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  1. Placement Record

Presenting the 2018-2019 Job Market Candidates

The University of Michigan's graduate program in Political Science is tremendously proud to present our 2018-2019 job market candidates. Please contact the candidates, their advisors, or Scott Page, Placement Director, for further information.  

Chinbo Chong: American Politics

Dissertation Title: 

Do country-of-origin and pan-ethnic appeals work? An investigation of the persuasiveness of identity appeals among Latinos and Asian Americans in the U.S.


Committee:

Ted Brader (co-chair); Vincent Hutchings (co-chair); Matt Barreto (UCLA); Jane Junn (USC); Stuart Soroka (University of Michigan – Communications Studies)


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.
 

David Cottrell: American Politics

Dissertation Title: 

Three Essays on the Political Consequences of Geographic Boundaries in U.S. Political Institutions

Committee:

 

Summary:

I use empirical and computational methods to explore political institutions in the United States, focusing on elections and representation. I am especially interested in how elections are affected by the location and manipulation of political boundaries. For example, I am involved in research that uses computer-automated districting algorithms to analyze the impact of gerrymandering on the partisan composition of Congress and on the lack of electoral competition in House elections. Furthermore, my dissertation uses agent-based models of segregation and GIS methods to explore various ways in which geographically-defined political boundaries affect representation and policy administration.

Charles Crabtree: World Politics

Dissertation Title:

The Politics of Discriminatory Policing

Committee:

Christian Davenport (co-chair), Matt Golder (co-chair, PSU), Beatriz Magaloni (Stanford), Robert Axelrod (Ford School), Kiyoteru Tsutsui (Sociology), Nicholas Valentino.

Summary:

My research interests primarily encompass various aspects of repression and discrimination in international, comparative, and American politics. In my dissertation, The Politics of Discriminatory Policing, I focus on repression and discrimination in the context of policing, both here in the United States and abroad in Sweden and Japan. At the core of this project is a novel theory about how public opinion shapes police discrimination. To test this theory, I use a variety of approaches including audit and survey experiments with political elites, machine learning, participant observation, and interviews with domestic security agents. My theory and results contribute to the new interdisciplinary literature on comparative policing that is emerging in political science, sociology, economics, and criminology. I will defend my dissertation in May 2019.

Outside of my dissertation, I have published 18 peer-reviewed articles in a wide variety of journals, including the British Journal of Political Science, Political Analysis, International Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Experimental Political Science. I have also published 5 editor-reviewed articles and essays, 9 pieces of public scholarship, and 1 book chapter. In addition, I have edited 3 symposia, and I have produced 3 software packages that are published on CRAN. I have an additional 20 papers at some point in the review process, including revise and resubmits at the American Journal of Political Science and British Journal of Political Science. My research, which has largely been published in the last two years, has been cited over 100 times. I have been fortunate to obtain over $400,000 in external grants and $40,000 in internal grants to support my research activities.

While I have enjoyed working on these projects, I am more excited about my current research agenda, which focuses primarily on the politics of policing. To give you a broad sense of it, let me briefly describe a few of my ongoing projects. In one, I examine the extent to which public protests about police killings influence the attitudes of law enforcement officers. To do this, I leverage event data and a novel corpus of about 2.5 million bulletin board posts made by police across the United States. In another project, I assess the degree to which law enforcement administrators in the United States exhibit racial preferences in recruitment practices. Crucially, my experimental design allows me to determine whether any biases are the result of statistical or taste-based discrimination. In a third project, I touch on gender and race discrimination by using a modified dictator game in a survey experiment to reexamine how the existing literature conceptualizes and measures group consciousness. In an ongoing book project, I leverage newly available subnational data to reexamine theories about when states violate physical integrity and empowerment rights. The single thread that ties these and my other projects together is a concern with the deleterious effects of (a) racial biases and (b) state violence. More information can be found on my website at charlescrabtree.com.

Jesse Crosson: American Politics

Dissertation Title:

Waiting to Win, Choosing to Lose: Essays on Partisan Agenda Control in United States Policymaking

Committee:

Chuck Shipan (chair), Rick Hall, George Tsebelis, Rocio Titiunik

Summary:

My research investigates the foundations of policy change, with particular interest in how institutional features and unelected elites influence the policymaking process. More specifically, I examine how parties, electoral competition, legislative resources, and interest groups determine when and why policy changes. 

