img_2089Come study at Virginia Tech’s School of Public & International Affairs! We have a small number of graduate assistantships for talented students from the US and overseas that are awarded on a competitive basis. Ph D research in Government and International Affairs is academically driven and requires substantive empirical research. Research methods are required to be ethically responsible and involve no conflict of interest. Empirical research should be transparent and based on open sources.

Below is a list of the Ph D students I have supervised in the past and those I am currently working with today. This does not include students upon whose Ph D committee I have served as a regular committee member.

Ph D Graduates

David D. Belt, “Framing Islam as a Threat: The Use of Islam by some US conservatives as a platform for cultural politics in the decade after 9/11.” Graduated December 2014.

Adis Maksić, “Mobilizing for Ethnic Violence? Ethnonationalist Political Parties and the Dynamics of Ethno-Politicization.” Graduated December 2014. A substantially revised version of this dissertation is now available as a book, Ethnic Mobilization, Violence, and the Politics of Affect: The Serb Democratic Party and the Bosnian War from Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Hear Adis discuss this book here.

William Bryan Riddle, “Essence of Desperation: Accounting for Counterinsurgency Doctrines as Solutions to War Fighting Failures in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan” Graduated December 2016. A substantially revised version of this dissertation was published as The Essence of Desperation: Counterinsurgency Doctrine as the Solution to War Fighting Failures, by Lexington Books in 2017.

Sonya Finley, “Recommending Political Warfare—The Role of Eisenhower’s Presidential Committee on International Information Activities in the United States’ Approach to the Cold War.” Graduated December 2016.

Adna Karamehic-Oates, “Reconceptions of ‘Home’ and Identity within the Post-War Bosnian Diaspora in the United States.” Graduated May 2018.

Gela Merabishvili, “The Politics of Border Walls.” Graduated December 2020.

Current Ph D Candidate Students

Walter Landgraf III, “Strategic Narratives of NATO Enlargement: The Cases of Georgia and Ukraine, 2007-2017.” Ph D candidate defending Spring 2023.

Nareg Seferian, “The Backbone of the Country: Siunik in Armenia’s Geopolitical Culture.” Ph D candidate defending Spring 2023.

Jasper Schneider, “Reading Between the Lines: US Geopolitical Culture and Soviet Near Abroad Interventionism During the Cold War.” Ph D candidate currently writing.

Jim Davitch, “Inventing the Sky Shield: The Vertical Geopolitics of Cold War Air Defense.” Ph D candidate defending Spring 2023.

I am supervising six other Ph D students who are still completing their course work.

Masters Graduate Supervision

Below is an incomplete list of students supervised by Dr Toal over the last decade.

“Keeping the Next Generation HIV-Free: Efforts to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and West Africa.” Emily Korff. Graduated May 2004, MPIA.

“The Open Software Movement in Latin America: A Comparison of Brazil and Argentina.” Marco Manilla. Graduated May 2004, MPIA.

“The Crisis in Darfur: An Analysis of Its Origins and Storylines.” Thu Quach. Graduated December 2004, MPIA.

“Rhetoric Versus Reality: Prospects for Women’s Rights in Post-Taliban Afghanistan.” Susan Cathcart. Graduated December 2004, MPIA.

“Technological Fundamentalism?  The Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the Conduct of War.” Doris J. Futrell. Graduated December 2004, MPIA.

“The Jacksonian Tradition and The Bush Administration: Policy Perspectives On The International Criminal Court.” Jennifer S. Cheyne. Graduated May 2005, MPIA.

“Nuclear Nonproliferation: The Conceptualization of Threats from Nunn-Lugar to the Global War on Terror in U.S. Security Policy.” Suzanne Lemieux. Graduated May 2006, MPIA.

“Nation Building and the Politics of Language in Contemporary Ukraine: Analyzing the Discourse of the Party of Regions in Select Russophone Majority Areas.” Olga Fishel. Graduated December 2006, MPIA.

