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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Michelle O'Brien

Michelle O'Brien is joining the Mershon Center for International Security Studies as a postdoctoral researcher. Her current research focuses on the consequences of exposure to armed conflict and violent events for individual and institutional change.

O'Brien's dissertation examined these consequences for education, migration, and abortion in Tajikistan after the 1992-1997 civil war. In a collaborative project, she used agent-based modeling to understand how individual and community-level processes contribute to long-term social change after the 1996-2006 Maoist rebellion in Nepal.

O'Brien is most recently the author of "Migration as an Adaptive Response to Ethnic Nationalism in Russia," in Migration Studies, in which she finds that ethnic minorities in Russia are more likely to out-migrate when faced with hate crimes and ethnic nationalist politics.

During her time at the Mershon Center, O'Brien will work with Mershon affiliate Hollie Nyseth Brehm and Kammi Schmeer, both from the Department of Sociology, on a project investigating the long-term social and demographic consequences of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Michelle has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Washington.