2017 Wrap Up: Lots of writing, and great co-authors

2017 has been a good year for work in terms of academic, policy, and editorial writing. A lot of my writing is co-authored; I’m lucky to get to work with outstanding colleagues! Now for the recap:

Academic writing

The year started off with the publication of a collaborative effort between Pamina Firchow, Roger Mac Ginty, Atalia Omer, and myself in International Studies Perspectives titled “PeaceTech: The Liminal Spaces of Digital Technology in Peacebuilding”. We wrote a collection of essays on peace and technology, exploring the spaces between practice and research, ethics, and bridging disciplinary gaps.

Mid-year I was invited by Douglas Irvin-Erickson to write an editorial analysis of the contributions for a special issue of Genocide Studies and Prevention on technology and atrocity prevention. It’s a fantastic issue, and the articles cover an excellent range of issues including legal, technical, and operational questions.

I was also happy to see a collaboration from 2014 come to fruition with the publication of survey work I did with Professors Ioana Chan Mow, Hobert Sasa, and Lealaolesau Fitu from the National University of Samoa. We published descriptive results of how Samoans use ICTs for disaster response in the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries. I’m particular happy to see this piece go live since without my co-authors I literally wouldn’t have been able to gather the data that was central to my dissertation.

With development and conflict continuing to be an important topic, I joined Tilman Brück and Patricia Justino in writing a UNU-WIDER working paper reviewing the state of research in the development/conflict nexus.

Finally, the year ended with two publications in quick succession. Nicholas Bodanac from the University of Sydney and I published an article in International Peacekeeping focused on thinking economically about how peacekeeping missions leverage their technology use in host countries, and I finished a DIE Discussion Paper on why state fragility can have a causal effect on forced displacement.

Policy, Opinion, and Media

My contributions to policy this year were a mix of migration and food security publications. Mid-year, along with Tilman Brück and a team from the International Security and Development Center, I helped draft content and analysis for the FAO’s “Sowing the Seeds of Peace” report; our contributions are under review for a special issue on conflict and food security at World Development.

At DIE, I authored and co-authored two migration and displacement-focused Policy Briefs. The first focused on the role of technology in supporting refugee processes, and the second, co-authored with my colleagues Benjamin Schraven and Steffen Angenendt, focused on development policy and migration patterns. The policy writing was also mirrored in editorial articles, which were published in the DIE Current Column, Frankfurter Rundschau, Washington Post (with Schraven and Angenendt), and Huffington Post DE (with Eva Dick).

Along with writing, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the Bonn Sustainability Portal on the role of technology in peacekeeping and refugee protection, and by the team at the Media and Peacebuilding Project at George Washington University about mobile phones and violence prevention.

Finally, a huge amount of thanks are due to my colleagues in DIE’s publishing and media offices. They edited, translated, and shepherded these articles and posts from first draft to publication, and I’m grateful for their support.

More to Come in 2018!

Next year looks to be a lot of fun! Sonia Camacho Ahumada, Alberto Posso, Rodrigo Taborda Rios, and Constantin Ruhe, and I are developing a project that will empirically study the effects of digital access and technology use among internally displaced people in Bogota. Our goal is to better understand how digital access affects IDPs’ social and economic integration in urban settings.

Jörn Grävingholt and I will be writing about the empirical relationship between different aspects of state fragility and forced displacement for the International Studies Association meeting. There are also some cool opportunities coming up focusing on digitalization and development, with some neat collaborations that will start getting formulated in January.

It’s been an exciting year, and I encourage folks to reach out if they are doing work that resonates with what I’ve been doing (or will be doing). For now, happy holidays and a good start to the new year!

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