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American Politics PhD Job Candidates

2017 - 2018

Mack, Brianna (File CV)

  • Dissertation Title - Roles of Linked Fate and Black Political Knowledge Shaping Responses to Group Messages
  • Committee: Kathleen McGraw (chair); Tom Nelson; Nathaniel Swigger; Ismail White (George Washington University)
  • Summary: Brianna studies American politics, specifically Race & Ethnicity and Political Behavior.  Her dissertation examines examines how Black people respond to persuasive messages from various group members, and how an individual’s linked fate (politicized racial identity) and political knowledge influence those responses. Notably, her project explores the feasibility of creating an original scale used to measure knowledge about African American politics.  
  • Noteworthy: She was a 2016-2017 Fellow at the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male.

Massengill, William (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: Corporate Lobbying in the U.S. States
  • Committee: John R. Wright (co-chair), William Minozzi (co-chair), Janet Box-Steffensmeier, and Vladimir Kogan
  • Summary: In the last few decades, corporations have become increasingly involved in American elections, and so it might seem that the potential for corporate political influence has never been greater. Yet American legislatures have grown ever more polarized, so firms must now operate politically in legislatures that are more divided than ever. Does polarization facilitate or constrain a corporate policy agenda? I use prominent lobbying theories to derive predictions about how party polarization shapes corporate lobbying, and I test these theories with an original panel dataset of corporate lobbying expenditures in a dozen American states. I find that corporate lobbying increases when Democrats become more ideologically extreme but that Republican extremism is unrelated to corporate efforts. These results are consistent with the endogenous cost model of lobbying, as firms spend more to persuade ideologically distant legislative opponents. Ultimately, polarization and ideological extremism, particularly on the left, appear to constrain corporate power.
  • 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

2017 - 2018

Castillo, Alexandra (PDF icon PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: "Challenging Democracy: The Extension of Presidential Term Limits from a Citizen’s Perspective”
  • Committee: Sarah Brooks (co-chair); Irfan Nooruddin (co-chair); Amanda Robinson and Tom Nelson       
  • Summary: My dissertation explores the psychological underpinnings of democracy in the context of the degradation of democratic institutions, focusing specifically on the erosion of presidential term limits in Latin America. It demonstrates that a conceptualization of democracy is informed by economic evaluations, social identity, and an interaction between the two. This is demonstrated through field research in Bolivia, an extensive analysis of existing public opinion surveys, and two unique survey experiments.
  • Noteworthy: Awarded the Charles and Kathleen Manatt Fellowship. Dissertation research funded by the Mershon Center for International Security and the Tinker Field Research Grant.

Lloyd, Gabriella (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: “Mandating (In)Security: How UN Missions Endanger the Civilians They Intend to Protect,” dissertation defended June 2017; article-length version submitted
  • Committee: Irfan Nooruddin (co-chair), Alexander Thompson (co-chair), Jan Pierskalla, and Christopher Gelpi
  • Summary: My dissertation uses advanced qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the impact of UN missions on human security in armed conflict zones. My starting point is the insight that warring parties frequently employ violence against civilians in order to signal their resolve, especially when they are desperate. Using instrumental variable analysis and an original dataset on the tasks (or mandates) assigned to UN missions by the Security Council, I show that UN missions with mandates to build human security—which I dub “Responsibility to Protect (or R2P) mandates”—inadvertently prompt desperate rebels and governments to escalate their use of violence against civilians. By directing the focus of missions toward the issue of civilian victimization, R2P mandates provide rebels and governments with attention they might otherwise not receive so readily for victimizing civilians. In so doing, these missions inadvertently prompt desperate rebels and governments to escalate their use of violence against civilians in order to send a costly signal to their opponents that they are resolved to wage continued, violent warfare. My findings suggest that UN missions with R2P mandates can deter violence against civilians, but often have the opposite effect when deployed to armed conflict zones in which warring parties are unable to fight effectively by other means. 
  • Noteworthy: Awards: Harry Frank Guggenheim Dissertation Fellowship in 2017 (declined), Academic Council on the UN System 2017 Dissertation Award, Mershon Center for International Security Studies Student Research Grant in 2015 and 2014, the Department of Political Science Graduate Student Grant in 2014; Publication: Golder, Matt and Gabriella Lloyd. 2014. “Re-evaluating the Relationship between Electoral Rules and Ideological Congruence” European Journal of Political Research, 53(1): 200-212.

