August 2013


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William & Mary

427 Scotland Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185


Director Mike Tierney


In this edition of In the World, we share the latest news from the Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations at William & Mary.

We have enjoyed a busy summer including a move to a new location; dozens of students conducting research in the 'Burg and abroad; and the expansion of the AidData Center for Development Policy.
The 2013-14 academic year is about to get underway, so stay tuned for the latest updates from the Institute. 


Mike Tierney, Director
ITPIR Finds a New Home
Scotland Street House

After a fond farewell, ITPIR departed Blow Memorial Hall and headed to its new home at 427 Scotland Street. Students, faculty and staff packed up and moved ITPIR over in time for the summer to get into full swing. To orient the university community and friends of the Institute to its new home, ITPIR will hold a reception and open house September 24 5-8 p.m.  Please join us to see the new location and learn more about the individual research projects housed here at the Institute.  If you plan to attend, please rsvp to Priscilla Caldwell at See pictures of the move!

AidData Summer Fellows:  Students Forge New Partnerships for Development Effectiveness

AidData Fellows

W&M students Sara Rock and Carleigh Snead speak with Kathmandu University Dean Mahesh and Professor Megh Dangal at World Environment Day in Nepal. 

Eleven student researchers from William & Mary and University of Texas-Austin deployed to Nepal, Uganda, Timor-Leste, Senegal, Haiti and Mexico this summer as AidData Summer Fellows. Embedded in local universities, civil society organizations, and research institutes, these fellows built capacity among local organizations to use the geocoded aid information produced by the AidData Center for Development Policy. Funded by USAID's Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN), the Center is a joint venture of the William & Mary, Brigham Young University, Development Gateway, the University of Texas at Austin and Esri. Read full story.

International Conference Explores IR Discipline

TRIP Conference Debate

In May the Teaching, Research and International Policy [TRIP] project welcomed scholars from around the world to explore the state of international relations scholarship.  Entitled "Consensus, Progress and Change in the Study of International Relations," the conference sought to bring empirical evidence to bear on many of the longstanding assumptions and myths that dominate the field of international relations.  "The best workshops," Professor Quan Li of Texas A&M University noted at the conclusion of debate on his paper, "are the ones where you emerge with five new papers."  He rifled through what he said were five pages of comments on his paper, suggesting that he had "at least that many ideas for new paper topics." Read more.

AidData and UNU-WIDER Work to Demystify Chinese Development Activities

AidData is partnering with Cape Town University in South Africa and the United Nations University - World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) to build upon the Tracking Chinese Development Finance to Africa dataset released by AidData in April. Researchers will design field experiments using geocoded information on Chinese development finance and develop a new methodology to improve the quality of data.


Professor Mike Tierney is working with AidData's Austin Strange and Professor Daniel Nielson to guide a team of researchers analyzing Chinese development activities in Uganda and South Africa. From this country-specific research, investigators plan to design future data collection and survey experiments. 

Chinese aid to Africa: the true (but not final) picture: Tierney discussed the broader relevance of the China in Africa dataset at UNU-WIDER's June conference in Sweden.
Chinese aid to Africa: the true (but not final) picture: Tierney discusses the broader relevance of the China in Africa dataset at UNU-WIDER's June conference in Sweden. "Every time we talk about non-OECD donors, everyone - whether its development practitioners or whether it's folks on Capitol Hill - they want to know what the Chinese are doing," Tierney said. 


Annual Report Highlights ITPIR's Research Projects, Campus Programming and Future Direction 

Annual Report

The 2012-13 Annual Report, highlights the accomplishments and promise of the seven scholarly projects housed at the Institute:

  • AidData
  • Project on International Peace and Security - PIPS
  • Reform Incentives Project - RI
  • Teaching, Research and International Policy - TRIP
  • Violent Intranational Conflict and Terrorism - VIPCAT

Project on the Environment, Food and Conflict - ENFOCO

Persistent Institutional Development Survey - PIDS 

See the full report and current activities on the ITPIR website.

