Security Studies
221 Eisenhower Hall

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS 66506

securstu@ksu.edu

(785) 532-3786

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Rabia Akhtar

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Dissertation Title

  • Legislative History of U.S. Non-Proliferation Policy towards Pakistan

Dissertation Abstract

This dissertation proposes to study executive-legislative influences on U.S. foreign policy towards Pakistan during the period of its nuclear weapons development through an examination of successive tenures of four U.S. Presidents: Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton. It interlocks with tracing the legislative history of four key non-proliferation amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA, 1961): Symington (1976), Glenn (1977), Solarz (1985) and Pressler (1985) that provided U.S. policymakers a critical tool to rein in Pakistan from its proliferation activities by suspending foreign assistance. Analysis of the complex process of executive-legislative foreign policymaking will help revise benchmarks for future proliferation challenges as new policy standards are sought to be set.

Dissertation Committee

  • Dr. David Stone (Chair), Dr. Jeffery Pickering, Dr. Michael Krysko, Dr. Syed Rifaat Hussain (Stanford University)

Research Interests

U.S. foreign policy/U.S. Foreign Relations; Regional Security Policies (Asia and the Middle East); Nuclear proliferation, Non-proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament; National Security and Intelligence and; Counter-proliferation and Terrorism

Teaching Interests

Theories of International Relations; International Security; U.S. Foreign Policy; South Asian Strategic Perspectives; WMD Non-proliferation; Security and Non-proliferation issues; Nuclear Arms Control and; Global Security: Trends and Perspectives. 

Expected Graduation Date

  • Spring 2015

 

Patricia Blocksome

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Dissertation Title

  • Structural Determinants of Sub-State Political Violence Choices 

Dissertation Abstract

My dissertation develops a formalized, game-theoretic model of the relationship between the occurrence and type of sub-state political violence and three actors: the state, the rebel group, and the foreign intervener.  The interactions between the three actors are laid out in a basic three-move game, to which I attach modifiers that affect the costs of action of the different payoffs. These modifiers can then be adjusted to account for actor-specific levels of capability, coercion, and coordination.  This formal model is then subjected to empirical tests and case study analysis.

Dissertation Committee

Research Interests

My research interests lie within the field of sub-state politicized violence, focusing on the causes and evolution of use of violence by non-state actors. I am an associate of the ADT Project, which conducts research on more effective strategies for military-led stability and development missions. I am a Research Affiliate in the Frontier Program, which is an interdisciplinary program focused on studies of border security, food security, and trade policy. Previously, as the 2012 Scholar of the Arthur D. Simons Center for Interagency Cooperation, I studied the effects of internal security forces and security force assistance on sub-state violence.

Teaching Interests

Defense Strategies, Transnational and Global Threats and Actors, Terrorism and Insurgency, Intrastate War, Human Security, Stability and Peacekeeping Operations, Human Geography

Expected Graduation Date

  • Spring 2014

 

Kevin Brown

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Dissertation Title

  • Religion and International Relations: The affects of a "Post-Islamic Turn" on American Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Dissertation Committee

  • Dr. Sabri Ciftci, Dr. Andrew Long, Dr. Jeffrey Pickering, Dr. David Stone

Research Interests

Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Defense Policy/Structure

Teaching Interests

Civ-Mil Relations, American Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Expected Graduation Date

  • Spring 2014

 

Kate Kidder

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Dissertation Title

  • Aiding Defense: Optimizing the National Security Budget by Leveraging Development

Dissertation Abstract

The three mechanisms of U.S. Foreign Policy- Defense, Diplomacy, and Development- offer distinct tools for shaping the strategic landscape in which the United States operates. Each of these mechanisms range in the level of effectiveness and cost. Prior analyses evaluate the effectiveness of strong relationships between Defense & Diplomacy and Diplomacy and Development. However, the relationship between Defense and Development has yet to be explored in depth. Both Defense and Development share the common goal of establishing stability within the U.S. strategic landscape. By examining the goals, priorities, and budgets of the Department of Defense and the United States Agency for International Aid in critical conflict-prone areas, an optimal balance of Defense and Aid spending is presented.

