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Dr. Lynn M. Tesser, CSC

Dr. Tesser joined the Command and Staff College in July 2013 after spending several years teaching and researching in post-conflict societies.  Her research spans the fields of comparative politics, international relations, and history with a focus on nationalism, forced migration, and state-building, and a regional specialization on Central and Eastern Europe.  Professor Tesser's early research focused on why EU enlargement may exacerbate nationalist politics, culminating in a book entitled Ethnic Cleansing and the European Union (Palgrave 2013).  The book offers the first multi-case analysis of a process unprecedented in scale:  the (re)integration of areas that experienced relatively recent and large-scale forced migration based on ethnic, national, or religious identity.  The book compares the politics of ethnic remixing in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Cyprus under EU enlargement.  Tesser’s articles have appeared in East European Politics and Societies, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, and Geopolitics, among others, and her latest think tank report “Europe’s Pivotal Peace Projects: Ethnic Separation and European Integration” was written for the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies.  Fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright Commission, and the MacArthur and Mellon Foundations, among others, funded a significant portion of this research. 

Professor Tesser's present book project on International Politics and the Global Odyssey of the Nation-State Concept introduces recent trends in historical research to social scientific research on new state recognition and international relations work on international order.  The project examines the interplay of great powers and nationalist activists in the Balkans, Americas, Europe, and the Middle East.

 During her career, Dr. Tesser has been affiliated with universities in the U.S., Poland, Germany, Finland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Cyprus.  She was a Research Fellow at University of Helsinki’s Aleksanteri Institute for Russian and Eastern European Studies (2011), a SSRC Berlin Program Fellow at the Free University of Berlin (2001-02), a non-resident Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of World Politics (2001-02), a CASPIC MacArthur Fellow at the University of Chicago (2000-01), a DDRA Fulbright Scholar at Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland) (1999-2000), and winner of a Grodzins Prize Lectureship at the University of Chicago (2002).

 In 2008, Tesser contributed to an evaluation of the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System embedding social scientists with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  She has also served as a Program Officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace (2006-07), a Research Associate at the Center for American Progress (2006), and was a Research Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2004).


  • B.A. (Political Science), Reed College, 1993
  • A.M. (Political Science), University of Chicago, 1997
  • Ph.D. (Political Science), University of Chicago, 2003

Recent Publications:


• Ethnic Cleansing and the European Union:  An Interdisciplinary Approach to Security, Memory, and Ethnography (in the series on Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies) Palgrave Macmillan, May 2013

Refereed Articles in International Journals:

•  “Identity, Contingency, and Interaction: Historical Research and Social Scientific Analysis of Nation-State Proliferation, Nationalities Papers,” , Vol. 47, Issue 3 (2019):  412-428  

•  “Ethnic Hierarchies and the Shifting EU Schengen Border in the Post-Cold War Era,” Epiphany, Vol. 6, No. 2 (2013):  183-204

•  “Exporting EU Liberalism Eastwards,” Epiphany, Vol. 2, No. 1 (2009):  1-21

•  “East-Central Europe’s New Security Concern:  Foreign Land Ownership,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 37 (2004):  213-239

•  “The Geopolitics of Tolerance:  Minority Rights Under EU Expansion in East-Central Europe,” East European Politics and Societies, Vol. 17, No. 3 (2003):  483-532

•  “European Integration and the Legacy of the Post-Second World War German Expulsions in East-Central Europe,” Geopolitics, Vol. 4, No. 3 (1999):  91-119

Additional Publications:

•  “Europe’s Pivotal Peace Projects:  Ethnic Separation and European Integration,” Report from the Swedish Institute of European Policy Studies (2015).  Available at: http://www.sieps.se/sites/default/files/Sieps%202015_6epa.pdf

• “Prospects for a Successful Peace Process in Nepal:  Internal and International Perspectives,” USI Peace Briefing, U.S. Institute of Peace (2007).  Available at: http://www.usip.org/publications/prospects-successful-peace-process-in-n...

• “Is Freedom Still on the March in Ukraine?,” with Peter Ogden, Mother Jones (14 April 2006).  Available at: http://motherjones.com/politics/2006/04/freedom-still-march-ukraine

•  Review of The Europeanization of Central and Eastern Europe, edited by Frank Schimmelfennig and Ulrich Sedelmeier (Cornell University Press, 2005), Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 58, No. 2 (2006):  311-312