The Graduate Program
Carla is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate from Santiago, Chile. She has a BA in Political Science from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Currently, Carla holds a Fulbright scholarship to pursue graduate studies in United States. She focuses on International Relations and Comparative Politics. Her main research interests are the political economy of internal armed conflict and development studies.
Catalina Arreaza is a second year student from Bogotá, Colombia, interested in International Relations and Comparative Politics in Latin America. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, and a M.A. in International Affairs from New School University, New York. Before being awarded with a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her M.A degree, Catalina served as a Human Rights Consultant for the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has also worked on several research projects with distinct faculty members of Universidad de los Andes. Prior to starting her Ph.D at Brown, she worked as coordinator for Universidad de los Andes' Center for International Studies. Her most recent publications include two co- authored book chapters, focusing on the nexus between violent non-state actors and drug-trafficking in Colombia (with A.B. Tickner and D. García, 2011), and on the role played by international actors in peacebuilding initiatives in Colombia (with A.C. Mason, 2012).
Michal Ben Noah
Michal is a second year graduate student in political theory. She has a BA in PPE (Politics, Philosophy & Economics) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Michal's main research interests are anarchism and questions of state authority; feminist theory, in particular issues of prostitution and pornography; just war theory and pacifist theory; and the concepts of radicalism, heirarchy and impartiality.
Maria Angelica Bautista
Maria Angélica Bautista is a seventh year Ph.D. candidate from Bogota, Colombia. She has a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Economics from Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá. Her sub-fields are comparative politics and political economy. In her dissertation project she investigates the political, social and economic consequences of state-led repression for the case of the Chilean military dictatorship (1973-1990). To achieve this she collected a unique micro dataset in Chile in 2012 where she surveyed subjects who experienced repression and built a matching group of subjects with very similar socio-economic characteristics that did not experience repression. She also surveyed one of the children of the repressed and non-repressed subjects in order to look at the intergenerational effects of repression. She is also engaged in a parallel research project (joint with Juan Galán and James Robinson at Harvard University) where they use the experience of the Colombian paramilitary groups as a natural experiment of state formation. Some of the questions they are looking at are: why did states develop in one place and not another? Why do some states provide much more public goods than others? When are states able to establish a legitimate monopoly of violence? More details can be found at: https://sites.google.com/a/brown.edu/maria-angelica-bautista/maria-angelica-bautista-1
Elizabeth Bennett is a sixth year Ph.D. candidate in international relations and comparative politics, and a research associate at the Center for Fair and Alternative Trade at Colorado State University. Her dissertation examines multi-stakeholder engagement in international development INGOs, and is supported by the American Council on Germany, the German Academic Exchange, the Tinker Foundation, the Stephen Robert Foundation, and the Watson Institute for International Studies. Elizabeth is a co-author of The Civic Imagination (Paradigm Press, 2013), a collaborative, interdisciplinary ethnography of political engagement in America. She has also published several book chapters, and her work appears in The American Journal of Sociology, Globalizations, and The Journal for International Policy Studies. Elizabeth’s research interests include international development, social enterprise, North-South inequality, ethical certifications, and civic engagement. Before coming to Brown, Elizabeth earned a MALD in political economy and international development at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, interned at USAID in Washington DC, taught public high school in NYC, worked for a Mexican NGO, and taught at Tufts University. More information can be found on her website at www.ElizabethAnneBennett.com.
Puneet Bhasin is a third year Ph.D. candidate in International Relations. He holds an M.Sc. in Comparative Politics (politics and markets) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an M.S. in Computer Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a B.E. in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Mumbai. Prior to Brown, he was working for technology and business consulting firms in New York for nine years, and more recently, with organizations such as the Institute of Development Studies-Jaipur and the Center for Micro Finance in India. Puneet is interested in topics of international political economy, issues of inequality, and the politics of economic ideas. He seeks to explore why and how ideas of market liberalism undermine the collective imagination on redistribution to a greater extent in some polities than in others. He is particularly interested in analyzing state and non-state forms of social protection in the new market economies of Asia and Latin America, with an aim to expand the different “worlds of welfare capitalism.” His interest in the role of ideas also extends toward researching how dominant theories and “conventional wisdom” about the economy play out during moments of crisis and how this affects institutional change.
