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Nancy Bermeo
Senior Scholar, Project on Democracy and Development

A professor in Princeton’s Department of Politics from 1983 to 2006, Bermeo is now the Nuffield Professor of Comparative Politics at Oxford University. Her current research focuses on comparative regime change, institutional design, social movements, political violence, armed conflict and economic inequality .​ Her articles have appeared in Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Democracy, Journal of Politics and elsewhere. Her books include Continuity and Crisis: Popular Reactions to the Great Recession (ed. with Larry Bartels, 2013); Coping with Crisis: Government Reactions to the Great Recession (ed. with Jonas Pontusson, 2012); and Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times: The Role of the Citizenry in the Breakdown of Democracy (2003), which won the Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association’s Democratization Section and Choice magazine’s Best Academic Title Award. She has served as the elected president of the Comparative Democratization Section of the American Political Science Association and was recently elected president of the European Politics and Society Division of the American Political Science Association. Bermeo received her Ph.D. with distinction from Yale University.

Lauren Coyle
Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow and Research Associate; Lecturer

Lauren Coyle is a sociocultural anthropologist and a lawyer whose research interests include legal and political anthropology, critical theory, historical ethnography, epistemology, mining and capitalism, and ritual and symbolic power. Her geographical focus is on Ghana and, more broadly, on Africa at large. In summer 2016, Coyle will start an appointment as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Princeton. She received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago (2014) and a J.D. from Harvard Law School (2008). Most recently, she was a lecturer on law and social studies at Harvard. She currently is working on a book titled Fires of Gold: Law, Land, and Sacrificial Labor in Ghana. Her research has been supported by several sources, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Social Science Research Council, American Council of Learned Societies, American Philosophical Society, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute in the Hutchins Center at Harvard. Coyle’s recent work has appeared in Telos, Transition, and Rethinking Marxism. She has an essay in press, “Tender Is the Mine: Law, Shadow Rule, and the Public Gaze in Ghana,” in Corporate Social Responsibility? Human Rights in the New Global Economy.

Madhavi Devasher
Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow; Postdoctoral Research Associate

Devasher is a political scientist, specializing in ethnic politics with a geographic focus on South Asia. She conducted fieldwork in Uttar Pradesh, India and collected original survey data on the political preferences of Muslim minority voters. At PIIRS, she will be working on her book project, which highlights how vulnerable minorities in developing democracies respond to the political system to ensure their welfare. Contrary to existing predictions in ethnic politics, she demonstrates that voters often defect from their ethnic choice when casting their vote for a politician or party in order to forge mutually beneficial relationships in a competitive electoral environment. Her research demonstrates how democracy can thrive in multi-ethnic societies. The project also intervenes in current Indian political debates, which she addressed through an op-ed in the Indian Express in the lead up to the Indian National Elections in 2014. Separately, she is completing work on an article that demonstrates, and explains why we observe higher levels of conflict between India and Pakistan when Pakistan is under a civilian regime. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University.

Sahan Savas Karatasli
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Research Community on Empires: Domination, Collaboration and Resistance

Karatasli is a comparative-historical sociologist whose work examines the relationship between social movements (nationalist movements, labor unrest, rebellions and revolutions) and historical processes of capitalism, state formation and warfare. His Ph.D. dissertation - titled "Financial Expansions, Hegemonic Transitions and Nationalism: A Longue Durée Analysis of State-Seeking Nationalist Movements" (2013, Johns Hopkins University) - received the Theda Skocpol Dissertation Award by the Comparative-Historical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. Currently, Karatasli is working on his book project titled “Capitalism and Nationalism in the Longue Durée”, which examines the relationship between major waves of nationalist revolts in the world and periods of intensified economic crises, inter-state warfare and social revolutions in the world from 13th century to present. His ongoing research projects also include changing patterns of global income inequality; formation, dissolution and transformation of international orders; and waves of social unrest in world history from the late 18th century to present.

Sara Lopus
Postdoctoral Research Teaching Fellow; Postdoctoral Research Associate; Lecturer

Lopus is a quantitative social scientist whose research investigates household-level food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interdisciplinary academic background (with degrees in demography, international agricultural development, and environmental sciences) informs her approach to studies at the intersection of household composition, economic change, agricultural production, and ecological constraints. Lopus is particularly interested in international fieldwork and quantitative survey methodology, having conducted an economic and nutritional census that longitudinally tracked individuals’ outcomes on a remote Mozambican island. Additional research interests include the factors influencing nutritional preferences and the conditions preceding migration decisions. Lopus received her Ph.D. in Demography from the University of California, Berkeley.

Benoît Pelopidas
Visiting Fellow, Research Community on Global Systemic Risk

Pelopidas is a Lecturer (assistant professor with tenure) in International Relations at the University of Bristol (Global Insecurities Center), and an affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University.

He received his Ph.D. in politics from Sciences Po (Paris) and the University of Geneva. He has been awarded two international prizes for his research, from the International Studies Association and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. He also received the Swiss Network for International Studies’ award for best dissertation of the year.

His research focuses on experts and intellectuals’ roles in the global politics of nuclear vulnerability, the cases of near use of nuclear weapons, the lessons learned from global nuclear history and French nuclear policies. He is currently completing an edited volume on the experience of the Cuban missile crisis worldwide as an early set of experiences of global nuclear vulnerability and its implications for security, responsibility and alliance dynamics. During his stay at Princeton, he will investigate experts’ overconfidence as a source of global systemic risk in the nuclear and financial worlds

Monica Duffy Toft
World Politics Visiting Research Scholar

Before joining the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford in 2012, Toft taught at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where she directed the Initiative on Religion in International Affairs and was the assistant director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in political science at the University of Chicago, and her B.A., also in political science, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to her academic appointments, she spent four years in the United States Army as a Russian linguist. Toft’s areas of research include international security, ethnic and religious violence, civil wars and demography. Her most recent books include: Securing the Peace; Political Demography and God’s Century. In addition she has published numerous scholarly articles and editorials on civil wars, territory and nationalism, demography, and religion in global politics. Her most recent article, co-authored with Yuri Zhukov, is “Islamists and Nationalists: Rebel Motivation and Counterinsurgency in Russia's North Caucasus” published in the American Political Science Review in May 2015.