Research Briefs

Delve deeper into the most recent research published by Watson faculty.


In May 2020, Brown's new COVID-19 Research Seed Fund, consisting of 15 teams of faculty researchers, began working to develop solutions that could impact the world's response to the pandemic. Emily Oster will work with the team determining how widespread the exposure to the virus has been in Rhode Island.
In May 2020, John Friedman and a nonprofit research team called Opportunity Insights launched the OI Economic Tracker, a new real-time economic tracker to help policymakers, nonprofit organizations and philanthropists understand the dimensions of the COVID-induced economic downturn and identify targeted, effective recovery efforts.
Catherine Lutz is the co-director of Brown University's Costs of War Project and Anne Lutz Fernandez is an English teacher. They are the co-authors of "Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives."
In March 2020, Patrick Heller collaborated with Georgetown University and the Urban Spatial Observatory, led in part by former Watson postdoc Rajesh Veeraraghavan to create India's first COVID-19 map.
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The Politics of the Opioid Epidemic

In April 2020, Susan Moffitt co-edited "The Politics of the Opioid Epidemic" with Eric Patashnik, as well as co-authoring an article in the volume with Paul Testa and Marie Schenk. The piece focuses on American policy and practice in response to the epidemic and explores the question, "Where do we go from here?"
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Beyond bailouts

In March 2020, Mark Blyth co-wrote "Beyond bailouts" with Eric Lonergan. This piece focuses on providing rapid analysis and expertise to the UK government in hopes of protecting livelihoods and ensuring long-term economic recovery in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
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USCIRF: Citizenship Laws and Religious Freedom

In March 2020, Ashutosh Varshney testified in front of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom during the hearing for citizenship laws and religious freedom. He highlighted the recent Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in India and the ways in which some individuals feel it targets Muslim immigrants.
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Race and the problem of the public in postwar America

In February 2020, Margaret Weir delivered her inaugural lecture as John G. Winant Professor of American Politics at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford entitled "The Problem of the Public in Postwar America." The lecture examined the interplay between racial inclusion and public life in postwar America.
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Watson Professors Receive Ford Foundation Grant

In February 2020, Patrick Heller and Ashutosh Varshney received a grant of $200,00 from the Ford Foundation for their ongoing project on Citizenship and Urban Governance in India. The grant will allow them to do research in several Indian cities.
In February 2020, Richard Boucher testified in front of Congress during the hearing for "The Afghanistan Papers: Costs and Benefits of America's Longest War." Boucher offered words of advice towards stabilization in Afghanistan and surrounding areas of the Middle East. His experience stems from his time at the Department of State, where he was actively involved in Afghanistan policy from 2000 to 2009.
In a paper released in February 2020 entitled "Income Segregation and Intergenerational Mobility Across Colleges in the United States," John Friedman and colleagues used anonymized data from the federal government to publish statistics for each college in the U.S. on the distribution of students' earnings in their thirties and their parent's incomes.
In 2020, Margaret Weir co-wrote, "Governing the New Geography of Poverty in Metropolitan America" with Elizabeth Mattiuzzi (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco) - a piece that was first published in March 2019 and focuses on the new geography of poverty through examining the relationship between low-income residents and the governmental patchwork that defines metropolitan America.
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Spring 2020 Fellowships and Appointments

Proudly announcing new fellowships and appointments awarded to faculty members at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.
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The Case for Reclaiming Indian Nationalism

In January 2020, Prerna Singh wrote "The Case for Reclaiming Indian Nationalism" a piece focused specifically on the Modi regime in India and ways in which other nations across the globe can defy present-day nationalism by creating a united, powerful, and constructive force against right-wing populist regimes.
In December 2019, Andrew Engelhardt was quoted in, "Why The Democrats Have Shifted Left Over The Last 30 Years" - a piece written by Maddie Sach (Dartmouth College) about the conservative and liberal divide surrounding issues like discrimination and immigration.
In January 2020, Michael Kennedy co-wrote "Normative Frames and Systemic Imperatives: Gouldner, Szelényi and New Class Fracture" with Iván Szelényi (Yale University) - a piece that appeared in pp 25-51 in Tamás Demeter (eds.), Intellectuals, Inequalities and Transitions: Prospects for a Critical Sociology.
In December 2019, Michael D. Kennedy co-wrote, "Towards a Theory and Practice of Diversity and Inclusion in Globalizing US Universities: Transformational Solidarities of Knowledge Activism," with Merone Tadesse (Brown University) - an article elaborating on the various meanings of solidarity, diversity, and globalizing knowledge across universities.
In December 2019, Senior Fellow J. Brian Atwood wrote an article on foreign assistance titled, Development Cooperation: Threatened but Supported by a Durable Consensus, in which he makes the case that the program continues to have bipartisan support despite the Trump Administration's effort to cut it by 30%.
In December 2019, Sahana Ghosh edited, "Living through Surveillance: Recasting the study of Civil and Military Relations," a special section with five essays appearing in the latest issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The piece also features an Afterword written by Ilana Feldman (George Washington University).
In November 2019, David Kertzer co-wrote "The Medieval in the Modern: Nazi and Italian Fascist Use of the Ritual Murder Charge" with Gunnar Mokosch (Brown University) - a piece examing both the debate over the "modern" nature of the German and Italian fascist regimes and the related question of the role played by the Christian churches in making the Holocaust possible.
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Partitions: A Global Perspective

In November 2019, Omer Bartov organized the workshop "Partitions: A Global Perspective," alonsgide Arie Dubnov (George Washington University) to initiate an interdisciplinary academic dialogue between established and junior scholars who study partition from different angles.
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American Bias and Blind Spots on World Politics

Associate Professor Jeff Colgan guest edited a special issue of the Journal of Global Security Studies, centered on a "particularly important concern in global security studies: American bias."
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Watson Faculty Named CIFAR Fellows

Professor Andrew Schrank and Associate Professor Prerna Singh have been named CIFAR Fellows by the Canadian-based global charitable organization.
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Three Visions of International Order

In a new article, Associate Professor Jeff Colgan proposes a hybrid form of an international order that merges the three broad visions that have recently emerged from Washington.
In the latest report by the Costs of War Project, it is estimated that 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases have been emitted by the U.S. military since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001.
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The Clean Air Act's Use of Market Mechanisms

In a chapter of the recently published Lessons from the Clean Air Act, Professor Eric Patashnik, Director of the Master of Public Affairs Program, examines market-based policies in the Clean Air Act.
In a new study, co-author Robert Blair reports findings from a field experiment with the Liberian National Police's (LNP) "Confidence Patrols" program, following years of civil war in the country.