Two University of Michigan professors are among the first 32 recipients of the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, the Carnegie Corporation of New York announced Wednesday.
John Ciorciari, assistant professor of public policy, and Arthur Lupia, professor of political science, were selected for the annual fellowship that awards up to $200,000 to support humanities and social science scholars so they can devote a year or two to research and writing.
Ciorciari, co-director of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy’s International Policy Center, will examine the strengths and shortcomings of shared-sovereignty agreements. Such agreements are often used by the United Nations to promote peace and human rights in weak states and those transitioning from conflict and repressive rule.
“One of the major challenges faced by the United Nations as well as the U.S. government is how to work productively with states with unstable governments,” said President Mark Schlissel.
“Professor Ciorciari’s research on the effectiveness of ‘shared-sovereignty’ agreements in this setting should inform more effective policies to promote global economic development, peace and enhanced human rights.”
Lupia, who studies how information and institutions affect policy and politics, with a focus on how people make decisions when they lack information, will continue his work on “Improving the Value of Social Science.”
“Arthur Lupia brings an impressive array of social science tools to bear on questions of how institutions and individuals make decisions in the setting of uncertainty,” Schlissel said.
“In an era in which the value of social science research has been called into question, Professor Lupia’s award-winning research has shed light on the shaping of public opinion, elections and the relationship between elected officials and government bureaucracies amongst many other timely topics.”
By writing a book and various articles during the fellowship, Lupia wants to empower scholars to conduct their research in more valuable ways and make a better case for social science’s public value.
“I am thrilled to be given this opportunity,” said Lupia, who also is a research professor in the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research. “The Carnegie Corporation has an ambitious public mission. I am grateful for this opportunity to help them achieve it.”
Nancy Burns, chair of the Department of Political Science, said that Lupia will use this opportunity to transform the understanding of the public value of social science.
“Thanks to his work, social scientists, public policymakers and ordinary citizens will have better tools to make use of social science, better tools to see the ways social science insights about social, behavioral, economic and political dynamics can improve Americans’ quality of life,” she said. “That’s a very big deal for American society.”
Ciorciari, in his research proposal, wrote that his “aim is to develop a more systematic understanding of the forms such agreements take, as well as their power and pitfalls, to inform more effective engagement by U.N.-family institutions going forward.”
He plans to begin his work this summer and spend his sabbatical year conducting in-depth research in the United States, Cambodia, East Timor, Lebanon, Liberia, the Netherlands and Sierra Leone.
Ciorciari’s colleagues Robert Axelrod and Susan Waltz, professors at the Ford School, say that bolstering weak states is a global challenge with massive implications for international peace.
“Professor Ciorciari’s project is just the kind of focused, policy-relevant research that offers excellent prospects of helping to make a real difference on the ground,” said Axelrod, winner of the National Medal of Science for his contributions to the understanding of international conflict and cooperation.
Waltz, the first American to chair the governing board of Amnesty International and current co-chair of the Quaker United Nations committee, said Ciorciari’s project, goes straight to the heart of the most pressing contemporary problem of global governance: identifying the options available to the international community to assist, shore up and help rebuild polities that in various ways are unable to function as sovereign states.”
“We’re so grateful to the Carnegie Corporation and equally proud of John,” said Ford School Dean Susan Collins. “The new Andrew Carnegie Fellowship is a terrific way to foster vitally important connections between academic researchers and real-world policymakers and practitioners.”