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Pellumb Kelmendi

Pellumb Kelmendi is an Emerging Democracies Postdoctoral Fellow for the 2016-17 academic year. He completed his Ph.D. in political science at Brown University. His research interests focus on civil conflict, post-conflict institution building, and party politics. Kelmendi’s dissertation analyzes the transformation of rebel organizations into political parties and their divergent performance in post-conflict elections. The core question that the dissertation asks is why, in post-conflict settings, some rebel successor parties enjoy wide electoral success whereas others remain marginalized or fail to emerge altogether. In his dissertation, Kelmendi develops and tests a new theory of rebel party success that emphasizes the role of wartime rebel organizational cohesion and rebel ties with the local population. The dissertation project analyzes an original dataset with observations from across the world, detailed case studies of rebel-to-party transformations in the Western Balkans, and subnational data of rebel successor party support in Kosovo.

As a postdoctoral fellow, Kelmendi will be working on a book manuscript that explains why some rebel organizations transform into successful political parties whereas others do not. Prior to beginning his Ph.D. at Brown University, he received an M.Phil. in development studies from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago.


  • Ph.D., Political Science, Brown University, 2016
  • M.A., Political Science, Brown University, 2012
  • M.Phil., Development Studies, University of Cambridge, 2008
  • B.A., Political Science, University of Chicago, 2007

Awards and Honors

  • Predoctoral Fellow, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University (2015-16)
  • Jennings Randolph Peace Scholarship, United States Institute of Peace (2014-15)
  • P. Terrence Hopmann Award for Excellence in Teaching, Department of Political Science, Brown University (2013)


Following his WCED Fellowship year, Professor Kelmendi accepted a position as assistant professor of political science at Auburn University.