Professor, Political Science
Professor Virginia Tilley (MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and MA from the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown U.) specializes in the comparative and international politics of ethnic and racial conflict. She has research experience in Central America, Israel-Palestine, post-apartheid South Africa and Oceania (Fiji and the small island states of the south Pacific). Her research combines international relations and comparative politics to examine how the social construction of ethnic, racial and national identities has been used by political actors to gain power, build nations and shape conflict. Her research orients toward policy analysis of how addressing such identity ideologies can improve conditions for conflict resolution. In addition to numerous articles and policy papers, she is author of Seeing Indians: A Study of Race, Nation and Power in El Salvador (University of New Mexico Press, 2005, examining the historical construction of “Indian-ness” in Latin American nation-building); author of The One State Solution (U of Wisconsin Press, 2005, a pragmatic analysis of the two-state solution in Israel-Palestine); and editor of Beyond Occupation: Apartheid, Colonialism and International Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (Pluto Press, 2012, a co-authored legal study of Israel’s policies in the OPT and their interpretation in international law). At SIU she teaches courses on racial ideology and conflict, international relations, nation-building, and global comparative studies, with special attention to Middle East studies focusing on current events.