Section 1


The David F. Linowes Fellows Program

The David F. Linowes Faculty Fellows Program is made possible by a generous gift from the Linowes family. The Linowes Fellowship provides exceptionally promising tenure-stream faculty with opportunities for innovation and discovery using the Cline Center’s data holdings and/or analytic tools. Any tenure-stream faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is eligible to be considered for the Linowes Faculty Fellows program. Preference is given to those who do not already hold an endowed appointment. Faculty named as Linowes Fellows are expected to play a leadership role in conceiving and organizing the annual David F. Linowes Lecture on Public Policy, which is an important component of the Linowes endowment. Linowes Fellow applications are normally due in early July, with announcements made by early August. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposals with the Center’s director, Scott Althaus [], prior to developing them.


Linowes Fellows

  • 2015-2016

























































Avital Livny (Political Science)

  • Project: Survey and Census Data for Understanding Ethnic and Religious Diversity

    Prof. Avital Livny works on identity politics and the comparative politics of the Middle East and Turkey. As a Linowes Fellow, she aims to build on the Composition of Religious and Ethnic Groups (CREG) demographic data by cross-validating it with archived national censuses in order to distinguish real demographic shifts from ‘noise.’ Her work also aims to make CREG compatible with a variety of survey-based datasets and existing datasets of country-level ethnic diversity used in Economics, Sociology and Political Science. Linking CREG to survey data would facilitate the production of new data on sub-national ethnic demographic geography, as well as inequalities in health, wealth and education.

  • Relevant Cline Center Initiatives: Composition of Religious and Ethnic Groups (CREG) Project

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Xinyuan Dai (Political Science)

  • Project: Domestic Institutions and International Law

    “International” law sounds more universal than it actually is. In reality, the extent to which states participate in and adhere to international law varies substantially. This project leverages a crucial difference between two types of treaty instruments in order to understand empirical patterns and the logic of states’ legal commitments, which may be ‘shallow,’ or ‘deep.’ Specially, why do some states not only embrace broad and general principles in framework agreements but also specific and demanding obligations included in optional protocols? Do state-level characteristics like the existence of a democratic regime or level of economic development drive empirical patterns of international commitments? Do international institutional factors - such as the extent of cooperation demanded by the protocol - influence states’ commitment behavior? Despite a great deal of interest among scholars and policy makers, these questions remain unresolved. Indeed, scholars disagree about whether the demandingness of obligations, dampens states’ participation in international law. This Linowes Fellow project examines the effects of state characteristics-such as political institutions and adherence to rule of law-that may impact countries’ propensity to accept more demanding commitments.

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Dan Roth (Computer Science)

  • Project: Automated Event and Concept Extraction from News Text

    Meaning in text arises from the interaction of relations among concepts essential to the topic at hand, along with those concepts’ grounding in the “real world.” This structural view has long been common among linguists and cultural sociologists, but is less common in empirical social science. The scale of social science inquiry has been constrained by the inability to automatically process text and map it to “meaning,” and the resulting need to rely on small-scale manual identification of concepts and relations. This Linowes Fellow project aims to enable large-scale automated extraction of structured information in the form of concept maps from free text arising in online media, news and web content. It will work to extend the state-of-the-art in Natural Language Processing (NLP) by significantly improving scholars’ ability to analyze events mentioned in text - identifying and classifying “who does what to whom,” “grounding” events in existing encyclopedic resources, and recognizing relations between events. These methods will also allow us to recognize when similar events are presented differently by different sources, and how the presentation of events changes with time.

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Dov Cohen (Psychology)

  • Project: Ethno-Religious Identity and Inter-Group Conflict Dynamics

    To be effective, democratic governments must maintain order, enable peaceful succession to national leadership posts, and ensure the rights of minorities. These goals can all be thwarted by high levels of lawlessness and interpersonal conflict, but perhaps the most common and most disruptive threat comes from inter-group violence. Inter-group violence can derive from socio-economic, political, ethnic, or religious cleavages. As data collected by the Cline Center has shown, violence driven by ethnic and religious contention has come to be increasingly important in the post- World War II era. While existing data effectively documents the importance of ethnic and religious conflict, more work remains to be done in exploring the roots of such conflict: Why is it that violent conflict between ethnic and religious groups develops in some countries at some times and not others? This Linowes Fellow project attempts to investigate demographic and perceptual factors that lead to conflict or facilitate peaceful co-existence.

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Cara Wong (Political Science)

  • Project: Measurement of Ethnic Diversity

    Scholars have long been interested in the relationships between an area's ethnic diversity and its welfare spending, social capital, economic growth, and likelihood of ethnic conflict. Much of this research is at the country level, although the "area" in question has ranged all the way down to neighborhoods and schools. Despite the wide-ranging questions about the effects of ethnic diversity, there is widespread consensus that existing measures of this diversity are flawed. This Linowes Fellow project aims to develop a measure that will hopefully become the new standard in research on the effects of countries' socio-cultural diversity.

  • Relevant Cline Center Initiatives: Composition of Religious and Ethnic Groups (CREG) Project

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Milan Svolik (Political Science)

  • Project: Analytical Logics for Unrest, Repression and Regime Change Data

    Political unrest and government repression, although pervasive, are also some of the least understood outcomes in political life. A major reason for this deficiency is the lack of large-N data: no comprehensive or comparable cross-country data currently exist that would allow for the rigorous study of their determinants and consequences. This Linowes Fellow project aims to develop a conceptual framework for the collection of event-based data on unrest and repression and their effects on regime stability and change.

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