International Relations Placement Candidates

Kathryn M.G. Boehlefeld

Curriculum Vitae

Kathryn M. G. Boehlefeld is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, and a postdoctoral affiliate with the Notre Dame International Security Center. She defended her dissertation in July 2016 at the University of Notre Dame. Her research centers on international security, with a particular focus on national security policy and civil-military relations. Specifically, she questions why states employ explicit policies and how they achieve their national security objectives with an emphasis on the usage of the military.

In her dissertation, “The Professions of Soldiers: A Critical Examination of the Assignment of Military Tasks,” Kathryn focuses on the increasing civilian penetration into tasks that historically were the sole purview of the soldier. She questions why some military or conflict-related tasks are assigned to civilians, others to soldiers, and yet in still other cases, soldiers and civilians share responsibility. Kathryn argues that military and civilian professionals compete for responsibility over tasks, and gain that responsibility by demonstrating a competitive advantage in accomplishing the task.  Through congruence testing and process tracing in two in-depth case studies, Nuclear Weapons Strategy, 1945-1960, and Countering Insurgents in Vietnam, 1960-1968, Kathryn found that task assignment was driven by the profession’s competitive advantage—high level policymakers showed a preference to assigning the task to the profession that demonstrated a higher level of competence, commitment, and efficiency in completing the task.

Kathryn’s other research projects include a project on combat motivation, specifically looking at the role of truce making mid-war, and a study of the role of intragovernmental communication in the success of public diplomacy.

Kathryn has also taught courses on presidential decision-making in foreign policy, and discussion sections for introduction to international relations. She is also currently serving on the Notre Dame International Security Curriculum Development Committee. Prior to her graduate work, Kathryn earned degrees in Political Science and Economics (summa cum laude) from Northern Illinois University.

Ji Eun Kim


Ji Eun Kim is a PhD candidate in Political Science and Peace Studies at Notre Dame. Her areas of specialization are political violence and transitional justice with a focus on government apology and reparations. Her regional expertise is in East Asia.

Ji Eun’s dissertation, entitled “Good and Bad Apologies: Determinants of Successful State Apologies,” examines both international and domestic apologies in the aftermath of large-scale political violence and massive human rights violations. She investigates why some state apologies addressing past atrocities succeed at bringing about reconciliation, while others do not. She incorporates Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) based on her multi-country apology database, rich case studies from archival research, and in-depth interviews in Australia and Korea. Her work introduces new cross-case empirical analyses of state apologies and implications for transitional justice processes.

Another major area of Ji Eun’s research includes international institutions and norms. She is currently working on two projects related to international disarmament institutions. Her first project asks, “When do states join disarmament treaties?” and examines the negotiation processes of the 1997 Ottawa treaty against the use of anti-personnel landmines. Her second project aims to analyze the independent impact of targeted financial sanctions against North Korea, assessing both temporary and long-term compliant behavior of the targeted state.

Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, Ji Eun worked on East Asian security and economy research projects at the Center for International Studies at Seoul National University. She received an M.A. in International Relations from Seoul National University and a B.A. in American Studies from the Catholic University of Korea. She is a recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award and a Steven D. Pepe Ph.D. Fellow in Peace Studies for AY 2016-2017.