SMU Professors Awarded Colin Powell Fellowship

Three SMU professors Sabri Ates, Michael Lusztig, and Hiroki Takeuchi were awarded the Colin Powell Global Order and Foreign Policy Fellowship for 2017-2018. The award, designed to increase research and scholarship and to enhance teaching effectiveness, gives SMU faculty members up to $5,000 for their research, which contributes to what President Bush referred to as the New World Order.

Sabri Ates, associate professor of history, will use the award to finish writing his book Seyyid Abdulqadir Nehri’s Pursuit of an Independent Kurdistan. With the recent developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey the question of Kurdish statelessness is becoming more pressing. Ates explores what historical conditions account for how the Kurds became the largest ethnic group without its own nation. His book explores attempts at establishing a state going back to the 1870s, anchored in the biography of protagonist Seyyid Abdulqadir Nehri.

In particular, it focuses on the tumultuous period between 1880-1925, during which the creation of a Kurdish state emerged as a distinct possibility and then quickly unraveled. Ates studies the role the Kurds themselves play in making or unmaking a state of their own.

“My book will be part of an ongoing discussion about the Kurds in particular and the greater Middle East in general,” Ates wrote.

Michael Lusztig, professor of political science, will use the award to publish his new book titled The Culturalist Challenge to Liberal Republicanism, which was accepted for publishing by McGill-Queen University Press. In the book, Lusztig explores the risks multiculturalism poses to liberal democracy. His findings fall between Francis Fukuyama’s optimism put forth in his famous declaration of “the end of history” at the conclusion of the Cold War, and Samuel Huntington’s pessimism described in Who Are We, which explores the “identity crisis” and destabilization that comes with increased immigration.

He examines Mexican immigration to the U.S. and finds the risk to be negligible, as well as Islamic immigration to Europe, which he finds poses a greater concern. France and Germany in particular have failed to “bridge social capital” as Robert Putnam recommends, which would develop commonalities between dominant and heritage cultures. Instead, however, the cultures keep to themselves and resentment builds up followed by instability.

“My position is that cultural heterogeneity can be accommodated in different ways,” Lusztig wrote.

Hiroki Takeuchi, associate professor of political science, plans to investigate the security implications of global value chains in the Asia Pacific. It has become increasingly popular for multinational corporations to have different stages of production in different countries, thus creating global value chains. This is especially true in the auto industry.

Takeuchi will explore whether these cross-border relationships built off of trade contribute to peace and international cooperation.  According to liberal theories, economic integration should create common interests among states. He argues this research is increasingly pressing considering President Donald Trump’s America first rhetoric and free-trade bashing.

“The development of GVCs in the Asia-Pacific over the last two decades has brought a new international division of labor between developed and developing countries,” Takeuchi wrote.

The three professors will present the findings of their research at a Tower Center seminar in the fall of 2018.

About Karly Hanson

AA-Dedman(Political Science)

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