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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Barbara Roth

Mershon graduate student affiliate Barbara Roth is one of five doctoral candidates from The Ohio State University to be awarded the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship by the U.S. Department of Education, International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office.

She will conduct research in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 12 months examining "Settlement Social Norms and Conflict Migration in Bosnia." Nationwide across all disciplines, only 90 Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowships were awarded.

Roth won a 2018-19 student research grant from the Mershon Center. The abstract for her winning project is:

The events that aggregate into an armed conflict are the result of countless individual decisions that simultaneously form and are shaped by complex system dynamics. While early research tended to focus on outcomes and processes at the conflict-level, recent work has uncovered the vital importance of studying conflict microdynamics and their emergent properties. This project addresses a key gap in this literature by examining the vastly under-theorized component of civilian responses to war. Using archival and ethnographic evidence from rural Bosnia and Herzegovina, this project explores how local spatial trajectories of conflict and settlement-level social norms shaped civilian responses to war and migration decision-making in rural areas. It uses comparative case studies of Orašje, Raštani, and Vikići to examine the role of local practices of Komšiluk or neighborhood sociality and its constituent social figurations in migration decisions and outcomes. By exploring the social dynamics which caused these otherwise similar settlements to display such divergent mobility patterns, it facilitates a deeper understanding of both forced migration and contemporary Southeast Europe.

Roth earned her Bachelor of Arts in media studies and political science from the Free University of Berlin, Germany (2014) and a Master of Arts in political science from the University of Utah (2016). Her faculty advisor is Amanda Robinson.

The five Fulbright-Hays DDRA awards from Ohio State represent more than $220,000 in research funding for 2019-2020.