Dawn Brancati

Senior Lecturer in International and Public Affairs
Areas of Expertise Cybersecurity, Democracy & Elections, Ethnic Conflict & Civil War, Social Movements
Areas of Interest Peacebuilding, intrastate conflict, decentralization, democracy, democracy protests, elections.


Dawn Brancati is Senior Lecturer in International and Public Affairs at Brown University. Her research focuses on peacebuilding, primarily on democratic tools to prevent and resolve violent conflicts within states. In her research, Brancati has examined the conditions under which decentralization and elections are likely to result in or mitigate violence, as well as the factors that lead people to challenge authoritarian regimes, demand independence, seek democratic reforms and support democracy abroad, among other issues.

Brancati is the author of two monographs, Peace by Design and Democracy Protests: Origins, Features, and Significance, as well as a textbook on research methods entitled Social Scientific Research.  She has also authored numerous articles in leading academic journals, including the American Political Science ReviewBritish Journal of Political ScienceComparative Political StudiesInternational OrganizationJournal of Conflict Resolution, and Journal of Politics, among others.

Brancati has received a number of prestigious grants and fellowships in support of her research from institutions, including the German Marshall Fund and National Science Foundation, as well as Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities. She has also consulted and advised various governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental agencies on her research, such as the U.S. Department of State, CIA, USAID and World Bank. Brancati earned her Ph.D., M.Phil. and MA in political science from Columbia University and a BA in government from Cornell University.


IAPA 1200: Foundations of Security
IAPA 1701V: Democratization
MPA 2475: Digital Peacebuilding

Recent News

The Watson Institute funded $10,000 in Undergraduate Research and Teaching Awards to support Brown students collaborating with Watson faculty on research projects during the spring 2024 semester.
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