Past Winners

John L. Simpson Memorial Research Fellowship in International and Comparative Studies

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Term:
Fall 2013
Department:
Sociology
My research focuses on the emergence of mass political parties from a historical and comparative perspective. My dissertation looks at why the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) in Mexico was able to incorporate peasant unions after the revolutionary upheaval in the early 20 th century, while Bolivia’s Movimiento Nacional Revolucionario (MNR) explicitly attempted to emulate the PRI but failed in undertaking a similar process after the revolution of the mid 1950s. I explain the emergence of a hegemonic party in Mexico but not in Bolivia by looking into the effect of market forces and...Read more
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Term:
AY18-19
Department:
Anthropology
I will undertake research to study settlement patterns among Swahili communities prior to and during the development of the plantation economy in Zanzibar, from AD 1500-1850. The mid-19th-century plantation system in Zanzibar is described as an imported social landscape run predominately by Omani landowners, and worked by enslaved people drawn from many parts of East Africa. However, it is also clear that the plantation system was built on top of at least a millennium of settlement by indigenous Swahili coastal people on Zanzibar, which is largely undocumented outside the coastal rim prior to...Read more
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Term:
Fall 2012
Department:
History
The fall of the Berlin Wall brought not only the immediate challenge of joining two different political and economic systems—capitalist democracy in the West and socialism in the East. It also initiated the task of reconciling two conceptions of national and cultural identity—a Western narrative based upon restitution and repentance and an Eastern one framed by anti-fascist resistance—to create a common, useable past. Echoing claims made by one West German writer well before the fall of the Wall, however, both established and recent scholarship, have maintained the thoroughgoing...Read more
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Term:
Fall 2010
Department:
Geography
My research investigates the changing political geography of Israel as understood through everyday practices and struggles over water pipes, and their part in the construction of hydraulic infrastructure in the Galilee, Israel’s contested northern frontier. Struggles over hydraulic infrastructure, homely as they may seem, are redefining the relations between citizenship and nation among both Jews and Arabs. My proposed research project is designed to trace the shifts and larger political implications of struggles over access to municipal water infrastructure over time. I plan to undertake...Read more
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Term:
AY18-19
Department:
Sociology
Public mental healthcare systems in the developed world face three interlinked challenges, but their responses to them—and the consequences of those responses for people living with severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia—vary enormously. First, as emphasis shifts from the relatively narrow category of “mental illness” to the much broader one of “mental health,” growing demand for services is increasingly in tension with welfare-state retrenchment. Second, as long-term “institutionalization” in custodial hospitals has become fiscally and ethically indefensible, there is a widening fissure...Read more
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Term:
AY 2016-17
Department:
Film & Media
Fareed Ben-Youssef is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Film and Media at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his BA in English Literature with a Film Concentration from Princeton University and his master’s degree in the Film Studies Program in the department of Rhetoric at Berkeley. His dissertation, Visions of Power: Violence, the Law, and the Post-9/11 Genre Film , is concerned with specific moments where genre films (the Western, Film noir, and the Superhero film) disrupt a public discourse shaped by Manichean divisions. His conclusion examines international genre...Read more
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Term:
AY 2015-16
Department:
History
How should we understand Japan’s first “warrior government,” the Kamakura bakufu (1180-1333), and its position in the evolution of the Japanese state? On the heels of victory in a nationwide conflict, the emerging warrior leaders created an administration that brought new order to society. Their legal and judicial system served as a critical tool for legitimizing its leaders, as it provided security for a state no longer willing or capable of providing it. My work emphasizes the complexities of warrior administration and its complicated relationship with the imperial state, whereas existing...Read more
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Term:
Fall 2012
Department:
Political Science
My dissertation articulates the main contours of a humanistic philosophy of social inquiry, appropriate to a “deliberative” or “dialogic” ideal of democracy. Such a conception makes certain demands on how we ought to conduct inquiry into the interests that influence and are shaped by decision-making. I specify what these demands are, and explore a range of practices that promise to help us better to meet them. Doing this helps to elucidate the manifold ways in which inadequate attention to the proper character of democratic theory as a reflexive social practice can contribute to the...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Political Science
My research develops a new framework for analyzing peace agreements that exclude a warring party as counterinsurgency strategies. This framework is used to develop a theory explaining which groups are most likely to be included in an agreement, how these agreements affect likely conflict duration and outcomes, as well as how provisions for military power-sharing are designed in multiparty civil conflicts. Because combatting multiple rebel groups strains a state’s counterinsurgency capacity, signing a peace deal that excludes one or more rebel group enables the state to redirect previously...Read more
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Term:
Fall 2013
Department:
Political Science
What explains variation in the financial systems of contemporary Latin America? How do different modes and levels of government control over credit allocation affect investment patterns? My dissertation will contribute to the classic tradition that contrasts national models of capitalism. I will access the debate through the politics of finance and investment, uncovering the political origins of variation in the size of government lending, stock markets, and private bank credit, and in the firms’ patterns of investment finance. My dissertation will provide a political explanation of the...Read more
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Term:
Fall 2014
Department:
Sociology
I am interested in the emergence of state institutions in historical and comparative context. In particular, my research focuses on the rise of the sovereign state in Western Europe. Making use of archival sources and comparative-historical methods, my dissertation will explore the role of early modern European diplomats as a long-distance social network integral to the diffusion and legitimation of certain conceptions and practices of statehood, and the suppression of others. Attention to the political-cultural labor of diplomats and other agents charged with the representation of...Read more
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Term:
AY18-19
Department:
Comparative Literature
My research focuses on Chinese fiction produced in the early decades of the 20 th century, a time when Chinese writers and thinkers looked eagerly to Western nations as models for China’s social, political, economic, and cultural development. For Chinese intellectuals of this time, rejuvenating Chinese cultural production (especially literature) according to Western models was a primary means of reinvigorating Chinese society and redefining Chinese national standing among hegemonic world powers. The genre of literary realism, a recent arrival from the West along with dozens of other - isms ,...Read more
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Term:
AY 17-18
Department:
Political Science
In Latin America, the most common traditional institutions are long-standing patterns of communal landholding, which were not created by the state but which are, for the most part, now recognized by it. Leaders of these “communities” are not part of the formal structure of the state and are thus not automatically entitled to state resources. Instead, they act as key intermediaries between their often-remote communities and local governments. These leaders aggregate the demands of community members and communicate those demands to local governments. They also deliver valuable information to...Read more
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Term:
Fall 2012
Department:
History
As more people traveled and engaged in international commercial relations during the nineteenth century, the potential for global conflict increased exponentially as states began to intervene more often to protect the lives and property of their citizens abroad. This project hopes to look at how international arbitration, consulates, and foreign offices—institutions designed for handling high affairs of state—became, under the myriad pressures of the first age of globalization, tools for dealing with the everyday and individual frictions of international life and facilitated the expansion of...Read more
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Term:
Fall 2012
Department:
Anthropology
A salient trend in the international development scene has been the growing visibility and influence of so-called emerging donors, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many of these non-DAC members have framed their efforts under the rubric of South-South cooperation (SSC), a mode of providing development cooperation to other nations in the global South that proclaims different principles than those guiding “traditional” aid, such as demand-drivenness, non-conditionality, and non-interference. Brazil is one such players; largely driven by foreign policy, its SSC initiatives have skyrocketed...Read more

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