Hire a FSU Political Science Ph.D. Student
These FSU graduate students are currently seeking academic positions:
COMPARATIVE POLITICS & INTERNATIONAL POLITICS:
Jacob Ausderan's research interests are primarily within the field of international relations, with specific interests in international conflict, foreign policy decision-making, leader psychology, the leader-advisor relationship, civil war, and human rights.
Jacob's dissertation research is titled “International Conflict and the Strategic Selection of Foreign Policy Advisors.” He examines the selection of foreign policy advisors as part of a strategic decision-making process by the political leader. Among other things, his theory predicts that new leaders will be more likely than experienced leaders to select advisors with hawkish foreign policy preferences, in order to signal that the leader will respond aggressively to external challenges. This effect should weaken if the leader does not care as much about remaining in power and therefore does not care as much about avoiding events that can threaten the leader’s survival. Jacob tests these predictions using new data on the time in office, age, military service, and gender of the foreign and defense ministers in 195 countries between 1950 and 2000. His empirical results illustrate that large-N analyses of sub-leader individual actors (SLIAs) have the potential to vastly increase our understanding of foreign policy decision-making and conflict processes.
Dissertation Committee: Mark Souva (Chair), Sean Ehrlich, Megan Shannon,and Mark Horner (FSU Geography).
Eddie Hearn’s main research fields are international relations and comparative politics with a specific focus on political economy, international trade, psychological approaches to decision making, and Japanese politics. His collaborative work with Sean Ehrlich testing the effect of embedded liberalism on support for free trade is forthcoming in Foreign Policy Analysis.
Eddie’s dissertation examines the influence of consumer attitudes on support for trade liberalization. Although consumers are commonly predicted to perceive trade liberalization as a golden opportunity to increase welfare, research in consumer and marketing psychology suggests such an opinion of free trade is unlikely. When considering the country of origin of products, consumers are often biased, emotional, and normative decision makers. Because the effect of trade liberalization on consumers is largely dependent upon the perceived benefit of imports, it is important to have strong theory pertaining to consumer demand for imports. By integrating theories of consumer psychology with trade theory, this project provides an approach for understanding when consumers will demand, oppose, or remain indifferent towards the welfare gains produced by trade liberalization. A broader perspective on consumer preferences will allow researchers to form stronger theories about public trade attitudes and to better understand the influence of special interests and institutions on trade policy outcomes.
Dissertation Committee: Sean Ehrlich (Chair), Dale Smith, Jennifer Jerit, and Stefan C. Norrbin (FSU Economics).
Christine Mele’s research interests lie primarily in International Relations and Comparative Politics, specifically in terrorism, civil war, ethnic conflict, trade and conflict, and formal theory. Her work focuses on the strategic interplay between groups and states. This work has implications not only for the academic field of political science but also for the policy-making community.
Christine’s dissertation is titled “Provocation, Mobilization, and Terrorism: Why Terrorists Attack, Government Responses and the Competition for Public Support.” Current literature explains that a terrorist group has an incentive to launch a provocative attack against a stronger country in the hopes that the harsh counter-terrorist measures of that country will increase mobilization. This dissertation advances this literature by providing a stronger theoretical expectation of when a terrorist group will do this and by investigating the question of why a government would respond to this provocative attack when this response means the terrorist group will benefit. In her dissertation, Christine starts by looking at this puzzle from the side of the terrorist group. A formal model is presented investigating the strategic competition for popular support between the terrorist group and the target government. The results from this model show that terrorist groups are only likely to benefit from harsh counter-measures when they are capable of providing social provisions (“club goods”) to their potential supporters. Using originally collected club goods data from the Terrorist Organization Profiles by START, the model predictions are supported. Christine then analyzes the response to this provocative attack by the government. If harsh, indiscriminate responses generate a mobilization boost for the terrorist group, why does the target country respond as such? The government must convince its citizens that all attempts have been made to eliminate the threat, and this includes using harsh military strikes. As such, the target state will overprovide harsh counter-responses. Finally, the logic of these two sections is expanded by introducing an extended time horizon and the large-n empirical studies are supplemented by in-depth case studies of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Christine’s teaching interests fall within International Relations and Game Theory. She has taught Introduction to International Relations, International Political Economy, Terrorism and Politics, Political Science Methods, and she was a TA for the graduate Advanced Game Theory Course. She is also prepared to teach such classes as Introduction to Comparative Politics, International Organizations, and Game Theory at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
Dissertation Committee: David Siegel (Co-Chair), Will Moore (Co-Chair), Jens Grosser, Mark Souva, and David Cooper (FSU Economics).
