University of Washington

Ph.D. Program Committee

The Ph.D. Program is administered by the Ph.D. Program Committee. The current members of the Ph.D. Program Committee are as follows. The Committee also includes ex officio members, namely the Director and the Associate Director of the Jackson School, as well as the Director of Student Services. The Committee's various works and its interactions with doctoral students are facilitated by the Ph.D. Program Administrator.

Resat Kasaba (ex officio) is Director of the Jackson School. He is the Stanley D. Golub Professor of International Studies. His research interests are in the RCC, SMS, and PVS fields, with an area focus on the Middle East and Turkey. Professor Kasaba's research on the Ottoman Empire and Turkey has covered economic history, state-society relations, migration, ethnicity and nationalism, and urban history with a focus on Izmir. He continues to work on the social and economic history of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey and state-society relations in the Middle East from a historical perspective, and teaches courses on the modern middle east as well as global history in the modern era. Professor Kasaba can be reached via 

Daniel Bessner is Assistant Professor in the Jackson School of International Studies. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 2013, and spent the 2013-2014 academic year as a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University’s Einaudi Center for International Studies. His teaching and research interests lie in the PVS and SMS fields. His specific research addresses U.S. foreign relations, cultural and intellectual history, U.S.-Europe relations, Jewish studies, and the history of the human sciences. His book manuscript, provisionally entitled The Rise of the Defense Intellectual: Hans Speier and the Transatlantic Origins of the Cold War, is under contract with the United States in the World series at Cornell University Press. His articles have appeared or will appear in publications including the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Religions, Armed Forces & Society, and Terrorism and Political Violence. In 2014, the International Society for Intellectual History awarded him the Charles Schmitt Prize for Best Article by a young historian for an essay on Murray Rothbard and modern libertarianism. He can be reached at  

Sabine Lang is Associate Professor of International and European Studies at the Jackson School of International Studies and Chair of the M.A. Program in International Studies. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science and in the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. Her research and teaching interests are in the fields of SMS and LRG. She received her PhD in Political Science from the Free University in Berlin, Germany. During her graduate work, she held fellowships at Rutgers University and UC Berkeley. Before joining the Jackson School, she taught at the J. F. Kennedy-Institute of the Free University and worked as Director of the Executive Office of the Secretary of Labor and Women’s Affairs in the Berlin government. Her areas of research are European, German, and comparative politics with an emphasis on gender, state-civil society relations, multilevel governance, and the public sphere. Recent articles have appeared in Social Politics, Publius – The Journal of Federalism, German Politics, German Studies Review, and Political Communication. Her first book, published in German by Nomos Publishers, is a historical and theoretical exploration of the development of a public sphere in Germany. Her latest monograph is titled NGOs, Civil Society, and the Public Sphere, and was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013. Her work has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright Commission, the German Academic Exchange Service, and by European Union Center Grants. She is co-founder of the Gender and Politics Section in the German Political Science Association, and is the book review editor of Politics and Gender, the journal of the Women and Politics Section in the American Political Science Association. She can be reached at

Wolfram Latsch (ex officio) is the Director of Academic Services for the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. An economist by training, his research and teaching interests lie in the SMS field. Dr. Latsch received his Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Sussex at Brighton, and his M.Sc. in development economics and D.Phil. in economics from the University of Oxford. Dr. Latsch’s previous positions include lecturer in economics at Trinity College, Oxford, visiting assistant professor of economics at Northwestern University, and senior lecturer at the Jackson School of International Studies. Among his publications are “Impatience and Incentives: The Possibility of Industrial Policy”, “Androids & Agents: Do we need a Non-Computational Economics?”; “Central Africa Since 1850”; “Technology and the Responses of Firms to Adjustment in Zimbabwe”; “Import Liberalisation and Industrial Performance: Theory and Evidence”; and “‘Opening Up’ and Industrial Development: Some Conceptual Issues”. In 2004 Dr. Latsch was awarded the INEM Prize by the International Network for Economic Method. He has won the Jackson School Student Service twice and was also voted “Favorite Professor of the UW Graduating Class” in 2005. He can be reached at

Christian Lee Novetzke is an Associate Professor in the South Asia Program, the Comparative Religions Program, and the Global Studies Program at the Jackson School of International Studies. He is the Graduate Program Chair of the South Asia Program, as well as Adjunct Professor in both History and Asian Languages and Literatures. His research and teaching interests are in the RCC field, including specifically religion, history, and culture in South Asia, as well as theoretical issues in the study of religion in general and its intersection with historiography. He works in Marathi and Hindi materials, including textual, ethnographic, and visual/filmic sources. Professor Novetzke specializes in the study of Maharashtra over the second millennium CE to the present. His recent book, Religion and Public Memory (Columbia University Press, 2008) won the American Academy of Religion’s Award of “The Best First Book in the History of Religions” in 2009. The book has been published in India under the title History, Bhakti, and Public Memory by Permanent Black. He has been the recipient of several awards for research and writing, including an AIIS-NEH Award (2008), an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (2009), a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship (2012-13) and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2013-14). He can be reached at

