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Alia Braley is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at UC Berkeley, a Project Scientist at Stanford's Digital Economy Lab, and a Senior Research Fellow at Stanford's Polarization and Social Change Lab. She was recently a Visiting Scholar at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the Director of Research and Education at the Albert Einstein Institution, a consultant at the World Bank Development Data Group, and a visiting researcher at the MIT Media Lab Human Dynamics Group.
She specializes in the study of democratic resilience in cases of political polarization and autocratic threat as well as civil resistance strategies in acute political conflict. The intervention featured in her recent publication in Nature Human Behaviour, Why Voters Who Support Democracy Participate in Democratic Backsliding, was the most effective at reducing polarization and strengthening democratic attitudes in Stanford University's Strengthening Democracy Challenge mega-study.
She was previously a research assistant at the UC Berkeley Violence and Intervention Lab, at the United States Institute of Peace Nonviolent Action Program, and at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Evidence for Policy Design Program.
She holds a Masters in Divinity from Harvard University, where her research focused on religion, ethics, and politics. During her time as a student, she served as an intern at the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies in Belgrade, Serbia and presented the findings of her master's thesis on nonviolent action in Iraq and Syria at TEDx Salem.
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