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Political Science Program

School of Politics, Public Affairs & International Studies

Dr. Nevin T. Aiken

Assistant Professor · International Relations, Comparative Politics

Ph.D. - University of British Columbia · (307) 766-6146 · Arts & Sciences 221B

Office Hours: MW, 12:30-2 · Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Transitional Justice; Peace & Conflict Studies; Genocide Studies; Human Rights & Human Security; Identity Politics; Ethnicity & Nationalism

Nevin Aiken’s current research focuses on the impact of transitional justice interventions on processes of post-conflict reconciliation in deeply divided societies.  In addition to his work within the field of transitional justice, Nevin’s research interests include the social and psychological dynamics of conflict and peacebuilding, particularly in terms of the genesis of acts of mass atrocity (such as genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other gross human rights violations) as well as the processes by which societies can recover from such violence.  His work can be found in the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Journal of Human Rights, Human Security Journal, Peace Research and, most recently, in the volume Transitional Justice Theories edited by Susanne Buckley-Zistel et al (Routledge, 2013).

His first book, Identity, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice: Overcoming Intractability in Deeply Divided Societies, was published in January 2013 with Routledge Press.   This book introduces an innovative ‘social learning’ theory of transitional justice which suggests that transitional justice interventions will be successful in promoting reconciliation and sustainable peace to the extent they are able to transform the antagonistic intergroup relationships and identifications formed during past violence in divided societies.   Combining original field research and an extensive series of expert interviews, this social learning theory is used to examine the experiences and impact of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the uniquely ‘decentralized’ approach to transitional justice in Northern Ireland. Based on this comparative analysis, it is suggested that transitional justice interventions can best contribute to post-conflict reconciliation in divided societies if they not only promote truth and justice for past abuses, bit also help to promote contact, dialogue and the amelioration of structural and material inequalities between former antagonists. Nevin’s current research project takes the theoretical insights from this previous work and uses them to assess the relative impact of international, national, and local justice interventions on ongoing processes of intergroup reconciliation between Hutu and Tutsi populations in post-genocide Rwanda.

At UW, Nevin teaches courses for the Department of Political Science and the Global & Area Studies Program on transitional justice, peace and conflict studies, genocide studies, international relations theory, and human security.  Prior to joining the University of Wyoming, Nevin worked as a Visiting Research Fellow with The Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Irvine.  Nevin received his BA in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario in 2003; his MA in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario in 2004; and his PhD in Political Science from the University of British Columbia in 2010.  Over the course of his doctorate, Nevin’s research was awarded a Canadian Consortium on Human Security Research Fellowship, a Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and a Security and Defense Forum Doctoral Scholarship from the Canadian Department of National Defense.

Little Known Facts About Nevin

•  Nevin is a Canadian who grew up in London, Ontario before moving to Vancouver, British Columbia for his PhD

•  Nevin is an avid skier and also enjoys hiking, camping, bouldering, traveling all over the world and, as a good Canadian, watching hockey.

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