Kerry Chávez, PhD, is an instructor in the Political Science Department and project administrator at the Peace, War, and Social Conflict Laboratory at Texas Tech University. Her research focuses on the politics, strategies, and technologies of international conflict and security. In particular, she examines the incentives, opportunities, and constraints that structure the behaviors of key actors evaluating, engaging in, or debriefing after modern conflicts. In other words, when, why, and how do states and nonstate groups fight? How do emerging technologies impact these choices? What factors influence the composition of military force structures as modern warfare grows more complex? As part of this, she analyzes how violent nonstate actors innovate to survive and advance their agendas. Her collaborative work on terrorist drone adoption offers original data and some of the only quantitative, systematic analyses of the phenomenon to date. Given its impact on national, international, and aviation security, she partners with several policy-facing working groups to empirically ground best responses by security providers and to generate data through wargaming exercises. Spanning academic and policy spheres and with previous practitioner and law enforcement experience, she values rigorous, engaged scholarship.
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