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American Politics PhD Job Candidates

2018 - 2019

Massengill, William (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: Three Essays on Corporate Political Activity
  • Committee: John R. Wright (co-chair), William Minozzi (co-chair), Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Gregory Caldeira, and Vladimir Kogan
  • Summary: My dissertation uses original data to address three questions related to corporate political behavior in American legislatures. The first paper examines how ideological extremism affects corporate lobbying. I find that, although corporate lobbying does not depend on Republican extremism, firms become more politically involved when Democrats become more liberal. The results are consistent with informational models of lobbying, as firms find it more difficult to persuade ideologically opponents, and they suggest that polarization has made it more costly for firms to pursue their policy objectives. The second and third papers focus on the politics of corporate mergers. I find that mergers induce purchasing firms to extend their access to elected officials by increasing their contributions to the candidates previously supported by their acquired firms. More broadly, the results suggest that mergers have given rise to a more oligopolistic political environment, in which increasingly large firms have access to a growing share of elected officials.
  • Noteworthy:
    -Publication: “The Long and Short of It: The Unpredictability of Late Deciding Voters.'” 2015. Electoral Studies. 39: 181-194. With Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Micah Dillard, and David Kimball.
    -Awarded Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation.

Comparative Politics PhD Job Candidates

2018 - 2019

Meyerrose, Anna (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: The Unintended Consequences of International Democracy Promotion: The Links between International Organizations and Democratic Backslide
  • Dissertation Committee: Irfan Nooruddin (co-chair), Alexander Thompson (co-chair), Marcus Kurtz, William Minozzi, and Sara Watson.
  • Summary: Since the end of the Cold War, international organizations (IOs) have engaged in unprecedented levels of democracy promotion, and research overwhelming links them to positive democratic outcomes. However, this increased emphasis on democracy has more recently been accompanied by a sharp rise in cases of democratic backslide in new democracies. My dissertation asks: What explains democratic backslide in an age of unparalleled international support for democracy? Drawing on institutional theories of democracy, I argue that IOs commonly associated with democracy promotion unintentionally make democratic backslide more likely in new democracies. They do this by neglecting to support democratic institutions other than executives and elections; increasing executive power; and limiting states’ domestic policy options, which stunts institutional development. I develop an original Bayesian latent indicator of democratic backslide, and then use cross-national analysis, in-depth case studies, and synthetic case controls to test the theory. I find that membership in democratically committed, political or economic, and structured or interventionist IOs makes democratic backslide more likely, decreases checks on executive power, and limits economic policy options and party development in new democracies.
  • Noteworthy: Publications: Meyerrose, Anna M. “It’s all about value: How domestic party brands influence voting patterns in the European Parliament.” Governance. 2017 (Early View). (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gove.12327)Awards: OSU Dissertation Year Fellowship (2018-2019); OSU Department of Political Science Cavanuagh Scholar (2018); Mershon Center for International Security Studies Student Research Grant (2016, 2017, and 2018); OSU Department of Political Science Graduate Student Grant (2014, 2016, and 2018); OSU Program in Statistics and Methodology Fellowship (2017, Declined).Positions held: Virtual Student Federal Service E-Intern, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance Center (2017-2018).

Yen, Wei-Ting (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: Unstable Income and the Welfare State in Asia
  • Committee: Sarah Brooks (chair); Sara Watson; Philipp Rehm and Jan Pierskella          
  • Summary: My research agenda centers on the intersection of comparative political economy, social policy, and political behavior in the developing countries, with the regional focus on Asia. My dissertation examines the eroding economic/social foundation of Bismarck style social insurance programs in developing countries. I argue that unstable earning patterns, which is the new normal for workers' career profile under labor market flexibility, truncates citizens’ time horizon and disincentivizes people to contribute to social insurance policies. The key reason is that the inter-temporal feature between contribution and benefit embedded in the Bismarck style social insurance programs needs longer time horizon while unstable income prompts workers to have shorter time horizon and allocate spending for short-term needs. I test the observable implications across various national contexts in South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia. My dissertation suggests that contribution-based social insurance programs might not be as sustainable as before in the post-WWII era, and one policy alternative is to introduce noncontributory social programs that disconnect individual contribution and future benefit level. The next step in taking this research agenda forward is to investigate the role of unstable income in shaping noncontributory social programs.
  • Noteworthy: Awards (selected): 2016-2017 Chiang-Ching Kuo Dissertation Fellow; S.C. Lee Best Paper Competition for Graduate Students-Third Place Winner; Recipient of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies Grant, the Louise Zung-nyi Loh Memorial Scholarship, Behavior Decision Making Initiative Small Research Grant, etc.; Publications (selected): "Pension Plans and Retirement Insecurity." Aging International (Forthcoming.); "Who Supports the Sunflower Movement? An Examination of Nationalist Sentiments." Journal of Asian and African Studies, (2017) 52(8), pp.1193-1212. (with Fang-Yu Chen)

