Brigid Starkey is a senior lecturer in Political Science and the associate director of the Global Studies Program on campus. She started teaching at UMBC in 2007 and is part of the international relations contingent in the department, teaching courses in international negotiation, foreign policy, and security. She is a co-author of the Rowman and Littlefield text, International Negotiation in a Complex World and has published articles in such publications as the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, International Studies Notes, and Simulation and Gaming. Dr. Starkey received her PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park and is an avid Buffalo sports fan, despite the ongoing futility of it.
Q: What led you to become a political scientist?
A: I lived in Sweden as a child and became very interested in its social democratic institutions and the differences between that system and the American one. My father was a history professor which also led to both international travel and lots of dinner table talk about politics and the world.
Q: What kinds of research questions are most interesting to you?
A: I am very interested in how conflict can be minimized in the international system through more effective foreign policy. Among the questions that interest me are, how does culture inform foreign policy? And, how can diplomacy be made to work? Lately, I have been working on the question of sanction effectiveness in foreign policy.
Q: What ideas, skills, or experiences do you hope students will come away with after having taken a class with you?
A: I am a big believer in active learning and so I use simulations in many of my classes. I also stress analytical thinking and big concepts. My teaching philosophy has always involved engaging students in the material to the greatest extent possible and leaving them with some distinct takeaways from the class.
Q: What can POLI majors do with their degrees?
A: I have many former students who are now working in global advocacy, national intelligence, and international law, among other fields. UMBC is a very highly regarded institution and Political Science is a versatile and well-respected degree! When students are engaged in their courses and majoring in a field that they love, they will come away more prepared for the post-graduate workplace.