Simon Payaslian

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Simon Payaslian is the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor of Armenian Genocide Studies and Modern Armenian History at Clark University. He received his B.A. in Political Science and English Literature from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, in 1984. As an undergraduate student, he became interested in conflict resolution, peace studies, human rights, international political economy, and U.S. foreign policy. His M.A. thesis, completed at Wayne State in 1988, examined U.S. policy toward the civil war in China and General George C. Marshall’s mission to China (1946-1947) to end the Kuomintang-Communist hostilities.

Professor Payaslian received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Wayne State in 1992. His principal areas of concentration included International Relations, Comparative Politics, Public Policy, and American Government. His dissertation, published as a book in 1996, U.S. Foreign Economic and Military Aid: The Reagan and Bush Administrations, examined the main objectives of U.S. foreign economic and military assistance during the Reagan and Bush administrations and the domestic and international determinants of the distribution of foreign aid.

In 1996, Payaslian began work on his second Ph.D., this time in modern Armenian history at UCLA. His areas of concentration included Armenian History, U.S. Diplomatic History, the British Empire, and the Middle East. His Ph.D. dissertation, titled “U.S. Foreign Policy toward the Armenian Question and the Armenian Genocide,” examines the political economy of U.S. foreign policy toward the Ottoman Empire and the U.S. responses to the Armenian Question and the Genocide from the 1890s to the 1920s, particularly during the Wilson administration. The study examines three levels of U.S. responses to the Armenian Genocide: U.S. consuls and missionaries at the local level, the U.S. ambassadors in Constantinople, and policy makers in Washington.

While at UCLA, Professor Payaslian completed (with Frederic S. Pearson) a university textbook, titled International Political Economy: Conflict and Cooperation in the Global System (1999), and another textbook, The Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923: A Handbook for Students and Teachers (2001), which was published as instructional material for teachers and students (K-12) for California’s updated standardized tests.

Payaslian’s professional and community activities have included presentation of conference papers and public lectures on U.S. foreign policy and Armenian history, serving as a judge for the Jessup International Moot Court Competitions, and TV and radio interviews.

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