University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Alexandria J. Nylen

Alexandria J. Nylen

Professional Title: 

Ph.D. Student


Thompson 712


Office Hours: 

Fall 2017: Wednesdays 11:30am - 1:30pm (and by appt)


M.A. Peace and Justice Studies [Regional Focus: MENA], Kroc School of Peace Studies (2013); B.A. Communication Studies [Critical Media Studies], University of San Diego (2011)


I study international relations and comparative politics. My current research focuses on the emergent norms surrounding the use and proliferation of armed unmanned aerial vehicles. I am particularly interested in teasing out the uniqueness of drones as compared to other weapons technologies, especially banned weapons technologies. I pair my interest in international civilian protection norms with an acute concern towards studying the totality of civilian experience of drone warfare.

I was born and raised in San Diego, California and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2011 with a B.A. in Communication Studies and minors in Peace & Justice Studies and Classical History. I decided to continue pursuing my interests in human rights by enrolling in a Master's program at the Kroc School of Peace Studies. While at the Kroc School, I focused on the deleterious effects of U.S. counterterrorism policies in Yemen and Pakistan. I worked at B'Tselem's Jerusalem office during my Master's program, cataloging video footage from the West Bank and Gaza according to potential human rights abuses.


International Relations, International Law, Human Rights, Human Security, U.S. Foreign Policy, INGOs/NGOs, Comparative Politics, Middle Eastern Politics, Social Movements, Grassroots Mobilization

Articles Under Review:

Nylen, Alexandria. 2017. "Frontier Justice: International Law and 'Lawless Spaces' in the 'War Against Terrorists'" at Perspectives on Politics

Nylen, Alexandria and Charli Carpenter. 2016. "Questions About Killing: Constructing International Law Through Public Opinion Surveys" at Journal of Global Security Studies