Jennifer M. Dixon

I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at Villanova University. 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 content and strength of international norms.

My book, Dark Pasts: Changing the State's Story in Turkey and Japan (Cornell University Press, 2018), is a co-winner of the 2019 Dr. Sona Aronian Book Prize for Excellence in Armenian Studies. The book investigates the sources of stability and change in states' narratives of past atrocities. Drawing on in-depth analyses 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. 

My book has been featured in podcast interviews by the Society for Armenian Studies and the New Books Network, and reviewed in Perspectives on Politics, Nationalities Papers, Genocide Studies International, Political Psychology, Nations and Nationalism, H-Diplo, Armenian Weekly, and Choice. 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 my research focuses on new ways of thinking about international 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. A co-authored article (with Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch) in the European Journal of International Relations introduces a new conceptualization of norm strength. Ongoing projects, which are described at greater length here, rethink processes of norm development and explore the instrumental uses of norms in international relations.

I hold a PhD and a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an A.B. in Government from Dartmouth College. 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 email address is jennifer [dot] m [dot] dixon [at] villanova [dot] edu.