PIPS Launches New E-Internship 

PIPS Faculty Associate & Managing Director, E-internship Program, Kathryn Floyd
The Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) recently announced a new E-internship program for the 2013-2014 academic year.  The PIPS E-internship program electronically links students in Williamsburg with international relations and national security related organizations throughout the country and internationally.  While on campus, undergraduate e-interns will conduct research for and support the work of policy organizations, applying the knowledge and skills they gain in class to real world challenges. The E-internship program is a novel approach to internships that builds on growing distributed design and telecommuting trends in business.  Learn more. 

TRIP − In-And-Outers and Moonlighters: An Evaluation of the Impact of Policy-making Exposure on IR Scholarship

Using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy, Brad Parks and Alena Stern evaluate whether and to what extent direct exposure to the policymaking process influences how International Relations scholars select publication outlets.  Their paper is published in the most recent issue of International Studies Perspectives. Read this and other recent publications using the TRIP data.

Students Intern at TRADOC

Three William and Mary undergraduates are spending the summer as PIPS interns at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Eustis, Virginia:

  • Amanda Brazzel - Human Dimension
  • Chris Coelho - Future Warfare
  • Eric Sawchak - Science and Technology


"My internship at the Future Warfare Division provided me with unparalleled exposure to the full range of National Security issues. The work I was given contributed directly to briefings given to Senior Army Leaders, including the Army Chief of Staff. It was an amazing experience that taught me how to think critically about real world issues, and helped me develop both academically and professionally. "  -- Chris Coelho

Where Are They Now?

Elizabeth Hennemuth '13, a former research fellow of the PIPS project, has earned a Fulbright scholarship to work as a Teaching Assistant in Germany.

Alex Miller '13, a former AidData Research Assistant, is currently living in Geneva where he works the United Nations Financial Tracking Service.  Next year he will return to W&M to pursue an MA in Public Policy.

William Shimer '13, a former PIPS Intern, recently briefed U.S. Air Force Headquarters Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base.

Benjamin Buch '12, a former AidData Research Assistant and PIPS Fellow, is currently a Ph.D. student at Stanford University and is spending his summer doing research with the U.S. Air Force in Texas.

Lindsay Hundley '12, a former PIPS Research Fellow and current TRIP Post Bacalaureate Fellow, will pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science at Stanford University beginning fall of 2013.

Kedar Pavgi '11, a former AidData Research Assistant, is currently working in Washington, D.C. as a journalist for Defense One.

Morgan Figa '10, a former RA for the TRIP project, is currently finishing her MA in Education at Harvard.

Jonathan Chan '09, formerly in charge of collecting data on non-traditional donors for AidData, now lives in Vero Beach Florida (and Haiti) where he works for Haiti Partners.

Tommy Jones '09, a former AidData RA, is currently living in Arlington, VA and works as a statistician at the Institute for Defense Analyses.

Raj Trivedi '09, a former RA for the TRIP project, is currently a Special Assistant at the Millenium Challenge Corporation working on the Open Data Initiative.

Brandon Stewart '07, a former RA at both VIPCAT and TRIP is currently studying for his PhD in Political Science at Harvard University.

Allison Biggs '06, a former RA for the Negotiating With Evil Project, now serves as executive assistant to CEO of ONE.

Jessica Sloan '05, a former PLAID Research Assistant and AidData Project Manager currently works for the World Bank in the Office of African Regional Integration.

Mike Weissberger '05, the former Director of IT at the Institute and, along with Ryan Powers '09, the man who built the original public version of the AidData dataset in 2010, is now in his second year of medical school at MCV. 


If you are an Institute alum and have some news to share, please pass it along!

Professor Peterson Concludes ITPIR Directorship to Focus on Teaching and Research

During her tenure as co-director of the Institute over the past six years, Sue Peterson has seen the program grow from a brainstorm into a world-class research incubator. With the charge to bring academia and policymaking together to address real-world challenges around the world, the Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations today places researchers into the farthest corners of the globe, consults with national and international leaders, creates new policy relevant knowledge and cultivates the leaders of tomorrow. Read more.

About the Institute


The Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations at William & Mary provides a home for five interdisciplinary, collaborative, internationally-focused research projects that employ social science methods to make meaningful contributions to contemporary international debate, policy and practice.  


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