Rice University professor speaks to students about the politics of military alliances

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Dr. Leeds shakes hands with Herman Brown Chair, Dr. Scott (Photo provided by Dr. Ralph Carter)

A professor from the Rice University was awarded the Brown Distinguished Scholar award and spoke to students Wednesday night about the politics in military alliances.

Dr. Brett Ashley Leeds said that her interest started in international politics since she wanted to make the world a better place and overcome global issues, which led to her studying why people went to war.

“Most of the things we understand about war doesn’t help us solve it,” Leeds said.

This is why Leeds said she wanted to understand how alliances functioned and how they actually help countries prevent war.

Leeds created The Alliance Treaty Obligations and Provisions (ATOP) project, which provides data regarding the content of military alliance agreements signed by all countries of the world between 1815 and 2016.

Every year, TCU’s political science department awards someone with the Brown Distinguished Scholar award, which is funded by Herman Brown endowed chair in political science.

Leeds was chosen for the award because of her dedication and contributions to the field.

“Professor Leeds has made many remarkable contributions to our discipline as a scholar, teacher, mentor and leader and her visit to our campus was a great opportunity for us to celebrate her achievements and learn from her work,” said Dr. James Scott, professor and Herman Brown chair.

Scott said that her presentation was timely, provided great insight and analysis on really important issues in world politics.

“I enjoyed listening to Brett Ashley Leeds,” said Matthew Neswick, sophomore political science minor. “The speaker spoke very well and knew how to present as she had powerpoint slides that got me engaged. The topic was really cool and interesting to hear, in the future if she was to ever come again I would most definitely listen and positively attend more events like this.”