Yelena Biberman is a sixth year Ph.D. candidate from Albany, NY – originally from Babruysk, Belarus. She is specializing in Comparative Politics and International Relations. Yelena earned an M.A. in Regional Studies at Harvard University in 2006, and a B.A. magna cum laude with Honors in International Relations at Wellesley College. Her authored research has appeared in Political Science Quarterly and Problems of Post-Communism, for which she earned the 2011 Millar Prize. Her previous awards include the Fulbright Fellowship, National Science Foundation Award for the Integration of Research and Education, and a recent FLAS grant to study Urdu at the South Asia Summer Language Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Yelena’s dissertation, supported by the USIP Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar Fellowship, American Institute of Pakistan Studies Junior Fellowship, Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship, and the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy Research Grant (Special Recognition - John L. Stanley Award), compares Pakistan and India’s security repertoires, and explores the endogenous relationship between states and violent nonstate actors.
Aimee Bourassa is a first-year graduate student from Canada studying comparative politics. She holds a B.Sc. in International Studies from the University of Montreal and a M.A. in Political Science from McGill University, both with a concentration in development studies. Her research interests include comparative federalism and decentralization, social policy (in particular social housing), and state-society relations, with a regional emphasis on Latin America.
Kelly Branham is a second year graduate student from Orlando, Florida. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Providence College graduating with Summa Cum Laude honors. Her primary field is American Politics with more specific interests in policy. She hopes to focus her research on education policy and the role of education in democracy.
Daniel T. Carrigg is a second year graduate student in American Politics. He earned a B.A. in German and both B.A. and M.A. degrees in Political Science at the University of Rhode Island. Prior to attending Brown, Dan worked as a public servant in the State of Rhode Island, where he was Deputy Director at the Office of Attorney General, Chief of Program Development at the Office of Energy Resources, and Project Administrator at the NSF-funded Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. His interest is in public policy and consistency across multiple levels of the American system of federalism.
Jennifer Caitlin Cassidy is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has a B.A. in Political Science and Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. in Political Science from Brown University. Jenn’s research resides primarily in the field of women in American politics with relevant intersections to political theory. Her dissertation focuses on gender theories of representation with special focus on the position of women within the American bureaucracy (including both appointments and the Civil Service), policy and public opinion. Additionally, Jenn has broader interests in education policy, quantitative methodology, critical elections, political parties, and theories of deliberative democracy. Her most recent project, co-authored with Domingo Morel (Brown University), is titled “Do Weak Local Institutions Invite Federal Attention? Prospects for Education Reform” (2011, forthcoming).
Poulomi is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in comparative politics. Her research interests include political economy of development, identity politics, public service delivery and local governance with a regional focus on South Asia. Her dissertation project explores the determinants of sub-national variation in development in India. Towards this end, she is interested in how different political-economic regimes came to be constructed in post-independent India. Poulomi has a masters degree in international development from MIT and undergraduate degree in urban planning from the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi. Before coming to Brown, she worked on issues related to decentralization and local governance at the World Bank in Washington DC.
Lachen Chernyha is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate from Connecticut. She has a B.A. in Political Science and International and Global Studies and an M.A. in Political Science from Brandeis University. Her primary field is Comparative Politics, with a focus on ethnic conflict and identity politics. The majority of her research has centered on Spain, particularly the Basque Country and Catalonia. Lachen's secondary field is International Relations.
