Political Science Professor and Graduate Student Collaborate

By Dara Vance

The University of Kentucky’s Department of Political Science is serious about research collaboration. According to Associate Professor Clayton Thyne, “the department has invested heavily in promoting professor-student collaborations over the past several years, and we have seen this investment pay off with a number of co-authored working papers, conference presentations, and published articles.”  He adds, “a major goal of the program is to develop students who have excellent research skills and have solid foundation when they enter the job market.”

 An example of professor and student collaboration is a project recently published in International Studies Quarterly (2015). Dr. Thyne and UK Political Science Ph.D. candidate Anup Phayal both study civil war and peace building. Thyne helped guide Phayal and co-author Prabin Khadka in their research into DDR (disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration) in post-civil war Sudan. Phayal was a UN peacekeeper in Sudan in 2009-2010, and developed an interest in understanding the DDR process.  

Phayal started graduate studies at UK in 2011 and began collaborating with Thyne and Khadka, a long-time friend from their native Nepal.  Phayal’s current dissertation research focuses on the serious implications of violence on citizens, particularly in post-conflict elections.  Phayal’s research shows that when elections in a country occur too soon after violent conflict like a civil war without maintaining the safety of citizens, support for anti-democratic parties increases, along with the risk of civil war recurrences in the future.

Dr. Thyne’s role in the project has been to help Phayal build up the skills he needs to publish his own work.  The partnership has been so successful that Phayal is working on his own in his current research on the Ivory Coast. “There is no need for me to join Anup’s project because he has the skills to do top-level work on his own" Thyne said.

In addition to collaborating with students, Dr. Thyne serves as the Director of Graduate Studies and is the Associate Chair for the Department of Political Science.  Additionally, he co-founded the Peace Studies Certificate program in 2014 and serves as the Director of Peace Studies.

To learn more about Anup Phayal’s research please visit: http://anupphayal.weebly.com  

To learn more about Dr. Clayton Thyne’s research please visit: http://www.uky.edu/~clthyn2/research.htm

Interested in adding a certificate in Peace Studies to your degree program? https://www.as.uky.edu/about-peace-studies

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