My dissertation examines how partisan agenda-setting powers and competition over majority control influence policy change in American legislatures. The first paper, “Stalemate in the States,” examines how partisan agenda-setting, via control of the voting calendar, dramatically depresses policy change. I leverage actual differences in agenda-setting rules across U.S. state legislatures to provide not only strong evidence that partisan agenda-setting slows policy change, but also the first measurement of the magnitude of this effect.

In my second and third papers, “Mandate to Message” and “Elections and (In)action,” I examine how competition over these agenda-setting institutions influences a majority party's willingness to set the legislative agenda---beyond what polarization alone might predict. Developing a dynamic formal theory of policy change, I show that leaders' expectations over the upcoming election can lead them to strategically accelerate or decelerate the policymaking process. In “Mandate to Message,” I show that electoral conditions for policy deceleration encourage members to introduce ideological “messaging'” bills, while conditions for policymaking acceleration encourage the introduction of more viable, compromise bills. In ``Elections and (In)action,'' I focus directly on the theory's implications for agenda setting by examining the legislative reauthorization process. Reauthorizations allow me to determine when an agenda-setter next has an opportunity to alter the status quo---and whether or not the agenda-setter has in fact attempted to do so---allowing me to circumvent selection bias associated with typical legislation. 

In addition to my research on parties, competition, and policy change, I have an ongoing research agenda focused on interest groups and their influence over policymaking outcomes. Central to this agenda is coauthored research on the measurement of interest groups' professed policy preferences. In the initial paper from this project, we develop a new set of interest group ideal points, “IGscores,” for over 2,600 national-level groups, using a dataset of nearly 150,000 instances of groups’ public position-taking on bills before Congress. Our scores not only provide the first-ever broad-ranging measure of preferences of both donating and non-donating groups in Washington, but also uncover important features about the interest group community. Although the applications of our scores are numerous, one current application examines the conditions under which ideology may moderate groups' willingness to join either ideologically pure or “strange bedfellow” coalitions. 

A final, integral component of my scholarship examines how resources for legislating influence the productivity of a legislature and its members. Driven by a concern about recent divestments in such resources in Congress, a team of research assistants and I developed a comprehensive data set of personal staff in the U.S. House between 1994 and 2013, including staffers' salaries and their primary responsibilities. These data have enabled detailed investigations of members' investments in legislative staff, including a paper demonstrating how the experience of a member’s legislative staff improves her effectiveness as a legislator. In a second paper, my coauthors and I use the data to investigate why such investments have dropped over the past two decades, uncovering a broad divestment in legislative staff that is symmetric between Republicans and Democrats.

To learn more about this and other research, as well as my about my teaching experience and philosophy, please visit my web site: www.jessemcrosson.com

Jason Davis: World Politics, Methodology

Dissertation Title:

The Political Economy of Inefficient Trade Policy

Committee:

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

Summary:
 

Yilang Feng: Methodology

Dissertation Title:

Essays on Firm Government Interaction in China and America

Committee:

Mary Gallagher (co-chair), Iain Osgood (co-chair), Walter Mebane, Jordan Siegel (Michigan Ross), Greg Distelhorst (MIT Sloan)

Summary:
 

Diogo Ferrari: Comparative Politics, Methodology

Dissertation Title:

Modeling Context-Dependent Latent Effect Heterogeneity with Application in Comparative Analysis of Support for Redistribution

Committee:

Robert Franzese, Walter Mebane, Rocio Titiunik, Kevin Quinn, Nick Valentino, Long Nguyen (Statistics)

Summary:

In my current research, I am developing a method to estimate context-dependent latent effect heterogeneity. Group heterogeneity in the effect of some features is connected to a well-known phenomenon in statistics called Simpson’s paradox, or aggregation paradox: the effect found when data is analyzed in aggregation can be completely different from the effect that would have been found if we had analyzed groups separately, or if we had estimated the effects conditioning on groups. The crucial problem for quantitative analyses is that such heterogeneity can be latent. The effect heterogeneity is latent if we do not know the group membership or if such grouping features remain unmeasured or completely unimagined in advance by the researcher. This is a general problem in quantitative analysis in social sciences and other areas. In fact, researchers can never be sure a priori if important conditioning features were properly included in the analysis. It means the paradox can occur and yet remain unnoticed by the researcher. Simpson’s paradox doesn’t depend on the research design. It affects both observational and experimental studies. Because research design and randomization can't help to identify effect heterogeneity and the Simpson's paradox if it is latent, we need a model and to study a posteriori the existence of effect heterogeneity. In comparative analyses, there is an additional layer of complication. In the same way, the effect of some covariates on the dependent variable can change from country to country because of the country’s feature, the latent heterogeneity in those effects can also vary from context to context, e.g., from country to country, due to country-level features. I have developed a model to investigate both the existence of effect heterogeneity and how it depends on context socio-economic and institutional characteristics. I am applying the model to investigate the existence of latent groups of voters in comparative analysis of support for the welfare state. The results have shown that in some countries, like the USA, there is no significant group latent heterogeneity in support for welfare. That is, given observed covariates, in the USA the distribution of support for redistribution is unimodal and such single modality feature hasn't changed since the 80's. In other countries with multiparty-system, given the same observed covariates, there is latent group heterogeneity and support for welfare is multi-modal. This finding is consistent across different years and survey waves. In Germany, for instance, there are latent high educated groups with opposite attitudes toward welfare policies. I also investigate how country features, e.g., fragmentation of party system, is associated with existence and number of latent groups of voters whose behavior is explained by different behavioral models (economic models, race-ethnicity models, etc).

Dustin Gamza: Comparative Politics

Dissertation Title:

Guiding the Hand of God: The Influence of State Involvement in Religion on Religionational Identity

Committee:

Pauline Jones, Mark Tessler, Rob Mickey, Genevieve Zubrzycki (Sociology)

Summary:
 

Kirill Kalinin: Comparative Politics

Dissertation Title:

The Essays on Election Fraud in Authoritarian Regimes

Committee:

Walter Mebane (chair), Ken Kollman, Jenna Bednar, Allen Hicken, Michael Traugott

Summary:
 

Christina Kinane: American Politics

Dissertation Title:

Control without Confirmation: The Politics of Vacancies in Presidential Appointments

Committee:

Chuck Shipan, Skip Lupia, Rocio Titiunik, Rick Hall

Summary:
 

Kevin McAlister: American Politics

Dissertation Title:

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

Committee:

Walter Mebane (chair), Kevin Quinn (co-chair), Christopher Fariss, Jonathan Terhorst (statistics)

Summary:
 

Blake Miller: Methodology, Comparative Politics

Dissertation Title:

Committee:

Mary Gallagher (co-chair), Walter Mebane (co-chair), Nicholas Valentino, Pauline Jones

Summary:
 

Albana Shehaj: Comparative Politics, Methodology

Dissertation Title:

Killing Them with Kindness: The Influence of Parties' Distributive Strategies on Voters' Tolerance of Political Graft

Committee:

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

Summary:

My research and teaching interests encompass the areas of comparative political economy, democratization, clientelism and corruption, identity politics and electoral representation. I am particularly interested in the implications of party politics and distributive policies on voter-party alignments and patterns of economic development and democratic consolidation. To systematically examine broad trends in these dynamics I combine cross-national analysis with a focused geographical expertise in the developing democracies of Eastern and Southeast Europe and the Balkans region.

My dissertation, titled “Killing Them With Kindness: The Influence of Parties’ Distributive Strategies on Voters' Tolerance of Political Graft'' asks how party politics and resource allocation policies hamper electoral accountability and democratic consolidation in some developing democracies more than in others. I develop a novel theory of corruption compensation that emphasizes the influence of party politics and distributive policies on patterns of electoral accountability. I systematically test the theory by employing a combination of qualitative and empirical approaches that draw on interviews with voters and political elites, and original data on fiscal, policy and electoral indicators that I have collected during my fieldwork in the region. The findings show that strategies of corruption compensation by incumbent parties compromise electoral accountability and have a negative effect on institutional and democratic performance. My findings contribute to the ongoing, interdisciplinary discussion on the link between party politics, economic policies and voter behavior by filling a recognized empirical gap in our understanding of how politicians respond to electoral punishment.

