Melissa Carlson

Melissa Carlson's picture

Graduate Students

Personal Statement: 

Melissa Carlson is in the third year of the Political Science PhD program at U.C. Berkeley focusing on International Relations, Comparative Politics, Methods, and the Middle East. Her research interests include the impact of aid in humanitarian crisis response, migration, irregular conflict, public goods provision, and the relationship between state and non-state actors. Currently, Melissa is conducting research on why states cooperate with violent non-state actors like rebel groups and terrorist organizations and why governments use siege warfare tactics against their civilians in civil war. Melissa is also conducting research in conjunction with the Berkeley law school on circumstances under which vulnerable migrants may forgo applying for asylum and exercising their legal rights.  Melissa's masters thesis focused on how different types of humanitarian relief strategies can perversely incentivize governments to eliminate vulnerable populations’ access to critical services, prolonging the negative impacts of humanitarian crises. Previously, Melissa has conducted extensive research on how host government outsourcing of governance/public goods provision of protracted refugee populations to external actors impact state sovereignty in the Middle East. Prior to beginning her PhD at U.C. Berkeley, Melissa worked as Public Information consultant for the International Organization for Migration Iraq Mission in Amman, Jordan and Erbil, Iraq. She holds a B.A. in International Relations and Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Claremont McKenna College.

Primary Subfield: 
International Relations
Secondary Subfield: 
Comparative Politics
Methodology & Formal Theory
Middle East/North Africa