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Alexander Bryan Downes Faculty Member

Positions

Alexander B. Downes (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2004) is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at The George Washington University and Director of the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies in the Elliott School of International Affairs. His research has appeared in numerous journals, including the British Journal of Political Science, Civil Wars, International Organization, International Security, Journal of Conflict Resolution, SAIS Review, and Security Studies, as well as in multiple edited volumes. Downes’s first book Targeting Civilians in War (Cornell University Press, 2008) won the Joseph Lepgold Prize awarded by Georgetown University for the best book in international relations published in 2008. His second book, Catastrophic Success: Assessing the Consequences of Foreign-Imposed Regime Change, is forthcoming in 2021, also from Cornell. In 2016, Downes won the inaugural Emerging Scholar Award, given by the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association to recognize scholars under the age of 45, or within fifteen years of receiving the Ph.D., who are judged to have made the most significant contribution to the field of security studies. Downes has held fellowships at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (2007/08) and Olin Institute for Strategic Studies (2002/03), and Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (2003/04). His work has been funded by the Department of Defense’s Minerva Initiative, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Eisenhower Institute, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, and Office of Naval Research. Downes teaches courses on international relations and security at the undergraduate and graduate levels and was recognized by the Elliott School for excellence in the classroom with the 2020 Harry Harding Teaching Prize. Before joining the GW faculty, Downes was Assistant Professor of Political Science at Duke University from 2004-2011. He holds a B.A. in Music (magna cum laude) from Brown University and an M.A. in International Relations (with honors) from the University of Chicago.

Research Areas

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