Miller Center

Miller Center Fellows 2008 – 2009

The GAGE Program at the Miller Center has awarded a Miller Center Fellowship to nine scholars for the 2008–2009 academic year. The Fellowship awards each fellow a one-year $20,000 grant to support his or her research and writing which may focus on American politics, foreign policy and world politics, or the impact of global affairs on the United States. Along with the fellowship grant, the Miller Center helps the Fellow choose a senior scholar who serves as a "dream mentor" throughout the fellowship year.

This year the Miller Center received a total of 187 applications from scholars across the country in a variety of fields including history, political science, economics, American studies, international relations, and sociology.

The Miller Center has awarded 82 fellowships since 2000. Most recipients have gone on to tenure-track positions and prestigious post-doctoral fellowships at leading colleges and universities. Others are now serving in the public sector or at non-profit foundations.

Jesse Driscoll
Jesse Driscoll

Exiting Anarchy: Militia Politics and the Post-Soviet Peace

Jesse Driscoll, Stanford University
Mentor: Mark R. Beissinger, Princeton University

Jesse Driscoll is Assistant Professor of Political Science for the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

Driscoll received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. He received his B.S. in Foreign Service and M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University in 2001. Driscoll speaks Russian fluently and he has served as a teaching assistant for courses on International Security, Ethnic Conflict & Civil War, and International Relations.

Driscoll's dissertation demystified the mechanisms of civil war settlement in the Former Soviet Union. By carefully comparing the experiences of two states – Georgia and Tajikistan – Driscoll reconstructed narratives of state renovation based on patterns of local similarities inside new fragile states. He gathered empirical materials for his dissertation over 21 months of fieldwork in Tajikistan and Georgia. With more than 300 field interviews, Driscoll's dissertation presented a revisionist history of the conflict resolution processes that took place in these two states. He argued that peace emerged in Georgia and Tajikistan through a process that bore only a superficial resemblance to the idealized one imagined by foreign donors. The areas he examined are 1) disarming militias, 2) institutionalizing presidential power, and 3) territorial reintegration.

Kathryn Gardner
Kathryn Gardner

Politicizing Religion: A Comparative Look at the Origins and Development of Muslim Incorporation Policies in France, Great Britain, and the United States, 1945–2008

Kathryn Gardner, University of Notre Dame
Mentor: John Esposito, Georgetown University

Kathryn Gardner is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Notre Dame. She received her B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Miami University in 2003 and her M.A. in International Relations from the University of Notre Dame in 2006. Her research interests include international relations, comparative politics, institutionalization of Islam in Europe, and religion-state relations.

Gardner is currently working on her dissertation addressing Western governmental policies toward Muslim minorities using controlled cross-case and within-case methods. She seeks to identify, analyze, and explain the origins and evolution of national Muslim incorporation policies and how and why they differ across three country cases: France, Great Britain, and the United States. Moreover, Gardner's dissertation focuses on how transnational events affected Western governments' perception of religion, specifically Islam, rendering it a central policy problem, and thereby explaining the timing of the policy shift and its construction as a "religious problem."

Recent Publications:
“Fighting Terrorism the FATF Way.” Global Governance, (July-September 2007)

Nicole Hemmer
Nicole Hemmer

Messengers of the Right: Media and Modern American Conservatism

Nicole Hemmer, Columbia University
Mentor: Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University

Nicole Hemmer is Research Associate at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and a Visiting Assistant Professor at University of Miami.

Previously, Hemmer was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia. Hemmer received her Ph.D. from the Department of History at Columbia University. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Marian College in 2001 and her M.A. from Columbia University in 2005, as well as her MPhil in 2006. Her research interests include 19th- and 20th-Century U.S. History and she has served as a teaching fellow for several courses at Columbia University including American Urban History, American Radical Tradition, and Politics of the American Environment.