Nick Coburn-Palo is sixth year Ph.D. candidate, most recently hailing from California, where he served as a high school teacher and coach for almost a decade at the College Preparatory School (CPS) in Oakland. He also serves as the Program Coordinator and Lead Instructor for the Ivy Scholars Program, a project administered by the International Security Studies program at Yale University. Previous appointments have included full time Lecturer in the Department of Communication at Weber State University (UT), Assistant Dean at Hopkins High School (MN), and Teacher and Coach at the Pinewood School (CA). In addition to having won and coached multiple national champions in public speaking and debate, Mr. Coburn-Palo has been actively involved in speech communication consulting for many years; he has trained diplomats at the United Nations for UNITAR on multilateral negotiation strategies, as well as having taught trade officials abroad in immersion programs for the Interior Ministry of the South Korean government. His eclectic research interests include the politics of representation and identity politics, U.S. national security policy in northeast Asia, American political development and the relationship between sports, celebrity, and electoral politics.
Diego is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate from Santiago, Chile. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in political science from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Prior to initiation of his PhD studies, Diego worked as a regional consultant for UNDP in the project "Pluralizing and Extending a Network of Actors for Citizens' Democracy in Latin America." Currently, he is a Fulbright scholar and holds a fellowship from the Chilean government. His main field is comparative politics, focusing on Latin America. Particularly, he is interested in the determinants of programmatic and non-programmatic institutionalization of democracy in Latin America, as well as the different forms that party system institutionalization can take -programmatic, non-programmatic, and the several combinations in-between- and how this is affected by diverse political and economic variables.
Michael is a third year Ph.D. candidate from St. Louis, Missouri. He has a B.A. in economics and an M.A. in international affairs, both from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining the program, he spent three years in New Delhi where his research was supported by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, AECID, and the World Bank Institute. Michael has a strong interest in inequality, education, and policy, particularly in South Asia.
Patrick Endress is a third year Ph.D. candidate from Arlington, VA. He has a B.A. in Government and History from Cornell University and an M.A. from Brown University. Patrick’s research interests are in international energy politics, the politics of alternative energies, energy finance, as well as international security and conflict. Prior to coming to Brown, Patrick worked in the national security community on issues related to counterterrorism policy and planning, the role of law enforcement in irregular warfare operations, and national continuity programs.
Paul M. B. Gutierrez
Paul is a first year graduate student specializing in political theory. His research interests span political theory, the history of political and economic thought, and international and comparative political economy. Paul holds a B.A. magna cum laude from the College of William & Mary, where he majored in government and economics, and an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he focused on participatory and deliberative democracy. He has previously worked on social and labor policy in the Philippines and Nepal while with the International Labour Organization (ILO); undertaken field studies on local participatory governance structures in Cambodia while with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and helped create a research initiative on the history of American democracy at the Tobin Project.
Dana is a first year graduate student in Comparative Politics and Political Theory. Originally from Calgary, Canada, she holds a B.Soc.Sc. (summa cum laude) in International Development and an MA in Political Science, both from the University of Ottawa. Her research, supported in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, looks at free speech in the aftermath of conflict and seeks to integrate an understanding of psychological trauma with ethical and legal approaches to the regulation of freedom of expression in post-conflict zones. Her broader research interests include political violence, transitional justice, identity politics, and liberal theory. Prior to beginning graduate studies, she worked as an independent consultant for the Canadian International Development Agency’s Afghanistan and Pakistan Task Force.
Oddný is a second year graduate student in International Relations and Comparative Politics. She is primarily interested in international political economy, financial and economic policy, financial crises and economic ideas. Oddný is from Iceland and first came to Brown on a Fulbright scholarship to complete a Master's in Public Policy. She has a B.F.A. from the Icelandic Academy for the Arts and worked as a print and broadcast journalist and independent writer and filmmaker in Iceland before coming to the United States.
Ingrid Hjertaker is a first-year graduate student. She is from Norway, and is currently on a Fulbright scholarship. She has a BA and an MA in Political Science, both from the University of Oslo. Her focus area is International Relations and her main research interests are in the political economy of global finance and the politics of economic ideas, especially with respect to the regulation of systemic financial risk.
