On March 28, 2018, Dr. Sidita Kushi, successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Saving our Western Neighbors: How Regional Institutions and Conflict Perceptions Drive Humanitarian Military Interventions.” She will earn a PhD degree in Political Science in May 2018.
Dr. Sidita, who was recently announced as the 2018 Ernst Haas Fellowship Recipient, does have a clear vision about her future. She will soon transform her dissertation into a book and will focus on International Political Economy research. She also received a job offer as an Assistant Professor at St. Lawrence University.
Dr. Kushi is one of the first scholars to examine humanitarian military interventions who measured every case of internal state violence and then matched it to a level of response. She wanted to go beyond simply measuring whether an intervention occurs or not to capture more of the real-world variability. In her research, she introduced the Intervention Index, a brand-new variable in the literature that measures the intensity of the intervention, not merely the occurrence of an intervention. Also, Dr. Sidita found that public support did not drive patterns of intervention, noting that, “in Darfur, public support has been high for years, and no intervention occurred. It seems that sentiments on interventions are instead driven by leaders, elites, ambassadors, and media image.”
In 2013, Dr. Kushi enrolled in the PhD in Political Science Program at Northeastern University. During her time in the Department of Political Science, she was offered the opportunity to lead her own courses. This experience, she notes, “served me incredibly well in the academic job markets, where previous teaching experience is a must.” She felt very supported by professors and colleagues. Dr. Sidita observed that, “the opportunity to work with excellent faculty members willing to dedicate time to scholars’ potential is great. I never felt limited for resources in my academic endeavors – a phrase rarely used across most other programs. My experiences in the program confirm that academic training can be both intellectually challenging and empowering through networks of support.”