Dissertation Committee

  • Dr. Michael Krysko, Chair; Dr. Kristin Mulready-Stone; Dr. Andrew Long; Dr. Amanda Murdie (Outside Committee Member)

Research Interests

U.S. Foreign Policy, Defense Budgeting, Development, Humanitarian Assistance, Junior Officer Retention, Warrior Culture, Game Theory

Teaching Interests

U.S. Foreign Policy, History of International Relations, Development Economics, Agricultural Economics

Expected Graduation Date

  • Fall 2013 

 

Jacob Mauslein

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Dissertation Title

  • Three Essays on International Cyber Threats: Target Nation Characteristics, Asymmetric Information Exchange, and International Rivalry

Dissertation Abstract

My dissertation focuses on the quantitative study of international cyber threats.  The use of panel data to study this 21st century security threat fills a methodological gap in the current cyber threat literature.  In addition, the theoretical foundation of the dissertation attempts to apply established political science theories to the study of this unique form of vulnerability.  The first section of the dissertation investigates the economic, social, and political characteristics of states targeted for cyber attacks, cyber terrorism, and cyber espionage.  This is accomplished by using the terrorist targeting literature as a surrogate theoretical framework.  The second section determines how cyber threats impact crisis bargaining situations between international actors.  Theoretically, the loss of private information would reduce the targeted state's bargaining range, thereby inducing that state to seek peace over armed conflict.  The final section investigates the use of cyber threats between international rivals.  As armed conflicts between states become more and more deadly, in addition to their high cost, this paper seeks to determine if rivals use cyber threats as a low-level form of conflict, in an effort to avoid physical conflict.

Dissertation Committee

  • Dr. Jeffrey Pickering (Chair), Dr.Sabri Ciftci, Dr.Michael Krysko, Dr. Amanda Murdie (University of Missouri), Dr. Craig Stapley

Research Interests

International Cyber Threats, Domestic & International Terrorism, GIS Applications in Political Science, Natural Resource, Depletion in Western Kansas and County Classifications, Evolution of Online Research in Mass Communication

Teaching Interests

International Cyber Threats, International Conflict, GIS Applications in Political Science

Expected Graduation Date

  • Fall 2013

 

Muhammad Asif Nawaz

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Dissertation Title

  • How Terrorism Ends: Impact of Group's Lethality on the its Survival

Dissertation Abstract

My research attempts to gauge the impact of terrorist group’s lethality on its survival. The current scholarship has sought to understand the demise of terrorist groups through means such as a group’s success, government repression, negotiations, internal conflict, reorientation of goals, defeat, leadership decapitation, loss of public support, etc. However, less attention has been given to the targeting errors made by the group, which make terrorism a “self-defeating” phenomena (Abrahms, 2006, 76). By focusing on the targeting preferences and methodologies of all terrorist organizations  in the world from 1970 to 2011(758 in total), my research highlights their targeting errors - which is significantly related to a groups’ lethality - and calculates the survival probability of 758 terrorists groups. Subsequently, the results will be tested and compared by studying the targeting preferences of conventional and suicidal terrorist organizations separately, and by conducting group specific case studies.

Dissertation Committee

  • Dr. David Stone (Chair), Dr. Andrew Long (Co-Chair), Dr.Sabri Ciftci, Dr. Amanda Murdie (University of Missouri), Dr. Craig Stapley

Research Interests

Terrorism, Political Islam, Religion and Democratic Attitudes, International Security, and Arms Control and Disarmament, Applied Regression and Research Design

Teaching Interests

Terrorism and Transnational Security, South Asian Political, Strategic and Security Perspectives, Political Islam and Religion and Democratic Attitudes

Expected Graduation Date

  • Spring 2014

 

David Oakley

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Dissertation Title

  • Partners or Competitors?: the Evolution of the DOD/CIA relationship from world war II to the long war

Dissertation Abstract

Over the last decade, wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and global counterterrorism operations have led to a significant increase in the partnership between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Department of Defense (DoD). Although the CIA and DoD share a common history growing out of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the relationship has historically swayed from partners to strained competitors based on strategic conditions and institutional interests. This research explores the evolution of the CIA/DoD relationship over time and the environments that helped shape it.

