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The US Centre PhD Summer Research Grants 2018-19

Our summer research grants encourage innovative research on the United States and supported students pursuing postgraduate research on topics related to the Centre’s overall mission of promoting internationally-oriented scholarship on America’s changing role in the world.

"If you need to travel to the US for research, this grant is for you. I would highly recommend applying!"

Marral Shamshiri-Fard

"The Summer Research Grant programme is a wonderful opportunity for young researchers to develop grant work experience"

Ariel Perkins

The Summer Grant scheme is open to all LSE PhD students who are conducting US-related research, however, research proposals should fall under one of the US Centre’s core research themes. 

The 2018-19 academic year was the first year for the Summer Grant scheme. Read the 2018-19 donor report for more information on the programme. You can also read more about how the programmme supported early career research here. 

For information on the 2019-20 programme please click here

PhD Grant2US Centre Director Peter Trubowitz with 2018-19 PhD Summer Grant recipients Marral Shamshiri-FardJacklyn Majnemer, and Ariel Perkins and the programme donor Dr Harold Glass


Research Projects 2019 

1. Bowling with Guns: Grievance, resentment, and political action in themilitia movement and American right

Ariel Perkins, Department of Government, LSE

This research addresses three puzzles emerging from our accumulated knowledge of the US militia movement. First, does it make sense to assume militia members aretriggered by the same structural grievances as wider partisan bases? Is there a connection betweenpartisan extremism and political action in the US case? Second, what explains ‘extremist’ forms ofmobilization (e.g. armed paramilitary drills) without ‘extremist’ outcomes (e.g. political violence)?Are militias meeting more for coffee than guns, and if so, how and why is such engagementpolitically coded? Third, nearly all primary accounts suggest recruits view membership as a civicduty and public good (Cooter 2013, Shapira 2013, Aho 1990). If this is the case, why does suchactivism manifest in non-traditional forms of democratic political engagement? Are enlisteesinfluenced by shared background characteristics or experiences (e.g. military service)?

Read the final report of Ariel's summer grant project here and her interview with the LSE Research team here

2. Understanding Reneging: Why Allies Withdraw from Dual-Key Nuclear Sharing Commitments

Jacklyn Majnemer, Department of International Relations, LSE

This summer project will form a key part of a doctoral thesis, which explores the trajectory the dual-key nuclear sharing arrangements between the Canada and the US under NATO and NORAD. The core puzzle that drives my thesis is why some states renege on their previously-held alliance commitments, despite the structural incentives to cooperate within institutionalized alliances. It will be argued that a key source of leverage for reneging is the type of domestic coalition that supports defection, which can mitigate the perceived costs of defection. Coalitions that support reneging on a wide variety of commitments and question the fundamentals of alliance membership, or maximalist coalitions, provide more leverage than coalitions that only oppose a single commitment but generally support membership within the alliance, or minimalist coalitions. Maximalist coalitions have three main sources of bargaining power: a credible threat of total withdrawal from the alliance, a willingness to act unilaterally, and low vulnerability to being influenced by allies. Using Putnam’s two-level game as a model of intra-alliance negotiation, it will be argued that leaders that have the support of a maximalist coalition should be more likely to pursue a reneging strategy vis-à-vis the alliance and to succeed in their attempts to renege on their commitments if they can maintain this support.

Read the final report of Jacklyn's summer grant project here.

3. Resisting Marxism and Imperialism in the Persian Gulf: Political Alliances and Revolutionary Transnationalism, 1965 – 1979

Marral Shamshiri-Fard, Department of International History, LSE

This PhD dissertation analyses the diplomatic and transnational Iranian involvement in the Dhofar revolution in the period of 1965-79 within the context of the global Cold War. Combining international and transnational history, it examines how the global Cold War shaped, and was shaped by, the ideas, actions, and decisions of individuals, states, and organisations, whether they were revolutionaries or statesmen; non-aligned, Western, or Eastern states; and activist, informal or institutional organisations. Building on existing scholarship which has tended to focus on the Moscow vs. Washington lens of Cold War history, this research projects instead centralises so-called Third World actors in Iran and Oman in order to understand how Western hegemony, namely, American dominance, was challenged in the defining period of the Global Sixties. 

Read the final report of Marral's summer grant project here.


The programme has been generously funded by LSE Alumni. Read more about the programme at Supporting LSE.