Nakissa Jahanbani, Ph.D. Candidate

University at Albany SUNY

Country: United States (New York)

About Me:

I'm a PhD student in the political science department at the University at Albany, SUNY. My dissertation examines why states support rebel groups through network analysis, event history, and other quantitative methods. I have over four years of teaching experience as a teaching assistant and one semester as an instructor. Prior to graduate school, I worked in human rights advocacy for three years. I received my B.A. in International Relations from American University in 2011. 

Research Interests


Networks And Politics

Middle East & North African Politics

Research Methods & Research Design

Political Violence

State-Sponsored Terrorism

Terrorism And Insurgency

Network Analysis

Spatial Analysis

Countries of Interest







Journal Articles:

(2018) What We Wish We Knew: Reflections of Brand-New Teaching Assistants, Journal of Political Science Education

The learning curve on how to become a Teaching Assistant (TA) can be rather steep. In this paper, the authors explore three areas they wish they were advised in prior to beginning their teaching careers. The lessons are centered on balancing expectations and responsibilities in the following areas: 1) prioritizing their own work and research over teaching and vice versa, 2) the dual role of instructor and mentor, and 3) adapting prepared lesson plans when unexpected circumstances arise. The authors are three doctoral students in political science with approximately three years of teaching experience each. As such, they offer a unique perspective: each are settled into their position as TA but remember the challenges they faced while on the path to this role.

Media Appearances:


(2018) The Globe Post

In this piece, I discuss Iran recruiting Afghan Shiite to fight in militias in the Syrian Civil War. I consider the potential domestic effects in Afghanistan as well as broader regional effects for Iran.

(2018) Times Higher Education

With my coauthors, we offer some advice for those preparing for the new academic year, specifically: how to manage competing roles of student, instructor, and mentor, balancing preparation and flexibility, and fostering student investment in subject matter.