PPPA Alumni publishes article

Tyler Curley (IAS 2006, MAIS 2008) recently had an article published in Perspectives On Politics, one of the top journals in the discipline. In “Models of Emergency State Building in the United States,” Tyler contests the three dominant models in the field to offer what he calls a “discursive institutionalism” as a better alternative. Tyler is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Southern California. See Tyler M. Curley  “Models of Emergency Statebuilding in the United States,” Perspectives on Politics, 13 (2015): 697-713.

Professor Baird Shares Her Experience at the University of Bergen


by Katie Baird, Associate Professor

baird_katie_photo_2014I’m spending the fall with the University of Bergen’s Department of Economics as part of the UW-University of Bergen’s exchange program, and came here accompanied by my husband.  To date I have helped write a grant proposal to the Norwegian government’s Ministry of Education.  If it is funded I will participate with faculty at the University of Bergen in a randomized experiment in Bergen schools to investigate if hiring additional teachers improves elementary students’ performance in reading and math.   There appears to be a deep commitment to figuring out how to improve Norway’s educational  system, perhaps partly because of the country’s proximity to the star of Finland. 

The department is exceptionally welcoming to outsiders, and everyone switches from Norwegian to English when I am present.  I participate in the department’s weekly seminars and periodic presentations by graduate students, enjoy the free coffee, and appreciate the camaraderie that comes from frequent gatherings in the coffee room and lunch rooms where staff, faculty and students gather on a daily basis.  The egalitarian ethos runs deep here.  As for work, I’m completing a couple of ongoing research projects, and using the expertise around me to develop a new one related to vocational education in Scandinavia, which forms an important component of the education system.  I’ll be presenting my work to faculty and staff sometime later in the quarter.

Fortunately, it is still light enough outside to appreciate how beautiful Norway is.  However, it does gets darker and colder by the day!

See the original article detailing the faculty exchange program here!  


New faculty joining PPPA this fall: Ben Meiches


Meiches Portrait StyleI recently completed my doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in Political Science and International Relations. Broadly speaking, my research focuses on armed conflict, humanitarian intervention, and mass atrocities. My current work investigates the historical development of the concept of genocide as part of international law and explores how the word ‘genocide’ gets used in contemporary humanitarian politics. Beyond international relations, I am also interested in political theory, philosophy and complexity theory. I believe strongly in the importance of learning about political problems from a variety of different sources, methods and resources. In my classes, I encourage my students to experiment with ideas and to think about issues from a number of angles. During the coming year, I will be teaching Introduction to International Politics, Theories of Violence, Human Rights and the Use of Force among other courses.  I am very excited to join the UW-T community.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Tacoma

mcguire_william_photo_2013_0The News Tribune published an editorial by Professor Will McGuire on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Tacoma. Dr. McGuire highlights Tacoma’s growing economic ties with China as an important reason for the visit. What created these ties? One answer is smart policy decisions leading to investment opportunities in Tacoma (read the editorial here).

Dr. McGuire also participated in a televised panel discussion of President Xi’s visit on the local public affairs program, Northwest Now. The full episode, on KBTC, is available here.