The CISAC Fellows Forum showcases some of the vitally important work that has been accomplished at CISAC this year. Moderated by Scott Sagan, CISAC co-director, three scholars represent the promising work of CISAC fellows:
"Islam, Identity, and Electoral Outcomes in Iraq"
Why has a cohesive national Shiite political identity emerged in Iraq while Sunni Arabs remain fractured? What does the United States need to understand about how differences between Shiite and Sunni clerical networks influence electoral successes?
David Patel's work focuses on questions of religious organizations and collective action in the Middle East. In fall 2007, he will join the faculty at Cornell University as an assistant professor of political science.
"Mis-overestimating Terrorism: The Problems Terrorists Face and How to Make Them Worse"
Terrorist organizations face substantial internal challenges which make them vulnerable to government action. Careful counter terrorism strategies can exploit these organizational pathologies.
Jacob Shapiro is a graduate student in political science at Stanford University and a CISAC predoctoral fellow. His research focuses on the economic forces that motivate terrorist organizations and the organizational challenges that these groups face.
"Technology Limited: How Scientists Do and Don't Influence U.S. Defense Policy"
In the United States, high technology is a favorite solution to national security problems. But how do we know when complex technology has reached its limits? The rancorous debate over missile defense shows how experts use science to authoritatively frame options and thus influence the making of defense policy.
Rebecca Slayton is a lecturer in the Science, Technology and Society Program at Stanford University and a CISAC affiliate. In 2004-2005 she was a CISAC science fellow. Slayton's research examines the relationships between technocrats, academia, and the media.