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Dr. Tristan James Mabry

Assistant Research Professor


Research Interests
Nationalism and ethnic conflict; Muslim states and societies; Eurasia; Language and identity politics


Tristan James Mabry is the founding Executive Director of the Joint Foreign Area Officer Program and Assistant Research Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs, School of International Graduate Studies, at the Naval Postgraduate School. Dr. Mabry came to the NPS in July 2009 from the Department of Government at Georgetown University. Previously, Dr. Mabry taught in the joint Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College. He is also an Associate Fellow of Penn Program on Ethnic Conflict, University of Pennsylvania.

His first career was in journalism, as a writer and producer for CNN, and as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Mabry is a specialist in the comparative politics of nationalism, ethnic conflict, and identity politics across Eurasia.  His current research addresses the intersection of ethnicity and Islam, particularly in cases of separatist movements found across the Muslim world, from the Middle East to Central, South, and Southeast Asia. He is currently finishing a book on the relationship of nationalism, language and Islam based on field research in Iraq, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and elsewhere.

Dr. Mabry is the co-editor (with Brendan O’Leary and John McGarry) of Divided Nations (University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming 2012), a collected volume on the politics of regional integration affecting national communities separated by state borders. His work has appeared in the journals Ethnic and Racial Studies, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, Ethnopolitics, The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and the International Political Science Review.  

Dr. Mabry also comments regularly on regional conflicts via media outlets in the United States and overseas.  Other activities include advising Navy SEAL teams on regional security and conflicts in South and Southeast Asia.

Dr. Mabry holds four degrees in political science from three different countries. He received his B.A. in Canada from McGill University; his M.Sc. (with Distinction) in the United Kingdom from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and his M.A. and Ph.D. in the United States from the University of Pennsylvania. His international experience includes more than seven years of study abroad - in Honduras, China, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Egypt - and travel to more than forty countries.

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