the merest trace, renewing the hopes of military families in locating their missing.

As Elliott School Professor Sarah Wagner shows in her new book, the possibility of such homecomings compels the living to wrestle anew with their memories, the weight of their loved ones’ sacrifices, and what it means to fight and die on behalf of their nation.

Professor Wagner is a social anthropologist who previously studied the forensic efforts to identify victims of the Srebrenica genocide. Her research focuses on war and memory; nationalism; biotechnology and forensic science; post-conflict social reconstruction; forced migration and diaspora; interventionism; and military culture.

What Remains is published by Harvard University Press. Professor Wagner will be hosting a book talk at Politics and Prose on January 22nd, 2020, and another lecture on the same topic at the Elliott School on March 2nd, 2020. Please check back for forthcoming details on the lecture.

Elliott Professor Paul Williams publishes study on urban peacekeeping under attack in Mogadishu, 2007-2009

African Americans & Africa by Nemata Amelia Ibitayo Blyden (Book Cover)


In order to protect interim governments or facilitate humanitarian aid, peacekeeping operations are increasingly being deployed to high-threat environments without stable political agreements. In addition, many such operations are now based in capitals or major cities, whose urban environment poses a unique challenge to the incoming forces. 

To study how attacks on peacekeepers deployed in an urban environment affect their ability to operate, Elliott School Professor of International Affairs Paul Williams analyzed data on 122 violent events that occurred to the African Union Mission to Somalia’s (AMISOM) deployment to Mogadishu from 2007 to 2009. AMISOM is the peace operation that has come under the most sustained urban attacks in the modern era, mainly from the group Harakat al-Shabaab, which opposed their protection of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

As Williams showed, despite initial setbacks due to the attacks, AMISOM was able to adapt to the terrain and fulfill its mandate of protecting the TFG. However, future study is expected to illuminate how attacks on peacekeepers can further escalate violence. The full study is available here via Third World Thematics. 

Professor Williams’ research focuses on peace operations, emerging security threats, war and peace in Africa, and conflict resolution. He is also the Associate Director of the Security Policy Studies M.A. program at the Elliott School.

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Conservative Internationalism

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