Category Archives: Grants

2018 Quandt Award Winners

A new set of scholars to receive the 2018 Quandt Awards has been chosen to pursue research overseas. The Quandt International Research Fund was started by the Department of Politics in honor of William Quandt, a distinguished faculty member and well-known expert on Middle Eastern politics. The Fund assists students and faculty in the Department to pursue studies and research abroad by making travel grants to defray the cost of international travel. The awards are administered annually by a faculty committee.

Project descriptions below are taken from their proposals and are subject to change based on their research and findings.

Mariana BrazaoMariana BrazaoThe Aestheticization of Politics: The Role of Indigenous Benches in Brazil’s Political Representation

Brazao will seek to examine how the general aestheticization of every-day, indigenous goods in Brazil impacts the indigenous populations’ political representation and presence in the country. She will visit São Paulo and Brasília, conducting research for two weeks including face-to-face interviews with government officials from the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), the Ministry of Culture, employees of BEI Editora, and employees of the Institute for Socio-Environmental Issues (Instituto Socio Ambiental – ISA). She will also conduct one-on-one interviews with indigenous tribe members, specifically the individuals who created the benches showcased in The Indigenous Benches of Brazil.

Danilo MedeirosDanilo MedeirosHow Policy Preferences Interact with Income Inequality: Political Polarization in Democratic Brazil

Medeiros’ research will investigate how income inequality is associated with political polarization in Brazil. His research targets the policy agenda of the executive and the relationship between the president and the legislature – features that are often ignored by the extant scholarship. His project also adds to the research agenda that takes economic inequality as an independent variable by including a case outside the advanced industrial world. His final goal is a framework to study the relationship between inequality and political polarization in any democracy with available data.

Nicole DemitryThe NGO Effect: A Bisection of Private Interests and Foreign Perceptions of American Public Policy

Over the last year, Demitry has developed a working hypothesis on perceptual disconnect in Haiti: many Haitians see NGO presence as an extension of US foreign policy, not as neutral non- governmental organizations. Perceptions of the recipients of foreign aid do not seem to be a static factor in the policy and implementation decisions of aid organizations. If this is correct, there are massive political implications not just in Haiti, but in many other underdeveloped countries with a large American NGO presence. Without accurately considering the perceptions of those receiving aid, or addressing potential self-referential truths within Western aid evaluative frameworks, NGOs will continue to fail in successful implementation of humanitarian aid. She will research how unsuccessful NGO activities contribute to this perceptual disconnect and how these effects can be mitigated.

Olyvia ChristleyOlyvia ChristleyNativism, Gender, and the Rise of the Radical Right

Much excellent work has already been done concerning radical right politics, but important gaps still remain, particularly when it comes to our understanding of how the radical right operates in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the United States. The bulk of the research and theorizing on the radical right has arisen from Western European party politics. The historical legacies and political institutions of CEE and the United States are not entirely analogous to those in Western Europe, so it stands to reason that the presence and implications of the radical right movement across these regions might vary in ways that have not yet been properly explored.

Hungary, Poland, and the United States—these three countries share some striking similarities, perhaps most importantly the fact that each one has elected an authoritarian head of state and/or government that is sympathetic to the radical right in the last decade. Christley plans to conduct the first cross-country study in political science that systematically compares the individual belief systems of radical right supporters within CEE to those in the United States. She will also use experimental studies and interviews to disentangle nativist and gendered attitudes among radical right supporters and voters, and examine the conditions that prompt individuals who hold both nativist and pro- (or anti-) gender equality views to support radical right ideologies, policies, and candidates.

Elana GrissomElena GrissomCross-Group Alliances in Ethnically Polarized Societies: The evolution of Arab-Jewish relations in Israeli municipal elections

Up until recently, local elections have been an under-researched area in the study of ethnic politics. Grissom will use municipal elections in Israel as a lens through which to analyze the political identity of the Arab minority. Specifically, she is interested in the factors that cause Arab parties and candidates to ally with Jewish parties, even when it is seemingly contrary to their in-group interests. She has also been granted a visiting research fellowship at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which will provide access to libraries, professors, and overall academic support.