Tunkis, Peter J. (PDF icon PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation title: Safety in Numbers: Group Linkages and the Persistence of Party Switching
  • Committee: Anthony Mughan (Chair); Goldie Shabad; Sara Watson; Thomas Nelson
  • Summary: Party switching, or changing one’s political party affiliation, is a surprisingly widespread and persistent phenomenon among members of parliament (MPs) in old and new democracies alike, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. This may signal a lack of accountability and representation to voters, fuel instability, or undermine democracy itself. Why do some MPs risk careers, prestige, and chances of reelection for uncertain payoffs? Contrary to conventional wisdom, I find that this is a group-based event rather than a purely individual phenomenon, and I argue that MPs’ group associations significantly shape these decisions. I draw evidence from interviews with Polish and Czech MPs and test my arguments using legislative and biographical data in these countries since their transitions to democracy
    -Substantive research areas: Comparative Politics, Political Psychology, Political Parties, Legislative Behaviour, Central and Eastern Europe, European Union
  • Noteworthy:
    -Publications: Tunkis, Peter J. and Joshua K. Dubrow (eds.). 2017. “Political Biographies and Electoral Outcomes across Post-Communist Europe.” [Special Section]. Problems of Post-Communism 64(2): 63-93. and Tunkis, Peter J. 2017. “The Ties that Bind: Do Group Associations among Legislators Matter for Political Parties?Problems of Post-Communism 64(2): 79-93. 
  • -Awards: Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship (2014-2014); Polish Studies Initiative Graduate Student Research Grant (2014); Uprka-Laga-Schweitzer Award in Czech Studies (2012)
    -Positions held: Visiting Fulbright-Hays Fellow, Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences (2015); Visiting Fulbright-Hays Fellow, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences (2015); Research Assistant, CDU/CSU Fraktion im Deutschen Bundestag, Berlin, Germany (2008)
    -Languages: English, Polish, Czech, French, German

International Relations PhD Job Candidates

2017 - 2018

Bradshaw, Aisha (PDF icon CV)

  • Dissertation Title: Serving the Fight: Conflict and the Consequences of Insurgent-Provided Social Services
  • Committee: Bear Braumoeller (chair); Chris Gelpi, Jan Pierskalla, Bradley Holland
  • Summary: In addition to violent tactics, a number of non-state militant organizations also expend resources to provide social services, such as healthcare and education, in their areas of operation. My dissertation examines the link between these insurgent-provided social services and large-scale conflict outcomes. These programs can benefit the group, but this incentivizes the state to counter such efforts. The threat of state reprisals in turn encourages only the strongest groups to establish service programs. Using a quantitative modeling strategy designed to flexibly assess the relationship between endogenous variables, I evaluate the relationship between insurgent social services, state strength, and conflict outcomes.
  • Noteworthy: Publication: “A Three-Degree Horizon of Peace in the Military Alliance Network.” Science Advances Vol. 3, No. 3 (2017), with Weihua Li, Caitlin B. Clary, and Skyler J. Cranmer.
    Recipient of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies Student Research Grant in 2016

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).

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)

Rosenberg, Andrew (PDF icon CV)(Website)

  • Dissertation Title: Global Migration and the Segregated Structure of International Politics
  • Committee: Alexander Wendt (Co-Chair), Christopher Gelpi (Co-Chair), William Minozzi, Inés Valdez
  • Summary: My dissertation presents the first ever method for inferring racial bias in the international system. Measuring racial bias is a difficult, yet important, problem because racism and racial inequality do not stop at the borders of states. However, despite widespread consensus that prejudice exists in international politics, no measure exists to provide systematic evidence of this phenomenon. In this project, I measure racial bias in international migration flows and provide evidence that these biases can perpetuate global racial inequalities. Specifically, I find that these biases can perpetuate economic underdevelopment in the developing world. Contrary to expectations, I dismiss the longstanding argument that emigration hampers economic development—via a “brain drain”—in poorer states, and instead can narrow the racial inequality gap.
  • Noteworthy: -Publication: Andrew S. Rosenberg, Austin J. Knuppe, and Bear F. Braumoeller, "Unifying the Study of Asymmetric Hypotheses" Political Analysis, Forthcoming. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/pan.2017.16   -Dissertation research supported by the Mershon Center for International Security.

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