Chungshik Moon’s research interests fall in the fields of International Relations and Comparative Politics. His main research concerns how domestic and international institutions affect governments’ policy choices and outcomes with particular interest in the causes and effects of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), domestic and international commitment institutions and their interactions, institutional performances in autocracy, and quantitative methodology.
Chungshik’s dissertation project examines the causes of FDI inflows in autocratic countries, attempting to answer the puzzle “Why do some autocratic countries attract more FDI inflows than others?” Given a credible commitment issue that FDI entails, institutions to protect property rights and not to expropriate are argued to be central mechanisms for attracting FDI inflows. This line of reasoning leads to the stylized conclusion that democracy has more advantages than autocracy in attracting FDI. However, we observe autocratic countries, such as China and Singapore, attracting huge amounts of FDI. This generates a puzzle. Chungshik focuses on the role of domestic and international commitment institutions and how they affect FDI inflows in autocratic countries. He argues that autocratic regimes can attract FDI inflows by developing domestic commitment institutions, particularly when they have long time horizons, and the credibility of the institutions is strengthened by political constraint institutions such as autocratic legislatures and parties. He also contends that autocratic countries benefit by joining international commitment institutions such as Bilateral Investment Treaties, and the effects of these international institutions on FDI inflows are modified by the strength of the domestic commitment institutions. Using a time series cross sectional design which covers autocratic countries from 1970 to 2008, Chungshik finds evidence supporting the arguments. His conclusion is that market friendly stable autocrats can attract considerable FDI inflows as democratic countries do.
Dissertation Committee: Dale L. Smith (Chair), Mark Souva, Sean Ehrlich, Christopher Reenock, and Manoj Atolia (FSU Department of Economics).
Dr. Sunhee Park is currently a Visiting Faculty member at Department of International Relations and European Studies (IRES) at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Her research interests include civil war, civil war resolution, the bridge between civil war research and comparative politics research (e.g., democratization after civil war and transformation of warring groups into political party), formal theory, and political methodology.
During civil war termination bargaining, warring groups, such as those in Sierra Leone, sometimes make unexpected offers. More strongly situated groups sometimes make a smaller bargaining offer to themselves, while more weakly situated groups make larger offers, than would be expected according to each group’s relative power? Employing a rational choice framework, Sunhee argues that expectations about third party enforcement of a signed agreement upon defection should lead bargaining participants to recalculate the costs of defection. This will lead groups to make sincere bargaining offers because they believe that the agreement, once signed, will be enforced. Based on this framework, she develops a bargaining model with a reneging option from which she draws empirical implications about civil war termination bargaining. To test these empirical implications statistically, she created a unique dataset, the Political Power-sharing Bargaining Dataset, 1989-1994, that adopts the bargaining participant as the unit of analysis and includes detailed information about participants' internal and external power, battlefield outcomes, third party peace enforcement, and the political power-sharing offers with respect to transitional government, parliament, and courts made during civil war termination bargaining attempts. In addition, she conducts an in-depth case study of Sierra Leone’s five political power-sharing bargaining attempts during its civil wars from 1991 to 2002.
Dissertation Committee: Will H. Moore (Chair), David A. Siegel, Mark Souva, and Richard Feiock (Public Administration)
Marius’s research interests rests primarily in the areas of Comparative Politics and International Relations with specific interests in legislative parties, political institutions, democratic survival, and quantitative methodology. His collaborative work with Christopher Reenock and Jeffrey Staton on “Legal Institutions and Democratic Survival” is forthcoming in the Journal of Politics.
