I am an Assistant Professor with the School of International Service at American University and the Director of the Comparative and Regional Studies Program.  I was previously a Visiting Scholar with Yale University's Program on Order, Conflict and Violence.  My research focuses on the trasnational dimensions of the political economy of conflict, including foreign aid, international development and human security. I am the lead investigator for the Women in Combat Roles (WiCR) Data Project with Laia Balcells.

In my research, I explore the role of international actors in local conflict dynamics and engage a community of social scientists who are looking closely at the relationship between aid, conflict, and development.  I operate across traditional political science subfields to understand how the policies of international actors are realized, altered, and in some cases subverted through their interaction with developing countries, particularly within the regional context of Asia.  My research employs cross-national statistical analysis, archival research, and content analysis.  My interviews and commentary have appeared on
BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5, CNNThe GuardianThe Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post (on national security in Asia and on Women in Warfare)and The Today Show.

My book manuscript,
Financing Repression: Foreign Assistance, Coercive Capacity and Patterns of State Violence
, examines the relationship between foreign assistance to the developing world and patterns of state-led violence against civilians in aid recipient countries.  I consider how the provision of bilateral foreign aid and other financial assistance by outside forces may exacerbate government repression and potentially trigger violence, thereby raising fundamental questions about the consequences of various forms of foreign assistance for a recipient country's coercive capacity.  

You can explore my
research and publicationsdownload a recent copy of my C.V., or tweet me @triskodarden.


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Updated May 2015 - Jessica Trisko Darden