Dissertation Committee

  • Dr. David Stone (Chair), Dr. Michael Krysko, Dr. Dale Herspring, and Mr. David Edger (University of Oklahoma)

Research Interests

Intelligence History, Security Issues, and US Foreign Policy

Teaching Interests

Intelligence History and IR

Expected Graduation Date

  • Fall 2016

 

Melia Pfannenstiel

Contact

  • meliay@k-state.edu
  • CV

Dissertation Title

  • Terrorist Sanctuaries: The Role of Weak States and Strong Societies

Dissertation Committee

  • Dr. Emizet Kisangani (chair), Dr. Jeffrey Pickering, Dr. David Stone, and Dr. Craig Stapley

Research Interests

International Security (Terrorism); 
State Failure/State-building; 
International Military Interventions and Defense Strategies Conflict Processes and Management; 
African Politics

Teaching Interests

International Security (Terrorism, Weapons Proliferation, Cyber Security); African Politics; International Relations Theory and Comparative Politics Theory 

Expected Graduation Date

  • Summer 2013

 

Robert Wallace

Contact

  • wallacer@ksu.edu
  • CV

Dissertation Title

  • The Determinants of Conflict: North Korea's Foreign Policy Choices, 1960-2011

Dissertation Abstract

North Korea continues to present a unique security dilemma to both East Asia and the international community.  The Kim regime's actions, which often include hostile military and diplomatic foreign policy actions, confounds most analysts and often seems inconsistent with parallel efforts by the DPRK to peacefully engage the international community.

This research asks the question – what has been the historic relationship between the domestic conditions faced by North Korean leaders and their propensity to engage in “hostile” diplomatic and military activities?  Additionally, I examine whether or not the concept of diversionary theory is an explanation for these actions.  The study initially proposes there is a positive relationship between domestic unrest and external conflict activities. To test these ideas, a quantitative analysis of North Korean event data collected from both US and Korean sources from 1960-2011 and a qualitative analysis of three case studies are used to try to test and analyze these proposals. 

The findings provide some support to the idea that some domestic difficulties are related to the Kim regime’s choices to engage in conflict to achieve foreign policy goals, especially after 1992.  Concurrently, the results find few relationships between conditions faced by North Korea (internal conditions or external) during the Cold War and its propensity to engage in conflict.  Additionally, this study finds that diversionary theory provides only a partial explanation for DPRK conflict behavior and that the Kim regime uses not only diversion, but a variety of governing techniques to respond to domestic instability.

An important contribution of this project lies in the relationships that are not found – the findings indicate that many of the internal factors faced by North Korea that are assumed to cause conflict in other states, such as economic and social distress, are not consistently related to external conflict.  Additionally, a number of external factors, to include responses from the internal community and actions of both the US and South Korea are less influential in North Korea’s initiation of hostile actions.  These findings provide evidence to the conclusion that DPRK conflict activities are related to other factors, such as efforts by the ruling regime to remain in power and that most North Korean conflict actions are related to the needs of the Kim family, rather than the DPRK as a state or the North Korean citizens.

Dissertation Committee

  • Dr. Dale Herspring (Chair), Dr. Jeffrey Pickering, Dr. Andrew Long, and Dr. Kristin Mulready-Stone

Research Interests

Security studies, National Security Issues, International Relations, Military History, Military Defense Capabilities, Civil-Military Relations, East Asian Security Issues, North and South Korea, Cold War Studies, and Operational and Strategic Military Intelligence

Teaching Interests

Security Studies, International Relations, Cold War History, Modern History of the Koreas, National Security, Intelligence Topics

Expected Graduation Date

  • Fall 2013