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Nina Rathbun

Associate Professor (Teaching) of International Relations

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-8895
Office: VKC 304

Curriculum Vitae

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Nina Srinivasan Rathbun teaches courses on U.S. foreign policy, global governance, globalization, global finance and foreign policy of Eastern Europe. She serves as faculty research and fellowships advisor for IR undergraduates, faculty advisor for the International Relations Undergraduate Association and mentors students on academic and career choices in international relations and political science. Dr. Rathbun's research interests include multilateral nuclear nonproliferation and counterproliferation policies, proliferation in the Indian subcontinent, democratization in post-Communist Europe, and European Union expansion. Dr. Rathbun previously served as a Foreign Affairs Officer for the U.S. State Department on multilateral nuclear nonproliferation. She received her Ph.D in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.


Ph.D. Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, 6/2003

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Non-Tenure Track Appointments

Assistant Professor, Teaching, University of Southern California, 08/16/2012-  
Lecturer, University of Southern California, 08/16/2008-08/15/2012  
Lecturer and Research Fellow, Indiana University, 01/01/2007-06/01/2008  
Lecturer, The Ohio State University, 2002-2003   

Visiting and Temporary Appointments

Assistant Professor , Concordia University, 2005-2006   

Other Employment

Foreign Affairs Officer, United States State Department, 09/2003-09/2005  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Dr. Rathbun's field of research is in international security with a focus on multilateral nuclear nonproliferation and counterproliferation policies, international economic globalization, political economy and democratization in post-Communist Europe, nuclear proliferation on the Indian subcontinent, European Union expansion, and international relations pedagogy and data literacy.

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Internationalizing the Curriculum Roundtable", Fourth Annual Educators Workshop, Roundtable/Panel, New York, NY, Council on Foreign Relations, Invited, 2014-2015   
"Teaching Nuclear Safeguards to Engineers and Political Science Students", Safeguards Roundtable, Talk/Oral Presentation, Abstract, Argonne, IL, Argonne National Laboratory, Invited, 2014-2015   
"This Means War! Communication and Conflict", Inaugural Polymathic Conference, Roundtable/Panel, University of Southern California Wrigley Institute, Santa Catalina Island, CA, USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, Invited, 2014-2015   
"Teach a Student to Fish?: International Relations Scholars in the Classroom", Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Teaching and Learning Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Paper, Washington, DC, Spring 2015   
"Legitimacy, Exceptions and the Non-proliferation Regime: The Case of India", Canadian Consortium on Asia Pacific Security, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Paper, 2005-2006   
"The Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference 2005", Global Security Meeting, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Center for International and Security Studies, Uni, Invited, 2005-2006   
"Ruling the Airwaves: The Partisan Politics of Broadcast Regulation in Central and Eastern Europe", International Studies Association, Midwest, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Paper, 2002-2003   
"Ruling over the Media: A Cross-National Analysis of Government Abuse", International Studies Association, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Paper, Spring 2003   


Book Chapter

Rathbun, N. S. (2014). Glass Half Full? Evaluating the Impact of New U.S. Policy on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime. State Behavior and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Re Atlanta, GA: University of Georgia Press.

Journal Article

Rathbun, N. S. (2006). The Role of Legitimacy in Strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime. The Nonproliferation Review. Vol. 13 (2)

Technical Report

Rathbun, N. S. (1996). India and Pakistan: Analysis of Kashmir Border Disputes, 1970-1995. Congressional Research Service Report.


Other Advisement or Time Devoted to Students

Faculty Research and Fellowships Advisor -- conducted extensive outreach and mentoring to assist IR undergraduates to be more competitive for international fellowships and nationally competitive internships. Arranged and moderated panels on graduate education, mentoring sessions with practitioners, videoconferences with alumni in Washington, DC, outreach sessions on numerous fellowship opportunities. Held additional 3 advising hours per week to mentor students for internationally competitive fellowships and nationally competitive internships, including Fulbright, Rhodes, Gates, Marshall, Boren, Luce, Critical Languages, Congress-Bundestag Youth exchange, and Thomas Pickering Fellowships., 2012-  

New Courses Developed

Research Design and Methodology, School of International Relations, The central goal of the course is to enable students to create and critique qualitative research designs in the social sciences. We will explore the core issues in the comparative method and case study research design, including methods of structured and focused comparisons of cases, case selection, process tracing, congruence testing, and the use of counterfactual analysis. We will consider the epistemological assumptions, comparative strengths and weaknesses, and proper domain of case study methods and quantitative methods. We will examine field research techniques, including interviews, archival research and surveys. Students will learn how to situate their research interests within a larger theoretical framework and how to structure tests of competing arguments, including defining and operationalizing their independent and dependent variables, creating hypotheses, justifying case selection and planning and defending data collection., Spring 2014   
Foreign Policy Seminar, International Relations, This course provides an overview of U.S. foreign policy decision-making, with an emphasis on the numerous inputs to the decision-making process in Washington, DC. The course is designed around a simulation of Washington policy making that will develop in stages throughout the semester. Students will become familiar with the numerous factors-- from media to Congress to agency positions-- that influence foreign policy decision-making. Significant outside preparation is expected throughout the semester. The goal is that students will acquire a practical working knowledge of U.S. decision-making to clarify the numerous potential stages in the decision-making process for public diplomacy., Spring 2013   
Global Finance and Monetary Regime, International Relations, Globalization has produced unprecedented levels of both economic growth and risk. Financial markets are more open, allowing firms and governments to invest more freely. But as global finance grew larger, it also grew more complex. Faster-flowing capital is more volatile, and economic risk is harder to comprehend. Regulators have struggled to keep up with evolving financial practices. Due to the high level of interdependence, states need to address the new problems in a cooperative manner. This course will focus on understanding the international financial and monetary regime and its evolution and evaluating how to address the current problems facing it today. Taking a problem-based approach, we will analyze the issues involved, evaluate the international efforts made to date to address the problem, and explore new potential solutions. This course is student run, with students responsible for researching and presenting to the class fundamental aspects of our inquiry., Spring 2011   
Global Governance, International Relations, The primary purpose of this course is to enhance students' understanding of the ways in which international relations is ordered by international law and institutions, both governmental and non-governmental. We will discuss the major debates over governance and international law. Who makes the rules and benefits? What is the appropriate role for states, international organizations, civil society and individuals within the global governance structure? How and to what extent have they facilitated the achievement of common goals? And how have they failed to meet the common good? How are governance structures keeping up with globalization? How is accountability and compliance enforced? We will focus on specific governance topics, including violence and the use of force, human rights, development and the environment. In each of these areas, we will consider the role of international law, international organizations and NGOs in creating order in global relations., 2009-2010   

Honors and Awards

USC Center for Scholarly Technology, Data Driven Assignment Grant, Spring 2015   
USC Center for Scholarly Technology C3 Course Continuity in a Crisis, Fall 2011   
USC Center for Scholarly Technology Fall 2010 Incentive Grants for New Learning Environments , Fall 2010   

Service to the University

Administrative Appointments

Director of Undergraduate Studies, 08/16/2015-05/15/2016  
Director of Undergraduate Studies, 08/16/2014-05/15/2015  


Member, National Grants and International Fellowships Committee, 08/2013-  
Member, Trusteeship and Presidential Scholarship Finalist Interview Committee, 2009-  
Member, Discovery Scholar Prize Selection Committee, 2014-2015   
Member, Faculty Evaluation Committee Political Science, 2014-2015   
Member, Faculty Evaluation Committee School of International Relations, 2014-2015   
Member, Non-Tenure Track Evaluation Committee, 2014-2015   
Member, Non-Tenure Track Teaching Needs for International Relations Committee, 2014-2015   
Member, SIR Director Departmental Consultative Committee, 2014-2015   
Member, Schaeffer Government Service Fellowship Selection Committee, 2014-2015   
Member, Center for Scholarly Technology 2011-2012 Learning Environment Grant Committee, 2011-2012   

Service to the Profession


Reviewer for Publication

International Studies Quarterly, International Studies Association, Reviewer, 08/2013-  
The Nonproliferation Review, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Reviewer, 08/2008-  
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