Dr. Rebecca Nielsen is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Nielsen earned her bachelor’s degree in political science at Brigham Young University and two master’s degrees and a PhD in political science from Yale University. Her field certifications are in comparative politics, political economy, and quantitative methods.
In addition to her time at the Bush School, Nielsen has been a teaching assistant and later an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University and a teaching fellow at Yale University. In the fall of 2015, Nielsen taught courses on contemporary civil wars and transnational security issues at the Bush School.
She has done field work in Liberia and Sierra Leone and has conducted research for the Project-Level Aid Database (PLAID/AidData) and the WomanStats Database Project, and for MIT. Her dissertation, “War, Networks, and Women in Politics,” examined the impact of civil war violence on “secret society” organizations in West Africa and the outcomes for women’s local and national engagement.
In 2010, Nielsen co-authored “Women in the Post-Conflict Period” with Mary Caprioli and Dr. Valerie Hudson. The work appeared in Peace and Conflict 2010, edited by Joseph Hewitt, Jonathan Wilkenfeld, and Ted Robert Gurr. Publications in progress include studies on development NGOs and the impoverishment of the Sierra Leonean women’s movement as well as the Poro and Kamajor Militias in Sierra Leone and Liberia.