International Relations PhD Job Candidates

2018- 2019

 

Campbell, Benjamin (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: A Collection of Essays on Alliance Politics
  • Committee: Skyler Cranmer (Chair), Jan Box-Steffensmeier, Bear Braumoeller, Chris Gelpi
  • Summary: The foundational assumption of the literature on alliance politics is that states, motivated by a common external security threat, form alliances to aggregate their capabilities and increase their security.  Through three articles, A Collection of Essays on Alliance Politics interrogates these assumptions.  The first of three articles, "Detecting Heterogeneity and Inferring Latent Roles in Longitudinal Networks," is forthcoming in Political Analysis, has corresponding software available through CRAN, and was winner of the Political Networks Conference's Best Poster Award.  This piece introduces a novel approach to understanding network data, the ego-TERGM, which allows the analyst to detect variation in how and why actors form relationships.  This technique is applied in the second article, "Measuring and Assessing Latent Variation in Alliance Design and Objectives."  This piece challenges the core assumption of alliance politics, using the ego-TERGM to find that there is significant variation in why states form military alliances.  The final article, "Alliances and Conflict, or Conflict and Alliances? Appraising the Causal Effect of Alliances on Conflict," highlights a well-known and often ignored difficulty in modeling the effect of alliances on conflict -- alliance formation is rarely exogenous to a state's security environment and its effect on conflict.  Contrary to expectation, I find that once accounting for a state's security environment, alliances do not influence the presence of conflict.
  • Noteworthy: Benjamin's work has been published in Political Analysis, Social Networks, PLOS One, and Addictive Behaviors.  He has two R packages available through CRAN that he actively maintains.  He is the 2018-2019 Program for Research in Statistics and Methodology (PRISM) Senior Fellow.

Clary, Caitlin B. (PDF icon CV)(Website

  • Dissertation Title: The Initiation and Effectiveness of Multi-Organizational Peace Operations
  • Committee: Alexander Thompson (chair); Amanda Robinson; Bear Braumoeller
  • Summary: In my dissertation I examine the phenomenon of multi-organizational peace operations: situations in which multiple intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) intervene in a conflict situation, either at the same time or sequentially. International responses to conflict are increasingly likely to be carried out by multiple IGOs, rather than a single organization. I emphasize the importance of organizational reputation and cost-sharing as motivations for IGOs to pursue this model of conflict response, and argue that the success of these operations is contingent on the coordination of the different interventions and on the complementarity of the comparative advantages of the organizations involved. I use quantitative analysis and examination of case studies to test these arguments. 
  • Noteworthy: Publication in Science Advances (2017)  with co-authors Li, Bradshaw, and Cranmer. Recipient of two Department of Political Science Graduate Student Grants for methods training and for field research, a Dean’s Personal Research Fund award, a Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences Fellowship, and a Distinguished University Fellowship (2012-13; 2017-18).

Knuppe, Austin (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: Local Partners for Local Problems: When Does Foreign Intervention Trigger Local Blowback?
  • Committee: Christopher Gelpi (chair), Bear Braumoeller, Karl Kaltenthaler (University of Akron), William Minozzi, and Bradley Holland
  • Summary: Under what conditions does foreign intervention trigger blowback in the target state? Despite doctrinal shifts in the way great powers approach external statebuilding, the risk of blowback — or the negative, unintended consequences of military intervention against foreign regimes — remains a chief concern for foreign policy elites. This paper provides conceptual clarify to the logic of blowback by outlining a theory through which foreign intervention triggers local retaliation against the incumbent regime and its foreign patrons. It tests the theory’s hypotheses on original survey data from Baghdad, Iraq. I find that popular support for the anti-ISIS coalition is a function of the interactive relationships between foreign patrons, local clients, and specific forms of security assistance. Contrary to what the logic of blowback would suggest, more "invasive" forms of intervention — including airpower and the presence of foreign combat troops — do not alienate local civilians if foreign assets work in support of local combatants who enjoy ex ante support.
  • Noteworthy: Rosenberg, Andrew S., Knuppe, Austin J., and Bear F. Braumoeller “Unifying the Study of Asymmetric Hypotheses," Political Analysis, Volume 25, Issue 3 (July 2017): 381-401; recipient of the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Jennings Randolph Dissertation Fellowship

