Distributed April 8, 2002
For Immediate Release

News Service Contact: Mark Nickel

Jarat Chopra, assistant professor (research), Watson Institute

Jarat Chopra is an assistant professor (research) at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. He has been working with an international group to support the peace-making process in the Middle East for the last 18 months. On Tuesday, March 19, during Brown’s spring recess, he left Providence for another trip to the region. He planned to return on Friday, March 29. Chopra was in Ramallah on the 29th when Israeli troops entered the city in tanks and armored personnel carriers. Until this Monday morning, April 8, he was unable to leave the city and stayed in a house with two other internationals. Food and water supplies were limited. Although electricity in their house remained on, supplies to other areas were intermittent. While there, Chopra observed constant heavy-caliber gunfire, tank shell explosions and circling helicopter gunships. Two attempts to leave the city when curfews were lifted failed; this morning he and the two internationals passed through the checkpoint. He is now in Jerusalem.

Chopra is an expert on international law, international society and organization, and peace operations. From November 1999 to March 2000, he was head of district administration for the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). In this position, he helped to establish a local civil governance system in the newly independent nation. Since 2000, he has been working on a book about his experiences in East Timor with the UN mission.

Chopra is the author of The Politics of Peace-Maintenance (Lynne Rienner, 1998); Peace-Maintenance: The Evolution of International Political Authority (Routledge, 1999); and Fighting for Hope in Somalia and National Self-Determination of the Western Saharan (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, 1995 and 1994 respectively). He received his LL.M. and doctorate from the University of Cambridge in international studies.