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K-State Today

May 12, 2015

Political science professor has rewarding Oz to Oz research trip

Submitted by Krista Moore

Sam Bell, associate professor of political science, visited Australian National University in Canberra as a participant in K-State's Oz to Oz program in March.

During his visit, he presented "The Effect of U.S. Troop Deployments on Human Rights" to Australian National University's School of Politics and International Relations Seminar Series.

Bell is collaborating with Richard Frank, lecturer in the school, on a series of projects linking governmental transparency, electoral violence and the onset of civil war. They are researching transparency of electoral processes and how political regime type relates to the onset of civil war.

While in Canberra, Bell also laid the groundwork for a series of projects linking human rights and electoral protests with Svitlana Chernykh, lecturer in the school. Chernykh earned an Master of Arts in political science at K-State in 2004, graduating before Bell joined K-State. The two met for the first time in Australia and soon discovered a range of potentially fruitful areas of research collaboration.

"This trip provided a great opportunity to bridge many of my research interests with those of Dr. Frank and Dr. Chernykh," Bell said. "It hopefully marks the start of long-term collaborations with both of them. Bringing together my research interests with both Rich's and Svitlana's has some really great advantages. One is that there has been very little work combining the kids of research questions that I ask in regards to human rights, transparency, and NGOs with election research."