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Keith Brown holds a bachelor's in classics from the University of Oxford and a master's and doctorate in anthropology from the University of Chicago. Following teaching appointments in anthropology at Bowdoin College and the University of Wales, he joined the Politics, Culture and Identity program at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. As well as teaching in Brown's interdisciplinary undergraduate programs in International Relations and Development Studies, he led several collaborative and policy-oriented research projects focusing on conflict and its aftermath, civil-military relations, and transitions to and from democracy. He served as director of the Brown International Advanced Research Institutes from 2010-2014, and director of the Watson Institute's postdoctoral program from 2014-2017, before joining ASU as director of the Melikian Center in 2017.
He has also been a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and a visiting fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, and has delivered lecture series at the University of Oxford and at the Institute for National History in Skopje, Macedonia, where he was a Fulbright fellow in 2012-13.
Keith Brown's research has focused primarily on politics, culture and identity in the Balkans, with a particular emphasis on relations between Macedonia, Greece, and Bulgaria. His solo-authored scholarly work has explored the comparative politics of history-writing (The Past in Question, 2003), and analyzed the nature of violence in the making and breaking of community (Loyal Unto Death, 2013).
He has also pursued collaboration across scholarly and professional boundaries in research on civil and military forms of international intervention, especially in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. This has produced edited volumes focused on democracy promotion (Transacting Transition, 2006) and comparative approaches to post-conflict studies (Post-Conflict Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach, 2015; co-edited with Chip Gagnon). He is co-director of the NEH-funded Dialogues on the Experience of War project at Brown University, 2017-2019.
Following on field, archival, and oral historical research supported by NCEEER and a Fulbright fellowship, he is currently working on a book project on environmental activism in socialist Yugoslavia, and its consequences for democratic culture in the region.