Hello, my name is Annamaria Prati, and I am an independent research scholar specializing in International Relations, specifically studying international institutions and organizations; democratization and development, especially in failed states; and the intersection between religion and politics. I graduated from the University of Chicago with an M.A. from the Committee on International Relations. My Master’s thesis, available on my Papers page, discussed the role of international institutions in facilitating cooperation between authoritarian regimes, a phenomenon that, although visible every day in the modern world, is often deemed impossible by international relations theory. I received my B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and with interdepartmental honors in Democracy, Development, and the Rule of law and with a minor in Modern Languages (French and Italian). My honors thesis, available on my Papers page studied the efforts of the United Nations Development Program to promote democracy through their Democracy and Good Governance Projects, touching on a variety of topics including the structural constraints and liberties of an international organization; democracy promotion in authoritarian regimes; international involvement with domestic institutions; and evaluation and efficacy of such programs.
Having studied at both the University of Chicago – a school that heavily emphasizes the importance of theory, often to the point of ignoring practical examples – as well as Stanford University – a school that focuses on empirical examples, and, at least for the undergraduate education, places secondary importance on theory – I have come to realize that theory and empirical examples should not be so divorced from each other. I endeavor with this blog to demonstrate this relationship, and the importance of understanding theory from current events as well as understanding current events from the perspective of a theoretical framework.
For more information on my work, please read my essays and papers posted here – I write about current events and commentary on my current research. Or, for a more humorous glance on my personality, see my best books page.