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, research initiatives and cross-disciplinary faculty combine in-depth analysis with practical applications to better address the future's most pressing global challenges.


Call for Nominations for the Michael E. Brown Research Prize

The Michael E. Brown Research Prize, in honor of our former dean, recognizes Elliott School faculty research that contributes to scholarly and policy relevant understanding of important global issues. The prize is awarded annually and comes with a stipend for the winner. The recipient also has the honor of giving the keynote address at the annual Elliott School Faculty Research Celebration. James Foster, Henry Hale, Marc Lynch, and Marlene Laruelle were the four previous winners.

Nominations can be based on a single outstanding research achievement or on the basis of a cumulative body of work. Nominations should be no longer than one page in length and should highlight the faculty member's contribution to the scholarly and policy relevant understanding of one or more important international issues. Members of the regular faculty of the Elliott School are eligible to be nominated for this award and to make nominations, including self-nominations. The Elliott School Center and institute directors will comprise the selection committee.

Please send your one-page nomination letters to [email protected] by Friday, January 31, 2020.

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 occured 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.

See More Spotlights


Elliott School Book Launch Series Upcoming Events

Joubin book cover

January 21, 2020

Our first book talk of the coming year will feature Professor of English and International Affairs Alexa Alice Joubin's new book, Race: The New Critical Idiom. Lecture will be followed by a moderated Q&A and a light reception.

RSVP now open here

Award-Winning Faculty Publications






Henry Nau







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