alexandra starkI am a PhD candidate in International Relations in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.

My dissertation research asks why regional powers intervene in civil wars in the Middle East and North Africa. First, I find that intervention is more likely  when a regional power has experienced a recent loss in terms of its influence in the region. Second, I argue that regional powers are more likely to intervene indirectly (through the provision of weapons, training, and other resources) rather than directly (through air strikes or deploying troops) if a great power both a) possesses leverage over the regional state, and b) is willing to use that leverage to prevent intervention at a higher level. My research has been supported by the Cosmos Scholars Award, the Georgetown Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Research Travel Grant, and the Georgetown Government Department Collaborative Summer Research Grant.

In general, my research is focused on military intervention, the international politics of the MENA region, civil wars, and gender and conflict initiation. I have been selected to attend the Bridging the Gap New Era Foreign Policy Conference, the Summer Workshop for the Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy, and the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Methods Research (IQMR). I received my BA from Wellesley College, where I was an Albright Fellow, and also hold an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics.