Jennifer Brick


Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili

Associate Professor
3619 Posvar Hall


Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili Associate Professor and Director of the International Development Program at GSPIA. She is an award-winning scholar and teacher who explores questions of governance, security and development across Central and South Asia and the former Soviet Union. Years of field experience in communities across these regions allow her to employ diverse methods in her research including field experiments, public opinion surveys, interviews, and ethnographic fieldwork. She has substantial professional experience, working for or serving as an advisor to the World Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Defense, United Nations Development Program, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, and UNICEF. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan.


  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2009
  • M.A., Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006
  • M.A. Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2003
  • B.S.F.S, Georgetown University, 1997

Teaching and Research Areas

Political economy of development, decentralization and local governance, corruption, post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction, formal and informal political institutions, self-governance

Select Publications and Funded Research

  • Land, the State, and War: Property Rights and Political Violence in Afghanistan. Under contract with Cambridge University Press; Economics, Rationality, and Society Series (with Ilia Murtazashvili). 
  • "Electoral System Choice, Representation, and Accountability: Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan," (with Torsten and Ilia Murtazashvili), forthcoming, Journal of Global Security Studies. 
  • "A Tired Cliché: Why We Should Stop Worrying About Ungoverned Spaces and Embrace Self-Governance." Journal of International Affairs 71, no. 2 (2018): 11-29. 
  • "Coercive Capacity, Land Reform and Political Order in Afghanistan." (with Ilia Murtazashvili) Central Asian Survey 36, no. 2 (2017): 212-30. 
  • Informal Order and the State in Afghanistan. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 
  • "Afghanistan — A Vicious Cycle of State Failure." Governance 29, no. 2 (2016): 163-66. 
  • "When Does Emergence of a Stationary Bandit Undermine Property Rights?" (with Ilia Murtazashvili), Rationality and Society, 16, no. 3 (2016), pp. 335-60. 
  • "Securing Afghanistan: From the Inside Out." Central Asian Survey 35, no. 4 (2016), 230-39.  


  • Awards for Informal Order and the State in Afghanistan. (Cambridge University Press, 2016).
    - Best Book Award (Social Science), Central Eurasian Studies Society (2018).
    - Honorable Mention, International Development Section, International Studies Association (2017).
  • Donald Goldstein Teaching Award, GSPIA, 2016.
  • United States Agency for International Development, Superior Unit Citation for "designing and implementing post-September 11 conflict mitigation programs vital to the stability of Central Asia and critical to the achievement of US foreign policy objectives," 2002. 

Consultancies and Public Service

  • World Bank, Social Development — Urban and Rural Resilience 
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • United State Department of Defense
  • United National Development Program (UNDP)

Other Faculty and Academic Administration Positions

  • Faculty member, University of Washington, School of Law 
  • Executive Board Member, Central Eurasian Studies Society
  • Inaugural Board Member, Section on South Asia, International Studies Association


  • English (native)
  • Russian (advanced fluency)
  • Uzbek (working fluency)
  • Tajik/Dari/Farsi (working fluency)

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260