Matthew Hodgetts is a third year Ph.D. candidate from Kingston, Ontario. He holds a B.A. (Hons.) in philosophy and political studies from Queen’s University, and a M.A. in political science from McGill University. His research interests are in normative political theory and international relations, specifically in various topics related to global justice, and in how normative theories are deployed by political actors.
Jennie Ikuta is a sixth year Ph.D. candidate specializing in political theory. Originally from San Diego, California and raised in Yokohama, Japan, she comes to Brown by way of the University of Chicago, where she received her B.A. in political science. Broadly speaking, she is interested in the relationship between politics and ethics, or the relationship between our collective commitments and conceptions of what it means to be fully human. She is currently writing a dissertation that employs the political and philosophical thought of John Stuart Mill and Friedrich Nietzsche as interpretive lenses by which to investigate how our democratic commitments inform and complicate our conceptions of human flourishing. Other research interests include religion and politics, agency, virtue, Aristotle, Augustine, and Arendt.
Colin is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate from Aledo, Texas. He received his B.A. in International Studies from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. His primary field is Comparative Politics, and he focuses on social politics within the former USSR. His research interests include how the effects of demographic decline and urbanization influence social policies, such as education and immigration.
Rajeev is a second year graduate student in Political Theory from Bengaluru, India. His main research interests are in modern political thought, democratic theory, and constitutionalism. He is keen to evolve theoretical questions in the field of democratic and constitutional theory within the intellectual frames of developing countries. Rajeev has a BA. LL.B. from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, and a LL.M. from Boston College Law School. After spending 3 years as a trial and appellate lawyer with Dua Associates, he taught at O.P. Jindal Global University, Christ University, and National Law School of India University. As an Assistant Professor at the Jindal Global Law School he offered courses in Indian Constitutional Law and Comparative Constitutional Law. He has been a research fellow at Azim Premji University; Center for Disability Studies, NALSAR; and Boston College Law School, working on wide-ranging issues in legal reform for persons with disability, and law and governance. His academic essays and reviews have appeared in Indian Journal of Constitutional Law, George Washington International Law Review, NUJS Law Review, Emory International Law Review, Political Studies Review, Juris Scientia, and Education and Law Journal. His current work-in-progress studies the relationship between democracy and the market by tracing the legal discourse around the idea of the state as a trustee on behalf of its people.
Pellumb is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate from Prishtina, Kosovo. He has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and an M.Phil. in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge. Pellumb focuses on Comparative Politics and International Relations. His research interests include ethnic conflict, state-building and the political economy of post-conflict reconstruction.
Bill Kring is a first year graduate student in the Department of Political Science whose subfields are international relations and comparative politics. His research interests lie at the nexus of international political economy, comparative politics, and development. He received a B.A. in International Relations (2011) from Boston University with magna cum laude honors and an M.A. in International Affairs (2013). He was the recipient of the International Relations Department's award for Excellence in International Relations (2013). In examining Basel III, Bill's Master's thesis (Banking on Regulatory Failure: An Integrative Revision of International Financial Regime Change) provides a powerful account of how various parties to the negotiations deployed coercive, informational, and ideational power and proposes a synthesis of realist and constructivist theories of international regime change. Bill also has extensive work experience in Hong Kong and China writing economic forecasts and risk assessments for a logistics company expanding into emerging markets.
Daniel Kushner is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate whose research interests include better understanding of the nature and impact of the Indian political process. He completed a BA in History from Johns Hopkins University and grew up in Monsey, NY.
Ferris is a first year graduate student from Seattle, Washington. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington. Prior to joining the program, he worked in schools; teaching high school in Normandy, France and working as an administrative assistant in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Ferris's primary field is political theory. He hopes to focus his studies in American political thought, the role of education in democracy, and democratic theory more generally.