Eric XuEric XuBrexit and International Students: A Chinese Case Study

Xu will travel to the United Kingdom to interview international students in the following prestigious London universities: London School of Economics (LSE), Imperial College, London (Imperial), and University College, London (UCL).

His project will target both post-graduate and undergraduate students at those institutions, in order to analyze the following factors relevant to higher-education migration: Why did they select the U.K., and London more specifically, as a destination for higher education migration? How did the U.K. post-visa process influence their decision, and how do they expect to remain in the U.K. after graduation? Has Brexit altered their perception of the U.K. and London’s openness to international students? What alternatives would they have considered in more detail had they had the chance to go back?

He will also speak with international student recruiting offices at the three schools in order to investigate their responses to the Brexit referendum and how they plan on recruiting Chinese students going forward. This project will allow him to collect responses from one of the centers of international student activity in the world, and analyze how push and pull migration factors are qualitatively changed by an exogenous political shock.

More Information about the Quandt Fund

Quandt Award Contact Information

The Quandt Fund for International Research
Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400787
Charlottesville, VA 22903
smm4g “at” virginia “dot” edu

Past Quandt Awards


Jennifer Simons for research in France on the role of ethnic and religious minorities in the rise of radical right-wing parties in Europe.

Jennifer Simons

Carolyn Coberly, for research in Moscow on the role of non-governmental political parties in an authoritarian regime.

Carrie Coberly

Gregory Lannon, research in Czechoslovakia and Japan on Russian foreign policy toward Eastern Europe and Japan in the early 1990s. He will do archival research in both Prague and Hokkaido.

Greg Lannon

Yuang Cao

Research in Cangdong village in Guangdong Province, China
On how a very remote region is affected by larger issues of national politics.

Old Houses, New Money: Big Money Politics of Village Reconstruction in Kaiping, China

On June 24th, I arrived at Tangkou Town, a small township in Guangdong, the second southmost province in China. My first impression of this small town had no direct link with "heritage" at all. After all, the so called "heritage buildings" were built between late-19th century and mid-20th century; they all seemed too new, and too western.

The city of Kaiping has been known for the home of overseas Chinese. Since the California Gold Rush in early 19th century, Kaiping people (mostly men) began their emigration, especially to North America. Although the dream of finding fortune for most people at the time were struck ruthlessly by horrible working conditions, racism, and political exclusions, many Kaiping people strived to make a living in their new homes. After a while, many sent money back to Kaiping to help their families back in China, and in many cases, they also sent back pictures of western houses.

Inspired by western architecture, and supported financially, people staying at home started to build new houses with traditional Chinese structure and modern western design. Among new houses, two types incorporated aesthetic beauty and practical value: Lu (familial mansion) and Diaolou (Defensive houses). In recent years, these houses have drawn attraction from home and abroad. Therefore, Kaiping Diaolou and Villages became one of UNESCO Heritage Sites in 2007. After that, local governments began to invest heavily on tourism development; of course, as more players began to join the game of rural reconstruction in the name of heritage conservation, local politics was further stirred up.

During my research in summer 2017, I found an outstanding example of commercial reconstruction in Kaiping: Chikan historical town. In the following paragraphs, I will describe the redevelopments and further analyze its political economy.
In 2015, the city government of Jiangmen, Kaiping's superior, launched a 1-billion-dollar reconstruction program funded by Citic Group, one of China's largest state-owned investment institutions. This program was aiming at converting a historically commercial town, named Chikan, to a full-scale tourist area. In detail, the program sought to remain and refurbish the commercial part of the town and tear down other residential housing for building new resort-like apartment buildings. With ambition, both the city government and Citic Group announced that the program will be completed in three years.
However, two years have passed and the program has not yet fully claimed all residential areas. According to the officer at the local Housing Affairs Administration, by mid-July, 2051 households signed the contract and agreed to be relocated, while more than 1500 households refused to sign. Without full control of the residential area, the whole project could only start with the reconstructions of houses already in hold, while leaving many other houses untouched, thereby creating a "mosaic" scenario where local stores functioned next to demolished houses. Although a reconstructed Chikan means better housing, more tourists, and increasing economic opportunities, not all residents were willing to give up their old houses.

