Nilay Saiya

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Dr. Nilay Saiya

Assistant Professor
Director of International Studies
Phone: (585) 395-5948
Office: 209A Hartwell Hall

Courses Taught

  • PLS 111: Introduction to International Relations
  • PLS 333: American Foreign Policy
  • PLS 344: War in Film
  • PLS 383: Middle East and the World
  • PLS 444: National Security
  • PLS 475: Political Geography
  • PLS 490: Crisis Diplomacy 


  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Notre Dame, 2013
  • MA, Political Science, University of Notre Dame, 2010
  • MA, Political Science, Villanova University, 2006
  • BA, Political Science, Lebanon Valley College, 2004



  • "Religion, State and Terrorism: A Global Analysis." Terrorism and Political Violence. Forthcoming.
  • Comparing Classification Trees to Discern Patterns of Terrorism." International Journal of Social Research Methodology. Forthcoming.
  • "Blasphemy and Terrorism in the Muslim World." Terrorism and Political Violence. Forthcoming.
  • Testing the Hillary Doctrine:Women's Rights and Anti-American Terrorism." Political Research Quarterly. 70, no.2 (June 2017): 421-433. (With Tasneem Zaihra and Joshua Fidler).
  • “How Dangerous are Virtual Worlds Really?: A Research Note on the Statecraft Simulation Debate.” Social Science Computer Review 35, no.2 (Spring 2017): 287-296.

  • “Religious Freedom, the Arab Spring and U.S. Middle East Policy.” International Politics 54, no. 1 (February 2017): 43-53.

  • “The Statecraft Simulation and Foreign Policy Attitudes among Undergraduate Students.” Journal of Political Science Education 12, no.1 (March 2016): 58-71.

  • “Religion, Democracy and Terrorism.” Perspectives on Terrorism 9, no.6 (December 2015): 51-59.

  • “Explaining Religious Terrorism: A Data-Mined Analysis.” Conflict Management and Peace Science 32, no.5 (November 2015): 487-512. (With Anthony Scime).

  • “The Religious Freedom Peace.” International Journal of Human Rights 19, no. 3 (June 2015): 369-382.

  • “Classification Trees as Proxies,” International Journal of Business Analytics 2, no. 2 (April-June 2015): 31-45. (With Anthony Scime, Steven J. Jurek, and Gregg R. Murray).

  • “Navigating the International Academic Job Market,” PS: Political Science and Politics 47, no. 4 (October 2014): 845-848.

  • “Onward Christian Soldiers: American Dispensationalists, George W. Bush and the Middle East,”
    Holy Land Studies 11, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 175-204.

  • “The U.S. Recognition of Israel: A Bureaucratic Politics Model Analysis,” Concept 23, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 41-63Chapters


  • “The Geopolitics of Religious Liberty,” in Luke Herrington, Alisdair McKay, and Jeffrey Haynes, (eds.), Nations Under God: The Geopolitics of Faith in the Twenty-First Century (E-international relations, 2015): 133-138.

  • “Religion and International Relations,” in Emilian Kavalski (ed.), Encounters with World Affairs: An Introduction to International Relations (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2015): 397-414.

  • “Explaining Religious Violence Across Countries: An Institutional Perspective," in Kevin R. den Dulk and Elizabeth Oldmixon (eds.), Mediating Religion and Government: Political Institutions and the Policy Process (New York: Palgrave, 2014): 209-240.

  • “Religious Terrorism: What Remains to be Said?,” in Michael C. Desch and Daniel Philpott (eds.), Religion and International Relations: A Primer for Research. Report of The Mellon Initiative on Religion Across the Disciplines (University of Notre Dame, 2013): 152-162.


Public Affairs Commentary


  • “A Necessary Step? Examining Religious Freedom and Counterterrorism,” Cornerstone Blog, Religious Freedom Institute, June 28, 2017, available from

  • “Why Colorado Could Decide the 2016 Presidential Election,” The Denver Post, October 3, 2016.

  • “The Real Tragedy of Trump’s Foreign Policy,” USA Today, September 21, 2016.

  • “Why the U.S. Military Needs Religious Literacy,” Cornerstone Blog, Berkley Center for Religion Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University, September 21, 2015, available from

  • “Does Religious Liberty Encourage or Curb Faith-based Terrorism?,” Cornerstone Blog, Berkley Center for Religion Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University, April 20, 2015, available from http://

  • “Religious Freedom Crucial to National Security,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 16, 2015.

  • “Religious Freedom: The Best Weapon Against Terrorism,” Arc of the Universe Blog, Center for Civil and Human Rights, University of Notre Dame, November 29, 2014, available from

  • “Putin’s Point of View,” The Baltimore Sun, April 7, 2014.

  • “Abysmal Foreign Policy Relies Far Too Much on U.S. Military Might,” The Buffalo News, December 15, 2013.

  • “Flaws in U.S.’s Afghan Policy,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, December 5, 2013.

  • “The Real Death of Bin Laden’s Ideology,” South Bend Tribune, June 7, 2012.

  • “Obama Shows by His Actions That He Wants to Be a Unifier,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 18, 2008.

  • “Bush Mindset Helps to Blur Islamic World,” Harrisburg Patriot News, March 11, 2007.


  • “Model Diplomacy,” Journal of Political Science Education, 13, no.2 (March 2017): 243-245.

  • “State Responses to Minority Religions,” Journal of Church and State 57, no.2 (Spring 2015): 364-366.

  • “The Future of Religious Freedom: Global Challenges,” International Journal for Religious Freedom 7, no.1/2 (2014): 220-222.

Last Updated 5/24/18

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