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News Release 09-181

Awards Announced in "Social and Behavioral Dimensions of National Security, Conflict and Cooperation" Competition

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NSF has awarded $8 million in research projects, part of the Defense Department's Minerva Initiative

October 2, 2009

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced the awards made under a joint NSF/DoD research solicitation. The competition "Social and Behavioral Dimensions of National Security, Conflict and Cooperation" focused on basic social and behavioral science of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy, as part of the Minerva Initiative launched by the Department of Defense in 2008.

DoD and the NSF jointly determined four topic areas for the NSF solicitation: authoritarian regimes, the strategic impact of religious and cultural change, terrorist organizations and ideologies, and new dimensions in national security. The topics address the needs of national security policymakers and the ideals of open academic basic research.

The following proposals were funded under the 2009 "Social and Behavioral Dimensions of National Security, Conflict and Cooperation" competition and totalled approximately $8 million:

  • Patrick Barclay (University of Guelph) and Stephen Bernard (Indiana University) - "Status, Manipulating Group Threats, and Conflict Within and Between Groups"
  • Rachel Croson (University of Texas - Dallas) and Charles Holt (University of Virginia) - "Behavioral Insights into National Security Issues"
  • Wiilliam Reed (William Marsh Rice University), Charles Holt (University of Virginia), Timothy Nordstrom (University of Mississippi), and David Clark (State University of New York - Binghamton) - "Experimental Analysis of Alternative Models of Conflict Bargaining"
  • Stephen Shellman (College of William and Mary), Remco Chang (University of North Carolina - Charlotte), Michael Covington (University of Georgia), Joseph Young (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale), Michael Findley (Brigham Young University) - "Terror, Conflict Processes, Organizations, and Ideologies: Completing the Picture"
  • Barbara Geddes (University of California - Los Angeles) and Joseph Wright (Pennsylvania State University) - "How Politics Inside Dictatorships Affects Regime Stability and International Conflict"
  • Martha Crenshaw (Stanford University) - "Mapping Terrorist Organizations"
  • Cynthia Buckley (University of Texas -  Austin) - "People, Power, and Conflict in the Eurasian Migration System"
  • Virginia Fortna (Columbia University) - "Strategies of Violence, Tools of Peace, and Changes in War Termination"
  • Jaroslav Tir (University of Georgia) - "Avoiding Water Wars: Environmental Security Through River Treaty Institutionalization"
  • Laura Razzolini (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Atin Basuchoudhary (Virginia Military Institute) - "Predicting the Nature of Conflict - An Evolutionary Analysis of the Tactical Choice"
  • Robert Powell (University of California - Berkeley) - "Fighting and Bargaining over Political Power in Weak States"
  • Eli Berman (University of California - San Diego) - "Workshop on the Political Economy of Terrorism and Insurgency"
  • Rachel Croson (University of Texas - Dallas) - "Substantive Expertise, Strategic Analysis and Behavioral Foundations of Terrorism" (Workshop)
  • Roy Licklider (Rutgers University) - "New Armies from Old:  Merging Competing Military Forces after Civil Wars" (Workshop)
  • Geoffrey Wiseman (University of Southern California) - "Engaging Intensely Adversarial States: The Strategic Limits and Potential of Public Diplomacy in U.S. National Security Policy"
  • J. Craig Jenkins (Ohio State University) - "Deciphering Civil Conflict in the Middle East"
  • Jeff Hancock (Cornell University), Arthur Graesser (University of Memphis), and David Beaver (University of Texas - Austin) - "Modeling Discourse and Social Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes"

The Department of Defense partnered with the NSF to reach the broadest range of academic, social and behavioral science. This collaboration combines the insights of the DoD with the peer review expertise of the NSF in support of the agencies' desire to promote basic social and behavioral scientific research in areas that will benefit the nation.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485, email:

Program Contacts
Mark L. Weiss, NSF, (703) 292-7272, email:
Amber L. Story, NSF, (703) 292-7249, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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