Alanna Van Antwerp
Major — Comparative Politics
Minor — International Relations
I am a 5th year PhD candidate, recently returned from conducting dissertation fieldwork in Egypt, where I was a 2012 Boren Fellow. I am also currently serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for GW's Women's Leadership Program.
My dissertation focuses on answering two sets of questions. The first set is specific to the Middle East and North Africa: when and why do Islamist political groups come to power after authoritarian collapse, and what explains the different results in the founding elections of three Muslim-majority Arab Spring countries (Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya)? The second set of questions is relevant to political science as a whole: which political groups are best able to mobilize supporters after authoritarian collapse more generally and how do authoritarian legacies impact post-authoritarian politics?
Before entering the PhD program in 2009, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Mongolia, worked for Save the Children in Armenia and was a Research Associate at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C, focused on the Levant. While completing my M.A. in International Development Studies, I performed a research consultancy as part of a small team for CCF-Liberia on the causes of and solutions to the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse perpetrated by U.N. peacekeepers, conducting research in urban and rural Liberia.
I received qualitative methods training at the Institute for Qualitative Methods Research at Syracuse University (2012) and Arabic language training in Damascus (2010) and Alexandria, Egypt (2012). I speak advanced Arabic (modern standard and Egyptian dialect), intermediate Spanish, and basic Mongolian.
The Middle East, civil society under authoritarianism, social movements and political mobilization, democratization, political Islam, Egypt, Syria.
- M.A. International Development Studies, The George Washington University
- Concurrent B.A./M.A. Linguistics, University of Colorado at Boulder, summa cum laude
Dissertation Title: Legacies of Repression: Political Mobilization in the Shadow of Authoritarian Rule
Committee: Nathan J. Brown, Marc Lynch, Kimberly Morgan
"The Electoral Model Without Elections: The Arab Uprisings of 2011 and the Color Revolutions in Comparative Perspective," Forthcoming. (With Nathan J. Brown)