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The University of Alabama

UA Political Scientist Wins Prestigious Guggenheim Grant

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Dr. Douglas Gibler, assistant professor of political science in The University of Alabama’s College of Arts and Sciences, has received a prestigious Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Research Grant for research into understanding global conflict.

Gibler, who joined the faculty in 2006, will use the award to support his research into international conflict and state development. The award will help Gibler complete research on a book-length project. The grant is the first the Guggenheim Foundation has given to a researcher in Gibler’s subfield in more than five years.

Gibler’s research examines how territorial conflict between countries affects their type of government. Countries that go to war with their neighbors tend to militarize and centralize their governments, making them more likely to be autocratic. Countries with peaceful neighbors have less need to centralize political authority and are more likely to be democratic. Gibler’s research recently has demonstrated that citizens in threatened countries are less likely to be tolerant of minority groups. He also has shown that democracies may not be more peaceful than other types of governments; instead, democracies tend to have fewer difficult-to-resolve issues with their neighbors.

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation seeks proposals from scholars in the natural and social sciences and the humanities who are studying the causes, manifestations, and control of violence, aggression and dominance in the modern world. The foundation’s Web site is at

The department of political science is part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.