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University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation

Dissertation Fellowship

Each year IGCC provides funding for graduate students from all ten UC campuses, including one specially designated Herb York IGCC Fellowship. IGCC seeks to support dissertations around research topics that closely track to current global security priorities. The proposed dissertation research must have one of the following themes as an integral part of the project.

  1. Climate Change and Security: Global climate change will challenge international governance systems, force a reimagining of the roles of militaries and defense communities, spark migration and border disputes, disrupt global trade, prompt conflict within and between countries over scarce resources, and threaten social cohesion and economic stability. IGCC will accept proposals on a range of themes, including the impacts of climate change on:
    – Migration, Refugees, and Border Disputes
    – Trade and Global Value Chains
    – Energy Security, Food Security, Water, and Infrastructure
    – Political Violence, Radicalization, Fragility
    – Implications for Militaries and the Defense Community
    – International Governance and Finance
  2. Future of Democracy: Democracy is under attack at the local, national, and international levels. Many Western democracies, including the United States, face significant democratic backlash at home. Authoritarian states are proliferating. And many influences are now adverse for democracy, including seemingly democratic technology, rhetoric, rules and institutions. In this category, we will accept proposals on: challenges to democratic representation, including disparities in access to the democratic process at different levels of governance; challenges to elections; inclusive democracy; technology and democracy, including how different types of technology can harm and strengthen democracy; the rise of authoritarian states, and the authoritarian turn in international relations; state repression; protest movements; and human rights, including how struggles over human rights within a nation might spill over to affect international security.
  3. Geoeconomics, Innovation, and National Security: The economic dimensions of geostrategic and geopolitical cooperation and competition are becoming increasingly important. Strategic competition today extends beyond the traditional domains of military and defense, to include economic, business, financial, technological, geostrategic, and political spheres. In a rapidly changing world, where the economies of the great powers are increasingly interconnected, geo-economics are the most important weapon among rivals, and new technologies, particularly cyber, are creating new arenas for competition where international governance structures have not yet emerged and traditional security concepts, such as deterrence, are inadequate.Proposals will be accepted on: the economic sources of national security; security dimensions of industrial policy and trade relations; economic statecraft; economic instruments such as trade, investment, and sanctions to promote and defend national interests; the effects of economic actions by other countries and international institutions on a country’s geopolitical goals; and the use of economic instruments to produce beneficial geopolitical results.
  4. Indo-Pacific and the Rise of China: China’s rise as an advanced technological, innovation, and industrial powerhouse is one of the most profound developments of the 21st century and promises to reshape the global economic and technological order. Issues emanating from the Indo-Pacific region—including the implications of North Korea’s nuclear program, and shifts in global supply chains—have implications for global security. Proposals will be accepted on: the implications of China’s rise and shifting geopolitical dynamics in Asia for the economic competitiveness and national security of the United States and the rest of the world, including geoeconomics, geopolitics, national security, the environment, defense modernization, technology, and innovation.
  5. International Security: The international security landscape is rapidly changing. Old definitions of what international security means, and what role states play, are evolving, while challenges proliferate beyond traditional domains. We will accept proposals on a range of traditional, as well as emerging, international security issues, including:
    Defense and Military Issues: The roles of military establishments; the nature and employment of military power; civil-military relations; arms competition; defense science, technology, and innovation; changes in the maritime environment; and the nature of the evolving military landscape at the global and regional level.
    Nuclear Nonproliferation: Proliferation, rules and norms, nuclear nonproliferation regime, international cooperation on monitoring and enforcement of nonproliferation, state behavior, threats from non-state actors, weakness of the nonproliferation regime.
    Disinformation and Cybercrime: Partnerships between hostile states and non-state actors in cyberspace, effects of technological innovation, relationships between private and state actors, deterring and addressing cyber threats and disinformation, the economics of disinformation, the impacts of disinformation.
    Political Violence: Ethnic and religious conflicts, unconventional terrorist threats, root causes of terrorism, threats from civil wars and failed states, state repression.
  6. Regional and Major Power Relations and Institutions: Despite the emergence of new threats from non-state actors, the risk of interstate conflict remains substantial. Topics in this category may include: building global and regional multilateral institutions; role of rising powers; public versus public/private partnerships in governance; regional threat environment’s influence on nuclear proliferation; why some ethnic and religious conflicts become international wars; great power competition in the 21st century versus historical examples; the rise of China and its impact on the security and economies of East Asia and the United States.
  7. Global Health Threats and Cooperation: Global pandemics have consequences for economies and for security, as well as for the well being of billions of people. Topics in this category may include: emerging transnational health threats; incentives, policies, and technologies that foster international agreements on health protection as well as strategies to adapt to emerging global threats; security implications of global health threats.