School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development

Academics / PhD in Interntaional Conflict Mgmt: Current Students

Current Ph.D. Students

Crystal Armstrong


Crystal Armstrong graduated from Creighton University School of Law in 2012 with a Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Montana State University. She is an affiliated member of Kennesaw State University’s Women and Gender Studies Program and is a research associate with the International Conflict and Transformation Initiative (ICAT), which seeks to model the impacts of economic policy on global conflict. Crystal has served as a facilitator for the Soliya Connect Program, and has advised on curriculum development for Social Media and Global Learning courses in the US, Egypt, and Morocco. She came to the INCM PhD Program at Kennesaw State in 2013 in order to pursue a PhD in international conflict and to work with faculty on large dataset analysis, social media network mapping, and the role of new media on conflict.

Crystal’s research interests include social media and digital social identity development, the use of digital technology in extremist mobilization, and the evolution of digital conflict and digital resistance movements. She has also conducted research on online learning modules for increasing intercultural competency, the utilization of social media platforms by NGOs in Nigeria, and on the digital arm of the BDS movement. Current projects include an exploration of Digital Civil Society and a paper on the spectrum of digital activisms.  

Her dissertation title is Digital Disturbance: Social Identities and Mobilization for Collective Action. As part of the conceptual framework, she uses traditional social identity theory and applies it to a digital group- the online collective Anonymous- to analyze how components of social identity formation function in the digital sector. Crystal is using both interviews and a thematic review of the group’s digital materials to conduct her analysis.

Areas of Interest
Social Media and Digital Social Identity Development, Social Media and Digital Technology in Extremist Mobilization, Evolution of Digital Conflict and Digital Resistance Movements, Digital Civil Society.