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Global Fellows 2007–2008

The UCLA International Institute is proud to introduce the 2007–08 Global Fellows.

These seven outstanding visiting scholars, all near the beginning of their careers, will join a community of scholars committed to the UCLA International Institute's mission of educating global citizens. This year Associate Professor Daniel N. Posner of the UCLA Department of Political Science will serve as director of Global Fellows.

Cheris Chan is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her PhD in sociology from Northwestern University in 2004. She has published articles and chapters on new religious movements in Chinese societies and the new labor management in various workplaces. Her research interests are in the fields of cultural sociology, economic sociology, globalization, contemporary Chinese societies, and ethnography. She is completing her book manuscript, entitled Contested Lives, Contested Practices: Culture and the Making of a Life Insurance Market in China. This book examines how a life insurance market is emerging in mainland China, where discussion of premature death is a cultural taboo. It focuses on the global-local dynamics on the ground in order to understand how culture shapes the trajectory and the features of the market. While finishing up this manuscript, she has expanded her project to studying the life insurance market trajectories in Hong Kong and Taiwan for comparative analyses. Her next project will investigate the political embeddedness of the Chinese stock markets and the rationalities of the stock investors in China.

Elizabeth DeLoughrey is an Associate Professor of postcolonial literatures in the English Department at Cornell University. She is the editor, with George Handley and Renee Gosson, of Caribbean Literature and the Environment: Between Nature and Culture (U Virginia 2005), and the author of Routes and Roots: Navigating Caribbean and Pacific Island Literatures (U Hawai'i 2007), a work that examines the literatures of Pacific indigeneity alongside diasporic literary production of the black Atlantic. She has also published articles on Maori, Cook Island, Jamaican, Trinidadian and other island literatures in journals such as Interventions, the Journal of Caribbean Literatures, Ariel, and Thamyris. As a Global Fellow, she will concentrate on the literal "seeds" of diaspora, tracing the exchange of plants and peoples between the island colonies of the tropics in an effort to understand the ways in which ecological imperialism facilitated contemporary globalization, and to examine how non-human history is implicated in postcolonial inscriptions of place.

Nader Hashemi received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto in 2005. His research interests lie at the intersection of political theory and comparative politics of the developing world with a regional specialization in the Middle East and the Islamic World. Specific research areas include secularism and its discontents in Muslim societies, Western and modern Islamic political thought, religion-state relations, the politics of Islamic fundamentalism, and the history and development of liberal democracy. His writings have been published by Princeton University Press, McGill-Queen's University Press, Journal of Church and State, Third World Quarterly, Queen's Quarterly, Global Dialogue, Tikkun, The Nation, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Star (Beirut), The Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star. He is the author of Rethinking the Relationship between Religion, Secularism and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming). He recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University and has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

Kris Mitchener is Associate Professor of Economics in the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University and a Faculty Research Fellow with the National Bureau of Economics. He received his PhD in economics from UC Berkeley in 2001. His research focuses on economic growth, banking systems and macroeconomic performance, and international finance and trade, and appears in such journals as the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, the Journal of Economic Growth, the Journal of Law and Economics, and the Journal of Economic History. As a UCLA Global Fellow, Mitchener plans to continue working on projects related to sovereign borrowing, drawing on a newly-constructed, comprehensive database of weekly sovereign debt prices for the first era of economic globalization, 1870-1914. His projects will focus on analyzing the extent to which hard pegs are credible for emerging market borrowers and on the enforcement of sovereign debt contracts.

Nina Sylvanus completed her PhD in anthropology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris, in 2006. Her ethnographic research, based in Togo and Benin, explores a vista of cultural and economic globalization that moves beyond commonplaces about African marginality in globalization narrative and development discourse. During her time at UCLA, Sylvanus will work on a book project "The Fabric of Globality: West African Women in the World Commodity Trade." The book combines historical, global, and intensely ethnographic analysis of a group of female traders to explore the changing nature of competition within a complex global commodity chain for "African" fabrics. Sylvanus has published several articles in French journals, including Les Temps Modernes, and has articles forthcoming in Anthropological Theory and in an edited volume on globalization.  At UCLA, she teaches a seminar on Globalization and Trade in West Africa in the Anthropology Department and an introductory course to globalization in Global Studies.

Jeff Timmons is a political scientist at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City, where he teaches courses in political economy and Latin America. He holds a BA from Dartmouth College, an MSc in economic history from the London School of Economics, and a Phd from the University of California San Diego. His 2004 dissertation won the Best Dissertation award from the Western Political Science Association and the Jean Fort Award from UCSD. Publications include: "The Fiscal Contract: States, Taxes and Public Services" (World Politics 2006) and "The Political Determinants of Economic Performance: Political Competition and the Sources of Growth" (with Pablo M. Pinto, Comparative Political Studies 2005). At UCLA, he hopes to complete a book manuscript about fiscal contracts which attempt to explain cross-country variations in tax structures and government performance. In addition, he will continue working on a multi-country study about market structures which looks at the causes and consequences of imperfect competition, particularly in Latin America. Before coming to UCLA, Timmons served as contributor to the Economist Intelligence Unit in Venezuela and as a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil.

Juan F. Vargas received his PhD in economics from the University of London, Royal Holloway College, in 2007. From 2005 to 2007 Juan was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University, where he was affiliated with the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. His research interests include development economics and the political economy of civil conflicts, and his research applies rational choice modeling and causal inference statistical methodologies to the study of the dynamics of civil war. He has published articles and chapters on the advantages of conflict micro-datasets and within-country variation for the study of armed conflict. As a Global Fellow at UCLA, Vargas plans to complete theoretical and empirical work on the relationship between commodity price-shocks and conflict dynamics, the determinants of conflict-duration, and the role of civilians in civil war.

UCLA International Institute