In the case of Chikan, big money found its dilemma in a local setting. Citic group seemed like another real-estate developer which simply shifted its agenda from cities to a small town. The local government, on the other hand, served as a subsidiary institution to the corporation, providing statistics and cleaning up logistics. However, under the control of Citic, the local government had little agency and could not effectively wield its mobility power to the local villagers, thereby creating a slow relocation process. Also, for many senior villages, they held their houses as the representation of their families, and they would not give up the emblem that carried their family names, no matter how much compensation they received. Before entering Chikan, Citic Group underestimated the locals' strong will to hold their land properties.
Chikan is not alone in village reconstructions across China. Many other villages which receive big money face similar situations. I think two major problems stand out as main obstacles to success. First, political administration is too hierarchical and sidelines the advantages local governments have in relocating villagers. Secondly, economics is not the only factor in reconstruction; land's special meaning to villagers need to be addressed before any mass reconstruction project begins.
I would like to thank the Quandt International Research Fund of University of Virginia's Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics for helping me in this summer project. Without the help of Quandt Fund, I would not be able to conduct such meaningful researches and produce exciting discoveries in rural China.

Yuang Cao

Aurora Lofton, for an internship in Oxford to increase her understanding of the international refugee problem.

Aurora Lawton


Yaping Wang
For search in China and Vietnam on territorial disputes in southeast Asia.

Yaping Wang

Robert Kubinic
For continuation of his research in Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria on the role of businessmen in political change during the "Arab Spring" events.

Bob Kubinec

Samuel Plapinger:
For continuation of his research on the dynamics of internal conflicts, with case studies of the Jordan crisis of 1970, as well as cases in Oman and Eritrea.

Sam Plapinger

Sonal Pandya:
Associate Professor of Politics at U Va, for research in Bombay on how Foreign Direct Investment affects the status of women.

Sonal Pandya

Nicholas Favaloro:
For research in South Africa on the role of jazz in the anti-Apartheid struggle.

Nick Favaloro


April Herlevi (Ph.D. candidate)
My dissertation examines the use of location incentives by national and subnational governments to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), focusing on SEZs. I am researching several cases to develop a theory of SEZ creation and compiling an original dataset of SEZs to examine the consequences for FDI. I used the Quandt Fund grant to investigate one country case, Jordan, to map enactment, implementation, and the effects of SEZs over time. Jordan is a particularly fascinating and fruitful case for theory development for three reasons. First, Aqaba was one of the earliest proposed zones (1970s) and the reinvigoration of the zone in the early 2000s provides an excellent longitudinal study. Second, Jordan also has qualifying industrial zones (QIZs) and regional development areas, which allows for cross-program comparisons. Third, Jordan is a case of economic development amid enormous challenges and provides an opportunity to examine the role of outside actors, such as the United States and international development institutions, in fostering geographically-separated economic enclaves.

April Herlevi

Robert Kubinic (Ph.D. candidate)
Robert Kubinec traveled to Tunisia in June of 2015 to delve into the country’s political history, both in terms of the recent political transition but also the foundations of Tunisia’s two long-lived dictatorships. Through his trip, Robert identified compelling hypotheses regarding the mechanisms through which the Tunisian dictators Bourguiba and Ben Ali maintained their hold on power for as long as they did. He is continuing this line of research for his dissertation, and expanding it to look at Algeria and Egypt.