Hemmer is currently revising and expanding her dissertation, which argued that understanding the rise of modern American conservatism requires an analysis of how conservative media functioned within the movement. Her project argued that the institution of conservative media developed along three related tracks: message, movement, and technology. Hemmer's study explored the motivations fueling conservative media outlets, as well as the struggle to articulate and control the meaning of conservatism and the direction of the movement. She additionally studied the relationship of the media to electoral politics, to other parts of the conservative movement, and the personal relationships upon which all others rested. Hemmer narrowed her focus with the study of Clarence Manion and the Manion Forum.

Stefan Heumann
Stefan Heumann

The Tutelary Empire: State- and Nation-Building in the 19th Century U.S.

Stefan Heumann, University of Pennsylvania
Mentor: Richard White, Stanford University

Stefan Heumann is Cultural Affairs Specialist for the Consulate General of the United States in Hamburg at the State Department.

Previously, Huemann was Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Northern Colorado. Heumann received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his M.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 and has additionally studied at the Free University of Berlin and Universite de Provence in Aix-en-Provence, France. Heumann is fluent in German, English, and French and his research interests include imperialism, the politics of U.S. state expansion, and American political development.

Heumann used a historical-institutionalist approach in his dissertation, locating the origins of key U.S. institutions in British imperial policies in North America and tracing their development throughout the 19th century. He argued that state-building, understood as the establishment of governing authority as well as the construction and expansion of administrative capacity and bureaucratic autonomy, is distinguished from nation-building, the process of inclusion and exclusion of diverse populations within the polity. The concept of tutelage, Heumann stated, captures the approach of the U.S. government to populations who were subjected to U.S. governing authority without sharing the political rights, protections, and privileges of those residing within one of the states of the Union.

Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones

Energy Highways: Canals, Pipes, and Wires Transform the Mid-Atlantic

Christopher Jones, University of Pennsylvania
Mentor: John McNeill, Georgetown University

Christopher Jones is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

Previously, Jones was a Ziff Environmental Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for the Environment. Jones received his Ph.D. from the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his M.A. in History & Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania and his B.A. in Philosophy from Stanford University. His research interests include the history of technology, history of energy, infrastructure, environmental history, technology and disability, history of science, and military technology.

Jone's dissertation argued that energy transporters occupied a central position between producers and consumers and actively shaped the mid-Atlantic's energy history through choices about how canals, pipes, and wires were built, how they were operated, and where they went. His project consisted of three sections analyzing the transportation and consumption of coal (1820–1860), oil (1860–1900) and electricity (1900–1930). In his work, Jones drew on and integrated the insights of historians of technology, energy, industrialization, regional development, and the environment. He additionally highlighted the social effects of the transportation of energy and included social policy implications.

Recent Publications:

“The Carbon-Consuming Home: Residential Markets and Energy Transitions.” Enterprise & Society, (2011)

“A Landscape of Energy Abundance: Anthracite Coal Canals and the Roots of American Fossil Fuel Dependence, 1820-1860.” Environmental History, (July 2010)

David Karpf
David Karpf

Network-Enhanced Goods and Internet-Mediated Organizations: The Internet's Effects on Political Participation, Organization, and Mobilization

David Karpf, University of Pennsylvania
Mentor: Henry Farrell, George Washington University

David Karpf is Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.

Previously, Karpf was Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information. Karpf received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. in Politics from Oberlin College in 2002 and his M.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. His research interests include political change in America, policy subsystems, agenda change, interest groups, campaign tactics, and the Internet's effects on political organization.

Karpf's dissertation argued that the Internet is enabling new forms of political association, engaging geographically diffuse communities-of-interest in a host of participatory activities that were infeasible under previous information regimes. He discussed how this is leading to the emergence of internet-mediated organizations that take advantage of the online environment to construct novel solutions to traditional collective action problems. Karpf studied three organizations in particular – the network of progressive bloggers,, and Dean/Democracy for America – that have each earned significant mainstream media attention for their impact on American politics, but have yet to receive academic analysis. Karpf offered detailed analyses of these organizations, discussed their significance to American politics, and considered their likely implications for interest group mobilization.

