University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Alexandria J. Nylen

Alexandria J. Nylen

Professional Title: 

Graduate Student


Machmer 309


Office Hours: 

Spring 2017 TBD


M.A. Peace and Justice Studies [Regional Focus: MENA], Kroc School of Peace Studies (2011); B.A. Communication Studies [Critical Media Studies], University of San Diego (2007)


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 hope to dedicate a significant portion of my dissertation to exploring lived civilian experience of drones, paying particular attention to harms that are oftentimes not even considered within international law. 

I was born and raised in San Diego, California and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2007 with a B.A. in Communication Studies and minors in Peace & Justice Studies and Classical History. My undergraduate capstone research focused on the impact of Al Jazeera English's coverage of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. I decided to continue pursuing my interests in Middle Eastern politics and human security 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, as well as recruitment strategies of extremist groups. 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, Human Security, Comparative Politics, Middle Eastern Politics, U.S. Foreign Policy, Social Movements, Political Science in Science Fiction