My current research interests are mainly in the fields of comparative politics, international relations, and pedagogical innovation. My research philosophy is rooted in trying to answer questions that not only have academic implications but also real-world policy impacts. That is why most of my current research explores overarching questions that we face as states and communities.
Currently I am working on my book, Failsafe: How Bureaucracies Provide Governance Stability in Political Chaos, that is under contract with Lexington Books. The book explores the role of bureaucracies in nascent democracies and how they play the role of a system failsafe, allowing governance to occur uninterrupted even in times of political chaos. My core argument is that a highly specialized and professionally trained bureaucracy will sustain the running of the system while political stakeholders vie for power. This book is based on my extensive field work in Pakistan, Taiwan, and Turkey that I completed during my PhD.
My future research agenda is focused on two areas: Comparative Analysis of Trade and Diplomacy in Southeast Asia and Pedagogical Innovation.
The newer work I am pursuing, for which I have won a generous travel grant from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at UTM, studies how states, particularly in east Asia, manage their foreign policies to remain neutral in the time of great power rivalry. I am interested in exploring how countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam manage their relationships with the US and China while both these countries escalate their interaction in the Indo – Pacific region. I am also interested in exploring the role organizations like Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) play in maintaining neutrality in the region. I am working on comparatively analyzing the approach US and China are taking in the Indo Pacific with regards to building alliances. In tune with this work, I am in early stages of exploring how pacific island nations are responding to the dueling nature of great powers that wish to establish dominance in the pacific. US recently has focused attention on carving out a new region called Indo – Pacific, while China has invested heavily in building local partnerships. My research is focused on understanding how small states make these choices and what kind of aspects they consider making these decisions.
In terms of pedagogical research, there are two streams I am working on currently. First, I am expanding the notion of the learning arc framework to incorporate a larger idea that I have used in class, knowledge laying. Based on in class teaching experiments, a co – authored paper is currently under review at a peer review journal that argues why knowledge layering is a useful approach to teaching freshman. Second, I am working on a larger project to understand the impact of COVID on retention and college learning for students. My focus is on understanding how much of an impact COVID had on student learning and where exactly did that hit the hardest. As part of this, I am currently conducting data collection. Additionally, I am also working on a paper that discusses student teacher co – authorship is a critical mentorship tool for student learning. Effectively, I am arguing in favor of an academic apprenticeship model at the undergraduate level that can diversify student skills by directly working with professors.
Recent Peer Reviewed Publications:
Rasool, A. (2022) Belt and Road Initiative’s Regional Impact: Lessons from South Asia. The Journal of Indian and Asian Studies. DOI:10.1142/S2717541322500036
Rasool, A. & Ruggiero, C. (2022) The Case for Smart Diplomacy: Evidence from Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy. Asian Politics & Policy, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1111/aspp.12656
Humphreys, C. & Rasool, A. (2022) Tuning in to student learning: The music of International Relations Theory. Journal of Political Science Education. DOI: 10.1080/15512169.2022.2099413
Current Works in Progress:
A Pragmatic Balance: Indo Pacific small states and great power competition – Working Paper
Knowledge Layering: Leveraging existing knowledge to teach political science – Under Review Co – Authored with Dr. Carrie Humphreys
National Branding: How and why states brand themselves – Working Paper Co – Authored with Dr. Derek Ezell