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Hire a Ph.D.

  1. Placement Record

Presenting the 2019-2020 Job Market Candidates

The University of Michigan's graduate program in Political Science is tremendously proud to present our 2019-2020 job market candidates. Please contact the candidates, their advisors, or Mark Dincecco, Placement Director, for further information.  

Chris Campbell: Political Theory

Dissertation Title: 

"Rhetoric, Plurality, and Political Production"


Committee:

Arlene Saxonhouse (chair); Elizabeth Wingrove; Lisa Disch; Eric Swanson (Philosophy)


Summary:

My dissertation, titled Rhetoric, Plurality, and Political Production (expected completion: Spring 2020), argues for a political theory of rhetoric that takes rhetoric seriously as a set of practices aimed at producing solidarities or publics. I argue that these practices necessarily rely on characteristics, identities, and interests of audience members, and that the relationship between speakers and audiences is therefore best understood as a relationship of interdependence and representation rather than of manipulation or domination. In developing this argument, I examine a series of sources across the history of Mediterranean, European, and American political thought: ancient Athenian philosophers and rhetoricians, early modern English interventions against scholastic and republican rhetorical practices, Marxist and post-Marxist social theorists, and American labor organizers and activists. The dissertation seeks to establish the claim that rhetoric can create contingent moments of solidarity in contemporary pluralist societies. I therefore conclude that in such societies, we would benefit from a greater emphasis on intentional and well-understood rhetorical appeals, rather than constructing rhetoric as a practice or genre to avoid. As a teacher, I focus on making political theory available to students as a space for political intervention. I believe that students should be able to see themselves as political and social agents that understand, rethink, and potentially change their circumstances. Sometimes this means connecting students to foundational texts that help them make sense of today’s politics or provide resources for understanding alternative perspectives. Other times, it means that students need analytical tools, or more experience writing, or other basic support in order to participate in a knowledge community. In any case, I recognize that my students come from a broad range of social and intellectual backgrounds and strive to welcome and empower them in the classroom. I’ve taught at the University of Michigan and at Albion College, and you can find recent syllabi from my work at both institutions at my personal website.

Chinbo Chong: American Politics

Dissertation Title: 

"The impact of pan-ethnic appeals of Asian American and Latino political behavior"


Committee:

Ted Brader (co-chair); Vincent Hutchings (co-chair); Matt Barreto (UCLA); Jane Junn (USC); Silvia Pedraza (University of Michigan – Sociology)


Summary:

Chinbo specializes in American political behavior and public opinion, with particular interests in the politics of race, ethnicity, and immigration. Her dissertation project explores whether and to what extent pan-ethnic identity appeals (e.g., Latino/Hispanic, Asian American) mobilize Latinos and Asian Americans to take political action when a significant portion of them prefer their national origin identities (e.g., Chinese American; Mexican American). In response to this phenomenon, Chinbo builds a theoretical argument that connects these varying identity appeals to key markers of the immigrant socialization process, including: length of residence in the U.S., immigrant generational status and language proficiency. By leveraging a series of randomized survey experiments, Chinbo finds responsiveness to national origin appeals among Latinos and Asian Americans to largely depend on nativity status. Among Asian Americans, however, she finds U.S. born individuals to respond adversely to the pan-ethnic appeal on vote choice. These differential factors across Latinos and Asian Americans of pan-ethnic and national origin appeals speak to the unique paths to politicization of these two groups.

In 2018-2019, she will be at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Immigration through the Vice Provost’s Diversity Pre-Doctoral Fellowship where she plans to build on her dissertation work.

In other on-going work, Chinbo is invested in intra- and inter-group political behavior. To highlight a few projects, Chinbo has investigated the tenuous partisan attachments in the Asian American community. Specifically, Chinbo and her collaborators find evidence for the abandonment of the Republican partisanship among Vietnamese Americans in Orange County, California. In her other collaborative work, Chinbo and her co-authors examine the racial disparities in mobilization by formal institutions like political parties and argue that contacts by community-based organizations might have important participatory outcomes for non-white voters. Using the 2008 Collaborative Multi-racial Post-Election Survey (CMPS) they find that while contact by political party or campaign has an overall positive effect on political participation for all voters, contact by one’s community-based group is substantively more important for Latino and Asian American voter mobilization.

Chinbo can teach courses focused on American politics; politics of race, ethnicity, and immigration; political behavior; public opinion; identity politics; and research design. For more information on her work please visit www.chinbochong.com.
 