Minh Ly is a sixth year Ph.D. candidate. Before coming to Brown, Ly earned his A.B. in social studies from Harvard University, and worked at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. His research in political theory focuses on global justice, democratic theory, ethics and public policy, human rights, and the justice of international finance. He is currently writing a dissertation entitled "Global Deliberation: A Human Right to Deliberative Democracy” (Corey Brettschneider, chair; Mark Blyth; Sharon Krause; John Tomasi; and Dennis F. Thompson). It argues that a distinct form of deliberation, called "deliberative public justification," can make states and international organizations more democratically accountable for respecting human rights. Deliberative public justification gives the affected people the right to critically question and call into account institutional leaders who are responsible for policies that can violate human rights. A chapter from the dissertation has been presented as a panel paper at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting. As part of his work on global governance institutions and international political economy, Ly has published an article, "Special Drawing Rights, the Dollar, and the Institutionalist Approach to Reserve Currency Status" in the Review of International Political Economy, and a chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Global Economic Governance is forthcoming this November.
Matthew J. Lyddon
Matthew J. Lyddon is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate from Wales, United Kingdom. Matt has a B.A. with First Class Honors in Politics, Social Philosophy and Applied Ethics, and an M.A. with Distinction in Ethics and Social Philosophy, both from Cardiff University. Matt's primary field is political theory; his interests encompass contemporary forms of political liberalism, the political function of education, political ethics and the intersection of democratic theory and constitutional law. His current focus is on discussions about the influence of liberal political values and practices on citizens' wider beliefs and value systems, and the role of both within liberal political conceptions of democratic citizenship. Matt also has interests in American political thought, the role of the judiciary in democratic societies, British politics and the history and development of the British liberal tradition. Prior to joining the political science department at Brown, Matt took a break from academia during which he established a successful career in higher education marketing and student recruitment at Cardiff. He also co-authored 'The Long Journey' (Kestrel Books, 2005, with Anthony Cutler), an educational resource for students aged 16-18, exploring the development of democracy in Britain via the history of voting rights in the UK.
Nazar Mammedov is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate from Turkmenistan. Nazar has a B.Sc. from Middle East Technical University and a MA in Nationalism Studies from the Central European University. His fields are comparative politics and international relations. He is interested in the interethnic relations, minority rights, and nation-building in post-Soviet Central Asia.
Michael Marcusa is a second year graduate student specializing in Comparative Politics. He holds a B.A with Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors in Government and Middle Eastern Studies from Dartmouth College and was awarded the Rockefeller Prize for the best senior honors thesis in the field of Comparative Politics. Michael's research agenda seeks to study the complex inter-play between tangible state institutions and ideational variables like identity, ideology, and culture. He is undertaking these scholarly efforts with particular reference to political development issues in the Arab World. A proficient speaker and reader of Arabic, Michael has lived and travelled extensively in the Middle East and North Africa. Before coming to Brown, he spent seven months studying Arabic literary and social theoretic texts in Cairo, Egypt as a Dartmouth Paul L. and Neil T. McGorrian Fellow.
Jerome Marston is a first year graduate student studying comparative politics and international relations. His research focuses on democratization and human rights, as well as the state and rival non-state actors, such as drug cartels. Although these thematic foci are primarily applied to Latin America, particularly the Southern Cone, Jerome's interests span to other regions as well. After graduating from Colorado State University (magna cum laude) with a BA in political science and minors in Spanish and German, Jerome attended Boston College, where he received an MA in political science and a certificate in Human Rights and International Justice. In addition, Jerome has consulted for Physicians for Human Rights, an NYC-based NGO, in the Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones Program and the Development Department.
Rebecca Bell Martin
Rebecca Bell Martin is a first year graduate student who studies Comparative Politics with special interests in Latin American studies, political violence, transnational organized crime, and the cultural manifestations of power and violence. Her current research includes the sociocultural power of transnational criminal organizations in Mexico and TCOs' use of extra-lethal violence. Rebecca earned her M.A. in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School and earned her B.A. with honors from Whittier College, where she triple-majored in Political Science, Cultural Anthropology, and Spanish Language.