Saadia M. Pekkanen is Associate Director of the Jackson School, and also the Founding Director of the Jackson School Ph.D. Program. She is the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professor at the Jackson School of International Studies, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science, and Adjunct Professor at the School of Law where she also teaches courses. Her research and teaching interests are in the PVS, LRG, and SMS fields. Her graduate work includes a Master’s from Columbia University and Yale Law School, and a doctorate from Harvard University. Her areas of research interest include international relations and foreign policy, international law, space security and policy, and the international relations of Japan/Asia. In addition to several articles, she is the author of Picking Winners? From Technology Catch-up to the Space Race in Japan (Stanford University Press, 2003);Japan’s Aggressive Legalism: Law and Foreign Trade Politics Beyond the WTO (Stanford University Press, 2008); co-editor of Japan and China in the World Political Economy(Routledge, 2005); co-author of In Defense of Japan: From the Market to the Military in Space Policy (Stanford University Press, 2010); co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia (Oxford University Press 2014); and editor ofAsian Designs: Risen Powers and the Struggles for International Governance (under review). Her work has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, the Center for Global Partnership (CGP), the Abe Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). She can be reached at

Scott Radnitz is Associate Professor of International Studies and Director of the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 2007, and has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Belfer Center at Harvard and at the Kennan Institute. His research deals with authoritarian politics, informal networks, and identity, with an emphasis on Central Asia and the Caucasus. His book, Weapons of the Wealthy: Predatory Regimes and Elite-led Protests in Central Asia, was published by Cornell University Press in 2010. His articles have appeared in publications including Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Democracy, Europe-Asia Studies, and Foreign Policy. He can be reached via

James Wellman received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and is Associate Professor and Chair of the Comparative Religion Program at the Jackson School of International Studies. His research and teaching interests are in the RCC field. He teaches in the area of American religious culture, history and politics. He has published an award-winning book, The Gold Church and the Ghetto: Christ and Culture in Mainline Protestantism (Illinois 1999). He has published three edited volumes, The Power of Religious Publics: Staking Claims in American Society (Praegers 1999); Belief and Bloodshed: Religion and Violence Across Time and Tradition (Rowman and Littlefield, 2007), and in 2012, Religion and Human Security: A Global Perspective (Oxford University Press). His second monograph, published in 2008, Evangelical vs. Liberal: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest received Honorable Mention for the 2009 SSSR Distinguished Book Award. This book comes from research on 34 vital evangelical and liberal Protestant congregations in the Pacific Northwest; it explains the rise and vitality of churched religion in a traditionally unchurched region. His recently released book, Rob Bell and the New American Christianity (Abingdon Press), is a cultural biography of the popular and controversial evangelical megachurch pastor, Rob Bell. He is now finishing a book, High on God: How Megachurches Conquered America (Oxford University Press). It is a study of twelve national megachurches and how they now monopolize American religious market, and the ways in which megachurches facilitate human desire and use that power to mold and shape their congregations. He has published widely in journals, including mostly recently (with S.R. Thompson), “From the Social Gospel to Neoconservativism: Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy” in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. He can be reached at

Nathalie Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Jackson School of International Studies and the Department of Sociology. In addition to the Global Studies, South Asia, and South East Asia Programs in the Jackson School, she is also affiliated with the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology and the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences. Williams holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan, 2009. Her research and teaching interests are in the PVS and SMS fields. Primarily a social demographer, she focuses on migration during armed conflict, natural disasters, climate change, and rapid social change. She uses quantitative as well as qualitative and simulation methods of analysis and is involved with collecting new survey data and developing new survey and mixed methods approaches to data collection. Her work is primarily based in Nepal, Thailand, and Cambodia. Recent articles have been published in Demography, Population Studies, Social Science Research, PLoS One, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and International Migration, as well as a variety of sociology and public health journals. Her work has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health. She can be reached at

John Charlton is a graduate of the Jackson School, receiving his Master's Degree in international Studies in 2011. Before joining the Jackson School, John worked for the Japanese government at city, state, and consular levels, and also has UW educational program administration experience through his time with the Graduate & Professional Student Senate (GPSS) and Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) offices at the University of Washington. As a Program Administrator for the Ph.D. program, John is responsible for helping Jackson School doctoral candidates make the most of their time at the University of Washington by providing support in a wide variety of fields, from administration to campus life. John can be reached at

JSIS Ph.D. Program
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195

Director, Ph.D. Program
Saadia M. Pekkanen
(206) 543-6148

Ph.D. Program Administrator
John Charlton

Ph.D. Program Committee
Daniel Bessner
Resat Kasaba (ex officio)
Sabine Lang
Wolfram Latsch (ex officio)
Christian Lee Novetzke
Saadia Pekkanen
Scott Radnitz
Rebecca Herman Weber
James Wellman