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Benjamin R. Cole is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Simmons College. His teaching interests include comparative politics, especially related to democratic transition and state fragility/failure, comparative local and regional governance systems, and public policy/administration, particularly research design and methods. He maintains an active research agenda focused on the theory, measurement, and predictive modeling of political participation dynamics, democratic transition and state fragility/failure. Among other publications, since 2008 Ben has co-authored the annual "Global Report" series, which includes the unique "State Fragility Index," a cross-national time-series measure of state fragility, published by the Center for Systemic Peace. Ben is actively involved in coding the Polity dataset, in addition to several other cross-national data projects, also through the Center for Systemic Peace; he has regularly consulted on cross-national measurement and modeling projects for the US government and several NGOs. Prior to arriving at Simmons, Ben taught full-time for the International Affairs dual major program at the University of New Hampshire from 2008-2011, and then served in a one-year fellowship at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy at Dartmouth College, managing the center's Policy Research Shop. When not teaching or doing research, Ben enjoys spending time with his family, sailing, and reading good fiction; he also serves on the advisory boards for New Hampshire Public Radio and the Center for Systemic Peace. He holds degrees from the George Mason University School of Public Policy (PhD '11) and the University of New Hampshire (BA '05, MA '06).