• Development, Inequality,
    & Political Violence

    Clinton School of Public Service

    CV (.pdf)
  • Development, Inequality,
    & Political Violence

    Clinton School of Public Service

    CV (.pdf)



I am a Professor at the University of Arkansas' Clinton School of Public Service. I study how countries and international organizations can influence global development, inequality, and political violence. My research has received support from the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.K.'s Department for International Development, the Institute on Global Conflict & Cooperation, and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

I hold a Ph.D. in Political Science from UC San Diego and have taught undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D.-level courses in international relations, economics, public policy, and research methods.

Before joining the Clinton School, I worked as a Henry A. Kissinger Fellow at Yale University and as a visiting faculty member at Georgia Tech. Earlier in my career I also coached the competitive debate team at Lewis & Clark College; as such, some of my previous research addressed argumentation theory and debate pedagogy.

If you wish to contact me, please email bmerrell@clintonschool.uasys.edu.

Brandon Merrell


Professor, 2022-Present

Visiting Assistant Professor, 2021-2022

Henry A. Kissinger Fellow, 2019-2021

    • Jackson Institute for Global Affairs & International Security Studies
    • Yale University

Herb York Dissertation Fellow, 2017-2018


Ph.D., Political Science, UC San Diego, 2019

M.A., Political Science, UC San Diego, 2015

B.A., Economics & Political Science, Southern Illinois University, 2011

Undergraduate, Western Kentucky University, 2007-2009

Published Work

Refereed Publications

"Unprogrammed Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting"

    • with Brian Engelsma and Gerry Mackie
    • World Development, Vol. 129, May 2020.
    • [More Information]

"Denmark, 1940-1945:
Armed Resistance and Agency Slippage in Germany's Model Protectorate"

    • in Proxy Wars: Suppressing Violence through Local Agents,
    • edited by Eli Berman and David A. Lake, pp. 53-79.
    • Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2019.
    • [More Information]

"Debate across the Disciplines:
Structured Classroom Debates in Interdisciplinary Curricula"

    • with Kevin Calderwood and Todd Graham
    • Contemporary Argumentation and Debate, Vol. 37, pp. 57-74, 2017.
    • [More Information]

"Back to its Roots: Accuracy as the Litmus Test for Topicality"

    • with Todd Graham
    • Parliamentary Debate, Vol 13, No. 2, pp. 21-68, November 2016.
    • [More Information]

"Contrasting Structures, Conditional Strategies:
Designing Format-Specific Theories for Competitive Debate"

    • with Todd Graham
    • Parliamentary Debate, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 1-37, May 2016.
    • [More Information]

"The Intersection of Competitions and Classrooms in Forensics Pedagogy"

    • with Kevin Calderwood and Richard Flores
    • Communication Studies, Vol. 66, No. 4, pp. 433-47, August 2015.
    • [More Information]

Non-Refereed Publications

"Illegal Wildlife Trafficking: The Unseen Environmental Harms"

    • with Thomas Schally
    • in Up for Debate: U.S. Foreign Policy Options Towards the Greater Horn of Africa,
    • edited by Danny Cantrell and Brandy Brickey, pp. 1-24. La Mirada, CA: Picket Fence, 2009.

Working Papers

Global Development

"The Gendered Legacies of Wartime Trauma:
Bombing, Domestic Abuse, and Political Participation in Cambodia"

"Education For All?
The Gender Literacy Gap and the Distributional Effects of World Bank Assistance"

Causes of Interstate & Civil Conflict

"Why Do Leaders Fight Futile Wars?
Optimistic Constituents and Agency Dilemmas in Crisis Decision-Making"

"The Secrecy Gambit:
Clandestine Power Shifts and Preventive Conflict"

"Monopolies of Violence? How Insurgent Threats Can Motivate Accountable Governance"

"King Makers and Peace Breakers:
International Intervention and Post-War Violence"

Dormant Projects

"Are Reporters More Hostile Toward Female Officials?
Media Sentiment in White House Press Briefings"

"Renaming and Credit Claiming in Federal Agencies"

Brandon Merrell - CV

Click below for a .pdf version.


International Relations, Public Policy, and Research Methods

Courses at UC San Diego

Applied Data Analysis for Political Science
Crisis Areas in World Politics
International Crisis Diplomacy
Introduction to American Politics
Introduction to Social Data Analytics
Mathematical and Statistical Foundations (graduate)

Courses at Georgia Tech

Government of the United States
Science, Technology & International Affairs II (graduate)
Statistical Analysis for Public Policy

Courses at the Clinton School

Program Planning and Development (graduate)
Theory and Practice of Global Development (graduate)


Dissertation Committee Member for Michael Ceci (GT School of International Affairs)
Research Mentor: Frontiers of Political Science (UCSD Senior Honors Thesis Course)
Research Mentor: Policy Responses to Global Problems (UCSD Graduate Research Capstone)
Supervisor for Research Assistants in UCSD's Research Apprenticeship Program



Brandon Merrell
University of Arkansas
Clinton School of Public Service
1200 President Clinton Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 USA

Email & Other

Email: bmerrell@clintonschool.uasys.edu
Homepage: www.brandonmerrell.com
Office: Sturgis 101