By: Shelby Steuart

Dr. Amanda Murdie, Professor and Head of the Department of International Affairs, recently won the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Studies Association (ISA). According to ISA, the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar is expected to have an “exceptional record of scholarship in international studies, a distinguished record of service to the International Studies Association and other international affairs organizations, and, normally, a record of service within the region.”

Dr. Murdie has served as program chair and president of ISA Midwest, is the editor-in-chief of International Studies Review, and is the co-editor of the University of Georgia Press Studies in Security and International Affairs Book Series.

Dr. Murdie also has a forthcoming article in Political Research Quarterly called “International Development NGOs and Bureaucratic Capacity: Facilitator or Destroyer.” Murdie explains that this article gets at an important question, “When an organization gets involved with a country, are they helping that country’s government or are they really taking away from that country’s government’s ability to function?”

Her research shows that there is no evidence that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) take away from a country’s government’s ability to function. Instead, what the researchers are seeing is when the country’s government is a democracy, the NGO is more able to get involved with local government and act as a partner, which can actually help improve bureaucratic capacity.

Dr. Murdie states that this is exciting research because it offers an “Important finding for NGOs because they often get this critique that they’re taking away from states’ ability to act in their own long term best interest and we don’t find that.”

Dr. Murdie will receive the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award at the annual meeting of ISA-Midwest in mid-November.  She will also give a keynote address at the meeting on her research.