“Beyond Ethnic Conflict: Exploring the Reasons for Dagestan’s Endemic Violence.” Andrew Proscewitz. Graduated May 2007, MPIA.

“The IMF and Conditionality: An Exploration of Charges of Panopticism.” David Reynolds. Graduated December 2007, MPIA.

“Putin’s Framing of Beslan and Authoritarianism in Russia.” Patrick Scoville. Graduated May 2008, MPIA.

“The Practical Geopolitical Reasoning of Richard Holbrooke: Making the case for US support for United Nations intervention in the DRC.” Mindi R. Mebane. Graduated May 2010, MPIA.

“A Quasi-state in East Africa? A Portrait of Puntland.” Pablo Ricardo Paldao. Graduated May 2010, MPIA.

“Visualizing Superpower Invasions: The Photographic Framing of Soviet and US Intervention in Afghanistan in TIME magazine.” Walter Frederick Landgraf III, Graduated December 2010, MPIA.

“The Transformation of National Identification: How Japan Became Part of the West.” Atsuko Watanabe. Graduated December 2010.

“Protectors, Wimps and Macho Men: A Feminist Analysis of the 1989 U.S. Invasion of Panama.” Sandra M. Soriano, Graduated December 2010.

“The Georgian-Abkhaz War of 1992-93: A Narrative Based Multicausal Argument.” Matthew Osterrieder. Graduated December 2010.

“Moscow Disaggregated and Localized: The Role of the Soviet and Russian States in the 1991-1992 Georgia-South Ossetia War.” Christopher Lee Walker. Graduated December 2010.

“A “New Way Forward” or More Iraq Policy Failure?: Examining the Surge within US Geopolitical Debate, January 11-February 11, 2007.” Brian Clevenger, Graduated December 2011.

“Producing the Muslim World: Pew Global Attitudes Survey Results as Geopolitical Performance.” Deepak Dobhal, Graduated December 2012.

“Speculative Power or Legitimate Power? :The Debate over the US State’s Use of Financial Intelligence Data.” Tamsen M. Rea, Graduated December 2013.

“Presidential Decision Making and Military Occupations: The United States in Germany and Iraq.” Kevin T. Joyce, Graduated December 2014.

“Information Management and the Global War on Terror: Security Dilemmas Resulting from Overclassification.” Christopher Michael Craddock, Graduated December 2014.

“Nuclear Narration: The Role of Storylines in how the White House and Congress Manage Nuclear Weapons Modernization.” Sharon Pritz, Graduated May 2015.

“Criminal Responsibility and Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: Contemplating the Nexus of Feminist Advocacy and Juridical Discourses.” Meaghan Foran, Graduated May 2015.

“The Georgia-Russia War of 2008: Western Media Storylines on its Causes and Significance.” Heather Westerman King, Graduated May 2015.

“Reforming the U.S. International Broadcasting System To Counter the Russian Information Threat.” A Policy Background Report. Kelley McCoy, Graduated May 2016.

“The Imaging of Invasion: The Use of Satellite Imagery in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict.” Julie M. Adameck, Graduated May 2016.

Joshua Miller, “Examining the Forces Driving China’s South China Sea Policy.” Graduated May 2018.

“Balancing Support for an Ally with Human Rights: US Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia.” Crystal Kappleman, Graduated December 2019.

Thesis Supervision:

“Did Sarajevo’s Multiethnic Spatiality Survive? An Analysis of a Residential Building in the City Through War and Peace.” Ira Kurtagic. Graduated May 2007.

“Neopatrimonialism in the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic.” Jeff Owen, Graduated August 2009.

“Republic of Srpska Referendum Discourse 2006- 2008: Understanding Emergence and Performative Structure through its expression in two Bosnian daily newspapers.”Adis Maksis, Graduated December 2009.

“The Logic of Occupation in the Nagorno-Karabakh War: The Cases of Agdam and Shaman.” Emil Sanamyan, Graduated May 2016.