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Cyanne Loyle, National Science Foundation Grant


Cyanne Loyle

Assistant Professor Cyanne E. Loyle has been awarded a two-year National Science Foundation grant to complete research into the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The project will improve our understanding of state repression, human rights violation and the circumstances involved with their use. For nearly 50 years, research in political science and sociology has attempted to understand why governments repress their citizens. Despite these efforts little is known about the relationship between those who order repressive acts (“principals”) and the individuals committing such activities (“agents”). Loyle’s research draws together different approaches in the literature to develop an encompassing theory of repressive organizations. The grant will generate new data on human rights violations committed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland to test theoretical predictions regarding when and where repression can be expected as well as how it may be contained.

In particular, the project will collect new micro-level event data on the repressive activity of the United Kingdom and Northern Irish governments from 1968 through 1998. This dataset will use British Army files from the Brigade, Battalion and British Cabinet levels to determine the degree of knowledge and reporting across these levels and to assess the role of principals and agents in this conflict across time (by day), space (by neighborhood) and actor (by battalion).

In light of actions in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City, and communities around the United States, there is a growing need to understand the persistence of coercive behavior as well as how the behaviors of agents can be understood and potentially controlled. Accordingly, this study has implications for understanding and ultimately preventing human rights violations within the United States and around the world.

This project is a collaborative grant with Christian Davenport, University of Michigan and Christopher Sullivan, LSU.