Defending Democracy

da Silva Cortinhas

Juliano da Silva Cortinhas is Professor of International Relations at the University of Brasília and a visiting scholar at the University of Virginia. He holds a PhD (University of Brasilia) and a MA (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul), both in International Relations. His research concentrates on International Security, National Defense, civil-military relations in Brazil, U.S. Defense Policy and decision-making theory, with emphasis on discussions about the Brazilian Defense structure and budget.


Alexis Jihye Yang is a Ph.D. candidate in politics at the University of Virginia, with a major in international relations and a minor in political methodology. She received her B.A. degree in political science from Sogang University (Seoul, Korea). Her doctoral dissertation evaluates how over-time changes in group-level features lead to breakdowns in alliances amongst militant organizations.

Partisan Preferences Versus the Constitution: Findings from a Survey Experiment in Turkey

Enforcing constitutional law is difficult. The constitution, after all, is a mere piece of paper and the government it seeks to constrain is infinitely more powerful than the citizens it seeks to protect. Against this backdrop, many have nonetheless observed that the task of enforcing a constitution against a government predisposed to ignore it is not entirely hopeless when ordinary citizens oppose constitutional violations and are willing to make their voice heard.


Sowon Park is a Ph.D. student in politics at the University of Virginia. She studies how foreign policy leaders interpret the intentions and signals of their adversaries during international crises, and how miscalculations sometimes lead to inadvertent crisis escalation. Her substantive research focuses on the impact of domestic politics on the bargaining behavior of political leaders during crises through the application of quantitative methodology.



Joshua Alley is a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Democratic Statecraft Lab and the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. His research interests span alliance politics and the political economy of security. He is currently examining how alliance participation affects military spending and related issues in the domestic politics of alliances. His research is published or forthcoming in International Interactions and two edited volumes. 


Mila Versteeg is the class of 1941 Research Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. She is also the director of the Law School’s Human Rights Program. In 2017, she was named a fellow at the Andrew Carnegie Foundation of New York. Her research and teaching interests include comparative constitutional law, public international law and empirical legal studies. Most of her research deals with the origins, evolution and effectiveness of provisions in the world’s constitutions.


Todd S. Sechser is the Pamela Feinour Edmonds and Franklin S. Edmonds Jr. Discovery Professor of Politics; Professor of Public Policy at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; and a Senior Fellow at the Miller Center of Public Affairs.

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