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Doctoral StudentComparative Politics and International Relations
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Christopher Sullivan received his PhD with distinction in in Political Science from the University of Michigan in May 2014. After previously holding Pre-Doctoral Fellowship at Yale’s Program on Order Conflict and Violence, he now serves as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Michigan’s Center for Political Studies. He has received a number of grants from, among others, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. He published two articles in 2014: “The (In-)Effectiveness of Torture for Combatting Insurgency” in The Journal of Peace Research and “The Northern Ireland Research Initiative: New Data on the Troubles 1968-1998” in Conflict Management and Peace Science (with Cyanne Loyle and Christian Davenport). Sullivan’s dissertation, “Undermining Resistance: Mobilization, Repression and the Enforcement of Political Order,” examines the use of political repression in Guatemala from 1975-1985. Three intricately related questions are investigated: why do governments repress their citizens; what impact does repression have on citizen decisions to engage in dissent; and when does repression end. The project develops a novel theory of government repression that focuses specifically on attempts by authorities to undermine overt collective challenges, such as protest or terrorism, by targeting activities that precede and/or support such behavior. The investigation provides empirical evidence to support these claims by analyzing new data collected from the confidential records of Guatemalan National Police. Analysis of the police data reveals how government forces employ coercion to subvert challenges by directing repression against radical mobilization.
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