2010-2011 Grant Recipients

Research Grant Recipients – $5,000

Picture of Severine Autesserre - Faculty Grant Recipient 2010-11Séverine Autesserre, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Barnard College
Political Science
AC4-Sponsored Research

Why do international interventions so often fail to secure a sustainable peace? What makes others succeed? The literature on international peacebuilding interventions presents four significant gaps, which prevent researchers from satisfactorily answering these questions. Existing research lacks analysis of how different cultures (including ideologies, assumptions, and rituals) influence peacebuilders on the ground, how shared understandings can promote peace intervention success, how various peacebuilding actors and functions interact, and whether significant similarities exist between all interveners deployed in the field. Drawing on ethnographic field research conducted in the Congo, Burundi, and Sudan, the project assessed whether, and if so how, national, professional, and organizational cultures shape diplomatic, non-governmental, and peacekeeping actions on the ground, thereby orienting interventions toward success or failure. This project carried tremendous importance for building peace not only in the Congo and Sudan, the stages of two of the world’s deadliest wars, but also in the many other countries hosting international interveners, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Timor-Leste. It contributed to ending the devastation of the second largest forest in the world (in the Congo), finding peaceful ways to manage scarce resources (in the Congo, Burundi, and Sudan), as well as protecting ungulate migratory roads and offsetting the consequences of climate change (in Sudan).

 

Picture of Monisha Bajaj - Faculty Grant Recipient 2010-11Monisha Bajaj, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor
Teachers College
International and Comparative Education

 

AC4-Sponsored Research

Colombia has a complex history of violence and conflict that has had visible impacts, as well as ones more recently documented in terms of psychological problems, a high incidence of domestic abuse, and interpersonal violence among children in schools (Chaux, 2003; Dodge et al, 1990; Widom, 1989). The non-governmental organization (NGO) Escuela Nueva (EN) first introduced its model to improve educational quality in rural areas in 1976; since then, EN model—which focuses on multi-grade learning, citizenship, and self-esteem—is utilized in 20,000 of Colombia’s 34,000 rural schools and has been adapted for use in 35 other countries. The UN and the World Bank have often cited EN’s work as a ‘best practice’ in educational development and quality. In close collaboration with the Escuela Nueva Foundation (ENF), and as part of a larger multi-year project, the research team headed by Dr. Monisha Bajaj 1) analyzed EN’s work to date through the lens of human rights education drawing together research on EN and replication projects across the globe; 2) collaboratively developed a comprehensive curricular module on human rights education and trained teachers in EN schools to administer it; and 3) documented through an action-research design the impact of the module on teacher and student knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.

 

Picture of Elisabeth Lindenmayer - Faculty Grant Recipient 2010-11Elisabeth A. Lindenmayer
Adjunct Senior Research Scholar
School of International and Public Affairs
UN Studies Program

 

AC4-Sponsored Research

Elisabeth Lindenmayer received an AC4 award to explore the linkages between drivers of conflict and forces for peace at local through to national levels in southern Sudan. The research project responded to critiques of the international peacebuilding architecture’s alleged ‘top-down’ approach to conflict management, and thus explicitly considered ‘local’ conflict management capacities in southern Sudan and how they could be linked to the national processes of statebuilding in the interests of southern Sudanese stability. The project used a range of conflict assessment methodologies to identify the actors, linkages and leverage points for domestic and international peacebuilders to stabilize and promote stability and human-well being in this new state. The research drew upon a range of pre-existing conflict analyses in southern Sudan, but was unique in its attention to the required linkages between local/traditional conflict resolution and the process of statebuilding at the national level, as well as its articulation of local capacities and the strategies by which they might best be leveraged. Elisabeth’s research was supported by two graduate students, Stephen Gray and Josefine Roos.

 

Picture of Jean-Marie Guehenno - Faculty Grant Recipient 2010-11

Jean-Marie Guéhenno
Professor
School of International and Public Affairs
Center for International Conflict Resolution    

Picture of Josie Lianna Kaye - Faculty Grant Recipient 2010-11

 

Josie Lianna Kaye  
School of International and Public Affairs
Center for International Conflict Resolution      

 

 

AC4-Sponsored Research

Jean-Marie Guéhenno’s and Josie Lianna Kaye’s research engaged international organizations working in fragile states, as well as SIPA graduate students/future practitioners in a project which investigated the impact of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the domain of the Extractive Industries (EI) in Africa. The purpose of this project was to assess the impact of regulatory efforts at national, regional and international levels on community-EI and government-EI relations, through a conflict-prevention and statebuilding lens. Guéhenno and Kaye’s comparative research project drew upon three case studies: Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

Picture of Guobin Yang - Faculty Grant Recipient 2010-11Guobin Yang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Barnard College
Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures

 

AC4-Sponsored Research

Dr. Guobin Yang received an AC4 faculty research award to study the environmental movement in contemporary China. Specifically, his project analyzed the conditions and consequences of issue formation in the area of environmental conflicts and environmental protection. Issue formation is an essential step toward political and policy action. Yet whether and how an issue becomes publicized and debated depends on many factors. By comparing low-risk and high-risk environmental issues in China (e.g., toxic pollution and climate change), this project examined the role of different types of issue entrepreneurs in issue creation under constrained political conditions. The project also explored the impact of issue formation on environmental conflict resolution and on the formation of an environmental civil society in China.

 

Large Research Grant Recipient – $25,000

Picture of Glenn Denning - Large Faculty Grant Recipient_2010-11Glenn Denning, Ph.D.
Professor
Earth Institute
Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development

 

AC4-Sponsored Research

Dr. Glenn Denning received an AC4 faculty research award for an applied research project to promote the contribution of extractive industries to sustainable development. Extractive industries pose unique challenges for sustainable development; mining has sometimes been a springboard to development and at other times a source of corruption, social degradation, environmental catastrophe, and even civil war. Sustainable investing in the extractive sector is particularly challenging as many mining deposits are located in poor countries, where there are pre-existing governance constraints, political instability, and major development challenges. Dr. Denning worked with the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment (VCC) at Columbia University to conceptualize a mutually beneficial framework for investors, governments, and other stakeholders to approach the common challenge of ensuring that extractive industry investments contribute to development. The AC4 grant specifically supported implementation of the framework in the Lower Zambezi Valley, where the VCC has been engaged for the past year. Dr. Denning and his team continue to adapt the framework and tools to facilitate implementation based on further engagement with local stakeholders.