Jason Davis: International Relations, Formal/Quantitative Methods

Dissertation Title: 

"The Political Economy of Inefficient Trade Policy"

Committee:

Robert J. Franzese (co-chair), James D. Morrow (co-chair), Alan Deardorff, Iain Osgood

Summary:

For information on my research and teaching interests, please visit my website at http://umich.edu/~jasonsd

Diogo Ferrari: Political Methodology, Comparative Politics

Dissertation Title:

"Essays on the Micro-Foundations of Welfare Attitudes and Polarization of Policy Preferences"

Committee:

Robert Franzese (co-chair), Walter Mebane (co-chair), Kevin Quinn and Long Nguyen (statistics)

Summary:

Diogo Ferrari is a political methodologist and comparativist. His research lies on the intersection of political methodology, machine learning, computational social sciences, and political economy. He combines political economy and political sociology to investigates how socioeconomic conditions and inequality affect people's perception of their socioeconomic environment and their political behavior. His work is published at leading journals, including Political Analysis and Publius.

For more information, please visit his website at http://diogoferrari.com/.

Alexander (Zander) Furnas: American Politics, Methodology

Dissertation Title:

"Outsourced Congress: How Congress Relies on Outside Organizational Policy Information"

Committee:

Committee: Rick Hall (co-chair), Chuck Shipan (co-chair), Brendan Nyhan, Skip Lupia, Michael Heaney

Summary:

Zander specializes in the role of information, expertise and ideology, in the policy-making process in the United States Congress. His dissertation examines the conditions under which Congress uses privately provisioned information produced by outside organizations in the policymaking process. More generally, Zander studies Congress, interest groups, and elite political behavior using survey, text analysis and network methods. He has ongoing research projects on congressional staff capacity, interest group ideal point estimation, lobbying firms, and text reuse detection.

For more information on Zanders’s research and teaching interests, please visit: www.alexanderfurnas.com.

Nadiya Kostyuk: World Politics, Public Policy, Methodology

Dissertation Title:

"Causes and Consequences of Cyber Institutions"

Committee:

James Morrow (co-chair), Yuri Zhukov (co-chair), John Ciorciari, Tamar Mitts, Susan Landau

Summary: 

For more information on Nadiya’s research and teaching interests, please visit: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~nadiya/index.html.

Jieun Lee: World Politics, American Politics, Public Policy

Dissertation Title:

"Foreign Direct Investment in Political Influence"

Committee:

Iain Osgood & Alan Deardorff (co-chairs); James Morrow, Richard Hall

Summary: 

I am a doctoral candidate in Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan, where I specialize in International Political Economy and American Politics. I am particularly interested in the political influence of multinational firms in a modern, democratic context. The centerpiece of that research is my dissertation, which investigates how foreign firms engage in US politics through their domestic subsidiaries. I collect original data identifying the political activities of foreign-owned firms in American politics. In doing so, I find that the subsidiaries of foreign firms participate at much greater rates than would be expected given the size of their US operations. I argue that this outsized political participation is driven by the foreign parents' desire to gain political influence in the US. My research provides new insights into an understudied avenue of foreign influence in US politics. This work has been generously supported by the Rackham Graduate School and the Ford School of Public Policy.

I also write about how domestic firms, especially domestic multinationals, mobilize politically to defend economic globalization. Examples include “Exports, Jobs, Growth! Congressional Hearings on US Trade Agreements," published in Economics & Politics, and a working paper, “The Politics of Reshoring.” I have also written a series of legal analyses on US trade remedy practices against China that have been published in the Journal of World Trade and the Journal of International Economic Law.

With respect to teaching, I have served as the primary instructor for discussion sections in an upper level course on International Economic Relations in the Political Science Department and taught introductory level Microeconomics and Macroeconomics courses in the Economics Department. I am passionate about teaching and prepared to teach a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including: International Economic Relations, World Politics, and Research Design. I am also interested in teaching seminars on Corporations and the Global Economy, Corporate Political Activity in the US, and US-China Trade Relationships.

For more information, please visit my website: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/jieun-lee/

Todd Lehmann: World Politics, Methods, Comparative Politics

Dissertation Title:

"Adaptability as Military Power in Modern Conflict"

Committee:

Jim Morrow (co-chair), Yuri Zhukov (co-chair), Robert Axelrod, John Ciorciari (Public Policy)

Summary: 

Todd Lehmann is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Michigan. He specializes in international relations, primarily in the areas of militarized conflict and international security. He is also interested in the study of complex systems, especially with regard to adaptive interaction, diffusion, and emergent behavior. Methodologically, much of his work uses statistical analysis, formal modeling, agent-based modeling, and social network analysis. His research has been published in International Organization, Social Networks, and other interdisciplinary journals. As part of his graduate studies, he has also earned a Graduate Certificate in Complex Systems from the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Complex Systems.

