Melissa K. Griffith

Melissa K. Griffith's picture

Graduate Students

Personal Statement: 

Melissa K. Griffith is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. She specializes in international relations, U.S. foreign policy, security studies, and cybersecurity.

Griffith’s dissertation investigates how small countries, with limited resources, have become significant providers of national cyber-defense for their populations. By examining the dynamics of defense in smaller countries, her work sheds important light on the components and dynamics of both cyber power and cyber cooperation. Her fieldwork focuses on Nordic and Baltic states’ individual (acquisition of domestic cyber-capabilities) and collective (cooperation with alliances and international institutions) defense postures. A concurrent research project examines why cybersecurity specific language has been added to the mutual defense clause of a number of American mutual defense treaties with allied countries, such as NATO and the U.S.-Japan alliance. 

Griffith’s published work has appeared in Business and Politics and the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition to academic conferences, she has presented her work for the World Affairs Council. Griffith has received support for her research from the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC); the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate Division; and the Travers Department of Political Science. She is currently a visiting fellow at the Research Institute on the Finnish Economy (ETLA) in Finland.

Griffith holds a B.A. in International Relations from Agnes Scott College (2011) and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2014). She was an English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan with the Fulbright Program from 2012-2013.  

Dissertation Committee Chair: 
Vinod Aggarwal
Area Specialization: 
Primary Subfield: 
International Relations
Secondary Subfield: 
Comparative Politics
Western Europe