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Alison Howell is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, Newark, where she is also an affiliate member of the Department of Women's and Gender Studies. She previously held research fellowships at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) and in Politics, both at the University of Manchester, as well as a Fulbright Chair at Brown University and SUNY. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal Critical Military Studies, an editorial board member of Critical Studies on Security, and a member of the Eisenhower Research Group, which produces the Costs of War project.
Dr. Howell has written on topics relating to the international relations of medicine, health, security and warfare. Her first book, Madness in International Relations examined the role of psychology in global security practices. Her work has also been published in journals such as the Review of International Studies, Security Dialogue, Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, Studies in Social Justice, and International Political Sociology.
Global Politics; International Relations Theory; Militaries and Militarism; War & Intervention; the Middle East; Global Health; and the Politics of Medicine; International Security Studies; Gender and Global Politics; Critical, Feminist and Post-Structuralist Theory.
Trent University, B.A.
Carleton University, M.A.
Madness in International Relations: Psychology, Security and the Global Governance of Mental Health. Book Series: ‘Interventions,’ series editors: Jenny Edkins and Nick Vaughan-Williams. London: Routledge, 2011.
Special Issue Guest Editorships:
“Global Health in International Relations.” Review of International Studies. 40:5 (December 2014). Co-edited with Sara E. Davies, Stefan Elbe, and Colin McInnes.
“Toward an International Political Sociology of Health and Medicine.” International Political Sociology. 6:3, (September 2012).
“The Politics of Resilience and Recovery in Mental Health Care.” Studies in Social Justice. 6:2, (Autumn 2012). Co-edited with Jijian Voronka (University of Toronto).
Selected Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
“Resilience, War, and Austerity: The Ethics of Military Human Enhancement and the Politics of Data.” Security Dialogue. 46:1 (February 2015): 15-31 .
“The Global Politics of Medicine: Beyond Global Health, Against Securitization Theory.” Review of International Studies. 40:5 (December 2014): 961-87.
“The Demise of PTSD: From Governing Trauma to Governance through Resilience.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political. Special issue on ‘Governing Traumatic Events’ guest edited by James Brassett and Nick Vaughan-Williams. 36:2 (May 2012).
“Human Interest and Humane Governance in Iraq: Humanitarian War and the Baghdad Zoo.” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. 6:2 (2012). Co-authored with Andrew Neal.
“Sovereignty, Security, Psychiatry: Liberation and the Failure of Mental Health Governance in Iraq.” Security Dialogue. 41:4 (August 2010): 347-67.
“Victims or Madmen? The Diagnostic Competition over ‘Terrorist’ Detainees at Guantánamo Bay.” International Political Sociology. 1:1 (March 2007): 29-47.
Selected Book Chapters
“Health, Medicine and the Bio-Sciences” Routledge Handbook of International Political Sociology. Pinar Bilgin, Xavier Guillaume, and Mark Salter, eds. London: Routledge, forthcoming 2015.
“Making War Work: Resilience, Emotional Fitness, and Affective Economies in Western Militaries” Emotions, Politics and War. Linda Ahall and Thomas Gregory, eds. London: Routledge, forthcoming, 2015.
“Medicine and the Psy Disciplines.” Research Design in Critical Security Studies. Can E. Mutlu and Mark Salter, eds. London: Routledge, 2012.
“The Art of Governing Trauma: Treating PTSD in the Canadian Military as a Foreign Policy Practice” Canadian Foreign Policy in Critical Perspective. Beier & Wylie (eds.). Oxford University Press, 2009.
Editor’s Introductions, Forum Contributions and Response Articles
“Resilience as Enhancement: Governmentality and Political Economy beyond ‘Responsibilisation’” Politics. Forthcoming, 2015. (Invited response to a special issue on resilience)
“Global Health in International Relations: Editor’s Introduction.” Review of International Studies. 40:5 (December 2014): 825-34. Co-authored equally with Sara E. Davies, Stefan Elbe and Colin McInnes.
“Introduction: Toward an International Political Sociology of Health and Medicine.” International Political Sociology. 6:3, (September 2012): 315-16.
“The International Political Sociology of Psychology and Mental Health.” International Political Sociology. 6:3, (September 2012): 331-33.
“Introduction: The Politics of Resilience and Recovery in Mental Health Care.” Studies in Social Justice. 6:2, (Autumn 2012): 1-7. Co-authored with Jijian Voronka.
“The War Comes Home: The Toll of War and the Shifting Burden of Care.” The Costs of War: An Accounting of the US Response to 9/11. Report of the Watson Institute, Brown University and the Eisenhower Research Project. Co-authored with Dr. Zoe H. Wool www.costsofwar.org
I am currently working on a number of projects related to the study the role of medicine in international relations. Working in the fields of critical war studies and critical military studies, and drawing these fields into conversation with research on global health and medicine, I have been particularly focused on how medicine shapes war, and how war shapes medicine. Insights derived from such observations, both historically and in the present day, can help us re-think the nature of global politics, the nature of war, and the nature of what it means to be human.
To that end, I have three main projects in the works. The first examines the relations between war and the contemporary life sciences, with a particular focus on Neuroscience (both the Weaponization of neuroscience and the politics of new rehabilitative technologies) and Genetics (with a particular focus on intelligence gathering). The second project examines the rise of the idea of Resilience, particularly in the US Army, placing these developments within a longer history of the mutual relations between war and the discipline of psychology. The third project develops a framework for re-thinking global politics through attention to the historical and contemporary colonial logics of tropical medicine and global public health.
Through each of these projects, I am interested in relations of global inequality, whether along lines of race, colonialism, ability, gender, impoverishment or sexuality, and in how attention to the politics of medicine may help us to understand the global nature of these systems of inequality.
Fulbright Fellowship and Chair, Brown University and SUNY, 2010-2011.
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI), the University of Manchester, 2010.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2008-2010.
The Yumika Iida Memorial Prize for Best PhD Thesis, Political Science, York University, 2008.
Ambassador Gary J. Smith Award, 2007.
Canadian Consortium on Human Security Doctoral Fellowship, 2006-2007.
SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, 2002-2006.
International security and critical security studies; Global health, the global politics of mental health, trauma and resilience; Militarism and contemporary warfare; Conflict and humanitarianism; Soldiering, veterans, and demobilization; Gender and global politics.