Research Clusters

Contact Information

Jack Goldstone
Virginia E. and John T. Hazel, Jr. Professor; Director, Center for the Study of Social Change, Institutions and Policy (SCIP),

Schar School of Policy and Government
George Mason University
3351 North Fairfax Drive, MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: (703) 993-1409
Fax: (703) 993-8215

The Director’s Blog: 


Conflict, Terrorism, Democratization, and State-Building
The United States and the United Nations have both responded to the end of the Cold War by identifying ‘failed states’ as a major threat to international security. A wide range of government agencies, NGOs, and international organizations are seeking methods for forecasting and responding to conflict and terrorism that threaten to destabilize governments and create human rights and governance crises. Such agencies are also seeking better methods to promote democracy and state-building to respond to the threat or occurrence of disorder.

SPP’s research in this area includes the analysis of cross-national data sets to forecast and identify key causes of conflict; use of case-studies to better understand state failure and state-building; and the use of resource-allocation system and simulation models to track and identify the impact of peace-keeping and state-building interventions.

Dr. Jack A. Goldstone
Dr. Monty Marshall
Dr. Philip Auerswald
Dr. James Riggle
Prof. David Davis
Dr. Allison Frendak-Blume
Gen. Indar Jit Rikhye
Ambassador Edward Marks
Ambassador Robert Farrand
Ambassador Peter Chaveas
Dr. Ivan King
Dr. Alexander Woodcock


International Trade, Finance, and International Organizations
Since WWII, flows of international trade and finance have been increasingly shaped by the evolution of international organizations and their procedures, such as the European Union and the World Trade Organization. The growth of such organizations has raised important issues regarding sovereignty, international negotiations, and governance, as well as their impact on economic development and international relations.

SPP’s research in this area includes studies of the impact of international trade on development, changing patterns of international financial flows, the conduct of trade negotiations, and the growth and operations of international organizations, especially the European Union.

Dr. Desmond Dinan (Jean Monnet Fellow)
Dr. Matthys van Schaik
Dr. Ken Reinert
Dr. Stuart Malawer
Dr. John Petersen
Dr. Robert Ebel


Culture, Opinion, and Global Policy
What should a state be and how should it act? How do popular opinion, and international expectations, shape global policy issues? How do standards of human rights, freedom from corruption and rule of law, affect the conduct of states and international organizations? And how do variations in the nature of community or personal liberty across nations shape economic and political development? Answers to these questions require an understanding of how culture and opinion affect the development and behavior of societies.

SPP’s research in this area includes studies of how ideas of democracy and sovereignty shape state formation; of global opinion toward US international policy; and of how transnational networks and NGO’s affect conduct, corruption, and accountability in international affairs.

Dr. Janine Wedel
Dr. Connie McNeely
Dr. Susan Tolchin
Dr. Jack Goldstone
Dr. Ann Baker
Dr. David Armor


Information Technology, Learning, and Development
Economic and political development in the 21st century will require processing complex sets of information even more than the traditional processing of materials and the organization of labor and citizens. Making effective use of information technology to link government agencies, private sector organizations, and citizens, using IT to make their internal operations more efficient, and developing IT applications to speed organizational learning are leading challenges for the future.

SPP’s research in this area include studies of how governments and private organizations around the world make use of IT, of IT security issues, and of how to use IT to facilitate education and organizational learning.

Dr. Stephen Ruth
Dr. Todd LaPorte
Dr. Ann Baker
Dr. Philip Auerswald
Dr. Mark Addleson
Dr. Tojo Thatchenkerry
Dr. Lee Fritschler
Dr. Jim Finkelstein
Arthur Melmed