The American Political Science Association is pleased to announce the Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (DDRIG) Awardees for 2021. The APSA DDRIG program provides support to enhance and improve the conduct of doctoral dissertation research in political science. Awards support basic research which is theoretically derived and empirically oriented.
Donald (Don) Grasse is a PhD candidate in political science at Emory University. His research is in comparative politics and political economy, with a focus on conflict and historical legacies. His dissertation surveys the consequences and causes of unequal or coercive economic structures, ranging from the oil palm sector in modern Indonesia to the long-term effects of state repression during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. His research on the legacy of the Khmer Rouge, generously supported by the American Political Science Association Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, seeks to understand when, where, and why state repression has lasting impacts on economic development. Combining qualitative historical information, archival maps, and fine-grained administrative data over a long period of time, his research examines how exposure to more intense state violence can impact families and communities long after state terror stops, and the degree to which effects accumulate, persist, decay, or morph overtime. By unpacking how historical regimes shape development in the modern day, his research shows the ways that the past endures in the present, providing a guidepost for how policy practitioners can confront historical injustices.