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BC Graduate Research Fellows


To help us with our research initiatives and assist students in their future careers, we host several Baker Center Graduate Research Fellows.



Harrison Akins is a PhD candidate in Political Science and one of our fellows. Harrison reports on his research efforts to his supervisor and mentor, Dr. Krista Wiegand, Baker Faculty Fellow in Global Security. akins.2016

Research Activities

He has been working on completing a first draft of my paper with early statistical analysis examining the impact of elite capture on terrorism from minority ethnic groups. As he was developing the paper over the semester, its theory and model were greatly helped by being able to engage with other graduate research fellows, particularly Aaron Gold who recommended readings and data sources/measurements to use for his model.

He has also begun work on a project with Mehdi Ayari examining, within the Muslim world, the outcome of elections when there are multiple religious political parties as opposed to only one religious party participating in the election. This project will examine whether having multiple religious parties spoils the chances of any of them having significant electoral victories.

He is also continuing to read the terrorism/foreign policy literature and work on his initial research design for his dissertation idea–examining the impact of US foreign policy and the War on Terror on foreign governments’ policies towards terrorism within their borders and the resulting increase in domestic terrorism. In regards to his cross field concentration (CFC) in public policy, he has begun to develop the policy section of this project as the idea for his CFC paper, examining how US policies to combat terrorism are used as policy signaling to other states. To this end, he has written an early draft laying out ideas for the theory and beginning to place it within the relevant literature.


Why a Trump Presidency Will Be Damaging to the US-India Relationship, India Times, November 7, 2016

“Trump and Hindu Nationalism: America’s Modi,” Huffington Post, October 31, 2016

“Cutting the study of Islam a mistake,” Knoxville News-Sentinel, October 2, 2016

“Why the Appointment of Kofi Annan to Myanmar’s Advisory Commission on Rakhine State is Important,” Huffington Post, September 1, 2016

“U.S. Drone Tactics and Global Precedents in the Fight Against Terror,” SSN Policy Brief, October 2016


Aaron Gold, from Raleigh, NC, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science. His research focuses on the management of contentious issues with regards to three types of conflict processes. The first, interstate conflict, investigates the relationship between territory and armed conflict, the benefits of resolving contentious issues, and how non-territorial issues are managed. The second, terrorism, investigates the relationship between domestic and transnational terrorism, and factors such as regime type, economic development, and minority discrimination. The third, civil war, investigates how third party mediator bias and leverage lead to successful mediation in civil wars. His work has appeared in Conflict Management and Peace Science.

Please see his CV for a list of his published works and additional academic and professional experiences.


Aaron Gold’s CV


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