Jennie Barker is a Ph.D. student in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, where she studies international influences on democratization. Her current research examines recipient government behavior toward democracy assistance. Prior to coming to UC Berkeley, Barker worked at the National Endowment for Democracy and completed a Fulbright fellowship in Germany.
Barker is also a recipient of the 2021 IIS Pre-Disseration Research Fellowship.
In the last decade, legal restrictions targeting non-governmental organizations, particularly those that receive democracy assistance, have been implemented in several recipient countries, yet this crackdown has not been universal. My research explores this variation in recipient government behavior toward democracy assistance, arguing that some recipient governments actually want democracy assistance. Conditional on a recipient government’s foreign policy goals and sources of domestic support, welcoming democracy assistance confers certain international and domestic benefits that make it attractive enough to outweigh the costs that it may entail. Drawing on insights from case studies of recipient countries and semi-structured interviews with experts in the field of democracy assistance, I aim to develop a dataset on the full scope of recipient government behavior toward democracy assistance.