Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science & International Affairs
Austin studies comparative politics, international relations, and political methodology. His research focuses on civil wars, the behavior of armed non-state actors, and political violence.
Austin’s dissertation—Rebel Leaders and the Management of Armed Rebel Organizations in Intrastate Conflict—explains how rebel leaders’ prewar experiences affect the decisions that they make in the management of rebel organizations. Towards the completion of this project, in summer 2018, Austin conducted a month of fieldwork in Angola. Semi-structured interviews with former rebel commanders and other conflict participants inform a case study analysis of the UNITA insurgency during the Angolan Civil War. This dissertation is supported by multiple research grants from the University of Georgia.