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Hire a Ph.D.

  1. Placement Record

Hire a Ph.D.

The University of Michigan's graduate program in Political Science is tremendously proud to present our 2021-2022 job market candidates. Please contact the candidates, their advisors, or Nicholas Valentino, Placement Director, for further information.  

Samuel Baltz: Methods and Comparative

Dissertation Title: 

"A direct approach to understanding how electoral systems affect election results"


Committee:

Walter Mebane (chair); Allen Hicken, Iain Osgood, Scott Page


Summary:

 

Chris Campbell: 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 (defense date: July 20, 2021), argues for a political theory of rhetoric that takes rhetoric 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, which are defined through processes of political production (in ancient Greek political thought, the regime/politeia; in modern and contemporary social theory, hegemony). Thinking about rhetoric in terms of the political production of the audience leads us to focus on political struggle, movements, and solidarities, rather than ethical concepts of manipulation or trickery, when theorizing and crafting rhetorical appeals. 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 to avoid or ethically constrain.

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, Kalamazoo College, and Albion College, and you can findrecent syllabi from my work at all three institutions at my personal website (http://www.chriscampbell.online).

Kiela Crabtree: American Politics; Race and Ethnicity Politics; Conflict Studies

Dissertation Title: 

"Forged in the Fire: Racially-Targeted Violence and Implications for Political Behavior in the United States"


Committee:

Christian Davenport (chair); Vince Hutchings; Robert Mickey


Summary:

kielacrabtree.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:

My work explores the political economy of international trade and conflict, and is published in American Journal of Political Science and Review of International Organizations. For more information on my research and teaching, please visit my website at http://umich.edu/~jasonsd.

Sasha de Vogel: Comparative Politics, Methodology

Dissertation Title: 

"Protest Mobilization, Concessions and Policy Change in Autocracies"

Committee:

Pauline Jones (chair), Mary Gallagher, Anne Pitcher, Dan Slater

Summary:

Sasha specializes in authoritarian politics, collective action and the politics of the former Soviet Union, particularly Russia. Her research considers how authoritarian regimes respond to protest movements, the conditions in which protesters are promised concessions, and the effect that concessions have on protesters’ ability to sustain activism.

Whereas much of what is known about how authoritarian protest response is based on highly politicized opposition movements that are often repressed, Sasha’s work shifts the focus to protests that demand changes related to social and economic policies, as these protests constitute a significant share of collective action events, even in repressive regimes. She demonstrates that these movements are promised concessions on a regular basis. However, she also shows that those promises are often not fulfilled. In some cases, concessions to protest align with authoritarian governments’ longer-term interests, but in others, the promise of concessions are used to demobilize protesters. In these cases, if protest ends before concession is implemented, the autocrat may renege, or deliberately fail to implement a promised concession. The government can therefore exploit concessions to demobilize protest and ensure stability, without real reform. The prospect of reneging directly affects the behavior of protesters, depending on their level of political knowledge, and their individual cost of protesting. Variation in these factors among protesters can make mobilization impossible to sustain once concessions are promised. Sasha’s dissertation provides a comprehensive theorization of concessions as a strategy of demobilization. She tests related hypotheses using original quantitative and qualitative data on protest campaigns against the government of Moscow, Russia. This research advances our understanding of authoritarian resilience to protest, credible commitment problems, and the effectiveness of protest in achieving policy change in non-consultative regimes.

In 2021-2022, Sasha will be a post-doctoral fellow at the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia at New York University, where she is developing a book project. Her research has been supported by a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, a Carnegie Corporation-Harriman Institute Research Grants for Ph.D. Students in the Social Sciences, and a Weiser Emerging Democracies Fellowship, among other grants. Sasha can teach courses that focus on comparative politics, the politics of authoritarian regimes, protests and collective action, Russian politics and research design.

Anil Menon: Comparative Politics, Research Methods

Dissertation Title:

"The Political Legacy of Trauma"

Committee:

Mark Dincecco (co-chair), Nick Valentino (co-chair), John Ciorciari, Pauline Jones, Dan Slater

Summary: 

I am a PhD candidate and Rackham Predoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan. My research agenda engages with three broad areas: political behavior, political economy, and political psychology. My work is published or forthcoming at both academic and policy journals – American Political Science Review, The Economic Journal, PLOS ONE, International Journal of Public Health, and Current History – and has been featured in popular press outlets like the Washington Post: Monkey Cage and The Conversation. Please visit my website https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/armenon for additional details regarding my research.

Marzia Oceno: American Politics (major), Methodology (minor)

Dissertation Title:

"The Feminist Paradox: How Labels Keep Women Candidates from Equal Representation"

Committee:

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

Summary:
For more information on Marzia’s dissertation, research, and teaching interests, please visit: www.marziaoceno.com.

Tom O'Mealia: World/Comparative

Dissertation Title:

"The Politics of Security Provision in Weak States"

Committee:

Christian Davenport (chair), Mai Hassan, Chris Fariss, Anne Pitcher

Summary:
Please see my webpage for more information on my research: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/tomomealia/.

David Suell: Political Theory, African Studies

Dissertation Title:

“Temporalities of Struggle: African Political Thought and Contesting the Foundations of Colonial-Capitalist Domination”

Committee:

Lisa Disch (chair)

Eitan Paul: Comparative Politics and Public Policy

Dissertation Title:

"Inclusive Participation and Representation in Village Governance in Indonesia"

Committee:

Allen Hicken (chair), Nahomi Ichino (Emory), Noah Nathan, Yusuf Neggers (Public Policy), Dan Slater

Summary:
Eitan Paul is a joint PhD candidate in Public Policy and Political Science at the University of Michigan. He is also an International Policy Center research scholar at the Ford School of Public Policy, a non-resident research fellow at the Ateneo School of Government in the Philippines, a visiting research fellow at the Research Center for Politics and Government at Universitas Gadjah Mada in Indonesia, and affiliated with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Michigan. Eitan uses experimental methods to study the effects of social accountability initiatives on the quality of democratic representation and the distribution of public goods in Southeast Asia. His field experiments in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines are supported by the J-PAL Governance Initiative, the EGAP Metaketa Initiative, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Eitan’s dissertation examines how variation in community consultation procedures in Indonesia affects the degree to which village budgets align with the preferences of ordinary villagers and in particular, the preferences of women. For his dissertation, Eitan conducted survey experiments with over 1,600 villagers, community leaders, and village heads and matching and difference-in-differences analyses with original administrative data from 470 villages in 3 provinces in Indonesia. For more information, please visit https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/eitanp/.

Roya Talibova: IR, Methods, Comparative

Dissertation Title:

"Why Fight? Causes and Consequences of Joining a Tyrant's Army"

Committee:

Yuri Zhukov (Chair), Jim Morrow, Walter Mebane, Kevin Quinn, Chris Fariss

Summary:

Please check my webpage for detailed information on my research: https://royatalibova.com

Logan Woods: American Politics, Methods

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.