Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Research

Focusing on three main areas – development, security, and governance – the Institute leverages Brown's tradition of true interdisciplinarity to foster innovative, policy-relevant scholarly activities. From Latin America to China, from the Middle East to India, the Institute's work helps us all make sense of the world.

Development

Development

Durable inequalities both within and between nations present the most significant obstacle to promoting democratic, inclusive, and sustainable development. The Institute's research in development includes the study of racial, ethnic, and class inequality, national and sub-national governance, urban transformation, democracy and civil society, and social provisioning.  The relationship between development and globalization is also an area of focus, and includes work on international aid and finance, transnational movements, comparative development, and global governance.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Security

Security

While traditional security concerns persist, the transformed security landscape of the early 21st century presents a range of “new” challenges, from climate change, resource conflicts, and pandemics to cyber-threats, transnational crime, and irregular warfare. Engaging Brown faculty across the social sciences and beyond, the Institute's research spans these and more conventional security issues, including armed intervention, post-conflict reconstruction, nuclear proliferation, and military spending. More so than in many other security studies programs at peer institutions, Institute security-related research is distinguished by substantial methodological, theoretical, and disciplinary diversity, as well as deep knowledge of different areas of the world. Watson security projects also prioritize the exchange of ideas among public officials and practitioners, civil society, and scholars.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Governance

Governance

Globalization, with its volatile mix of economic opportunity and social disruption, has provoked fundamental challenges to the institutions of political and economic governance. Global problems, such as climate change and labor standards, cannot be tackled by any single nation state; they demand new forms of governance involving governments, private firms, and nongovernmental organizations. This research program focuses on efforts to expand the regulatory capacity and institutional efficacy of individual nation states as well as these new forms of global governance.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Centers. Initiatives. Programs.

Centers, Initiatives, Programs

Partnerships

Partnerships

The Watson Institute also collaborates with centers of excellence across Brown University and beyond. Learn more.

Opportunities

The Institute offers a variety of research and funding opportunities for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students. Learn more.