Marius’s dissertation research is titled “Party Politics and Legislative Party Switching.” To date, the literature explains party switching almost exclusively in terms of the factors that lead a legislator to want to change party. However, this approach ignores the fact that we only observe party switching when a legislator wants to switch parties and when a party is willing to accept the legislator. In his dissertation, Marius presents a formal model of party switching that recognizes the strategic nature of this two-way interaction. His model demonstrates that many of the factors commonly thought to influence party switching actually have opposing effects on the potential defecting legislator and potential target party. This helps to explain many of the inconsistent and conflicting results in the existing literature. Using original data from Brazil and Romania, as well as a new “partial observability” maximum likelihood model that he developed to specifically analyze party switching, Marius finds strong support for his model’s predictions. His large-N quantitative analyses are supplemented with more qualitative evidence derived from personal interviews conducted with leading political figures during field research in Romania.
Dissertation Committee: Matt Golder (Co-Chair, Pennsylvania State University), Christopher Reenock (Co-Chair), Irinel Chiorescu (Physics), and David Siegel.
AMERICAN POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY:
Travis Braidwood’s research focuses on the fields of American politics and public policy, with particular interests in Congress, voter behavior, political psychology, experiments, constitutional law, and elections. Additionally, Braidwood has instructed courses on American politics, public policy, and constitutional law.
Braidwood’s dissertation is entitled “Pork Politics: How Earmarks Affect Voter Behavior and Federal Campaigns.” His work departs from, and builds upon, extant work in three ways. Firstly, it distances itself from theories that hypothesize a direct linkage between voter awareness of earmark projects and electoral support for an incumbent. Secondly, his work investigates assumptions that pork projects are viewed equally by all recipients, given recipients are made aware of the projects at all. Finally, he differentiates his work from the current literature by approaching the impact of earmarks, not as a means to directly appeal to the majority of voters, but as a quid pro quo to be invoked by Members looking to shore-up campaign support. Braidwood contends that voters do not reward incumbents for secured dollars; rather the impact of earmarks lies in the financial support provided by special interest groups who reward for itemized benefits. Relying upon original data, Braidwood demonstrates that the current literature on earmarks has overlooked indirect efforts by Members to secure electoral favor.
Dissertation Committee: Cherie Maestas (Chair), Robert Jackson, and Brad Gomez.
Scott Clifford is currently a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Duke University Initiative on Survey Methodology. His research focuses on public opinion and political psychology. Specifically, he is interested in the role of moral beliefs and attitudes in public opinion. He is also engaged in research on best practices in experimental design, including several co-authored projects with Jennifer Jerit and Jason Barabas. His article, “Reconsidering the Unequal Representation of Latinos and African-Americans,” appears in the Journal of Politics.
Scott’s dissertation is titled “Moralizing Politics: How Moral Beliefs Affect Political Evaluations.” His dissertation integrates the burgeoning field of moral psychology with research on candidate evaluations. Trait perceptions have a substantial effect on candidate approval and vote choice. Yet we know relatively little about the causes of citizens’ candidate trait perceptions or how candidates manipulate these perceptions. Drawing on moral foundations theory, Scott’s dissertation argues that character traits are best understood as exemplifications of specific moral foundations. His work demonstrates that individuals’ moral foundations shape the traits they use to evaluate politicians’ behavior. Building on this insight, he demonstrates that individuals draw different trait inferences from the same piece of information on a candidate. Scott’s dissertation also investigates the downstream effects of trait evaluations on perceptions of candidate ideology, and the ability of politicians to alter trait perceptions through rhetorical strategies. By integrating insights from moral psychology, his dissertation reveals that representation is as much about reflecting constituents’ moral values as their policy preferences.
Dissertation Committee: Jennifer Jerit (Chair), Jason Barabas, Brad Gomez, and Art Raney (FSU School of Communication).
Thomas Croom's research and teaching focus on the fields of American politics and Public Policy. His experience includes a co-authored article in Publius: The Journal of Federalism on opinion formation following Hurricane Katrina, paper presentations at conference on policy change following Hurricane Katrina, child adoption policy, and policy invention, and he has served the previous three years on the planning committee for the National Research Conference on Child and Family Programs and Policy. His research interests are currently focused on policy history, child adoption and foster care policy. He is generally interested in American institutions (particularly ballot initiatives), welfare policies, the policy process, policy invention, innovation and diffusion. Croom has taught extensively at FSU as a Teaching Assistant (including the first two courses of the graduate methods sequence), Instructor, and Adjunct Faculty, and also was appointed as a Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Associate serving as a mentor to graduate student TA's university-wide. Courses independently prepped and taught include: Public Policy Theory and Analysis, Direct Democracy, Introduction to Public Policy, and Introduction to American Government (including an undergraduate honors section).
