About Me

Matthew Cancian

Political Science PhD Candidate

I’m a PhD candidate in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, concentrating in Security Studies and Comparative Politics. My thesis is about the motivations of combatants and the effects of training, based on a survey of 2,301 Kurdish fighters (Peshmerga) during their war against the Islamic State. I am interested in adding new, data-driven perspectives to all questions pertaining to security studies.

Before MIT I earned a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School and a BA in History from the University of Virginia. Between those educational experiences I served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, deploying to Sangin, Afghanistan as a Forward Observer in 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.


Matthew Cancian’s CV