Shira Eini Pindyck is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Technology and International Security at the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) based in Washington, D.C. She recently received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation research studied the relationship between military innovation and gender, including how tactical and technological changes can challenge existing hierarchies within military organizations. Her research aims to answer questions such as: Why are some military innovations harder than others to successfully integrate and utilize? How are the challenges to integration addressed? Do certain innovations make militaries more inclusive? Her approach to these questions hinges on the understanding that any analysis of the political world is incomplete without accounting for dimensions of both privilege and disadvantage. Her research extends from historical case studies of medical innovations, to the experiences of Israeli drone operators, to the counterinsurgency doctrines of the Australian Defense Force and Turkish Armed Forces. She holds an M.A. in Government from the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel. During 2013-2015, she analyzed counterterrorism policymaking at the Herzl Center at Haifa University and conducted research at IDC on public opinion and the content and tone of newspaper coverage.
Plans for Fellowship: During the fellowship year, Shira will turn her dissertation into a book, as well as two stand-alone articles. Her book project builds a broad theory of military innovation and gender. It tests the theory through a nested comparative case analysis of innovations that reduce the need for physical strength and exposure to risk. The two articles examine 1) medical innovations during the interwar period, and 2) the use of military logistics for disaster relief. The first, “One Step Above a Barber: The Gendered Challenges of Military Medicine” will examine how medical military research collaborations took men and women who were not trained “warriors” but rather nurses, medics, engineers, and scientists, and placed them in the battlefield. The second article, “Designed for Men? The Logistics of Disaster Relief,” will examine whether more inclusive militaries are better equipped to assist with disaster relief.