My name is Shahin (pronounced Shah-heen) and I work at Southern Methodist University where I serve as the Colin Powell Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Political Science and the John G. Tower Center for Public Policy and International Affairs. I had previously lectured at UCLA where I taught a wide range of courses in international relations. I earned my Ph.D in Political Science from the University of California Los Angeles in 2017 and my B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California in 2007.
My research and teaching interests include, but are not limited to, foreign policy decision-making, diplomacy/diplomatic history, international security, political psychology, qualitative methods, the Cold War, and the international relations of the Middle East.
In my research, I examine why, and under what conditions, leaders initiate conciliation in strategic rivalries. Of the many ways decision-makers can extend olive branches to their adversaries, I am particularly interested in studying their motivations for undertaking what I refer to as bold gestures. These are conciliatory acts or statements in which one state offers a large unilateral concession to its adversary that is unprecedented, irreversible, and noncontingent. Why leaders choose to initiate conciliation in such a risky manner when smaller, less radical avenues exist to engage adversaries is an interesting subject and has important implications for our understanding of decision-making, diplomatic signaling, and trust building. My research has recently been published the summer issue of International Security.