Jacqueline R. McAllister joined Kenyon's faculty in 2014. McAllister’s scholarship is aimed at understanding whether, how and when international justice efforts impact ongoing conflicts. Her research has taken her all over the world, from the Balkans to Nigeria. McAllister’s work has appeared in leading scholarly journals and foreign policy magazines, as well as received support from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, National Science Foundation, the American Association of University Women and the American Council of Learned Societies. McAllister has also served as an expert panelist at a U.N.-sponsored conference on the legacy of the Yugoslav Tribunal.

McAllister is a winner of Kenyon’s Trustee Teaching Excellence Award. She teaches courses on international relations, transitional justice, human rights, war crimes tribunals, international organizations, civil wars and U.S. foreign policy.

Areas of Expertise

International relations, human rights, civil wars


2014 — Doctor of Philosophy from Northwestern University

2008 — Master of Arts from Northwestern University

2006 — Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College, cum laude

Courses Recently Taught

This course is an introduction to the study of international relations. It first provides students with the analytical tools and concepts necessary to understand and explain the interactions of states and other actors in the international system. It then explores some of the most pressing political problems and challenges in the modern international system. The course discusses issues such as the importance of power in the international system; the origins of war and peace; the challenges of the new global economy; security and terrorism; and the implications of these trends for the 21st century. This course is required for the major. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or first-year students currently enrolled in PSCI 102Y. Offered every year.

Since 1945, the vast majority of conflicts have taken place within states. Indeed, by the 1970s, civil wars or wars within states had become the dominant form of warfare, noteworthy both for their intensity and duration. This course surveys theories about the causes, process, management and resolution of this pervasive form of modern conflict. It also looks at how the international community has and continues to deal with these conflicts, focusing on such topics as peacekeeping, the (adverse) effects of humanitarian aid and transitional justice. Historical and contemporary civil wars, ranging from the Yugoslav War to the conflict in the Sudan, serve as case studies, which we analyze in depth. The course aims to provide students with strong theoretical and historical foundations, which can assist them in recognizing the difficult choices policy-makers face when intervening in civil wars. For instance, students come to appreciate the tension between states' rights, human rights and whether to intervene in a civil war. Students should walk away from the course prepared to think through policy options associated with the prevention, management and resolution of civil wars. This counts toward the comparative politics/international relations requirement for the major. No prerequisite. Sophomore standing.

Human rights represent an incredibly powerful idea that is a source of great controversy in contemporary world politics. Seeking to avert the horrors of another world war, state officials came together in the late 1940s to craft a body of laws governing what rights humans are entitled to, simply on the basis of being human. These laws embody aspirations of what it means to live a life of dignity. They additionally constitute important political tools that an array of actors in world politics have mobilized around to achieve different goals. However, human-rights law and norms face challenges. In particular, questions of whether rights apply universally persist. Moreover, there is a disconnect between the aspiration and realization of human rights in practice. This struggle over human-rights, what they mean and their realization represent the foci of the course. First, we explore the foundations of the modern human-rights regime in history and theory. Next, we examine how the human-rights regime operates. Last, we study a number of human-rights issues, ranging from torture debates to women’s and children’s rights. Students perform a simulation on a major human-rights issue. This counts toward the comparative politics/international relations or seminar requirements for the major. No prerequisite. Junior standing.

Special Topic