Two University professors are included in the inaugural class of the Andrew Carnegie Fellows program, which the Carnegie Corporation of New York announced Wednesday.
John Ciorciari, assistant professor of public policy, and Political Science Prof. Arthur Lupia, were among the first 32 recipients of the fellowship. The program provides up to $200,000 to support the fellows’ research and work in humanities and social sciences.
Ciorciari is the co-director of the Ford School of Public Policy’s International Policy Center. He plans to use the fellowship to examine the strengths and shortcomings of “shared sovereignty” agreements, a type of governing arrangement used by the U.N. These agreements are used in states that are weak or emerging from conflict in order to aid development.
In an e-mail interview, Ciociari said the Carnegie Fellowship is an excellent way to promote research that will help solve domestic and international policy challenges.
“The most important issues we face are complex, and studying them seriously requires time and resources,” Ciorciari said. “I’m grateful to be selected as a fellow and hope my own research will offer a useful contribution to the study of the United Nations and international engagement in conflict-torn or fragile states more broadly.”
According to the University Record, University President Mark Schissel said Ciorciari’s work will help solve one of the United Nation’s major challenges: how to work productively with states that have unstable governments.
“Professor Ciorciari’s research on the effectiveness of ‘shared-sovereignty’ agreements in this setting should inform more effective policies to promote global economic development, peace and enhanced human rights,” Schissel said.
Robert Axelrod, professor of political science and public policy who works alongside Ciorciari at the Public Policy School, told the University Record that Ciorciari’s work of bolstering weak states is not only a global challenge, but one with massive implications for world peace.
“Professor Ciorciari’s project is just the kind of focused, policy-relevant research that offers excellent prospects of helping to make a real difference on the ground,” said Axelrod.
Lupia will use his grant to research how information and institutions affect policy and politics. He plans to focus on people’s decision-making processes when they lack information, and use the grant to continue working on his book, “Improving the Value of Social Science.”
In an e-mail interview with the Daily, Lupia said he is grateful to his colleagues and students at the University. He said they give him the motivation and inspiration to do the work supported by the fellowship.
“This award represents an opportunity to use my research, and the work that I do with my wonderful Michigan undergraduates, to benefit the nation as a whole,” Lupia said. “The main premise of the project on which I will work is that social science has substantial untapped potential to improve human life. I am working on a number of ways to make more of this work more valuable to more people.”
Schissel said Lupia’s impressive skillset of social science tools will help answer complex political questions.
“In an era in which the value of social science research has been called into question, Professor Lupia’s award-winning research has shed light on the shaping of public opinion, elections and the relationship between elected officials and government bureaucracies, amongst many other timely topics,” Schissel said.
Nancy Burns, chair of the Department of Political Science, told the University Record that Lupia will use the fellowship to change how the public understands social science.
“Better tools to see the ways social science insights about social, behavioral, economic and political dynamics can improve Americans’ quality of life. That’s a very big deal for American society,” Burns said.