Nicholas Barnes

Credentials: Ph.D. in Political Science

Position title: Postdoctoral Fellow


Nicholas Barnes is currently a PhD candidate in comparative politics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is delighted to be joining the Watson Institute at Brown Univeristy in Fall of 2017 as a Watson Postdoctoral Fellow. His research interests include political violence, contentious politics, political behavior, social movements, urban development, and public security. His dissertation, “Monopolies of Violence: Gang Governance in Rio de Janeiro,” examines the nature of political authority and the variation in governing strategies of drug trafficking gangs in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas.

Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nicholas attended Coe College where he received a B.A. in English Literature and Spanish. He subsequently received a Master’s in Science in Nationalism and Ethno-Communal Conflict from University College Dublin and spent a year in Israel as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.

Nicholas’ research has been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council’s Drugs, Security and Democracy in Latin America and International Dissertation Research Fellowship as well as the Department of Education through the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad.





“Monopolies of Violence: Gang Governance in Rio de Janeiro”

Dissertation committee

Scott Straus; Christina Ewig; Erica Simmons; Rikhil Bhavnani