Kurtz, Reed (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: Climate Change and the Ecology of the Political
  • Committee: Alexander Wendt (co-chair), Joel Wainwright (co-chair, Geography),  Alexander Thompson, Inés Valdez, Jason Moore (Sociology, SUNY-Binghamton)
  • Summary: My research concerns the relations between politics and nature in an age of planetary ecological crisis.  In my dissertation I study these matters through a critical ecological analysis of the politics of climate change.  Theoretically, I explore the challenges that the global ecological crisis of climate change poses for our political relations with the Earth, and develop a critical ecological framework for analyzing the politics of climate governance and climate justice.  Empirically, I ground my research in critical qualitative and site-specific fieldwork conducted at various sites of climate politics, including the COP22 and COP23 climate negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  I find that the struggle for climate justice must be understood as a struggle to reorganize the relations between humans and the Earth.
  • Noteworthy: Awards (selected): OSU University Fellowship for Graduate Studies (2013-14); Mershon Center for International Security Studies Student Research Grant (2017); OSU Department of Political Science Graduate Student Grant (2018, 2016); Travel Grants from American Political Science Association (2018) and International Studies Association Northeast (2015); Positions (selected): Delegate Observer for American Association of Geographers at COP23 in Bonn, Germany; Department Representative for Parallel Graduate Studies Council (2013-14, 2015-18); Department Representative for Council of Graduate Students (2016-2017); Founding member of Ohio State University Labor Council and Central Ohio branch of the Industrial Workers of the World

Larson, Kyle D.

  • Dissertation Title: Confidence and Crisis: A Theory of Mania and Panic in International Relations
  • Committee: Jennifer Mitzen (chair), Chris Gelpi, and Alexander Wendt   
  • Summary: I am interested in periods of overconfident foreign policy-making and subsequent periods of distress and panic when this overconfidence is revealed as such. My dissertation borrows from economic literature on market bubbles and busts to explain these dynamics within international relations, examining in detail the intellectual and ideational development during the immediate post-Cold War period. I argue that beliefs and consequently policies in this period overestimated reward and underestimated uncertainty, creating the risk of later recoil similar to the kind seen in economic market collapses.
  • Noteworthy: Winner of the OSU Political Science Department's award for distinguished teaching by a graduate student in 2015 and 2016
    Published in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics (forthcoming 2017)

Meyerrose, Anna (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: The Unintended Consequences of International Democracy Promotion: The Links between International Organizations and Democratic Backslide
  • Dissertation Committee: Alexander Thompson (co-chair), Irfan Nooruddin (co-chair), Marcus Kurtz, William Minozzi, and Sara Watson.
  • Summary: Since the end of the Cold War, international organizations (IOs) have engaged in unprecedented levels of democracy promotion, and research overwhelming links them to positive democratic outcomes. However, this increased emphasis on democracy has more recently been accompanied by a sharp rise in cases of democratic backslide in new democracies. My dissertation asks: What explains democratic backslide in an age of unparalleled international support for democracy? Drawing on institutional theories of democracy, I argue that IOs commonly associated with democracy promotion unintentionally make democratic backslide more likely in new democracies. They do this by neglecting to support democratic institutions other than executives and elections; increasing executive power; and limiting states’ domestic policy options, which stunts institutional development. I develop an original Bayesian latent indicator of democratic backslide, and then use cross-national analysis, in-depth case studies, and synthetic case controls to test the theory. I find that membership in democratically committed, political or economic, and structured or interventionist IOs makes democratic backslide more likely, decreases checks on executive power, and limits economic policy options and party development in new democracies.
  • Noteworthy: Publications: Meyerrose, Anna M. “It’s all about value: How domestic party brands influence voting patterns in the European Parliament.” Governance. 2017 (Early View). (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gove.12327)Awards: OSU Dissertation Year Fellowship (2018-2019); OSU Department of Political Science Cavanuagh Scholar (2018); Mershon Center for International Security Studies Student Research Grant (2016, 2017, and 2018); OSU Department of Political Science Graduate Student Grant (2014, 2016, and 2018); OSU Program in Statistics and Methodology Fellowship (2017, Declined).Positions held: Virtual Student Federal Service E-Intern, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance Center (2017-2018).

