People Feature

Jeffrey A. Wright

DPhil in International Relations

I am a D.Phil. Candidate in International Relations at Oxford (Nuffield College) and a Visiting Fellow at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Prior to my doctoral studies I was a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations, where I advised heads of medicines agencies from eleven countries and the European Union on the design of a new trans-governmental organization, the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities, which launched in 2015. I also served as a Truman-Albright Fellow in the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where I contributed analysis to national demonstrations and evaluations designed to promote economic mobility and self-sufficiency among vulnerable populations. Originally from Montello, WI, I received my M.Phil. from Oxford (Balliol College) in 2012, as a Weidenfeld Scholar, and B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 2009, graduating with Phi Beta Kappa and Comprehensive Honors, the university's highest degree.

Research statement

My research agenda is situated at the intersections of political representation, institutional design, and global governance. It is motivated by two questions: What are the determinants of formal representation in international institutions? And how and why does formal representation affect the performance of these institutions? The aim of my work is both positive and normative. I seek to improve our body of knowledge about how state actors purposefully shape representation to achieve their aims, as well as how representation, like other aspects of design, can have unintended effects as time goes on. However, there is an important normative dimension here, too. Representation has distributional consequences. It elevates the voices of some and diminishes the voices of others, and often does so in ways that undermine fairness, equity, and effectiveness, notwithstanding norms of sovereign equality. Re-thinking representation will be a critical prerequisite to future global stability and cooperation.

Jeffrey Wright


Council on Foreign Relations publications