Bob Kubinec

Sam Plapinger (Ph.D. candidate)
I am using the funds from my Quandt Research Award to primarily support the archival component of my dissertation research on the Jordanian conflict of 1970-71. In June 2015, I visited the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland, where I accessed declassified State Department and CIA documents pertaining to the Jordanian conflict. In October-November 2015, I will travel to Beirut, Lebanon to visit the Institute for Palestine Studies to access their collection of documents and materials relating to the conflict. The focus of both of these trips is to gather information that helps me to reconstruct the course of events and trajectory of the conflict, as well as details on the characteristics and strategy of the actors that participated.

Sam Plapinger

Paromita Sen (Ph.D. candidate)
Comparative study of violence against women in South Asia and Turkey, with field research in Turkey.

Paromita Sen

Marina Omar (Ph.D. Candidate)
 I am currently writing my doctoral dissertation in Comparative Politics, which examines non-party formation in new democracies. As part of the dissertation, I examine the choices of political elites in building pre-electoral coalitions, and how they relate to non-party formation in Afghanistan since its transition to democracy in 2001. The case of post-2001 Afghanistan is used for theory building purposes. The theory will be tested for external validity using other cases of party formation in new democracies that show variation on both dependent and explanatory variables. The research focuses on historical grievances and pre-electoral alliance formation as key explanations for variation in party formation outcomes in post-2001 Afghanistan. The study uses process tracing to reveal causal mechanisms, explain actors’ preferences and account for a puzzle that conventional theories cannot fully explain.

Marina Omar

Sam Plapinger (Ph.D. Candidate)
With the support of the Quandt International Research Fund in Summer 2014, I was able to conduct six weeks of preliminary fieldwork with displaced Syrians in Jordan and Turkey, focusing on both the characteristics and behavior of armed groups and local-level governance practices in opposition-held areas of Syria. I spoke with three populations in Jordan and Turkey: civilians, opposition officials, and former combatants. More specifically, the encounters consisted of seven formal interviews (five in-person and two over electronic communication) and informal discussions and meetings in Arabic with about a dozen other individuals in Irbid and Amman (Jordan) and Gaziantep and Antakya (Turkey). These individuals possessed information on the local-level dynamics and trajectories of the civil war in parts of Deraa, Aleppo, Idlib, and Deir Az-Zour provinces, and the cities of Homs, Raqqa, Aleppo, and Manbij in Syria.

Sam Plapinger

Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl (Assistant Professor)
Research in Jordan on Islamic law and women’s rights, in collaboration with Deena Hurwitz and assisted by Robert Kubinic.

Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl

Quandt Fund Application


Grants of up to $3000 are made to:

  • Politics students, undergraduate and graduate, for international study in any region or country, including structured programs and individual research;
  • Politics faculty, for research abroad.

Grants can be used from May to December of the year of award, and recipients are expected to submit a brief report on their field experience within two months of their return.


Applicants should inform the committee of other funding applications, and recipients should inform the committee of overlapping awards.

Application materials must be emailed to Sharon Marsh (smm4g “at” virginia “dot” edu) by March 5, 2018. Decisions will be announced by the end of the March.

Student applicants

Submit a statement of purpose, an estimated budget including other planned or pending applications, and an unofficial transcript. One faculty letter of recommendation is required, not necessarily from a Politics faculty member.

Faculty applicants

Submit a statement describing the research project.

William Quandt Bio

Born in Los Angeles, California, Bill Quandt received his BA from Stanford University and his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Quandt’s outstanding achievements as a scholar, diplomat, and teacher are too numerous to detail here. More directly relevant and perhaps less well known are the life-changing experiences of his first trips abroad. As a high school student he was part of the first group of American youth sent to Japan. He mastered the Japanese script and made lifelong friends there. More basically, he learned to listen and to observe. Convinced that his future was in foreign affairs, his next field trip was to France in 1960-61, when extrication from Algeria was the hottest topic. Interested, he researched Algeria, but found that to be serious he would have to learn Arabic and to go there. In 1966-7 he was finally able to go to North Africa and to conduct fifty interviews with people involved in the Algerian revolution. The rest is history — the emergence of a great Middle East expert.

