Melissa K. Griffith

Melissa K. Griffith's picture

Job Candidates

Comparative Politics
Academic Subfields: 
International Relations

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, foreign policy, security studies, and cybersecurity.

Griffith's dissertation investigates how relatively small countries, with limited resources, have become significant providers of national cyber-defense for their populations. By examining the dynamics of defense outside of the larger great power countries, her work sheds important light on the components and dynamics of both cyber power and cyber conflict. 

Concurrent research projects on cybersecurity examine (1) the character of Finnish industrial policy targeting cybersecurity capabilities and competency, (2) why cybersecurity specific language has been added to a number of American mutual defense treaties with allied countries, such as NATO and the U.S.-Japan alliance, and (3) current EU efforts to and how the EU can better bolster cyberdefense for its own institutions and its member states. 

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 and the Research Institute on the Finnish Economy (ETLA). 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