I’m currently a Professor of Politics at Ithaca College, and a long-term Visiting Scholar at the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Cornell University.
I grew up outside of Syracuse, NY, and earned my undergraduate degree at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, majoring in European Studies. After working in France, Germany, and Washington DC for several years, I enrolled in Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where I received my Masters in International Affairs. I then entered the PhD program in Political Science at Columbia, writing my dissertation on “Ideology and Soviet-Yugoslav Relations 1962-1969.” I also earned certificates in East European and Russian/Soviet Studies at Columbia.
Croatia’s Parliament Building 2006
After receiving my PhD, I was awarded a three-year SSRC-MacArthur postdoctoral fellowship during which I was in residence at the Peace Studies Program at Cornell University; during that period I also spent an academic year at the Dept of Sociology of the University of Zagreb (Croatia) and at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory of the University of Belgrade (Serbia).
I came to Ithaca College in the the fall of 1996. I served as Chair of the Politics Department from 2009 to 2013.
My current research interests include ethnic and nationalist conflict, the phenomenon of political demobilization, democracy promotion, and post-conflict societies. My current research projects include a focus on US democracy assistance in the post-war Balkans. A second project is looking at how images of a dangerous outside world are used as a domestic political resource. I have also worked with anthropologist Stefan Senders on a multi-year project, “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Post-Conflict Studies,” based at the Reppy Institute.
I’m the author of the book The Myth of Ethnic War: Serbia and Croatia in the 1990s, which won the American Political Science Association’s Prize for the Best Book on European Politics and Society as well as the Best First Book Award of the Council for European Studies. I also co-edited the book Post-Conflict Studies: An interdisciplinary approach with Keith Brown (Routledge, 2014). I’ve published numerous scholarly articles on topics related to the Yugoslav wars, nationalism, ethnic conflict, and multiculturalism in the Balkans in journals such as International Security, Foreign Affairs, Nationalities Papers and Journal of Democracy.
I teach Introduction to International Relations, as well as upper level courses on nationalism and ethnic conflict, global migration, whiteness and multiculturalism, Russian politics, democracy assistance, and “Pirates, Mercenaries and Missionaries: Sovereignty in the International System.” I’ve also taught an Ithaca Seminar, “War, Peace and Terrorism,” and currently teach an Honors Course, “Terrorism and Insurgencies.” I designed and obtained college approval for a Concentration in International Studies for Politics Majors, and for a Minor in International Politics for nonmajors, both of which came into effect in fall 2011.
I have participated as organizer or presenter in summer schools in Niš (Serbia) and Ohrid (Macedonia), and was part of the research team for the Muabet project of Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. I have traveled to Russia and to the former Yugoslavia numerous times.
I’ve lived in Ithaca since 1993, and currently live downtown with my partner. I have a daughter and a son who both recently graduated from college.
I’m an avid cyclist; I bike-commute year-round up South Hill from downtown (with studded snow tires in the winter), and also enjoy riding my road bike and my recumbent bike in the beautiful Finger Lakes region. I’ve biked from Ithaca to the Tidewater region of Virginia four times, and have also done a number of other bike tours, both on my upright bike as well as on my recumbent. I also enjoy hiking, canoeing and camping.