Coming Full Circle: Scott Brown

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“‘Don't you know Alasdair Young? You should apply.’ Admittedly, I was a little bit miffed that Alasdair hadn’t sent me the job ad himself,” said Scott Brown, jokingly describing how he found out about the postdoctoral job position in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs from a former colleague.

Scott Brown, the postdoctoral fellow in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs’ Center for European and Transatlantic Studies (CETS), joined the School in 2016 after working as a temporary lecturer for the University of Dundee.

Before the University of Dundee, Brown completed his Ph.D. in Politics and International Relations at the University of Glasgow. He met Alasdair Young, professor in the Nunn School and co-director of CETS, as a master’s student in the Challenges in International Politics course at Glasgow. 

“I was a bit overwhelmed by the intensity of the course at the start, and we were all sort of in awe (and a bit intimidated) by just how much he knew,” said Brown. “I think it took a while before many of us had the courage to engage him in debate during the class!”

Brown was already considering obtaining his Ph.D., but Young played an influential role in encouraging him to apply and went on to become his master’s dissertation and then doctoral supervisor.

Even with this close relationship, Young had not informed Brown of the job opening. “Although Scott was by far the best candidate for the postdoc position, I was worried that, as he was my former Ph.D. student, he would be perceived as a patronage appointment,” said Young. “I was therefore delighted by how quickly Scott impressed the faculty, staff, and students and banished such concerns.”

Brown was interviewed by a panel, including Kirk Bowman, professor in the Nunn School. Bowman said, “[t]he role of this postdoc position was quite demanding: not only did the School need high-quality teaching in Comparative Politics and other courses, but also leadership in the European Union Center and research productivity. Dr. Brown’s application stood out due to the range of courses that he could teach and also his interesting research on China through a European Union lens.”

During his two years in the Nunn School, Brown led many of the Center’s events, organized A Changing Europe in an Uncertain World conference, provided administrative support to the Center, and published peer-reviewed articles and a book entitled Power, Perception and Foreign Policymaking: US and EU Responses to the Rise of China.

He has been an invaluable asset to the Nunn School. “Scott has made valuable contributions across these range of activities with a solid stream of high-quality publications and presentations, outstanding participation in the EU Center, and impactful teaching, said Bowman. “He has been a fantastic colleague and the faculty, staff, and students will miss him and wish him all the best in his new position in Scotland.”

Brown has been offered a full-time lecturer position at the University of Dundee starting this Fall.

“The job market is really tough, so I know that this is a great opportunity for me and I’ll be looking to push on with my research agenda,” said Brown. “Being back in Europe (if not the EU as of March 2019) will make it easier to travel to national capitals and the EU institutions in Brussels to conduct fieldwork for the project I’m currently working on.”

Even though Brown is excited for this new chapter, he is going to miss his colleagues and students in the Nunn School. “My time here has been very pleasant, and they have played an enormous part in that.”


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