Hafez's Tomb, Shiraz, Iran (NPJ 2011).

Hafez's Tomb, Shiraz, Iran (NPJ 2011).

Broadly, I focus on how states partner with VNSAs, and how VNSAs, in turn, are affected by these relationships. My dissertation focuses on why states support violent non-state actors (VNSAs). This topic has a rich literature behind it, but there is little that considers the relational aspects of state support and that considers predictors of various types of material support, such as money or weapons. I attempt to remedy this in my dissertation with network analysis studies of a global network of states and the groups they support. In addition, I utilize multinomial and event history models to understand states’ decisions between different forms of material support. 

Relatedly, a separate branch of my research agenda focuses on insurgent group capabilities and lethality. I also study broad trends in terrorism, including the use of female suicide fighters. My previous research has looked at a similar topic with regards to terrorist groups.

A separate vein of my research focuses on pedagogy and graduate student teaching and experiences. 



Peer-Review Publications

  1. Asal, Victor, Nakissa Jahanbani, Donnett Lee, and Jiacheng Ren. "Mini-Games for Teaching Political Science Methodology", P.S.: Political Science & Politics, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049096518000902

  2. Jahanbani, Nakissa, Charmaine Willis & Donnett Lee. (2018). “What We Wish We Knew: Reflections of Brand-New Teaching Assistants”, Journal of Political Science Education, 14:3, 409-413, DOI: 10.1080/15512169.2018.1445533


Other Publications

  1. Jahanbani, Nakissa. “What Iran Foreign Minister’s Attempted Resignation Reveals About Today’s Iranian Politics.” The Globe Post, 5 April 2019. https://theglobepost.com/2019/04/05/iran-zarif-resignation/.

  2. Jahanbani, Nakissa. “Iran’s Regional Influence Spreads with Militia Recruitment in Afghanistan.” The Globe Post, 22 August 2018. https://theglobepost.com/2018/08/22/iran-recruiting-afghans/.

  3. Amira Jadoon, Nakissa Jahanbani & Charmaine Willis. (April 2018). “Challenging the ISK Brand in Afghanistan- Pakistsan: Rivalries and Divided Loyalties”, CTC Sentinel, 11:4, https://ctc.usma.edu/challenging-isk-brand- afghanistan-pakistan-rivalries-divided-loyalties/.

  4. Parakand Mahnaz, Hossein Raeesi, Kamiar Alaei, and Nakissa Jahanbani. “Interviewing Victims and Witnesses in Iran”. In Walsh, D., Oxburgh, G. E., Redlich, A. D., & Myklebust, T. (2015). International Developments and Practices in Investigative Interviewing and Interrogation: Volume 1: Victims and witnesses. Routledge. Retrieved from http://www.tandf.net/books/details/9781315769684/



  1. Jahanbani, Nakissa and Charmaine Willis. “The Ballot or the Bomb Belt: The Roots of Female Suicide Terrorism Before and After 9/11”

  2. Jahanbani, Nakissa, Charmaine Willis, and Victor Asal. “A Lethal Metamorphosis: Testing the Causes of Terrorism Before and After 9/11” (forthcoming in Routledge, ed. Michael Stohl)

Under Review

  1. Asal, Victor, Michael Greig, and Nakissa Jahanbani. "Elections, Political Involvement, and the Cessation of Violence: The Impact of Elections on Insurgent Organizations' Desistance from Violence"

Selected Working Papers

  1. Jahanbani, Nakissa. “Arms or Information? States’ Selection of Different Types of State Support to Violent Non-State Actor”

  2. Asal, Victor, Nakissa Jahanbani, and R. Karl Rethemeyer. “Predictors of Insurgents Organizations that Receive State Funding”