Kevin J. McGravey is a third year Ph.D. candidate in political theory. He holds a B.A. in Religion from Haverford College and an M.T.S. from Duke Divinity School. Kevin’s interests include democratic theory, public reason, the history of political thought, ethics and the relationship between ordinary language philosophy and politics.
Rachel Meade is a first year graduate student in Comparative and American politics. She has a B.A. in history and Latin American Studies from Bard College. Her research interests include populist & cultural political appeals in Latin America and the United States, neoliberal economic policies, and party narratives. While studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she researched the populist & nationalistic aspects of the Peronist Party in its neoliberal iteration under Carlos Menem, in comparison with the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party. Rachel has previously worked as a farmhand in Argentina and Chile, a Ropes Course Director, and as the Director of the Center for Culver History in Culver, Indiana.
Sean Monahan is a first year graduate student from Philadelphia, PA. Sean has a BA in International Relations from the College of Wooster and a MA in Political Science from Temple University. His research interests span comparative politics and international relations, particularly regime transitions, contentious politics and cross-national social movements.
Domingo Morel is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate from Providence, RI. His research interests are in the fields of American politics and political theory with a focus on race and ethnic, urban and education politics. His dissertation, “The (Dis)Empowering State: State Intervention and Its Effect on Black and Latino Political Empowerment” examines how state involvement helps or impedes the process of political empowerment among racial minorities. Domingo is co-founder and co-chair of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University and previously served as an adjunct faculty member in the Africana Studies Department at the University of Rhode Island. He received his B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Rhode Island College.
James Newburg is a third year graduate student in American politics. He received his B.A. in political science from San Francisco State University and his A.A. in liberal studies from De Anza College. His research agenda focuses on how social and geographic context influences intergroup attitudes in American politics, and, in turn, how such attitudes affect political behavior. This research combines interests in political psychology, social identity group politics, political geography, voting behavior, and public opinion. He researches similar issues in comparative politics as a secondary field of study. While completing his undergraduate studies, he was a data analyst for Team In Training, a fundraising campaign of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. James is from San Francisco, California.
Noga is a first year graduate student in Political Theory. Her interests include literary reading of political texts, aspects of language and politics, and questions of justice and inequality, specifically in Israel/Palestine. She received her B.A and M.A degrees (both with summa cum laude) from Ben-Gurion University in Israel. Her M.A thesis examined the Israeli military slang and practice of “holding a line” in the West Bank. Soldiers use this phrase to describe mundane missions of policing in the WB although these activities have nothing at all to do with the protection of military lines. The thesis was thus an attempt to make sense of the soldiers’ usages of this metaphor, the political imagination it expresses and the practical implications this imagination summons.
Aytug Sasmaz is a first year graduate student from Istanbul, Turkey. He has a BA degree in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University in Istanbul and an MSc degree in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics. Prior to joining Brown, for five years, he worked as an education policy analyst at the Education Reform Initiative, a leading policy think-tank in Turkey, and wrote several evaluation, research and policy reports in collaboration with international organizations such as World Bank and UNICEF. His interests include comparative politics, political economy, politics in the Middle East, decentralization, and social and education policy.
Kaitlin Sidorsky is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate from Rocky Point, NY. She received her B.A. in Politics and Law from Bryant University and a M.A. from Brown University. Her primary field is American politics with her dissertation focusing on women in appointed and elected positions at the state level. She is particularly interested in the political choices women face when considering whether or not to enter into politics. Her other research interests include the intersections of gender with other identities, and the opinions of women who identify with the Republican Party.
