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Christina Gregory, Ph.D. Candidate

christina.gregory@email.ucr.edu

University of California, Riverside

Country: United States (California)

Research Interests

Conflict Processes & War

Race, Ethnicity and Politics

Religion & Politics

Political Violence

African Politics

Environmental Policy

Civil-military Relations

Reconstruction

Civil War

Ethnic Conflict

Post-Conflict Transition

Gender & Military

Military Institutions

Gender And Environment

Countries of Interest

Sudan

South Africa

Rwanda

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Ireland

Lebanon

My Research:

I have historically studied ethnic confict and violence, first for my Master's degree (History, Boston College) and currently in my doctoral studies. My dissertation analyzes military reconstruction after ethnic conflict to better understand how to integrate former fighting factions together. My dissertation interesects civil-military studies, statebuilding, and post-conflict reconstruction.It is a comparative case study that led to archival research in Khartoum, Sudan in 2017.  Currently, my work is increasingly looking at gender. This is manifesting in two different directions. First, influenced by my dissertation work, I am looking at how and when women are integrated into the military and the impacts this has on peacebuilding process. Second, I am looking at gender and the environment.  I conducted focus group interviews with Dr. Kendralyn Webber in the Amolatar district in Uganda (2019) to understand how women are facing the challenges posed by climate change in their daily lives. Other past research projects include studying the impact of austerity measures for niche party support (Electoral Studies vol 42), Pope Francis as an instrument of soft power (forthcoming, International Politics), and a comparitive study (US and France) on the relationship between religion and secularism.  

Publications:

Journal Articles:

(2019) The Doctrine of Mercy: Moral Authority, Soft Power, and the Foreign Policy of Pope Francis, International Politics

Through textual analysis of Francis’ homilies, papal encyclicals, and addresses, we propose the first comprehensive study of Pope Francis’s approach to international relations. Using his moral authority as an instrument of soft power, Pope Francis has engaged in controversial issues including economic inequality, climate change, and social justice issues as they relate previously excluded community (e.g. gay community, poor, inmates). As leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics, Pope Francis has expanded the reach of the Catholic Church. By reforming the image of Catholicism that is more welcoming, Catholic (universal), and orthodox (right-teaching), this strengthens Francis’ role internationally as a global, moral authority figure. This strengthens his position to address international global challenges. We argue that Francis’s internationally concerned political behavior and revamping of the Catholic Church’s image is best characterized and understood through a constructivist theory of international relations which emphasizes values and identity.

(2016) Austerity and Niche Parties: The Electoral Consequences of Fiscal Reforms., Electoral Studies

Austerity policies-- policies of sharp reductions of a government's budget deficit involving spending cuts and tax increases-- are claimed to boost support for radical political parties. We argue, counter to popular claims, that austerity measures actually reduce support for radical and niche parties. Austerity policies force traditional left-right politics to the forefront of political debate with the traditional mainstream parties having a stronger ownership over those issues. We systematically explore the impact of austerity measures on the electoral fortunes of niche parties in 16 developed countries over a 35-year period, while controlling for a number of socio-economic variables. We find that austerity policies that rely on tax increases affect radical parties on the left and the right in different ways than fiscal adjustments based on spending cuts.