Justin M. Broubalow

Justin M. Broubalow

Justin M. Broubalow

Graduate Research Assistant

U.S. History: 20th century, policy history, foreign affairs, immigration, state development

Justin Broubalow is a Ph.D. candidate in history. He entered the program in 2016 and is a recipient of George Mason University's Presidential Scholarship.

His field of study is twentieth-century U.S. policy history with specializations in immigration, foreign affairs, and state development.

A former secondary school teacher, Broubalow is a graduate research assistant working on education projects at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. He works on projects that help train teachers to employ historical thinking in their classrooms, among others.

Current Research

Broubalow's dissertation is entitled "Restriction and Cooperation: Border Enforcement and the Multilateral Moment of the American Immigration Regime, 1891-1941." 

This dissertation examines American immigration policy from the time the federal government created bureaucratic mechanisms for regulating immigration in 1891 to 1941 when the perceived imperatives of the national security state permanently entrenched border control within the structures of domestic law enforcement apparatuses through the Department of Justice. Within this period, the United States based its immigration policies on three major logics of exclusion: medical, ideological, and racial. While these logics of exclusion were continuous across the period, the mode for enforcing them underwent a dramatic shift: The United States moved from enforcing immigration restriction through multilateral agreements, norms, and obligations to one built on unilateral control over the movement of people from ports of embarkation to ports of entry. The intertwined natures of migration and foreign relations during this period therefore reveals that American immigration policy was not simply a domestic concern. Instead, the central tension of American immigration policy was between its unilateralist and multilateralist impulses, a tension that speaks directly to debates over the United States’ foreign affairs in this period. Furthermore, such a modal shift in immigration policy points to a larger shift in what types of power the American state wielded between 1891 and 1941. The American state shifted from using a largely outward-looking, infrastructural power bent toward maintaining a formal and informal overseas empire, to a more centralized, bureaucratic power, intent on upholding the absolute sovereignty of the nation-state.

Selected Publications

"The Johnson-Reed Act of May 24, 1924," We're History: America then for Americans now, May 24, 2018.

Grants and Fellowships

Presidential Scholar Summer Research Fellowship (2017, 2018)

George Mason Universiity Presidential Scholarship (2016-Present)



M.A. History - George Mason University (2016)

M.A.T. Secondary Education - The College of New Jersey  (2010)

B.A. History - American University (2009)

Recent Presentations

"Territory without Territoriality: The Problem of American Interwar Immigration Law Enforcement in the U.S. Virgin Islands," Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History, Houston, Texas, November 9, 2018.