Kaitlyn Robinson is the America in the World Consortium Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University in 2022. Her research explores how international and organizational politics influence civil war.
Kaitlyn’s book project examines the role that foreign states play in organizing new rebel, insurgent, and terrorist groups to serve as their proxies. She shows that foreign state sponsors play central role in the proliferation of armed groups. Rather than supporting an already existing armed group, external states can help organize new groups with ideologies, objectives, and capabilities that are more compatible with their foreign policy goals. In so doing, external state sponsors create reliable armed group proxies to carry out their policy objectives. This behavior has significant implications for the internationalization of civil war and levels of armed group violence.
In other work, Kaitlyn studies how the organizational politics of armed groups affect conflict processes. She develops new theories to explain how organizational structures, management practices, and internal conflicts influence armed group splintering, leadership changes, and the use of violence. For her research, Kaitlyn collected original data and conducted field interviews in Thailand and Myanmar with rebel group leaders.
Kaitlyn is a research affiliate of the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE) and helps manage the Mapping Militants Project (MMP). Her most recent work with MMP and NCITE has analyzed the global network of the far-right movement based in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Kaitlyn is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and she served as a 2020-2021 junior scholar in the International Policy Scholars Consortium and Network. From 2015-2016, she worked at the U.S. Department of Defense in the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies.