PhD Job Candidates

Daniel Carrigg PhD
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: The Politics of Community Health Centers: Policy Feedback wit Elite and Geographic Effects
Abstract: Community health centers are a relatively small and understudied part of overall federal health spending in the United States. Nevertheless, they provide primary care for over 27 million Americans. This paper examines on the politics community health centers make through the lens of policy feedback theory. Specific focus is placed on geography and elite-level feedback effects, along with their interactions. Evidence suggests that over time, health centers have been resistant to multiple rollback attempts. Nevertheless, support for health centers has been inconsistent both in terms of partisanship and ideology, largely because as a policy they are capable of reacting to multiple political objectives. I conclude that the geographic distribution of funds could have significant effect on partisanship and ideology in elite-level policy feedback effects. 

Nicholas Geiser PhD
[email protected]
CV


Job Market Title: Genetic Inheritance in Life-Cycle Approaches to Democratic Justice 
Abstract: Widespread condemnation following the birth of the first genetically-edited child in November 2018 demonstrates a continued reliance on the distinction between somatic and germ-line interventions in human embryos. These concerns over germ-line interventions, as well as certain worries about genetic prediction and the collection use of genetic information, reflect a general view that the genome is a morally special mode of inheritance. However, there are persuasive ethical and scientific arguments that this general view relies on a form of "genetic exceptionalism." A deflationary view of the risks and benefits of germ-line interventions follows from these skeptical criticisms. This paper argues that a deflationary view also points to a greater role for theories of social justice and justice between generations in the assessment of germ-line interventions. It proposes a general account of justice in the distribution of developmental risks and resources as part of a "life cycle approach" to democratic justice and several conditions for the use and implementation of germ-line interventions. 

Rob GraceRob Grace

Rob Grace
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: Understanding Humanitarian Access Negotiation During Civil Wars: How Aid Workers Navigate the Politics of International Relief

Abstract: What explains how and why international humanitarian organizations (IHOs) sometimes succeed, and sometimes fall short, in their efforts to negotiate unimpeded access during armed conflicts to implement humanitarian relief programs during civil wars? I argue that states and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) are likely to facilitate humanitarian access for IHOs that hail from countries with which they are geopolitically aligned. Conversely, states and NSAGs are likely to restrict or block access for IHOs from countries that are not geopolitically aligned with the access gatekeeper. In this sense, geopolitics structures humanitarian access negotiation processes. However, I argue, the causal pathway flows through the negotiation process itself, as geopolitics shapes how access gatekeepers negotiate and how receptive they are to IHOs’ access negotiation efforts. I test my argument with a mixed-methods research design. I leverage data from an original dataset of humanitarian access negotiation outcomes during post-9/11 civil war contexts. I complement this analysis with four in-depth qualitative case studies—based on semi-structured interviews I conducted with humanitarian personnel, governments, and other actors—that examine humanitarian access negotiations in Ukraine, Syria, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.

Rehan Jamil
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: Being Seen by the State: Cash Transfers and Women's Political Participation in Pakistan
What are the effects of receiving cash transfers on marginalized citizens' political behavior in new democracies, where state-citizen linkages are weak? Can cash transfers targeted exclusively at women increase their political participation in settings where gender gaps in participation are high? This paper addresses these questions by analyzing the political effects of one of the largest unconditional cash transfer (UCT) programs targeted at women in the Global South: The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). The paper presents findings from an original household survey of 2254 respondents, which uses a regression discontinuity design to analyze the political behavior of program recipients and non-recipients close to the eligibility cutoff. The paper find’s evidence that receipt of the BISP UCT increased recipients voting but did not result in long-term electoral returns for the benefit-giving party. Moving beyond voting measures, the program reduced recipients' reliance on political brokers and governance intermediaries, such as landlords (zamindars) and traditional village governance (panchayats). However, this reduced dependence on traditional intermediaries has not resulted in female welfare recipients' increased engagement with the local state or political parties, pointing to other structural barriers that constrain women's political participation.


William Kring PhD
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: Contesting the IMF?: Regional Battles for Global Liquidity
Abstract: Regional financial arrangements (RFAs) have existed for decades. Yet the proliferation of RFAs in the wake of the 2007-8 financial crisis and their increasing share of the global financial safety net raises important questions about the RFAs themselves, as well as their influence on the traditional role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). My dissertation develops an integrative theoretical approach to answer the project's central research question: to what extent do RFAs challenge the role of the IMF as an international lender of last resort? I develop an analytical framework that juxtaposes the institutional design of the RFAs with the public framing of the institutions to identify the variation across this class of institutions. Then, my dissertation identifies the conditions under which RFAs challenge the IMF, as well as the conditions under which the RFAs could cause the pocketed displacement of the IMF. This framework is then deployed to conduct three, in-depth case studies of the Latin American Reserve Fund (FLAR), the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and to test the extent to which the RFAs have displaced the role of the IMF. 

Ferris Lupino PhD
[email protected]
CV


Job Market Title: American Stasis: Conflict, Order, & Leadership in Black Political Thought 
Abstract: This project looks to the canon of black political thought to find ways to rethink democratic politics and conflict. I find in post-civil rights thinkers' turns to classics a way to think about racial politics in the US. 'Stasis' is an ancient Greek concept meaning faction. It connotes both rest and unrest. This gives thinkers a way to describe conflict as both constraining and potentially enabling at the same time. I look at how canonical black thinkers from the long civil rights movement respond to stasis and note that they draw, in turn, on classical figures and themes to do so. Du Bois turns to charisma, Ellison to a tricksterism located in the figure of Odysseus, and Baldwin to Greek ideas of love. The aim of the project is to find in what seems like a conservative move—the turn to the classics—what might be a kernel of radicalism, and to assess the ability of the authors to secure it in this way. 

Cory Manento
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: Party Crashers: Interest Groups as a Latent Threat to Party Networks in Congressional Primaries 
Abstract:Recent research asserts that coalitions of party leaders, interest groups, and activists will cooperate to support the nomination of mutually acceptable candidates in primary elections. In this article, I utilize an original dataset containing FEC contributions and expenditures data for 1,648 candidates who ran in open seat primary elections for the U.S. House from 2006 to 2016 to measure the extent and effects of coordination among interest groups and party organizations. I find that Democratic-aligned interest groups and party leaders coordinate more often and with a more positive substantive effect than their Republican counterparts. Moreover, I provide evidence that, with the advent of super PACs in the second half of the 2010 primary cycle, a small number of interest groups can act as a latent threat to broader coalitions that unite behind a candidate by using independent expenditures to outspend the broader coalitions. This increased resource parity has tangible representational consequences. 

Rachel Meade PhD
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: Mobilization through Antagonism: Populist Identity Formation in Trump's American and Kirchner's Argentina
Abstract: Why are people in countries across the world lining up to support populist political movements and leaders? What does the outburst of populism mean for democratic societies? Scholars typically try to answer these questions by studying the traits of populist supporters or the speech of populist leaders. I argue that these methods leave out a crucial aspect of populist support—the collective process by which people come to identify as a populist "people". This paper draws on eight months of observation with populist and other political groups and over 150 interviews in the U.S. and Argentina, conducted between 2016 and 2018. In order to shed light on the role of the collective community in populist support, I analyze conversations in two populist groups—a Tea Party-aligned, Trump-supporting group in Michigan and an informal women's social group supporting left-wing populist Christina Kirchner in Buenos Aires. I found that members came to identify as members of an oppressed populist "people" through reference to known representatives of abstract populist enemies, such as local members of the political opposition. Additionally, their sharing of experiences of facing political discrimination as members of a populist group and their venting about political outsiders further served to cement their populist identities. Overall, I argue that populist narratives are effective because they provoke outrage against elites and other groups, in turn spurring on both increased participation and increased enmity between citizens. In this way, populism reveals the contradictory impulses inherent in democracy itself. 


Sean Monahan
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: The Radical "Right to Work"
Abstract: While all rights have contested meanings, few have been the subject of disagreement quite as extreme as the right to work has, historically. Yet much recent literature overlooks this complexity, simply taking the right to work to mean a job guarantee. To better understand the idea’s tensions and potential, I turn toward the historical uses of the term among socialists and radical workers across the Atlantic world in the early nineteenth century. Contrary to today's usage, none of these groups took the right to work to mean the provision of wage labor. In fact, the phrase essentially expressed visions of the abolition of wage labor and the creation of new forms of working and living seen as far more conducive to freedom and happiness. Recovering these alternative meanings offers us the chance to deepen and reanimate contemporary thinking about work.


Erik Peinert PhD
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: Monopoly Politics: Price Competition and Learning in the Evolution of Policy Regimes 
Abstract: Many advanced industrial states have experienced a series of long-term policy alternations between favoring price competition and promoting the market power of dominant firms. Based on extensive, original archival evidence in the United States and France, I challenge existing conventional wisdom regarding "national models" of political economy and the origins of economic policy change. I draw on insights from microeconomics, psychology, sociology, and bureaucratic politics to argue that policymakers are drawn to simple mental models of competition or market power that forestall policy reconsideration and predispose leaders to see policies in simple terms of whether they promote competition or not. The endurance of, and eventual changes to, these policy regimes occur primarily because of accumulating diminishing returns to competition or market power, which are initially ignored by policymakers committed to the policy regime. As questions about the dominance of American technology giants rise in public salience, this research provides important theoretical and historical foundations to these ongoing political debates. 
Michelle Rose PhD
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: The Art of Democratic Living: Recovering Alain Locke's Politics of Aesthetics 
Abstract: The famous debate between Alain LeRoy Locke and W.E.B. Du Bois over the proper function of art in society—art or propaganda—is typically read by students of politics as a victory for Du Bois. Against the trends in contemporary literature that adopt Du Bois's penchant for propaganda and assume a strictly instrumental relationship between aesthetics and politics, my dissertation argues for a reassessment of Locke's take on aesthetics as a "tap root" for flourishing democratic living. Locke, I contend, is not merely defending "art for art's sake" as a creative freedom owed to artists, he is arguing for a more robust conception of democratic citizenship and collective democratic life which is predicated on the intelligent deployment of aesthetic sensibilities. The dissertation employs methods of historical contextualization, uses both published and unpublished materials from archives, and engages with contemporary interpretations. For Locke, romantic democratic theory in the vain of Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass combines with the realism and pragmatism of Williams James, Walter Lippmann, and John Dewey, as well as the avant-garde spirit of Walter Pater and Emile Verhaeren to produce an original account of individual and collective agency, and the peculiar problems of value in democracy. Locke's thought speaks to early-twentieth century grappling with "the problem of social value," to use Christopher Lebron's phrase, or the "value gap," in Eddie Glaude's terminology, that remains in need of attention, response, and discussion today. Recovery of Alain Locke's politics of aesthetics enriches our understanding of democracy's pitfalls and promises and opens new possibilities for thinking about the relationship of affect, aesthetics, and politics in our contemporary moment. 

Marie Schenk
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: America Online: Everyday Talk and Conflict Orientation in Online Communities
Abstract:  High uptake of social media has facilitated the creation of virtual communities that are simultaneously geographically diffuse and topically highly specific, giving citizens new opportunities to talk together. Scholars and citizens alike have decried the tendency of social media sites to funnel users into homogenous spaces devoid of the kinds of substantive disagreements that make citizens more knowledgeable and tolerant (Mutz 2002). At the same time, some online spaces are marked by rampant and fierce disagreement. Often, however, these conflict-prone spaces fail to provide any of the resolution that is fundamental to the process of deliberative democracy. In what online spaces are people exposed to political talk and political disagreement? What role does one’s orientation toward conflict play in determining what online spaces one uses? In this paper, I explore the extent to which different kinds of nonpolitical online spaces become spaces of informal political discussions, or “everyday talk” (Mansbridge 1993). Using evidence from a nationally representative survey conducted on the YouGov platform, I revisit findings of Wojcieszak and Mutz (2009) to explore how people engage with online communities and how often they encounter political discussions in those groups. I find that most people are in nonpolitical groups, though a sizable number of people (about 30%) report spending most of their time in a political group.  I build on these findings by using a measure of conflict orientation that includes a positive and a negative dimension (Testa, Hibbing, and Ritchie 2014) to understand who is spending time in online groups and what kinds of political talk they are exposed to there. I find that those who opt in to political talk in online groups exercise the most discretion in choosing what level of conflict they encounter. Those in nonpolitical groups, by contrast, see more political disagreements as they see more political discussions, regardless of their preexisting orientation towards conflict. Even though people who dislike conflict can avoid it, they are not exposed to significantly less political talk and political disagreement than people who thrive on conflict. This means that nonpolitical online communities are potentially valuable spaces of political talk and civic learning for their members.

 


Jan Stockbruegger PhD
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: The Logic of Restraint Why Hegemons Build Rules-Based Orders at Sea 
Abstract: Do hegemons build rules-based orders to constrain their power? I argue that rules-based orders are not a liberal fantasy. Yet hegemons do not construct such orders because they are strong, but because they aren’t strong enough to dominate other actors completely. Weak hegemons have incentives to constrain their power and to build institutions that regulate international behavior. This logic explains order at sea. I argue that ‘free’ maritime orders do not emerge when a hegemon protects freedom of navigation, but when it builds institutions – such as laws of naval warfare regimes - that restrict its ability to dominate the oceans. I provide quantitative evidence for my theory from a new dataset of maritime orders that includes all maritime orders over the last 500 years. I also shed light on the causal logic of my theory through an investigation of the maritime order-building strategies of Habsburg Spain,Britain in the 19th century, and the U.S. during the Cold War. My paper shows that military-economic structures force hegemons to exercise restraint and to build cooperative international environments. Rules-based orders are rare and short-lived, but they contribute to peace and security at sea. 

Timothy Turnbull PhD
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: Legislating Coercion:  When Congress Imposes Sanctions
Abstract: In the United States, economic sanctions are typically imposed by the executive branch; however, the US Congress does occasionally impose sanctions of its own. These legislated sanctions exhibit some important differences from those imposed by the executive branch: they are far more rigid than sanctions imposed by the executive branch; they often limit the bargaining ability of the President; and they can be exceedingly difficult to terminate, as they are codified into law and thus their resolution is dependent on domestic partisan politics. However, to date, there is no clear explanation for why Congress chooses to impose its own sanctions only in certain cases. To address this, I utilize an original dataset of all attempts by Congress at imposing sanctions from 1973-2018 to examine which features of the international environment, the sanctions threatened in a given sanctions bill, and domestic partisan politics influence decisions by Congress to impose legislated sanctions and their ultimate success or failure.

Sanne Verschuren
[email protected]
CV


Job Market Title: Imagining the Unimaginable: War, Weapons and Procurement Politics
Abstract: Why and how do states decide to develop different weapon capabilities within a similar military domain? Contrary to the existing literature, I argue that ideas, particularly those about the future, play a critical role in shaping states' decisions about military technology. Based on original archival evidence from eleven archives and seventy in-depth interviews with key defense stakeholders, I contend that domestic actors' ideas about future warfare—what I call the "images of warfare," consisting of actors' perceptions of the threat environment and their theory of victory—shape actors' preferences for particular military capabilities. Not all of these ideas, however, are equally influential. I therefore trace how those within the military, the legislative and executive branches, the industry, and the community of defense analysts bargain over their technological preferences. In order to transform their ideas into actual capabilities, I argue that actors need to build a cross-cutting coalition within the broader defense community around their "imagined security interests," while exploiting access points to the state. To test this theory, I use comparative case studies, in which I analyze the development of military capabilities around three major technologies in four different countries: air power (1920s-1930s), aircraft carriers (1950s-1960s), and missile defense (1990-today) in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and India. 

Gauri Wagle
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: Counterimagination and the Imperfect Politics of Freedom
Abstract: This paper develops the concept of counterimagination as a resource for the pursuit of freedom among marginalized groups. I draw on Arendt's notion of freedom but ultimately depart from Arendt to espouse an understanding of freedom that is more awake to the ways that marginalized groups experience their political worlds. Using the Civil Rights movement as an historical anchor, the paper argues that instances and spaces of counterimagination are important both because in themselves they make possible an experience of freedom, even if an incomplete one, and also because they are vehicles for social change and political transformation. 

Aaron Weinstein PhD
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: A Theology of Consensus: Occupy Wall Street's Civil Religion of hte Nones
Abstract: Over the last thirty years religious and political polarization has not only created the Religious Right, but a Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Left. These changes have had a profound and under-appreciated influence upon civil religious life in the United States. My job talk builds upon my dissertation on civil religion and publication in American Political Thought. It lays out the case for distinguishing between two forms of civil religion: the traditional, pro-status quo (drawing on Puritan thought) and critical, anti-establishment variant (which draws upon the Quaker tradition). After detailing historical and theoretical reasons behind such a distinction, I posit that the contemporary expression of the anti-establishment civil religion exists in the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. Far from purely secular, OWS epitomizes the Quaker civil religion: its ideals of radical democracy and individuality, as well as practices like the Quaker's own consensus-based decision making through the People's Mic. Ultimately, I argue that as American religiosity changes, so too does its expression through the nation's civil religion. 

Liza Williams PhD
[email protected]
CV

Job Market Title: Ethico-Political Practices of Immigrant Inclusion
Abstract: This project theorizes how democratic values and ethico-political practices can include immigrants into forms of membership and aid formal incorporation. My view moves beyond the universal logic of human rights to explain why democracy implies inclusion rather than exclusion of noncitizens. I draw on the concept of hospitality in the history of political thought to (re)vision what responsibilities are owed to immigrants seeking entry and fair terms of integration. I argue that resistance is part of hospitality, identifying how democratic public space, discretionary leadership and individual practices of welcoming can be vital to transforming moral ideals of membership.