International Relations Placement Candidates


Denisonbenjamin006 3 Benjamin Denison

Benjamin Denison


Benjamin Denison graduated with a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame in August 2018 and specializes in international relations. Benjamin is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in US Foreign Policy and International Security at the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College and was previously a dissertation year fellow with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and a predoctoral fellow with the Notre Dame International Security Center. He also previously served as a research fellow for the Varieties of Democracy project. Benjamin’s research interests focus on international security, military occupations, foreign rule, coercive international hierarchy and the Balkans. His current research builds on his dissertation project that examined on how states determine their strategies for foreign rule and military occupation. In addition, he is presently engaged in various research projects focused on the causes and consequences of the armed imposition of political institutions, including projects investigating the impact of colonial and alliance networks on democratic diffusion and the long term externalities of American regime change operations. 


Emily Maiden Photo New Emily Maiden

Emily Maiden


Emily Maiden is a PhD Candidate in Political Science and Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. In the discipline of political science, her primary field is Comparative Politics, with a focus on African politics, gender and politics, and politics of development. Her second field is International Relations. As a scholar of peace studies, she focuses on understanding structural violence and cycles of conflict, particularly as it affects politically marginalized groups like women and children. Her work has been published in such journals as World Development, Journal of International Peacekeeping, and Regional Environmental Change.

Her dissertation uses over twelve months of fieldwork in Malawi—including 121 chief interviews, 50 additional interviews, and focus groups with over 200 people—to examine the ways in which chiefs can be mobilized as policy change agents to combat cultural issues like child marriage. She finds that chiefs use their traditional forms of power to promote democratic principles and human rights in ways that the democratically elected government is unable or unwilling to do. Her research has received financial support from Fulbright, USAID, the Kroc Institute, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA).

In addition to a MA in Political Science (2016) from Notre Dame, Emily holds an MA in Political Science (2014) and a BA in Political Science and Philosophy (2011) from the University of Louisville, as well as a Diploma in Asian Studies (2010) from Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan.


Sidney Simpson

Sid Simpson


Sid Simpson is a Ph.D. candidate in political theory and international relations. His work primarily engages late modern and contemporary political thought, continental philosophy and
critical theory. His research interests include critiques of socialization, post-foundationalism, theories of subjectivity, and cultural critique, as well as the thought of Nietzsche, Rousseau,
Foucault, and the Frankfurt School. Sid graduated magna cum laude from the University of Houston’s Honors College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Political Science.
In his time at Notre Dame, he has presented original research internationally, served as president of the Political Science Graduate Organization, and in 2016 received the “Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award” from the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning. His research has appeared or is forthcoming in the peer-reviewed journals International Relations and Constellations.