Todd's dissertation explores various ways that adaptability—the capacity to successfully change in response to new or unpredictable situations—affects military power, in order to better understand both wartime and peacetime outcomes. In the first part of his project, he develops a theoretical model to explain military doctrinal adaptability, which highlights important tradeoffs between diversity and lower-level initiative, on the one hand, and both speed and effectiveness of organizational-wide doctrinal change, on the other. He then evaluates his explanation in several historical case studies of counterinsurgency operations from the 20th and 21st centuries. The second part of his project considers how political leaders can attempt to force adaptability during wartime by removing or replacing commanding officers. Using new battle-level and individual-level data on military commanders, he explores the causes and consequences of military commander replacement during militarized conflicts, which has important implications both for understanding individual battle and overall war outcomes, as well as for broader issues of civil-military relations and military effectiveness during wartime. Finally, the third part of his project turns to the international security environment to explain the consequences of increased threat-response adaptability for the way states view alliances, security partnerships, and international crises. As part of this project, he develops a new index of state-level force projection capacity from 1970 to 2018. He uses this index to evaluate how states’ troop deployment trends have changed over time and explore the implications these changes have for alliance commitments and other force projection behavior.

For more information on his research and teaching interests, please visit his website: www.toddclehmann.com.

Kevin McAlister: Political Methodology, American Politics

Dissertation Title:

"Roll Call Scaling in the U.S. Congress: Addressing the Deficiencies"

Committee:

Walter Mebane (co-chair), Kevin Quinn (co-chair), Christopher Fariss, Yuki Shiraito

Summary: 

Kevin McAlister is a doctoral candidate in Political Science and Statistics at the University of Michigan. His research uses tools from Bayesian statistics, machine learning, and formal theory to explore the interaction between dimensionality, groups, and strategy in American political institutions. His dissertation examines common methods of roll call scaling and shows how these approaches provide misleading conclusions about legislative behavior in the U.S. Congress. He proposes novel corrections to the estimation procedures and underlying formal models that provide new insights into issue-level voting, polarization, and party control.

For more information on his research and teaching interests, please visit: http://kevinmcalister.org.

Steven Moore: American Politics, Methods

Dissertation Title:

"Road to Hell: Racialized Paternalism and Political Behavior"

Committee:

Vince Hutchings (chair); Robert Mickey, Mara Ostfeld, Josh Pasek (Communications), Brendan Nyhan (Dartmouth University)

Summary: 

Steven Moore is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan. He was born and raised Columbia, SC and received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of South Carolina in 2014. He is interested broadly in racial and ethnic politics, political behavior, media, and political psychology. More specifically, he's interested in the organization of racial attitudes in the mass public and how they shape and are shaped by various political phenomenon. He is completing a dissertation examining the relationship between race and paternalism in the mass public. Findings suggest that many Whites exhibit a racialized paternalism: though they do not harbor animosity toward out-groups, they still endorse discrimination against these groups. Experimental evidence confirms that those highest in this disposition are more likely to support a takeover of a black local school board than a white local school board. He is also keenly interested in how other racial attitudes such as dehumanization can impact voting and support for policy and the way that media depictions of African Americans can alter this relationship. He's also interested in the way race shapes political attitudes and participation among marginalized groups.

Marzia Oceno: American Politics, Methodology

Dissertation Title:

"Explaining Heterogeneity in Women’s Support for Female Candidates"

Committee:

Nick Valentino (chair), Nancy Burns, Elizabeth R. Cole (Psychology), Donald R. Kinder, and Arthur Lupia

Summary:
 

Albana Shehaj: Comparative Politics, Methodology

Dissertation Title:

"Essays on the Political Economy of Distributive Politics"

Committee:

Allen Hicken (Co-Chair), Brian Min (Co-Chair), Anna Grzymala-Busse (Stanford University), Scott Page

Summary:

Albana Shehaj is a Research Scholar at Harvard University's Center for European Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan. Prior to her doctoral education, she acquired an M.A. in Political Science and Methodology and a B.A in Political Science (with high distinction) from the University of Michigan. Dr. Shehaj's former background includes Computer Science & Engineering. Her research and teaching interests span the scope of comparative and international political economy. Within these dimensions, her research interests include democratization, distributive politics, corruption, International Organizations, migration policy, and formal and empirical methods. Her recent research examines the impact that fiscal policies of International Organizations - including the EU, IMF, and the World Bank - have on patterns of corruption, migration, democratic performance, and authoritarian relapsing in recipient states.

For more information on her research and teaching interests, please visit Dr. Shehaj's website at: www.albanashehaj.com.

Logan Woods: American Politics, Methodology

Dissertation Title:

"How do Voters Respond When They Can't Vote How They Want?"

Committee:

Walter Mebane, Jr. (chair), Nick Valentino, Jowei Chen, Stuart Soroka

Summary:

My three-paper dissertation focuses on how voters react when parties and elections fail at being tools for representation in two scenarios: uncontested elections, and problems voting on Election Day. The first two papers from my dissertation focus on a theory of negative congressional coattails stemming from uncontested races: I propose that candidates down-ballot from uncontested races will suffer electorally from those uncontested races.

