The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Alexandria Nylen Joins the Watson Institute at Brown University

Graduating UMass doctoral student and Human Security Lab doctoral researcher Alexandria Nylen has accepted a position as Program Coordinator at Brown University's Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS) at the prestigious Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Nylen successfully defended her PhD dissertation, Targeting Drones, this month, completing the final requirement for her doctoral degree in Political Science and Legal Studies from University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Dr. Nylen had been pursuing the PhD in Political Science and Legal Studies since 2014 with a specialization in international relations and international law, and research interests in human rights, humanitarian affairs, critical security studies and humanitarian disarmament. She was also a co-founder of the Conflict, Violence and Security Working Group, and a prolific published author with a sole-authored piece on targeted killings in the prestigious European Journal of International Relations, and co-authored pieces on torture, targeted killings, nuclear use and the politics of national security public opinion research in European Journal of International Security and Perspectives on Politics.

Dr. Nylen’s dissertation explores the nature, extent and obstacles to anti-drone advocacy in the US, on the global scene and in the global south, addressing the puzzle as to why the transnational anti-drone network failed to coalesce into a single coherent campaign between 2010-2020. Her work showed that actors who are traditionally considered the least enfranchised members of a network are capable of affecting the overall coherency of an advocacy campaign by making their voices and interests heard. Her research process connected her to a wide array of practitioners and led her to an interest in doing policy-relevant, practice-focused work upon completion of her degree.

At Brown University, Nylen will work to expand the Watson Institute's global network of humanitarian, military, and academic partners, support CHRHS research on humanitarian military relations, contribute to and lead policy projects, support Brown University and U.S. Naval War College faculty in development of new curricula, organize the National Research Symposium and Workshop on Civilian Military Humanitarian Response, and serve as a mentor for undergraduate and graduate students at Brown.

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  • Student News