Research Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; PhD Candidate, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.
Research interests: Political violence; state repression and human rights abuse; nonviolent resistance and social movements; transitional justice; and democracy and democratization.
Christopher Shay is a research fellow with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a PhD candidate at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies. His research interests focus on political violence, and especially human rights and state repression after episodes of contentious politics. His dissertation research builds on fieldwork conducted in Nepal and uses quantitative methods to show that governments (even newly established democracies) usually fail to alleviate human rights abuse after conflicts have ended. His current book project attempts to explain why some countries manage to break out of this 'repression trap'. Christopher also studies the dynamics of nonviolent resistance, and is especially interested in why some movements grow so much larger than others. Christopher also provides analysis on India's long-running Naxalite (Maoist) insurgency to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). He received his Masters Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from Uppsala University, where he subsequently worked as a research assistant for the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. Prior to beginning his graduate studies, Christopher worked with the Student Conservation Association and the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a conservation educator, a fire ecology research assistant, and (for brief periods) as a wildland firefighter. He holds a Bachelors degree from Hanover College.