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Global Security Program

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The Baker Center’s Global Security Program is Baker Faculty Fellow, Dr. Krista Wiegand, offering workshops, research, policy briefs, courses, and events related to global security issues, including wars, crises, conflict resolution, maritime and territorial disputes, civil wars, terrorism and other political violence, and foreign policy. The program hosts bi-weekly brownbag talks by UTK faculty and graduate students, a lecture series on different aspects of global security and foreign policy, and a bi-annual workshop on some aspect of prevention, management, and resolution of international conflicts, civil wars, terrorism or other political violence. Courses on these topics include recent projects with the U.S. State Department’s Diplomacy Lab. Current research conducted by research fellows in the Global Security Program include:

– a two year Minerva grant (2016-2018) directed at UTK by Dr. Krista Wiegand, with University of North Texas, University of Iowa, and University of Georgia to collect data on identity claims by states on behalf of non-state actors

– a two year Minerva grant (2014-2017), directed by Dr. Brandon Prins, a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Global Security Fellow at the Baker Center, to collect and study data on the incidence of piracy off the coast of Africa. This project looks at ways to improve safety on the seas and policies to address these issues.

Partnering with the Global Security Program is the Institute for Nuclear Security led by Dr. Howard Hall.

Post Doc and Graduate Student Researchers

Sojeong Lee will be joining the Baker Center as a post-doctoral research fellow in Global Security in August 2018. Lee received her BA and MA in political science from Seoul National University and earned her MA in political science from the University of Iowa. She is currently completing her dissertation on resource dependence and conflict at Iowa. Her research interests include international conflict, natural resources, river issues, and environmental policy. Lee’s primary research agenda focuses on interstate disputes over natural resources. Specifically, she focuses on water and energy resources and examines a state’s resource dependence and the dynamics of natural resource conflicts. Topics of expertise: water disputes, natural resources and conflict, rivers, energy resources, maritime disputes.

Harrison Akins, from Maryville, TN, is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science, focusing on International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Public Policy. He earned a BA in History from American University, an MA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics. Prior to coming to UT, he was an Ibn Khaldun Chair Research Fellow at American University’s School of International Service, working with the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, Ambassador Akbar Ahmed. His research interests include intra-state conflict, terrorism, minority discrimination, Islamic culture and politics, South Asian politics, and US foreign policy. His writings have appeared in a number of outlets, including Foreign Policy, BBC, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, India Times, Christian Science Monitor, and the Guardian.

Erin Rowland is a 4th year doctoral candidate in International Relations and a graduate of the University of Tennessee’s MPPA program. She also holds a BS in International Relations from Middle Tennessee State University. Her research interests include Conflict Studies, U.S. Security Policies, and Corruption, with particular interests in Eastern Europe and nuclear security. Erin is the current president of the Political Science Graduate Student Association (PSGSA) and the East Tennessee chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ET-ASPA). She has also served as secretary and department representative for the Graduate Student Senate, as an associate editor for the International Journal of Nuclear Security, and as vice president of ET-ASPA. Her dissertation topic investigates the relationship between individual mediator characteristics and mediation success.

Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy

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