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Dr. Nevin T. Aiken

Associate Professor | Director of Political Science

Nevin Aiken looking out over the Cliffs of Moher

Academic Areas of Expertise:

Transitional Justice; Post-Conflict Peacebuilding; Ethnic and Nationalist Violence; Genocide Studies; Peace and Conflict Studies; Human Rights and Human Security; Identity Politics; International Relations; Comparative Politics

Curriculum Vitae

Biography:

Nevin Aiken's primary 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, peacebuilding and reconciliation, 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, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Peace Research, and in 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. Through an examination of Northern Ireland and South Africa, 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. 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 projects include examining the impact of socio-economic marginalization on post-conflict reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the politics of post-genocide memorialization and reparations in modern Namibia. He is also currently working on a new book project exploring the intersection of justice, distributive inequality and post-conflict reconciliation in societies seeking to come to terms with past legacies of gross human rights violations.

At UW, Nevin teaches courses for the Political Science and International Studies Programs on transitional justice, peace and conflict studies, genocide studies, international relations theory, and human security. In 2017, Nevin served as a Visiting Research Fellow with the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen;s University, Belfast. 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.

Current Research Projects:

I am particularly interested in working with graduate students interested in assisting with my current research in Northern Ireland and my book project examining the intersection of justice, distributive inequality and post-conflict reconciliation in societies seeking to come to terms with past legacies of gross human rights violations.

Fun Facts About Nevin:

Nevin loves all the outdoor opportunities living in the Rocky Mountain West offers and enjoys alpine skiing, rock climbing, hiking, and camping. Nevin is also a registered yoga instructor and leads weekly classes at Ahimsa Studio in Laramie, WY.


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