B’rukhim Habayim, Ahlan wa-sahalan, bienvenidos, and welcome to my new blog. My name is Ariel Zellman and I am a 24-year-old Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University.
I completed my honours bachelors degree in political science and international relations at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in 2005. My honors thesis, “Janjaweed in Sudan: A Case of Chronic Paramilitarism” was supervised by Dr. Brian Job. In this paper, I argued that the Sudanese government’s employment of civil militias in the Darfur conflict was both a symptom of and contributor to state security failure. I presented a version of this paper at the International Studies Association Conference in March 2006 in San Diego.
I then completed my masters in political science in August 2006 under the direction of Dr. Michael Byers. My thesis, “Encouraging State Irresponsibility,” focused on the negative impact of international failure to effectively address the conflict in Darfur on norms of state responsibility and human rights accountability. I presented a version of this paper at the International Security Studies Section of ISA conference in October 2006 in Tuscon, AZ. At UBC, I also served as a teachers assistant in Ramjee Parajulee’s Introduction to International Relations course.
In a few weeks, I will be commencing my second year here in Evanston, IL working under the direction of Dr. William Reno at NU. This will be my last year of course work before I begin preparing for my comprehensive exams and formal research for my dissertation. I will also be beginning work as a teacher’s assistant for Ian Hurd in his Introduction to International Relations course in the upcoming quarter.
This summer, I spent six weeks in Israel studying colloquial Arabic at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I also conducted preliminary research for my dissertation on security relationships in Yehuda and Shomron (West Bank) between the Israeli military, civilian security bodies, and independent “security entrepreneurs”.
I also recently took on a position at b5 media writing simplydumb.com, a site dedicated to dumb news and related topics. I figure this will be a great way to momentarily escape from my crushing graduate work load and slow but sure surrender to the fact that the world is a very messed up place.
Wish me luck…