Jennifer M. Dixon

I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Villanova University.  I received my PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in December 2011.  Prior to starting at Villanova, I was a Research Fellow in the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. 

My research lies at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics, and focuses on the politics of memory, genocide and mass violence, and the diffusion and impact of international norms.  My book, Dark Pasts: Changing the State's Story in Turkey and Japan (Cornell University Press, 2018), investigates the sources of stability and change in states' narratives of past atrocities.  Drawing on an in-depth, macro-historical analysis of the post-World War II trajectories of Turkey's narrative of the 1915-17 Armenian Genocide and Japan's narrative of the 1937-8 Nanjing Massacre, the book unpacks the complex processes through which international pressures and domestic dynamics shape states' narratives and the ways in which state actors negotiate between domestic and international demands in producing and maintaining such narratives.  Combining historical richness and analytical rigor, the book draws on more than eight months of fieldwork, including archival research in Turkey and the Netherlands, and over seventy-five interviews conducted in Turkey, Japan, and the United States.  In addition, I have published articles based on this research in South European Society and Politics, the International Journal for Education Law and Policy, and the International Journal of Middle East Studies

A second strand of research focuses on new ways of thinking about norms.  In an article in Perspectives on Politics, I conceptualize and explore how norm-violating states draw on the content of international norms in order to resist charges of norm violation or pressures for norm compliance.  Ongoing projects, which are described at greater length here, conceptualize norm strength and explore the instrumental uses of norms in international relations.

My email address is jennifer [dot] m [dot] dixon [at] villanova [dot] edu.