Dr. Cliff's past research and current interests includes analyses of contagion and diffusion effects in political violence such as terrorism and genocide, weapons of mass destruction, and variables affecting U.S. foreign policy. Her current research shifts to domestic politics and investigates what the mainstream media refers to as white nationalism, including the "alt-right" movement and the current political climate in the U.S.
Dr. Cliff became interested in white nationalist groups while working on her graduate degrees, particularly during her PhD studies at the University of Idaho. Later, she attended the 2016 Republican National Convention and had the opportunity to speak with some alt-right protesters, hearing their viewpoints and philosophy as opposed to what is published in the mainstream media. That rekindled her interest and her current research project was born.
Dr. Cliff has taught classes on the politics of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, global security and diplomacy, the American presidency, political violence and revolutions, constitutional law, public administration, U.S. government, state and local politics, international relations, and American foreign policy.
She has presented papers at the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association, the Midwest Political Science Association, and the International Studies Association-Northeast annual conferences.