US Centre staff members at an event

Undergraduate Research Assistantships 2018

Encouraging interdisciplinary research collaborations between academics and undergraduate students

In Michaelmas 2017, the Centre launched the US Centre Undergraduate Research Assistantship programme as a means of encouraging US-related interdisciplinary research collaborations between academics and undergraduate students at LSE. After resounding success and the generous donations from alumni the centre is able to run the programme again for a second cohort of students.

The programme is an opportunity for students to involve themselves directly in internationally-oriented scholarship on America’s changing role in the world. Collaborating over the course of an academic year, undergraduate students are paired with academics who requires assistance in collecting or processing new data, gathering archival resources, writing-up a blog article, or conducting library searches.

 The programme has been generously funded by LSE Alumni.

Read the donor report of the successes of the 2017 programme here.


2018-19 Research Projects

1. The Rise and Fall of US Drug War Hegemony: Rethinking Bilateral Perspectives

Faculty: John Collins, International Drug Policy Unit

Research Assistant: Maria Cerdio, Anthropology

The US has traditionally been viewed as a key actor in international drug control. Indeed many accounts highlight the US as the key protagonist, or hegemon, responsible for the creation of the UN drug control system, as codified under the various UN drug control treaties. The relationship between US bilateral diplomacy and its negotiated process around exporting the US model of drug control to specific key states has received less attention. This research aims to develop a more vivid and clear picture of the US’s role in the drug policies of states around the world and thereby discern some of the mechanisms and leverage points the US was able to exert in its export of the “war on drugs” model.

Read the report.

2. Jimmy Carter and Global Human Rights

Faculty: Roham Alvandi, International History

Research Assistant: Joss Harrison, International Relations

This is a book project, which examines the relationship between the ‘human rights revolution’ of the 1970s and the Iranian Revolution of 1979. It explores the ways in which transnational human rights activism in the United States and Europe, involving American, Iranian, and European activists, helped to spark the Iranian Revolution. The project involves looking at the human rights policies of the Carter administration.

Read the report.

3. The Decline and Fall of the Gold Standard

Faculty: James Morrison, International History

Research Assistant: Maitrai Lapalika, International Relations

This is a book project on the “Decline and Fall of the Gold Standard” in the interwar period. The project traces the attempts to restore a cooperative international financial system following World War I, the failure of those attempts and the disaster of the Great Depression, and the radical departures from the gold standard system in the 1930s. 

Read the report.

4. Eugenia Charles and US-Dominican Relations, 1980-1995

Faculty: Imaobong Umoren, International History

Research Assistant: Christina Ivey, Government

LSE Alumna Eugenia Charles made history in 1980 when she became the first female Prime Minister in the Caribbean. Sweeping to victory in the Dominican elections, Charles simultaneously became Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence and Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs. Charles won three consecutive elections serving until 1995. With conservative political views and close ties to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan, Charles gained the title 'Iron Lady of the Caribbean'. The research assistant will be involved with conducting research in US and Caribbean newspapers about Eugenia Charles and US-Dominican relations between 1980-1995. In particular, the research assistant will investigate the media and public reaction to the US invasion of Grenada in 1983, the influence of US aid in Dominica, and how Charles was represented.

Read the report.

5. Islamophobia Discourse in the British, American and Australian media

Faculty: David Smith, US Centre

Research Assistant: Arundhati Suma-Ajith, International History

This research project maps the political discourse of Islamophobia in Britain, the United States and Australia. “Islamophobia” is a highly contested term, and the political use of it has changed over time and has been different in different places. By exploring the development of Islamophobia as a concept in different countries, this project seeks to answer the question of why different states have responded to the problem of Islamophobia in different ways. 

Read the report.


 To read about the research projects from 2017 please click here.

To stay informed on our future student outreach activities, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to our termly newsletter. 


Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash



.@Telegraph article "Afghanistan sees boom in meth production as seizures of illegal drug more than double"……


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Congratulations to our Centre Affiliate @RebsFE from the @LSEsociology for winning the ASA Environmental Sociology……


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LSE US Centre, Pethick-Lawrence House, 9th Floor, , Clement's Inn, London, WC2A 2AZ