Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Keith Brown

Keith Brown

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Downloadable CV

Keith Brown

Adjunct Professor in International and Public Affairs


Keith Brown holds a BA in classics from the University of Oxford and an MA and PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He taught at Bowdoin College and the University of Wales before joining the Watson Institute in 1999 as an assistant research professor. He has also been a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and a visiting fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, and has delivered lecture series at the University of Oxford and at the Institute for National History in Skopje, Macedonia, where he was a Fulbright fellow in 2012-13. He served as director of BIARI from 2010 to 2014.

His research focuses primarily on the Balkans, especially relations between Macedonia, Greece, and Bulgaria. He is currently working on a book project on Yugoslavia's democratic transition in the late 1980s, focusing in particular on the interactive effects of three disparate movements—environmentalists, nationalists, and “civicists”—in brokering the end of communist rule.


Keith Brown's research on Balkan politics, history and culture is grounded in empirical field research and focused on the ways in which communities pursue and preserve autonomy in the face of violence.

His ongoing research and teaching enlarges this focus to address issues in cultural theory for the study of globalization, empathy and citizenship, by tracing global flows of things, people and ideas.


In press. Diplomacy and International Relations. In Callan, Hilary (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Wiley-Blackwell.

2016 Introduction: In Damjanovska, Jasmina, Lenina Zhila, and Filip Petroski (eds.) Ilindenski Svedoshtva (Ilinden Tesimonies) National Archive of the Republic of Macedonia, Skopje. Book 1, Volume 1: xxii-xli.

2015 Friction in the Archives: On “Macedonians,” Macedonians and the Ottoman Transatlantic. Balkanistica 28:41-64.

2015 Order, Reputation and Narrative: Forms of State Violence in Late Socialist Macedonia. European History Quarterly 45(2) 295–314.

2015 How Trauma Travels: Oral History’s Means and Ends. In Victor Friedman and Jim Hlavac (eds.) Macedonian Matters: From the Partition and Annexation of Macedonia in 1913 to the Present. Munich: Kubon and Sagner, 65-86; and in Dimitris Stamatopoulos (ed.) Balkan Nationalism(s) and the Ottoman Empire, Volume 2: Political Violence and the Balkan Wars. Istanbul: The Isis Press, 127-142.

2015 Partial Wars. Political and Legal Anthropology Review 38/1 (May): 168-178.


INTL 1802g Reading Global: International Relations Through Fiction (Fall 2015)

POLS 1490 Building a Better World: Film and Social Change (with Professor Richard Locke) (Fall 2015; Spring 2016)

DEVL 1980 Senior Thesis Writing Seminar (Fall 2016)

News|Recent News

Brown tells leading Greek newspaper that political parties in Macedonia use ethnic populism to distract from issues like corruption and crony capitalism.

May 29, 2014

In an interview with leading Greek newspaper To Vima, Keith Brown points to the attention garnered by the stabbing of a Macedonian teenager by an Albanian thief and the subsequent street protests in Skopje, Macedonia. The underlying problems of crime, elite corruption, and the erosion of trust in democratic process, Brown says, often pass unnoticed in international coverage which focuses on high-profile cases of "ethnic" violence.


Keith Brown Speaks on Television in the Republic of Macedonia

January 29, 2013

Keith Brown, currently a Fulbright scholar in the Republic of Macedonia, was featured last week on Zevzekmanija, a weekly television news magazine there. Brown spoke frankly about citizens' disappointment in the country's progress, and his own surprise to find that the issues which dominated the national conversation during his doctoral research there 20 years ago remain unresolved. Watch the segment — in Macedonian — on YouTube.


MLK's Message from Birmingham Resonates in Skopje

January 22, 2013

Keith Brown, currently a Fulbright Scholar in the Republic of Macedonia, writes in GlobalPost that despite a violent Christmas Eve altercation in parliament there, deep wells of civility and democracy endure. The peaceful protest and debate Brown has observed over the past weeks remind him of the call for non-violence issued by Martin Luther King, Jr. in his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," a treatise gaining attention — and recently translated — in an increasingly fraught Republic of Macedonia.