Recent Publications:

The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy  (Oxford University Press, 2012)
“Implications of the Mobile Web for Online/Offline Reputation Systems.”  IEEE Intelligent Systems, (January 2011)

Walter Ladwig
Walter Ladwig

Assisting Counterinsurgents: U.S. Security Assistance and Internal War, 1946–1991

Walter Ladwig, University of Oxford
Mentor: Daniel Byman, Georgetown University

Walter Ladwig is a Departmental Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Oxford, a Visiting Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, and an affiliate of the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies at Kings College London. 

Ladwig is a Ph.D. candidate and the University of Oxford in Oxford, United Kingdom. He received his B.A. in Economics and International Relations from the University of Southern California in 1998 and his M.A. in Public Affairs from Princeton University in 2003. His research interests include strategic studies, counterinsurgency, internal conflict and peacekeeping, U.S. national security policy, and political and military power in Asia.

Ladwig's dissertation explored U.S. efforts to assist allied nations in counterinsurgency, with a specific focus on the use of American aid to induce political and economic reform, as part of a broader counterinsurgency strategy. He argued that insurgency is primarily a political phenomenon, and as such, any response to it must be primarily political as well. The cases Ladwig studied in his project suggest that the U.S. must gain sufficient leverage to compel the local ally to adopt the reforms and policy changes necessary to overcome the insurgency. The preliminary hypothesis of his study was that the sequencing of aid is the key factor in successfully encouraging needed reform.

Recent Publications:

“A Neo-Nixon Doctrine for the Indian Ocean: Helping States Help Themselves.” Strategic Analysis, (May 2012)
“India and Military Power Projection: Will the Land of Gandhi Become a Conventional Great Power?” Asian Survey, (November/December 2010)

Anne Peters
Anne Peters

Special Relationships, Dollars, and Development: U.S. Foreign Aid and State-Building Egypt, Jordan, South Korea, and Taiwan

Anne Peters, University of Virginia
Mentor: John Waterbury , American University of Beirut

Anne Peters is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University.

Anne Peters received her Ph.D. from the Department of Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia. She received her B.A. in Chemistry and Political Science from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2003 and her M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 2004. She is proficient in Arabic and her research interests include political economy of development, foreign aid, international trade, and science and technology policy.

In her dissertation, she aimed to explain the relationship among U.S. aid, regime stability, and economic outcomes. She argued that weak institutional legacies and disparate regime coalitions have compelled Jordanian and Egyptian elites to undertake a strategy of redistribution of aid, distorting state institutions and driving up the real exchange rate, while unified coalitions and strong institutional legacies allowed Taiwanese and Korean elites to marshal aid funds toward the creation of developmental institutions. Peters provided a much-needed description of the coalitional politics of foreign aid in Egypt and Jordan, and emphasized the importance of political feasibility when formulating U.S. aid strategies.

Recent Publications:
“Why Obama Shouldn’t Increase Democracy Aid to Egypt.Foreign Policy, 14 February 2011.
“Protests in Egypt: the real reason for Obama’s Two-Handed Game.” The Christian Science Monitor, 31 January 2011.

Emily Zackin
Emily Zackin

Positive Rights in the Constitutions of the United States

Emily Zackin, Princeton University
Mentor: Tom Burke, Wellesley College

Emily Zackin is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Hunter College.

Emily Zackin received her Ph.D. from the Department of Politics at Princeton University. She received her B.A. in Political Science and English from Swarthmore College in 2002 and her M.A. in Politics from Columbia University in 2004. Her research interests include constitutional law and civil liberties, American political and constitutional development, social movements, constitutional theory, and American political thought.

Zackin's dissertation examined the long tradition of positive rights in American politics, focusing specifically on movements directed at amending state constitutions. She examined three movements from different historical periods (education rights, labor rights, and victims' rights), each of which resulted in widespread constitutional activism at the state level. Zackin argued that even if we accept the conventional distinction between positive and negative rights, the American constitutional tradition still includes positive rights. Her research demonstrated that, although state constitutions are more detailed and less enduring than the U.S. constitution, they are recognizably constitutional and trump both legislatures and courts, thereby allowing activists to mobilize around them to change government policy.

Recent Publications:
"'To Change the Fundamental Law of the State': Protective Labor Provisions in U.S. Constitutions." Studies in American Political Development, (April 2010)