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A Book Talk with Author Alexander Downes, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
Catastrophic Success: Why Foreign-Imposed Regime Change Goes Wrong
A Book Talk with Author Alexander Downes, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and co-Director of the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, George Washington University
Sponsored by the Political Violence FieldLab and the Initiative for Global Security at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding
Alexander B. Downes (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2004) is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and co-Director of the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at The George Washington University. Downes's first book, Targeting Civilians in War, was published by Cornell University Press in 2008 and won the Joseph Lepgold Prize for the best book in international relations. His second book, Catastrophic Success: Why Foreign-Imposed Regime Change Goes Wrong was published, also by Cornell, in November 2021. Downes has written on a variety of subjects in international security, including civilian victimization, foreign-imposed regime change, military effectiveness, democracy, coercion, alliances, and solutions to civil wars. His work can be found in journals like the British Journal of Political Science, Civil Wars, International Organization, International Security, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Strategic Studies, and Security Studies, as well as multiple edited volumes.
Jason Lyall is the inaugural James Wright Chair of Transnational Studies and Associate Professor in the Government department. He also directs the Political Violence FieldLab at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding. His research examines the effects and effectiveness of political violence in civil and conventional wars. He is currently writing a book on the lessons learned from the American war in Afghanistan (under contract with Princeton University Press). He is also writing a Carnegie-funded book on how to improve humanitarian assistance in fragile and conflict settings like Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen. A third project investigates the relationship between inequality, racism, and intergroup relations in violent settings, including within police forces, armies, and rebel organizations. His book, Divided Armies: Inequality and Battlefield Performance in Modern War (Princeton University Press, 2020), was awarded the 2022 APSA Conflict Processes Section Best Book Award, the 2021 Peter Katzenstein Book Prize, the 2020 Joseph Lepgold Prize, the 2020 Edgar S. Furniss Book Prize, and was named a "Best of 2020" book by Foreign Affairs.
Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.