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Professor Robert Brathwaite Awarded Council on Foreign Relations Fellowship

December 18, 2020

Professor Robert Brathwaite was recently awarded a prestigious 2021-2022 International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars by the Council on Foreign Relations. The highly competitive program offers tenured academics from a variety of scholarly backgrounds practical experience in the foreign policy-making field through placement at in the United States government or an international organization.

Professor Brathwaite’s project, “Religious Conflict and Repression Event Dataset (RCRED),” is the development of an event dataset focused on measuring religious conflict and repression by both state and societal actors globally. The project’s primary objective is the creation of a dataset providing informative and reliable data on reported incidents of religious violence and repression, capturing religiously inspired lethal and non-lethal violence and targeted forms of repression using machine learning approaches. The methodology allows for information to be captured at the sub-national level as well as target specific types of repression and violence and incorporate local language text sources. Professor Brathwaite’s overarching focus is providing accurate and updated monitoring to empower policymakers and different civil society actors to take action in a format that can be updated regularly with flexible and customizable capabilities.

“I want to spend a year working with a federal agency, Congress, or international organization for both my professional development and to further career opportunities for future students who express interest in public service in foreign policy and/or national security,” Professor Brathwaite said. His placement will likely be in the U.S. Department of State, the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, or the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, pending COVID-19 restrictions. “I hope to gain from this experience both a better understanding of how to make my own research and scholarship more relevant to pressing policy issues but also take back ideas to think about different instructional approaches to further students understanding of public affairs. In addition, I hope to develop professional contacts to provide opportunities for students trying to pursue careers in public service, especially in foreign policy and national security.”

Professor Brathwaite is an Associate Professor at James Madison College and specializes in international relations, with teaching and research interests including international security, terrorism, cyberwarfare, religious violence, and the conduct of civil wars. He is the faculty director and founder of the JMC Human Rights Data Science Lab, an experiential learning project providing students the opportunity to engage in policy-relevant research in the investigation of human rights violations.