2007 Grantees

Rebecca Bryant – “The Ethnography of Non-States: Places of the Political, Cyprus and Sri Lanka”

Susan F. Hirsch – “Global Justice and Recovering Individuals: Toward a Victimology”

Mark Krekeler – “Investigation of Environmental and Geotechnical Properties of Aggregate Sources for Constructed Wetlands in the Yucatán, Mexico: A Key to Sustainability of Human health, Economic Growth and the Meso-American Coral Reef”

Susan Allen Nan, Reuben E. Brigety and David F. Davis – “New Approaches to Terrorism”

Debra Lattanzi Shutika – “Gringos Jubilados: U.S. Retirees in Mexico”

 

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Project Descriptions

 
Rebecca Bryant
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
College of Humanities & Social Sciences

“The Ethnography of Non-States: Places of the Political, Cyprus and Sri Lanka”

Much recent theorizing of the nation-state has described its withering as an effective political space in an era of global capital and transnational legal mechanisms. This project uses examples of contested national spaces to demonstrate the ways in which nation-state politics may reassert itself in the transnational order through the functioning of break-away states. The cases that I choose, the islands of Cyprus and Sri Lanka, are both burdened not only by intractable conflicts but also by an increasingly familiar consequence of civil conflict: namely, the quasi-legal para-state, which performs governmental functions while remaining unrecognized by international legal and political bodies. This research proposes to examine the workings of such quasi-legal administrations both domestically and transnationally, arguing that the ways in which such governments function affect the course of conflict through the institutionalization of de facto claims to sovereignty.

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Susan F. Hirsch

Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution and Anthropology
Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

“Global Justice and Recovering Individuals: Toward a Victimology”

New International justice regimes–most notably, the international Criminal Court (ICC) and the ad hoc tribunals–have promised victims of mass atrocity greater inclusion than previously in criminal prosecutions of those accused of harming them through genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Yet little is known about whether victims of mass atrocity are themselves interested in pursuing global justice and whether they benefit from prosecutions by international institutions. Through analysis of documents and interviews with key actors, the research will explore the assumptions about victims, their justice interests, and their recovery after mass atrocity embedded in legal institutions and the non-governmental organizations that offer victims global justice. The research will also examine victims’ subjective experiences of international justice. The goal of the research is to develop a victimology relevant to those who have suffered mass atrocity.

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Mark Krekeler

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy
College of Science

“Investigation of Environmental and Geotechnical Properties of Aggregate Sources for Constructed Wetlands in the Yucatán, Mexico: A Key to Sustainability of Human Health, Economic Growth and the Meso-American Coral Reef”

Sewage pollution is a global scale problem that disrupts sustainability at many levels in the developing world. Large loss of human life, degradation of economic resources and destruction of coral reefs and other sensitive environments are all major problems associated with sewage pollution. A key example of sewage pollution is found in the eastern Yucatán. Currently no large scale, integrated wastewater treatment systems for the region exist. However, constructed wetlands are an inexpensive alternative to such systems and these technologies are being utilized more commonly in the region. However, the performance of constructed wetlands is tied directly to the aggregate used and a range of variability in aggregate quality exists. Recent investigation by Krekeler et al. (in press) on constructed wetlands in the village of Akumal on the eastern coast of the Yucatán, showed that alternative aggregate choices exist and may be more suitable than current aggregate choices. The objective of this project is to investigate variation in the environmental and geotechnical properties of additional aggregate resources and identify those that are suitable for use in constructed wetlands for the eastern Yucatán. This investigation will be a major academic contribution to the understanding of geologic and environmental resources in the Yucatán. In addition to resulting journal publications, information will be distributed through Centro Ecológico Akumal (CEA), a non-profit group to empower local businesspersons for sustainable economic development in the region.

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Susan Allen Nan, Reuben E. Brigety and David F. Davis

Nan: Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution
Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Brigety: Assistant Professor of Government and Politics
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Davis: Assistant Research Professor
School of Public Policy

“New Approaches to Terrorism”

We propose to advance the research on understanding and addressing terrorism by bringing multiple disciplinary voices to focus on promising new approaches to terrorism. We will host an October 2007 symposium at GMU’s Arlington Campus on cutting edge advances in this area. Symposium presenters will include GMU faculty and outside experts drawn from around the world. Selected papers presented at the symposium will be included in a resulting edited volume geared towards analysts, policy makers, and graduate students.

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Debra Lattanzi Shutika

Assistant Professor of English
College of Humanities and Social Science

“Gringos Jubilados: U.S. Retirees in Mexico”

International retirement migration is an understudied field in migration scholarship. The extensive body of research dedicated to U.S.-Mexico migration offers a detailed picture of Mexicans who come to live and work in the U.S., but no major scholarship on Americans living in Mexico. This study examines issues of post-retirement migration and settlement as they influence the vernacular cultural practice in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. San Miguel has been one of the most popular destinations for American retirees who live abroad for over fifty years. Building on my prior bi-national research on Mexican migration to the U.S. and the sense of place, this project will explore why American retirees decide to move south, how they adapt to living in Mexico, and the cultural and economic consequences of their presence in the communities where they have settled.

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