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Dr. Maiah Jaskoski
Maiah Jaskoski

Assistant Professor


Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests
Latin American Politics; Comparative Politics; state-society relations; military roles; natural resource conflict; security privatization; and theories of organization.


Maiah Jaskoski (Ph.D. in Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, 2008) is Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs. She specializes in state-society relations in Latin America.

Jaskoski’s book, Military Politics and Democracy in the Andes (Johns Hopkins University Press 2013), focuses on the question of why at different times the Ecuadorian and Peruvian armies have neglected their assigned counterinsurgency mission. Employing theories of organization, the book’s main finding is that the two armies are constrained in their ability to carry out this mission by their overwhelming concern with predictability for officers and soldiers on patrol. This conclusion runs counter to the expectations that armed forces try to maximize their budgets, and that, in the interest of maintaining professionalism, militaries actively fight external enemies and insurgents.

In other work, Jaskoski has contributed to the conceptualization and measurement of civilian control of the armed forces in post-transition settings. In the realm of security privatization, she has analyzed the direct capture of the state security apparatus by the private sector, studying how private mining and hydrocarbon companies procure military security services by paying off local military units in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Her current research on this type of security privatization shifts the focus from national armed forces as security suppliers, to multinational corporations as security consumers, on the demand side.

Jaskoski is launching a new project on another dimension of conflict in extractive industries: why some popular mobilizations surrounding extraction escalate and trigger technical oversight and even the halting of projects, whereas in other cases limited conflict focuses on compensation. To help answer this question, she is investigating institutions that structure community participation during the approval process for new mining and hydrocarbons projects, the stage at which popular opposition is most likely to prevent project development.

Jaskoski is also leading a book project on borders and borderlands in the Americas with two colleagues. She is coeditor, coauthor of the volume’s introduction and conclusion, and sole author of a chapter on how Colombian insurgents have powerfully defined and enforced the Colombia-Ecuador borderline.

Selected Publications

  • Military Politics and Democracy in the Andes. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.
  • “Private Financing of the Military: A Local Political Economy Approach.” Studies in Comparative International Development 48, no. 2 (June 2013): 172–195.
  • “Public Security Forces with Private Funding: Local Army Entrepreneurship in Peru and Ecuador.” Latin American Research Review 47, no. 2 (2012): 79–99.
  • “The Ecuadorian Army: Neglecting a Porous Border while Policing the Interior.” Latin American Politics and Society 54, no.1 (Spring 2012): 127–157.
  • “Civilian Control of the Armed Forces in Democratic Latin America: Military Prerogatives, Contestation, and Mission Performance in Peru.” Armed Forces & Society 38, no. 1 (January 2012): 70–91.

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