New Faculty Feature: Dr. Fletcher Cox

Dr. Fletcher Cox is a new professor in the political science department at William Jewell College. While he has studied American politics and economics, Cox has done the bulk of his academic work studying the relationship between religion and global politics and conflict.  The countries that he has focused on include Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Nepal.

Cox graduated from Jewell in 2003, and during his time at the College, he participated in a summer program at the Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems of Georgetown University. During his time in this program, he studied comparative economic systems and the transformation of American politics. Cox received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from Jewell. Additionally, he minored in religion. From 2003 to 2004, Cox taught African history, English and literature and HIV/AIDS education at the Bonjoge AIC Boys School in Kaimosi, Kenya. He also developed agriculture projects to subsidize students’ school fees. While working in Kenya, Cox’s goal was to aid students in their performance on a national standardized test, which could lead to acceptance into a university.

“It is very high pressure, especially where I was working, as overcoming poverty is difficult and one student gaining access to college education is very valuable to an entire family- even village,” said Cox.

Furthering his study of religion and global conflict, Cox attended Harvard University and obtained his Masters in Theological Study with a concentration in religion and international affairs in 2006. Later that year, Cox traveled to Kurmak, Sudan where he was a program manager for Samaritan’s Purse International Relief. This organization was aiming to create “peace dividends” after the peace agreement between North and South Sudan.

“Many Sudanese refugees were living in Ethiopia for almost 20 years, and with the peace agreement, returning to their home areas to find absolutely no infrastructure,” said Cox.

Due to of this lack of infrastructure, Cox and his group worked with organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development and the United Nations Children’s Fund to fund and run rehabilitation projects. These projects included the rehabilitation and running of the county’s only hospital, the building of wells and schools and a large-scale farming operation.

“We were operating under the assumptions that development would lead to stability and reduce the likelihood of further conflict,” said Cox.

Cox continued to work in Sudan until 2008.

This year, Cox became of Doctor of Philosophy in International Studies at the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 2015.  Cox also has a book that is under review in addition to four manuscripts that are in preparation. He has given presentations at several conferences on conflict in Kenya and peacebuilding, as well as on other topics.

This semester Cox is teaching “How Wars End,” “Introduction to International Political Economy” and two sections of the Oxbridge course “Introduction to Political Economy.”  Next semester he will be teaching only the two sections of said Oxbridge course.

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