In addition to my dissertation project, I am currently developing several projects that speak to my interests in electoral representation, migration and populism, comparative political economy and democratic performance. First, in a forthcoming, coauthored article in Party Politics, we study the effect that the socioeconomic and religious identities of immigrants' home countries have on patterns of electoral support for populist, right-wing parties in immigrant-hosting states. In a second project, I examine how financial assistance provided by the European Union to its newer member-states affect distributive policies, institutional performance and patterns of political graft in recipient countries. In another coauthored article, we examine the link between international migration, voter concerns about migration and the political economy of IMF lending. We examine why some countries receive larger loan sizes and less stringent conditions from IMF while others do not by analyzing a novel, comprehensive dataset that allows us to disaggregate IMF conditionality by targeted policy types - a novel practice in the literature. We find that IMF's generous loan size and conditionality terms are often used to restrict migrant-inflows into IMF's major shareholder countries. For additional information on my research and teaching interests, please visit my website at: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/albanashehaj.

Chris Skovron: American Politics, Methodology

Dissertation Title:

Perceptions of Public Opinion and Representation in the United States

Committee:

Skip Lupia, Vince Hutchings, Nick Valentino, Rocio Titiunik, Stuart Soroka

Summary:

I am currently a Data Science Scholar at Northwestern University. I received my PhD in political science from the University of Michigan in 2017. I study American politics with a focus on representation and public opinion. My main research agenda focuses on how politicians perceive public opinion among their constituents and on the roles of these perceptions in representation. In research published the the American Political Science Review, I find that American politicians consistently overestimate support for conservative policies among their constituents. These findings motivate the rest of my main research agenda, in which I query politicians directly to learn how they perceive their districts and explore partisan asymmetries in contemporary American politics.

In my dissertation, I analyzed what politicians and the public believe about public opinion on salient issues in contemporary American politics. I engage with politicians directly to learn what they believe about public opinion and electoral accountability and to study what factors shape their perceptions. I use original data from surveys of candidates for state legislature and chairs of county political parties. I find that, on average, politicians believe that conservative issue positions are more popular than they actually are, and that liberal issue positions are less popular than they actually are. This bias is consistent across many issues, and even liberals and Democrats usually overestimate support for conservative positions, while conservatives make the largest errors. I theorize that these misperceptions form an important underpinning of asymmetric polarization in the contemporary United States, and I connect the misperceptions to asymmetries in grassroots organizing in contemporary American politics.

I have a secondary interest in methods and applications for the use of voter file data to study turnout, and more broadly in methods for causal inference in big data sources. More information is available on my website at sites.northwestern.edu/cskovron.

James Strickland: American Politics

Dissertation Title:

Un-Principled Agents: Multi-Client Lobbyists in the United States, 1891 - 2016

Committee:

Rick Hall, Ken Kollman, Jenna Bednar, Michael Heaney, Rachel Best (sociology)

Summary:
 

Carly Wayne: World Politics

Dissertation Title:

Risk or Retribution: The Micro-foundations of State Responses to Terror

Committee:

Yuri Zhukov (chair), Jim Morrow, Ted Brader, Nick Valentino

Summary:

My research lies at the intersection of international relations, conflict, and behavioral approaches to politics. I specialize in the psychological causes and consequences of political violence for the mass public, elite decision-making in conflict contexts, and strategic adaptation in modern warfare. In my work, I bridge rational and behavioral approaches to examine the micro-foundations of political conflict, identifying the systematic ways in which psychological processes impact cycles of war and political violence. Though I explore broad cross-national trends, I also have a regional expertise in the Middle East and Israel-Palestine.

In my dissertation research, "Risk or Retribution: The Micro-foundations of State Responses to Terror," I examine how public perceptions of threat and desire for retribution shape and constrain policy-makers’ responses to terrorist violence. I show that the moral outrage of citizens to terrorism drives both militant group tactics and state counterterror policies. By constraining democratically elected leaders' policy options and encouraging them to strongly retaliate, public outrage can indirectly fuel an increasing reliance by militant groups on terrorism, as counterterror efforts limit their ability to execute more difficult guerrilla tactics.

My research is published or forthcoming at a number of journals, including Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Political Psychology, Public Opinion Quarterly, and European Psychologist. My book, The Polythink Syndrome (with Alex Mintz), was awarded the 2016 Alexander George Book Award by the International Society of Political Psychology for best book in the field of political psychology.
For more information on my work please visit www.carlywayne.com.

Ariel Yun Tang: World Politics

Dissertation Title:

Making Organized Civil Contention Work in China

Committee:

Mary Gallagher (chair), James Morrow, Jenna Bednar, Brian Min

Summary: