Professor Marcus Holmes’ Political Psychology and International Relations (PPIR) lab uses a psychological, including social and neuroscientific, approach to address the security, economic, and environmental challenges that arise from global interconnectedness. The lab is a collaborative research group that includes undergraduates and faculty working closely together on a variety of different types of research projects. One of the major initiatives of the lab is the use of experiments, often conducted by W&M students, to tackle difficult questions in international politics, including better understanding the dynamics of diplomacy, international negotiations, and perceptions of security threats.
We encourage students who are interested in international politics and psychology to become involved. Stop by the lab in the basement of Blow Hall or email Dr. Holmes at mholmes@wm.edu for more information.

An Investigation into the Level of College Campus Police Armament

by

Madison Fox and Sami Stafford

Origins of Democracy

by Keon Shahidi

Our research will focus on factual information gathered from various colleges and use it as a mode of disseminating information regarding the necessary level of armament appropriate for college campuses. Through studying and comparing the level of armament given to various campuses, the prevalence of protection versus power and how much protection both college communities and the general populace desire from their police will be thoroughly investigated.
My project explores contending debates on the origins of democracies, as well as its historical developments. It essentially aims to determine what the enabling conditions are, whether social, economic, or political, for democratic governments to exist. Other areas of examination include the meaning of democracy, its variant types, and to what extent non-contemporary democracies are considered democratic by today’s standards.

How Germany's Green Party Grew In Success

by Rachel Plescha

OPEC and Global Oil Production: Examining Policy Implications

by Luke Maclay

The research delves into how the issue of Nuclear Power was a key factor in making the Grünen (German Green Party) successful. It also compares their methods of achieving this success with other accepted or predicted factors of success.
In the past year, many have come to question the importance of OPEC as an organization because of plummeting oil prices and their inability to take action. Through our project, we will examine more deeply OPEC's objectives and motivations delving what their action (or inaction) means in a global perspective.

Not Just A Game: The Power of Sports Diplomacy in International Relations

by Sean Plummer

Land Politics for Indigenous Groups in Major Post-Colonial States

by Emily Jackson

This study examines the effects and potential of sports diplomacy in fostering stronger relationships between two states, regardless of the current state of affairs between two states. The United States Department of State has been leading sports diplomacy initiatives for decades, but the concept has not received significant public awareness until Dennis Rodman’s recent attempts at sports diplomacy with North Korea. A majority of the State Department’s initiatives have been on a small-scale and geared towards youth athletics. The most famous example of sports diplomacy is Ping-Pong Diplomacy between the U.S. and China in the 1970s, widely considered to have had a strong impact on opening up relations between the two countries. This study evaluates the use of sports diplomacy in the last half-century and provides an argument for increasing funding and utilization of sports diplomacy. Sports diplomacy should be extended beyond a primary focus on youth programs to athletic exchanges at both the collegiate and professional levels. Doing so would increase dialogue between states, foster the sharing of culture via a medium with a common language, and allow for the dispelling of prejudices and biases between states. International relations suffers from cultural, linguistic, and ideological barriers, but sports have the power to transcend all of these barriers and allow for a stronger, more cohesive system of states.
In this project, I plan to comparatively analyze land rights of indigenous groups derived from use, markets, customary and communal traditions, and government allocation in major developed post-colonial states. The project will also attempt to analyze notable cultural and socioeconomic territorial fragmentation in and around land used, claimed, or owned by indigenous groups.

Remembering Revolt

by Jerusalem Demas



A study of memory and political revolutions in Sub-Saharan Africa Description: My project wants to look at Selbin's thesis for revolution which claims that the meaningful tipping point for a group to embark upon a revolution is the cultural memory of revolution as being an appropriate and lauded response to unsatisfactory political, economic and/or social conditions. Selbin's thesis relies on several case studies: none of which are in Africa, and most of which are not third world countries which is where the majority of revolutions occur.

An Investigation into the Level of College Campus Police Armament

by

Madison Fox and Sami Stafford

Our research will focus on factual information gathered from various colleges and use it as a mode of disseminating information regarding the necessary level of armament appropriate for college campuses. Through studying and comparing the level of armament given to various campuses, the prevalence of protection versus power and how much protection both college communities and the general populace desire from their police will be thoroughly investigated.

Origins of Democracy

by Keon Shahidi

My project explores contending debates on the origins of democracies, as well as its historical developments. It essentially aims to determine what the enabling conditions are, whether social, economic, or political, for democratic governments to exist. Other areas of examination include the meaning of democracy, its variant types, and to what extent non-contemporary democracies are considered democratic by today’s standards.

How Germany's Green Party Grew in Success

by Rachel Plescha

The research delves into how the issue of Nuclear Power was a key factor in making the Grünen (German Green Party) successful. It also compares their methods of achieving this success with other accepted or predicted factors of success.

OPEC and Global Oil Production: Examining Policy Implications

by Luke Maclay

In the past year, many have come to question the importance of OPEC as an organization because of plummeting oil prices and their inability to take action. Through our project, we will examine more deeply OPEC's objectives and motivations delving what their action (or inaction) means in a global perspective.

Not Just A Game: The Power of Sports Diplomacy In International Relations

by Sean Plummer

This study examines the effects and potential of sports diplomacy in fostering stronger relationships between two states, regardless of the current state of affairs between two states. The United States Department of State has been leading sports diplomacy initiatives for decades, but the concept has not received significant public awareness until Dennis Rodman’s recent attempts at sports diplomacy with North Korea. A majority of the State Department’s initiatives have been on a small-scale and geared towards youth athletics. The most famous example of sports diplomacy is Ping-Pong Diplomacy between the U.S. and China in the 1970s, widely considered to have had a strong impact on opening up relations between the two countries. This study evaluates the use of sports diplomacy in the last half-century and provides an argument for increasing funding and utilization of sports diplomacy. Sports diplomacy should be extended beyond a primary focus on youth programs to athletic exchanges at both the collegiate and professional levels. Doing so would increase dialogue between states, foster the sharing of culture via a medium with a common language, and allow for the dispelling of prejudices and biases between states. International relations suffers from cultural, linguistic, and ideological barriers, but sports have the power to transcend all of these barriers and allow for a stronger, more cohesive system of states.

Land Politics for Indigenous Groups in Major Post-Colonial States

by Emily Jackson

In this project, I plan to comparatively analyze land rights of indigenous groups derived from use, markets, customary and communal traditions, and government allocation in major developed post-colonial states. The project will also attempt to analyze notable cultural and socioeconomic territorial fragmentation in and around land used, claimed, or owned by indigenous groups.

Remembering Revolt

by Jerusalem Demsas

My project wants to look at Selbin's thesis for revolution which claims that the meaningful tipping point for a group to embark upon a revolution is the cultural memory of revolution as being an appropriate and lauded response to unsatisfactory political, economic and/or social conditions. Selbin's thesis relies on several case studies: none of which are in Africa, and most of which are not third world countries which is where the majority of revolutions occur.