Meet Xiran Chen, 2021 APSA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grantee

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.

Xiren Chen, University of Arizona

Xiran Chen is a PhD candidate at the School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP), University of Arizona. His research interests center on political violence and political institutions. He has a particular regional interest in Sub-Saharan Africa. His dissertation “Chiefs, Elections, and Violence” seeks to understand how traditional institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa (and in Ghana particularly) affect the risk of pre-election violence at subnational level. Traditional institutions are rules based on local customs. He argues that robust traditional institutions effectively reduce the risk of pre-election violence. His project adopts a mixed-methods approach, and draws from a variety of data sources, including original data collected through archival research and interviews in Ghana.

Prior to his doctoral studies, Xiran received his undergraduate degree from Beijing Foreign Studies University, and an MA degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.