Jazmin Sierra is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has a B.A. in International Studies from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella and an M.A. in Political Science from Brown University. Jazmin's research agenda is centered on comparative and international political economy. Her interests include state-business relations, oil politics and rising powers. Jazmin’s dissertation explores the emergence of multinationals from developing countries and is funded by the Social Science Research Council. During 2012-2013 she will be conducting fieldwork in México, D. F, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Jason Swadley is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate studying 17th-18th century liberalism and the history of the idea of self-interest. He received bachelor's degrees from Drury University in rhetoric and American political science and a master's degree in political theory from the University of Chicago. He is adjunct faculty at Drury and teaches courses online on American politics, elections, and the ethics of war. http://jasonswadley.com
Chris Tallent is a seventh year Ph.D. candidate originally from Norman, OK, and more recently from Baltimore, MD. He has a B.A. in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University. He is interested in questions of social justice and distribution and how these issues relate to our conceptions of identity, democracy, and the individual. Moreover, he is generally interested in how both ideal and non-ideal considerations inform our approach to questions of social justice, and he is specifically interested in issues of macroeconomic policy-making options in the neoliberal context. Additionally, Chris is interested in how continental theory and analytic approaches may inform our understanding of social movements that relate to these questions.
Megan Turnbull is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in comparative politics. Her research interests include ethnic violence, non-state armed actors and political development in the global south. Megan’s dissertation explores variation in state responses to militias in developing democracies. During 2013-2014 she will be conducting fieldwork in Nigeria. Megan has a B.A. in political science from the University at Albany and received her M.A. in political theory from Leiden University. Her secondary field is political theory.
Tim Turnbull is a first year graduate student focusing on international relations and comparative politics. He earned his B.A., summa cum laude, with Highest Honors in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Tim's work spans both international and comparative political economy, with a specific focus on international finance and financial crises, the political implications of new financial innovations, the varieties of capitalism, and economic ideas. Tim is a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and enjoys bodysurfing in his free time.
Marcus Walton is a second year graduate student from Danbury, Connecticut studying comparative politics. Has has a B.A. in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to Brown, he spent two years living in Cairo, Egypt, the first of which was through the Fulbright Program. As part of his grant he taught at Al-Azhar University and subsequently stayed to work in the NGO field of international development in the Middle East. His interests include political economy, social welfare reform, and post-revolutionary politics in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Aaron Weinstein is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate from Nashua, NH. He received his B.A. from Cornell University, graduating with Magna cum laude honors in Government as well as the Esman prize for best senior honors thesis. After his senior year, he enrolled in the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) - where he did one year of masters work focusing on religion and ethics in public policy - before coming to Brown. His area of interest is the intersection of American politics and faith, especially: the American civil religion, atheism in the public sphere, and the repercussions of religious pluralism in a liberal democracy.
Liza Williams is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate from Maine. She holds an M.A. in Political Science from Columbia University and graduated from Dartmouth College where she earned her A.B. in History and Government. She's concentrating in the field of political theory. Her main research interests are legal philosophy, modern democratic theory and constitutionalism. Prior to Brown, Liza taught American history and world history to high school students for several years. She has also worked as a research assistant at an international NGO on topics relating to Asian regional affairs and the development of democratic institutions abroad. Liza enjoys running and cycling.
Cadence Willse is a first year graduate student in American Politics. She received her B.A. in History and Political Science from St. Mary ’s College of Maryland, and her M.A. in Urban Education Policy from Brown University. Prior to attending Brown, Cadence worked at Summer Search Boston, a leadership development program for low-income students in the Boston Public Schools. Cadence’s research interests are urban politics, community development, and education policy.
Meghan Wilson is a third year Ph.D. candidate from Detroit, Michigan. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College where she studied education policy and urban school reform. Meghan's research interests include race, education policy and political power. Meghan has worked for the City of Detroit, where she helped facilitate the transition in government from one administration to the next. She has also worked as a consultant for Detroit Public Schools. As a consultant, she started the Student Summer Work Program (SSWP) and acted as a liaison between The Bond and Detroit Public Schools. She is currently writing on racial dependency, minority rights, and citizenship with a broad focus on institutional barriers to political power. Meghan looks to bridge the gap between academia and real politics by helping people realize their constitutional political power.