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Dr. Valerie Hudson - Faculty Spotlight

June 05, 2015

Valerie Hudson

Dr. Valerie Hudson joined the faculty of the Bush School in 2012 as the George H. W. Bush Chair.  An expert on international security and foreign policy analysis, she received her PhD in political science at The Ohio State University.  Hudson is also known for her significant research on gender and issues of foreign policy and security.

Her current work is a book due out in June 2015, entitled The Hillary Doctrine: How Sex Came to Matter in American Foreign Policy.  “The Hillary Doctrine looks at Secretary Clinton’s focus on gender policy and asks how it found a place on the “to do” list for future secretaries of state,” Hudson said. “I couldn’t see that anyone else was doing a reflection on this aspect of Clinton’s four years as secretary of state, and I felt the need to write about it.  The premise of the Hillary Doctrine is that the subjugation of women is a direct threat to the security of the United States,” Hudson said.  “This was not a cornerstone of American foreign policy until Clinton became secretary of state.”

Another aspect of Hudson’s current research focuses on the question of marriage law and state stability.  She believes that states are often run by extended clan networks, but there has been an oversight concerning women in many studies of political order.  A state’s government structure is deeply influenced by the structure of male-female relations, Hudson says; and societies that have changed marriage customs are the places where democracy has come into full flower, which highlights the relationship between human rights and democracy. Hudson has received funding from the US Department of Defense’s Minerva Initiative, as well as an inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, to pursue research on this subject.  Her first findings will appear in the American Political Science Review later this year.

In conjunction with her writing and research, Hudson developed a nation-by-nation database on women (http://womanstats.org) that has triggered both academic and policy interest from national and international agencies.  Using this data, Hudson and her co-principal investigators from The WomanStats Project have published a wide variety of empirical work linking the security of women to the security of states. This research has appeared in a number of important journals, including International Security, the Journal of Peace Research, Political Psychology, and Politics and Gender.

Throughout her career, Hudson has demonstrated a strong commitment to scholarly collaboration both in her own field and in other disciplines.  She notes that at the Bush School “we look for opportunities to collaborate.”  She has received significant research grants, including from the National Science Foundation, to support her work in international affairs.  Her research and teaching experience is also complemented by three major teaching awards and numerous research awards. Recently, Hudson was named a Distinguished Scholar of Foreign Policy Analysis by the International Studies Association.

Hudson said she chose the Bush School because it is a graduate school, has an outstanding international affairs faculty, and provides financial support for her research through her endowed chair..

“I am delighted to finally become acquainted with Aggie culture,” Hudson said. “Texas A&M University has a unique culture.  It’s a great place to be for our kids.  Everyone has been friendly, and there is a sense of courtesy and charm here that has gone missing in the rest of the US.”

Hudson teaches courses in foreign policy analysis, women and nations, and qualitative and quantitative methods for students on the national security and diplomacy track.

“I am legendary, or perhaps infamous, for assigning a lot of reading. When students finally realize that the readings are actually kind of a gift from me, it is just a delightful experience.  They realize that ‘she wanted me to know something I wouldn’t otherwise know,’ and it makes the whole course better.”

Outside of the classroom, Hudson enjoys traveling, having recently gone to New York and Washington, DC, to conduct interviews for her book; and to Belfast for a conference of women Nobel Peace Prize winners; and to China for a conference on international security.  Currently, she is looking forward to an event here in College Station in September, when the Bush School will hold an important conference on women and foreign policy that has attracted attendees such as Michele Flournoy and Gloria Steinem.

Hudson has won numerous awards, been published in dozens of news outlets, and serves on the editorial board of several academic journals.  In 2009, Foreign Policy named her one of the top 100 Most Influential Global Thinkers.  Her co-authored book, Bare Branches: Security Implications of Asia’s Surplus Male Population, and the research it presents received major attention from the media, with coverage by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post, BBC, CNN, and numerous other outlets.  The book also received two national book awards.  Her most recent co-authored book is Sex and World Peace, published by Columbia University Press.

She served as vice president of the International Studies Association for 2011-2012, is a founding editorial board member of Foreign Policy Analysis, and also serves on the editorial boards of Politics and Gender and International Studies Review

For more information on Dr. Hudson’s educational and work background, please check out her faculty bio.

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