Rosenberg, Andrew (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: Global Migration and the Segregated Structure of International Politics
  • Committee: Christopher Gelpi (Co-Chair), Alexander Wendt (Co-Chair), Bear Braumoeller, William Minozzi, Inés Valdez
  • Summary: In this dissertation, I measure racial bias in international migration flows, and I theorize how the institution of sovereignty provides cover for states to enact discriminatory policies despite the elimination of formal racial migration quotas after decolonization. In so doing, I argue that the expansion of sovereignty after 1945 was not an unqualified good. Instead, this expansion continues to perpetuate international inequalities. To warrant this claim, I develop the first ever method for inferring racial bias in the international system. I focus on measuring racial bias in international migration flows because scholars from all subfields of political science agree that racism and xenophobia affect migration processes. However, they lack a way to measure this prejudice because most states eliminated de jure racial migration policies in the 1960s. To infer racial bias, I rely on a novel measurement strategy. Using this measure, I yield three main findings. First, I show that migrants from the Global South—particularly Sub-Saharan Africa—migrate far less than we would expect under a racially blind model. This descriptive result suggests the existence of a global hierarchy of movement. Second, I find evidence for a "negative incentive effect" whereby less emigration leads to less human capital accumulation and economic development in source countries. Just as the prospect of emigration can incentivize citizens to acquire education to take advantage of higher wages abroad, less emigration can lead to the opposite. Finally, this effect is unambiguous for the non-white states of the Global South.  Not only do would-be migrants from these states move far less than expected, it is in these states where the negative effects on economic development are the most pronounced. Therefore, contrary to expectations, I dismiss the longstanding argument that emigration hampers economic development—via a “brain drain”—in the developing world, and instead can narrow the racial inequality gap.
  • Noteworthy: Publications: Andrew S. Rosenberg, "Measuring Racial Bias in International Migration Flows" International Studies Quarterly, Forthcoming. Andrew S. Rosenberg, Austin J. Knuppe, and Bear F. Braumoeller, "Unifying the Study of Asymmetric Hypotheses" Political Analysis 25(3): 381-401. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/pan.2017.16;

    Francis Aumann Award for Best Published Paper, 2017; Ohio State University Presidential Fellowship, 2018-2019; Dissertation research supported by the Mershon Center for International Security

Political Theory PhD Job Candidates

2018-19

Kurtz, Reed (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: Climate Change and the Ecology of the Political
  • Committee: Alexander Wendt (co-chair), Joel Wainwright (co-chair, Geography),  Alexander Thompson, Inés Valdez, Jason Moore (Sociology, SUNY-Binghamton)
  • Summary: My research concerns the relations between politics and nature in an age of planetary ecological crisis.  In my dissertation I study these matters through a critical ecological analysis of the politics of climate change.  Theoretically, I explore the challenges that the global ecological crisis of climate change poses for our political relations with the Earth, and develop a critical ecological framework for analyzing the politics of climate governance and climate justice.  Empirically, I ground my research in critical qualitative and site-specific fieldwork conducted at various sites of climate politics, including the COP22 and COP23 climate negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  I find that the struggle for climate justice must be understood as a struggle to reorganize the relations between humans and the Earth.
  • Noteworthy: Awards (selected): OSU University Fellowship for Graduate Studies (2013-14); Mershon Center for International Security Studies Student Research Grant (2017); OSU Department of Political Science Graduate Student Grant (2018, 2016); Travel Grants from American Political Science Association (2018) and International Studies Association Northeast (2015); Positions (selected): Delegate Observer for American Association of Geographers at COP23 in Bonn, Germany; Department Representative for Parallel Graduate Studies Council (2013-14, 2015-18); Department Representative for Council of Graduate Students (2016-2017); Founding member of Ohio State University Labor Council and Central Ohio branch of the Industrial Workers of the World

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