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:
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:
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:
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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Term:
Fall 2012
Department:
Political Science
My project will examine the development of teachers' unions in Latin America, and how democratization has shaped the capacity of these unions to oppose a model of new managerialism in the education sector. I will examine the cases of Colombia and Mexico. I want to understand how party competition can strengthen unions, and make them more cohesive, or weaken unions, and make them more fragmented. This project will rely on a multi-method approach to causal inference.Read more
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Term:
AY 18-19
Department:
Sociology
At Indopanoptic’s training center in Jakarta, peasant daughters undergo military discipline. Banned from leaving the complex until overseas departure, they withstand verbal abuse for disobeying commands. Managers confiscate inmates’ cell phones, subjecting them to a regiment of language immersion, mental training, and housekeeping chores lasting 12 hours a day, for over three months. At Indofree, a firm nestled in Ponorogo’s agrarian heartland, trainees chitchat, take selfies, and browse social media while instructors coax them to pay attention. After seven training hours each day, women slip...Read more
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Term:
Fall 2010
Department:
Energy & Resources Group
In Manila's post-privatization environment, an "innovative" strategy is being used to help extend water services to peripheral communities – that of small piped water networks (SPWNs). SPWNs are community-based water networks that serve as extensions or surrogates for "formal" water utilities, and they are commonly assumed to be independent operators, acting autonomously from their larger counterparts. But in neoliberal Manila, the two water concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad, play significant roles in determining when and where SPWNs occur. In the decade and a half since...Read more

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