Michael Burch is joining the Wabash faculty as an assistant professor in the fall of 2013. His primary teaching and research interests straddle the divide between political science subfields of international and comparative politics. His dissertation looks at what happens when rebel organizations choose to fund their rebellion with transnational criminal activities. He finds that introducing transnational crime into the battlefield leads to longer wars and increases the chance that the state will face multiple conflicts. His dissertation is based partially on field research conducted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cambodia. He hopes to take Wabash students with him in the future as he conducts research in post-war states in Africa and Asia.
Burch is passionate about international politics in both Africa and Asia, and plans to offer courses on both regions in the near future. In the fall of 2013, he will be teaching a course on contemporary civil wars, with a focus on conflicts in Africa and the effects of U.S. counterinsurgency on countries such as Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. His other course for the fall will use transnational criminal activities as a way of understanding international political economy and globalization. Topics to be covered in this class include piracy, human trafficking, drug smuggling and money laundering. In the future, he hopes to offer courses on international conflict, human security, migration and the survey course on international politics. He loves anything about international politics and welcomes course suggestions from the men at Wabash.
When not teaching, Burch loves to travel; he and his wife, Barbara, have a goal of making it to every country in the world at least once (currently at sixty-eight). The two of them also plan to visit every national park in the United States and every major league baseball stadium. They both love college basketball and believe that the first two days of March Madness should be national holidays.
PhD in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, May 2013
MA in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, May 2010
MA in Security Policy Studies from George Washington University, May 2007
BA in History and Political Science from New College of Florida, May 2004
At Wabash College
PSC 344- Revolutions, Insurgency and Terrorism
PSC 374- The International Political Economy of Crime
At University of Colorado, Boulder
PSCI 3143: Topics in Human Security
PSCI 3062: Revolution and Political Violence in the Arab Spring
PSCI 3082: The Politics of Africa
PSCI 3193: Contemporary Civil Wars