The CISSR Research Fellows Program is designed to bring social scientists who study different parts of the world using different methods and theoretical approaches together in a common space. Rooted in the belief that the best research is produced through critical and constructive conversations in an inclusive community of global scholars, CISSR activities allow fellows to share their findings, while also exposing them to new perspectives and localities. Through sustained interactions with their peers, and with CISSR financial and administrative support, fellows can refine their research and amplify its impact.

2017-2018 Fellows

2017 Call For Research Fellow­ship Proposals

CISSR invites University of Chicago faculty and doctoral students to submit proposals to join its inaugural cohort of Research Fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year. We welcome internationally-oriented and empirically rigorous social science research projects from diverse theoretical and methodological approaches.

Applications for 2017-2018 fellowships are now closed. The inaugural cohort of Research Fellows for the 2017-18 academic year will be announced in Spring Quarter 2017.


CISSR book workshops provide University of Chicago faculty with an opportunity to receive input from visiting and local scholars in a day-long book workshop. Workshops help authors refine their research and arguments before manuscripts go to academic presses. CISSR will host three book workshops in the Spring Quarter of 2017. Another call for proposals to fund faculty book workshops will be issued in the 2017-2018 academic year.


Narrowing the Channel: The Politics of Regulatory Protection

Robert Gulotty, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Over the past few decades there has been an inexorable push toward global market integration guided by entities like the World Trade Organization and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. These authorities have made great strides in increasing international commercial cooperation by lowering tariffs, but they have done little to address non-tariff barriers. Professor Robert Gulotty’s first book project, Narrowing the Channel, explores the limits of commercial cooperation and the persistence of regulatory barriers within the international trade system. In an incisive argument, Gulotty demonstrates that regulatory barriers have competitive consequences by raising fixed costs to effectively exclude small firms from markets, shifting profits toward larger firms that have the capacity to meet regulatory requirements. Thus, large multinational corporations benefit as much from the persistence of regulatory barriers as they benefit from the reduction of tariffs and other traditional forms of protection. This argument is supported by an original analysis of trade negotiations and major cases of regulatory protection in the US and the European Union. These cases reveal substantial support among large multinational firms for regulatory barriers. Gulotty further considers the implications of these competing interests in the design of the international trade agreements, finding that the norms governing commercial relations for the past two centuries are ill suited to address regulatory protectionism. This book breaks new ground by demonstrating that international economic integration can actually lead to less, rather than more, economic cooperation as firms compete for market position.


Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination
Adom Getachew, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science

In her first book project, Worldmaking after Empire, Professor Adom Getachew explores the struggle of nationalists in newly independent countries to define and achieve ‘self-determination’ during the height of decolonization. Through painstaking archival work, Getachew reconstructs the transformation of self-determination from a fragile principle that reflected a hierarchical racial reality to a universal right proclaimed to upend that hierarchy. Anticolonial nationalists like Eric Williams, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, and Michael Manley understood that self-determination entailed not only an end to alien rule, but also required a remaking of the unequal international order that left their countries dependent on their former colonizers. To end their subjugation, these leaders attempted to change international law and formed regional federations to strengthen their demands for an egalitarian global economy. Offering a rich alternative history of anticolonial and nationalist political thought, Getachew’s book project shows that creating an independent nation-state is but one element of a more expansive vision of self-determination.


Motivation’s Apprentices: Science, Spirit, and the Scaling of American Enterprise
E. Summerson Carr, Associate Professor at the School of Social Service Administration 

In her latest book project, Motivation’s Apprentices: Science, Spirit, and the Scaling of American Enterprise, Professor E. Summerson Carr traces the growth of a behavioral therapy known as Motivational Interviewing and its spread beyond American borders. Carr documents how Motivational Interviewing is presented as a universal and scientific method of changing individual behavior, yet is imbued with distinctly American values and ideologies. Her examination of training materials, interviews, and recordings collected over five years of ethnographic fieldwork reveal that practitioners of Motivational Interviewing have a quasi-religious commitment to the therapy, a commitment that springs from its foundations in democratic ideals, Protestantism, and Pragmatism. In addition to providing an account of how science and ideology intertwine in modern psychological practices, Carr explores the ethical implications of the therapy’s spread beyond the United States, concluding that practitioners of Motivational Interviewing would actually deepen their faith in the method if they recognized its culturally specific nature. Carr’s research is an important contribution to our understanding of why ideological values remain relevant in a time of scientific objectivity and evidence-based medical interventions.