Watson Institute for International Studies

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Watson Institute for International Studies
Headquarters 111 Thayer Street, Providence, RI, 02912
Howard R. Swearer Jr. Director
Richard M. Locke
Website watson.brown.edu

The Watson Institute for International Studies is in interdisciplinary research center at Brown University. Its mission is to "promote a just and peaceful world through research, teaching, and public engagement."[1] Located on the University's campus in Providence, RI, USA, the Institute's research focuses on three main areas: development, security, and governance. Its faculty include anthropologists, economists, political scientists, sociologists, and historians, as well as journalists and other practitioners.

The Institute is directed by Richard M. Locke, a political scientist and scholar of labor standards in global supply chains.


The Watson Institute for International Studies began to fulfill two parallel missions: "to bring international perspective into the life of Brown University, and to promote peace through international relations research and policy." In 1981, with the support and guidance of 1937 Brown alumnus Thomas J. Watson, Jr., former chairman of IBM and Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Brown University founded the Center for Foreign Policy Development. The Center was formed to explore solutions to the major global issues of the day, foremost of which was the possibility of a nuclear encounter between the United States and the Soviet Union. In 1986, the University created the Institute for International Studies to integrate the Center and Brown's other international programs. In 1991, the Institute was rededicated in Watson's honor. Originally housed in five separate locations on campus, the programs of the Watson Institute moved into its current building, designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, in January 2002.[2]


Watson houses two undergraduate degree programs, the concentrations in Development Studies and International Relations. Institute faculty also lead the Graduate Program in Development (GPD), an NSF-funded, interdisciplinary program that trains PhD candidates in anthropology, political science, economics, and sociology.

Area Studies[edit]

The following area studies centers are based at Watson: the Brazil Initiative, the Brown-India Initiative, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), the China Initiative, and Middle East Studies (MES).

Professional Programs[edit]

Two professional outreach programs are based at the Institute. The Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI) provides the opportunity for junior scholars and practitioners from all over the world to study together at the Institute. According to Watson's website, BIARI "aims to build transnational scholarly networks while also providing opportunities for professional development. Each summer, BIARI brings promising young faculty from the Global South together with leading scholars in their fields for two-week intensive residential institutes."[3]

Choices develops and publishes curriculum resources for high school social studies classrooms, and leads seminars for secondary school teachers. The program's mission is "to equip young people with the skills, habits, and knowledge necessary to be engaged citizens who are capable of addressing international issues with thoughtful public discourse and informed decision making."[4]


The Watson Institute is the editorial home to two academic journals:

Watson also publishes a working paper series, distributed by SSRN:


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°49′31″N 71°24′00″W / 41.82515°N 71.39999°W / 41.82515; -71.39999