Introducing CSS Postdoctoral Fellows 2019-2020

Benjamin Denison

Benjamin Denison is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Previously, he was a U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security Fellow at Dartmouth College’s Dickey Center for International Understanding. His research interests include various topics related to international security, military occupation, armed intervention, and regime change.  He is currently writing a book manuscript on the local institutional determinants of military occupation strategy, while also currently working on broader projects involving the role of uncertainty in military interventions and the long-term strategic effects of American regime change operations. Dr. Denison received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, where he was a predoctoral fellow with the Notre Dame International Security Center and a Dissertation Year Fellow with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

Megan K. McBride

Megan K. McBride is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a Research Analyst specializing in terrorism with a DC-area non-profit research and analysis organization.

Her research focuses on the relationship – as it exists in practice, as it is framed in public discourse, and as it is theorized in academic analysis – between religion, politics, violence, and terrorism. Her areas of expertise include terrorism, radicalization, religious and ideological violence, and theory of religion. As part of her work, she has conducted interviews with a series of domestic terrorists – convicted of crimes from arson to murder – affiliated with American anti-abortion and environmental terrorist movements. She has presented her work at major scholarly conferences and has been published in the refereed journal Terrorism and Political Violence.

Prior to arriving at Tufts she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, and a Middle East intelligence analyst with the National Security Agency. She holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Brown University, an M.A. in Government from Johns Hopkins University, an M.A. in Liberal Arts from the Great Books program at St. John’s College, and a B.A. in Psychology from Drew University.

Karim Elkady

Karim Elkady is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies at the Fletcher School. His book project titled Alliances that Matter: Why the United States Succeeds in Rebuilding States under its Military Occupation won the Smith Richardson Strategy and Policy Fellowship in November of 2018. Elkady researches forms of American military interventions, focusing on military occupation and postwar state-building. He is also interested in United States foreign policy toward the Middle East and how competition among major powers shapes political developments in the region. Before joining the Fletcher School, Elkady was a junior research fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. The Harry Truman Library and Institute and the Mellon Foundation have supported his research. Elkady holds a PhD in politics from Brandeis University (2015) and an MA from the American University in Cairo. He is on leave from his research position at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo.

Nils Hägerdal

Dr. Nils Hägerdal is a political scientist with research interests in ethnic conflict, civil wars, refugees, and politics of the Middle East. Hägerdal holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard, an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford. Prior to joining the Center he held postdoctoral appointments at the Niehaus Center at Princeton and the Crown Center at Brandeis. During his doctoral studies he also spent the 2013-14 academic year as a visiting researcher at American University of Beirut. His research is published or forthcoming in American Journal of Political Science and Journal of Conflict Resolution, and he is currently completing his book manuscript on ethnic violence and militia intelligence capabilities. In addition, he is also working on the Military Intervention Project. 

Sidita Kushi 

Sidita Kushi is a research fellow in the Center for Strategic Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Her research focuses on contemporary security responses, particularly as related to Western military interventions in regions experiencing intrastate violence. Sidita specializes in mixed-methods designs and has produced datasets and fieldwork narratives on the regional selectivity of post-Cold War humanitarian military interventions. Most recently, she has received grant funding from the EUSA Haas Fund Fellowship, Brudnick Center for Conflict and Violence, Aspen Institute Germany, and Northeastern University. Her work has been published in European Security, Comparative European Politics, International Labour Review, Mediterranean Quarterly, Journal of Science Policy & Governance, and more. Beyond academic platforms, Sidita is also a contributor to public scholarship on security and economic crises, including The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, New Eastern Europe, and openDemocracy. Prior to arriving at the Fletcher School, Sidita served as a Lecturer in International Relations and Statistics at Northeastern University and a Poli/Econ researcher at the U.S. Department of State (Embassy Tirana). Sidita holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northeastern University, an M.A. in Political Science/Economics from Northeastern University, and a B.A. in Economics from St. John Fisher College.

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