The first paper of my dissertation uses survey data and an original survey experiment to assess how voters react when they do not have a co-partisan candidate for Congress for whom to vote. Using the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, I find evidence that Republican voters in districts uncontested by their party are less likely to vote down-ballot, and are less likely to vote for their own party when they do but the same Democratic voters do not seem to exhibit the same patterns. I show that individuals in uncontested congressional districts are less likely to report having been contacted by a political campaign in 2016, and report voting less often than individuals in contested congressional districts.

The second paper of my dissertation evaluates whether the patterns I found at the individual level are detectable in aggregate election results. I use precinct-level election data from 2016, available from the MIT Election Science and Data Lab, to test my hypotheses, and find that state legislative candidates running in contested races down-ballot from a congressional race in which their party did not field a candidate suffer electoral consequences--they can expect anywhere from 20 to 150 fewer votes per precinct, on average depending on the race. These decreased vote totals are enough, in the aggregate, to change the outcome of close state legislative races. In other words, by not contesting congressional races parties are hurting their chances at winning down ballot races as well.

The third paper of my dissertation evaluates how voters react to problems they might face when voting in person. Specifically, I measure how the reasons for poor experiences at the polls might affect how a person votes, and if they intend to vote in the future. If a voter believes that their sub-par experience voting is due to well-meaning election administrators failing to adequately prepare for Election Day, they might become discouraged about local government and therefore less likely to vote in the future. If a voter believes that their poor experience on Election Day is due to nefarious intentions on the part of election administrators, however, it might prompt voters to be more likely to vote in the future out of anger or a desire to preserve their ability to vote. This research is generously supported by the MIT Election Data and Science Lab and its funder, the Madison Initiative of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

For more information, please visit Logan's website: https://sites.google.com/view/logantwoods/home
 

Nicole Yadon: American Politics

Dissertation Title:

"The Politics of Skin Color"

Committee:

Vince Hutchings (co-chair), Ted Brader (co-chair), Don Kinder, Mara Ostfeld, Al Young (Sociology)

Summary:

For information on my research and teaching interests, please visit my website: www.nicoleyadon.com

Kirill Zhirkov: American Politics, Methodology, Comparative Politics

Dissertation Title:

"Immigration in Our Heads: Political Consequences of Stereotypes about Immigrants"

Committee:

Nicholas Valentino (co-chair), Ted Brader, Walter Mebane, Stuart Soroka

Summary:

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science and a dual MA student in the Department of Statistics at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. I specialize in political psychology, public opinion, and applied statistical methods with a particular focus on human cognition in politics. I study these topics both in the United States and comparatively.

In my dissertation, I develop a cognitive-psychological framework for the study of public attitudes toward immigration in the United States and Western Europe. I argue that individuals imagine abstract political categories, such as “immigrants,” by connecting them to more concrete social and demographic attributes. These images, not the underlying social reality, then powerfully define policy preferences. To test this theory, I design two novel measures of stereotypes based respectively on conjoint analysis and implicit association tests. Using original survey studies carried out in the United States and Britain, I demonstrate that stereotypes about immigrants’ ethnicity and religion are more consequential for immigration policy opinions than those related to their economic contributions. I am also the first to measure the specifically racial component of stereotypes about immigrants and show its association with anti-immigration attitudes. The major benefit of this theory and the measurement instruments designed to test it is their universal character: they can be easily applied to other policy domains and national contexts. My dissertation work has been generously supported by several competitive research grants and fellowships within the University of Michigan, including the prestigious Gerald R. Ford Fellowship, which I was awarded for two consecutive years.

Apart from my dissertation, I have a number of individual and collaborative research projects in the fields of political psychology, public opinion, political behavior, and political methodology both in the United States and comparatively. My papers have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal of Politics, Party Politics, Conflict Management and Peace Science, and Post-Soviet Affairs. Several other papers are currently under review. Examples of the topics I explore in my research include political polarization in the United States, electoral appeal of the right-wing populist parties in Western Europe, and the impact of personality on political attitudes and behaviors. The paper “The Images in Our Heads: Race, Partisanship, and Affective Polarization” I wrote with Nicholas Valentino won the 2018 Best Paper in Political Behavior award by the Midwest Political Science Association.

Before coming to the University of Michigan, I worked as junior fellow at the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research in St Petersburg, Russia. I also worked as a visiting scholar or carried out survey studies in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK. I am also interested in applied statistical methods and pursue a dual MA degree at the Department of Statistics in addition to a PhD in political science.

For more information, please visit my website: kirillzhirkov.me