Marie Besançon

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Fellow Position: 
Consortium Fellow, 2002–2003
About Fellow's Work: 

Marie Besançon came to her Consortium fellowship after having recently completed a Ph.D. in Political Science at Claremont Graduate University. She first became interested in international relations while researching media coverage of terrorism for a nonprofit media-monitoring organization and through her association with the Simon Wiesenthal Center. After working in the medical research field for several years, Dr. Besançon decided to return to graduate school to study world politics and to take a more active role in international relations and conflict resolution. Her dissertation investigated relative deprivation between groups (e.g. economic and gender groups) and its role in different types of intrastate political violence (revolutions, ethnic conflicts, and genocides). Her Consortium fellowship was based at the Women in Public Policy Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Dr. Besançon's fellowship work focused on the theory that, given a certain economic inequality threshold beyond which dissatisfied groups resort to violence, a relative minimum resource threshold is required before certain groups or subgroups will be willing to fight. Though opposing groups may fight at a certain level of inequality, they may also require a certain level of societal or economic equality before perceiving a possibility of winning. She explored these ideas in her Consortium Working Paper, "Women in the Northern Ireland Peace Process: A Novel Use of Expected Utility in Bridging the Gap between the Quantitative Scholars and the Policy Pundits."

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