YCIAS hires two new profs

The Yale Center for International and Area Studies has hired two new junior faculty members in an effort to broaden Yale’s offerings in the field of international relations, as well as to address the growth of interest in political science.

Next fall, Thad Dunning and Susan Hyde will come to Yale, where they will officially serve on the political science faculty while teaching a number of courses in the international studies program. Dunning will teach an undergraduate lecture course and a seminar on ethnic politics in an international comparative perspective, as well as a graduate seminar on formal models of comparative politics. Hyde will teach another undergraduate lecture course on international organizations and two seminars in the YCIAS master’s program on democracy promotion and non-state actors in world politics.

YCIAS Director Ian Shapiro said the hires are an important step toward the establishment of more tenure-track faculty in International Studies. Currently, there is a problem with continuity in this department — and other interdisciplinary programs like Ethics, Politics and Economics — since they rely heavily on visiting professors, Shapiro said.

“The first priority is to get to a world where the great bulk of the teaching is done by ladder faculty, which will be next year,” Shapiro said. “We get more interdisciplinary teaching from ladder faculty.”

The hires are part of a larger YCIAS expansion effort, and officials raised the funds for six new senior and three junior faculty positions who would owe the YCIAS a certain number of courses per year, along with their formal department, Shapiro said. Political science professor Alec Stone Sweet was hired last year as a senior faculty member.

Dunning graduated from Brown University in 1996 and received his master’s degree in Latin American studies at Stanford University. Currently, he is completing a doctorate in political science and an M.A. in economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Dunning studies processes of political change, particularly in developing areas.

Dunning stressed the importance of international education on college campuses around the country, saying that he finds it has been steadily de-emphasized.

“At a time of increased global conflict, international studies need to be constantly underscored,” he said. “We want the globe achieving theoretical knowledge that is empirically well formed.”

Hyde, who graduated from Linfield College in 2000, has traveled to Indonesia, Latin America and Albania for her work in democracy promotion and election monitoring in developing countries. Currently, Hyde serves as a research fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., while completing her Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, San Diego.

Hyde said she looks forward to more practical applications of her academic knowledge.

“YCIAS has a lot of people going on a practical track, going out into the field and working in international politics,” she said. “I’m looking forward to developing relations with people who are really hoping to get their hands dirty in the fields that I’m interested in.”

International relations professor Bruce Russett, who is also director of United Nations Studies at Yale, said the hiring initiative will help greatly with the strain of a greater number of majors and an inadequate number of professors the Political Science Department has faced during the past 10 years.

“Political science is the second-most popular department in Yale College, but we’re by no means the second-largest,” Russett said. “I won’t say it’s a burden, because we’re delighted with the increase in interest. We just haven’t had sufficient person-power in the department to meet all the needs of the undergrads.”

The new hires will be officially completed by July 1, Shapiro said.

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