Without the cumulative effects of Japan, France, and Algeria, and without their humbling yet exciting lessons in the reality of the world beyond books and numbers, history would have been different.

The Quandt Fund for International Research

The Quandt International Research Fund has been established by the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics of the University of Virginia in honor of William Quandt, a distinguished faculty member and well-known expert on Middle Eastern politics. The Fund assists students and faculty in the Department to pursue studies and research abroad by making travel grants to defray the cost of international travel. The awards are administered annually by a faculty committee.

Grants of up to $3000 are made to Politics students, undergraduate and graduate, planning international study in any region or country, including structured programs and individual research. Grants can also be made to Politics faculty for research abroad. Applicants should inform the committee of other funding applications, and grantees should inform the committee of overlapping awards.

  • Grants can be used from May to December of the year of award
  • Grantees are expected to submit a brief report on their field experience within two months of their return

Student applicants should submit a statement of purpose, an estimated budget including other planned or pending applications, and an unofficial transcript. One faculty letter of recommendation is required, not necessarily from a Politics faculty member. Faculty applicants should describe their research project.

Application materials should be emailed to Sharon Marsh by March 5, 2018. Decisions will be announced by the end of the March.

Charles H. Koch Award to Support Internships Related to Foreign Affairs

We are pleased to announce the fourth annual competition for the Charles H. Koch Jr. Award to provide financial support up to $5000 to help cover the expenses of internships related to foreign affairs of students in the College of Arts and Sciences during the summer of 2019. The judges of the competition will give priority to funding internships requiring travel abroad. In order to maximize the assistance provided by the fellowship, they may decide to divide the funds among more than one student.

Applications should include:

1. A cover letter not more than two pages in length describing how the student’s need and the nature of the internship.
2. A budget estimating how the fellowship funds will be used.
3. A resume
4. A transcript
5. The name and email address of UVa faculty member willing to serve as a reference should the need arise.

All application material should be submitted via email to Allen Lynch, Director of Undergraduate Program, Department of Politics by no later than 5:00 PM Friday March 15, 2019. Winners will be announced no later than Friday March 29, 2019.

Who is Charles H. Koch Jr.?

Professor Charles H. Koch Jr. was a professor of law at the College of William & Mary from 1979 until his passing in 2012. Professor Koch’s areas of expertise included administrative law, comparative constitutional systems, electricity, the European Union, and federal courts. While he primarily focused on U.S. administrative law, he began learning and teaching about the European Union because he saw its growing importance both to the U.S. in the global legal environment and ultimately to domestic law.

He received his B.A. from the University of Maryland, his J.D. from George Washington University and his LL.M. from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining the William & Mary faculty in 1979, he worked as a staff attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of the Federal Trade Commission and taught at DePaul University College of Law. He served as Assistant Chief Reporter of the ABA’s Administrative Law of the European Union Project and was Past President of the Committee on Sections and Annual Meetings of the Administrative Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. He was a member of the ABA’s United Nations Affairs Coordinating Committee. He also served for seven years as Editor-in-Chief of the Administrative Law Review and twice acted as a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States.

Professor Koch was a prolific writer, publishing books for both teaching and practice, and numerous articles in law reviews and practitioner-oriented journals. His books included Administrative Law and Practice (2d ed.), Administrative Law of the European Union, Volume 1 (with George Bermann), Federal Practice and Procedure Volumes 32 and 33 (with Charles Alan Wright), Administrative Law: Cases and Materials (5th ed., with William Jordan & Richard Murphy), West’s Federal Administrative Practice, Volume 7, The Federal Administrative Judiciary (with Paul Verkuil, Daniel Gifford, Richard Pierce and Jeffrey Lubbers) and Fundamentals of Administrative Practice (with Donald Rothschild).

He is survived by his wife, Denise, and his son, Andrew (COL ’12).

Professor Charles H Koch Jr
Professor Charles H. Koch Jr.