Jane Menon’s research interests revolve around political violence, religion, and women’s political participation in South Asia. Jane’s graduate studies have been supported by a National Security Education Program David L. Boren Fellowship, an American Institute of Indian Studies Advanced Language Program Fellowship, Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships, and numerous competitive grants from the University of Michigan.
Jane’s dissertation analyzes how the internal dynamics of the Jamaat-e-Islami (“Islamic Party”), South Asia’s largest Islamist group, determine its varying choice between peaceful activism and political violence in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. She asks three broad questions: (1) Why are some radical organizations peaceful and others violent? (2) How do a radical organization’s internal dynamics shape its preference for peace or violence? (3) When a radical organization prefers peace or abstains temporarily from violence, how does it manage unauthorized violence by more militant elements within the organization? Jane expects to complete her Ph.D. in August 2013.
Jane has been the Instructor for a special topics course on Political Islam and a Graduate Student Instructor for Government and Politics of India, Comparative Politics, Introduction to World Politics, and Contemporary Political Issues. She has also advised undergraduate students on honors thesis projects, coursework, and career opportunities.