Naazneen H. Barma is Associate Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Her research and teaching focus on the political economy of development, post-conflict peacebuilding and political order, and natural resource governance, with a regional specialization in East Asia and the Pacific. She is a founding member and co-director of Bridging the Gap, an initiative devoted to enhancing the policy impact of contemporary international affairs scholarship.
Dr. Barma’s book, The Peacebuilding Puzzle: Political Order in Post-Conflict States, was published by Cambridge University Press (2017). Drawing on fieldwork in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and East Timor, it explains the disconnect between the formal institutional engineering undertaken by international peacebuilding interventions and the governance outcomes that emerge in their aftermath. The book argues that transformative peace operations fall short of achieving the modern political order sought in post-conflict countries because the interventions themselves empower post-conflict elites intent on forging a neopatrimonial political order.
Dr. Barma is currently working on a collaborative research project, funded by the Minerva Initiative, that examines the relationship between state-building and peace-building through the lens of public service delivery in Cambodia, Laos, and Uganda. Her peer-reviewed academic research has been published in several refereed journals and edited volumes. She is co-author of Rents to Riches? The Political Economy of Natural Resource-Led Development (World Bank, 2011), as well as co-editor of Institutions Taking Root: Building State Capacity in Challenging Contexts (World Bank, 2014) and The Political Economy Reader: Markets as Institutions (Routledge, 2008). She has also co-authored policy-oriented pieces on global political economic order that have appeared in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Foreign Policy, and The National Interest.
Dr. Barma received her PhD (2007) and MA (2002) in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. For her dissertation project, she won a Jennings Randolph Peace Scholarship from the United States Institute of Peace. She earned both her BA (1996) in International Relations and Economics and her MA (1997) in International Policy Studies from Stanford University. From 2007–2010, Dr. Barma was a Young Professional and Public Sector Specialist at the World Bank, where she conducted political economy analysis and worked on operational dimensions of governance and institutional reform in the East Asia Pacific Region. She has over fifteen years of full-time and consulting experience with the World Bank and other aid agencies.