His dissertation, “In the Best Interest of the Child: Invention and Reinvention in the Diffusion of ‘Modern’ Adoption Policy in the United States,” combines the theoretical foundations of the Advocacy Coalition Framework and diffusion framework in a historical-comparative mixed method approach to examine explanations for adoption policy invention and diffusion. The regulation of the adoption of children is a policy creation of the American states, yet very little political research exploring the invention of adoption policy exists. Social, economic, and political conditions present during policy invention are important to later policy diffusion, but contemporary studies of policy diffusion omit this information by ignoring policy invention. Using primary and secondary materials a history of adoption policy in America is presented, an advocacy coalition structure is identified, and a new data set is generated. Contrary to accepted explanations, Croom finds that adoption policy in the “best interest of the child”' is not a creation of nineteenth-century policymakers, but rather a vulgar statement of the time and later a useful political tool to policy makers. This points to political, social and economic explanations for child adoption policy diffusion rather than any altruistic notions of child saving.
Dissertation Committee: Charles Barrilleaux (Chair), Jason Barabas, Carol Weissert, Lenore McWey (FSU Family and Child Sciences).
Jonathan Rogers (Ph.D. expected 2013)
Jon Rogers’s research interests in American Politics and Public Policy focus primarily on institutional collective action, lobbying, economic voting, and interactions between the public and private sectors. With advanced training in experimental methods, as well as experience with survey research and formal modeling, his research tests existing theories of lobbying behavior, as well as adds new theory to the literature on public goods provision and economic voting. His interests extend to the classroom and he has already taught multiple sections of Political Science Research Methods and has developed an advanced undergraduate seminar in the use of experimental methods in political science. He also has interest in developing graduate or advanced undergraduate courses in the interaction of the branches of government and the electorate, as well as game theory for political scientists.
The strategic allocation of resources is a fundamental political problem facing both individual and organizational actors. While taxing enough on their own, these decisions are often made in a competitive environment. In a democratic society, any government employed actor is subject to removal or defeat by opposing interests. In order to examine the strategies of these actors and public perceptions of performance, Jon has run several sets of political economy experiments and has placed questions on nationally representative surveys of the American electorate.
Dissertation Committee: Jens Grosser (Co-Chair), John Scholz (Co-Chair), John Ryan, Eric Coleman, and Mark Isaac (Economics)
Carlisle’s primary interest lies in examining the ways that political parties shape the political world to which citizens respond. The policy-space is extremely complex and citizens know little about politics and policy, yet democracy requires citizens to choose among competing platforms. Participation and information are costly, yet functioning democracies require robust participation. Fortunately, political parties often have incentives to help citizens overcome these obstacles to effective political participation. For example, parties can increase participation by directly mobilizing individuals and making policy-relevant information more accessible to voters through party cues. However, parties’ incentives and citizens’ responses often depend on the electoral rules and structure of the political contest. Carlisle is particularly interested in the ways political institutions shape parties’ strategies and ultimately impact citizens’ political behavior. In a paper currently under "revise and resubmit" status at the American Journal of Political Science, Carlisle uses a formal model to argue, against the conventional understanding, that single-member districts actually increase parties’ incentives to mobilize. In ongoing research, Carlisle is examining the effects of perceived party coherence on citizen behavior and cognition, borrowing from literatures in psychology and formal models of electoral competition in political science.
Carlisle, who is completing an M.S. in mathematical statistics, has an active interest in solving substantively motivated problems in political methodology. He is particularly interested in developing strategies that assist political scientists in choosing appropriate empirical models for evaluating their theoretical claims and then clearly communicating the evidence from these models. For example, Carlisle has working papers on evaluating hypotheses of “no effect,” testing claims of interaction using logistic regression, comparing treatment effects, and evaluating the quality of inferences from partial observability models. In ongoing work, Carlisle is proposing a new method for arguing for heteroskedasticity in ordinal regression models.
Dissertation Committee: Bob Jackson (Co-Chair), Dave Seigel (Co-Chair), Jason Barabas, and Deb Sinha (FSU Deptartment of Statistics)