Hire a UNC Ph.D.
Our graduate students have extraordinary records of accomplishment and promise. Training at UNC is comparable to that at the nation’s top PhD programs and we are proud to bring your attention to these students entering the academic job market in Fall 2012.
For more information about any of our students, please see their individual web sites as listed below or contact Professor Frank Baumgartner (www.unc.edu/~fbaum; firstname.lastname@example.org), Interim Placement Director or Ms. Chris Reynolds, Graduate Studies Coordinator.
Mary Layton (“Mel”) Atkinson. American / Methodology. Thesis: The Influence of Partisan Conflict on Policy Attitudes (Baumgartner, Stimson, MacKuen). The central question is: “To what degree are policy attitudes shaped by aversion to the partisan conflict inherent in the process of lawmaking versus the substance of the proposed legislation?” I find that the public responds more negatively to policies associated with partisan conflict, even when controlling for factors related to the substance of the bill and to individual’s underlying policy attitudes. Status: PhD expected December 2012. Publications: Papers currently under review at Political Behavior, AJPS, and Political Communication. Published book chapter, 2009. Teaching Interests: American government, agenda-setting, political communication, political behavior, the policymaking process, civil rights and liberties, social policy, research design, OLS, using text as data. Email: email@example.com; Web: http://www.unc.edu/~mlatkins/.
Kevin Banda. American / Methodology. Thesis: Candidate Strategy and Assessment During Election Campaigns (Carsey, MacKuen, Stimson). I examine the formation and consequences of candidates’ issue agendas, and show that these influence the criteria citizens use when deciding who they will vote for on election day. In my first empirical chapter, I use a dynamic test to demonstrate that candidates respond to each other’s issue agendas by increasing their own attention to the sets of issues emphasized by their opponents. I show in my second chapter that citizens alter their attitudes about candidates in response to both the issues they talk about and the positions they may take. Last, I find in my third chapter that citizens form attitudes about both the target and the sponsor of negative messages in response to the information contained in the messages. Status: ABD (dissertation defense scheduled for January 2013, Ph.D. to be awarded in May 2013). Publications: Invitations to revise and resubmit to State Politics & Policy Quarterly, Political Communication, and Politics, Groups, and Identities. Teaching Interests: Intro to American, State and Local Politics, Campaigns and Elections, Public Opinion, Political Behavior, Political Communication, Political Parties, Undergrad Methods, Linear Models, GLM, Probability, Time Series, Experimental Design. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: http://kbanda.web.unc.edu.
K. Elizabeth Coggins. American / Methodology. Thesis: The Liberal Identity (Stimson, Baumgartner, Conover, McGuire, Aldrich). The thesis explains the modern-day dearth of liberal identifiers in the U.S. First, I propose a theory of ideological identification formation at the individual level. I rely on intrinsic psychological characteristics and environmental factors (e.g., historical events and media coverage) to build an understanding of how these identities are realized. Then, with new survey items from the CCES, I demonstrate the importance of the non-political symbols and groups that individuals tie to the terms “liberal and “conservative.” I then explore the particular period in history (the mid-1960s) when the largest shift in ideological identification occurred and explain how and why large-scale shifts are influenced by environmental forces. Finally, using content analysis of a handful of political issues that together span the past 50 years, I demonstrate that the legacy of liberal’s unpopularity lives on in both media coverage and elite rhetoric. Together, these findings help build a systematic understanding of liberal identification in the U.S. This thesis relates to mass behavior, ideological identification, public opinion, and framing. Status: Ph.D. expected Spring 2013. Publications: Washington University Law Journal 2009, others under review. Teaching Interests: Intro to American Politics, Mass Behavior, Political Psychology, Media and Politics, Judicial Politics, Race and Politics, Research Design, Statistics, Regression, Time Series. Email: email@example.com; Web: www.unc.edu/~cogginse
Ellen Gutman. American / Methodology. Thesis: Normal Winners: Campaign Strategies of Strong Candidates (Stimson, MacKuen, Gray). There is much research about the campaigns of challengers for elected office but little research about the strategies of strong candidates. By looking at websites, advertisements, and campaign spending by congressional and gubernatorial candidates, I demonstrate that expected winners act differently than expected losers or candidates in close races. They emphasize personal information such as pictures/stories about their families; discuss valence issues such as supporting education and opposing crime but not position issues such as specific reforms to Social Security; and they distance themselves from other politicians by not speaking about their opponents, the president, or any others. This thesis relates to campaign strategies, congressional politics, state politics, and electoral politics more generally. Status: Ph.D. expected Spring 2013. Teaching Interests: American Politics, State and Local Politics, Campaigns and Elections, Public Opinion, Congress, Research Methods. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan Kropko. Methodology / American. Currently a postdoc at the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University (supervisors: Andrew Gelman and Jennifer Hill). Part of the team that is writing the MI package for R, and collaborating on several projects using this software. Lead-author of a large scale simulation study to compare different algorithms for multiple imputation, which is a treatment to account for missing records in large datasets. Thesis: New Approaches to Discrete Choice and Time Series Cross Section Methodology for Political Research. (Rabinowitz, Aldrich, Carsey, Cranmer, Gross, Mackuen). Chapter 1 examines the relative validity of multinomial logit and probit models as the independence of irrelevant alternatives assumption is increasingly incorrect; chapter 2 designs a new estimator for time-series cross-section data that allows cross-sectional comparisons at particular points in time, applied to state-level US presidential voting; chapter 3 designs a non-linear model to assess how personal importance moderates the effect of issue distance on candidate evaluation. Status: PhD, 2011. Teaching interests: maximum likelihood, time series, missing data methods, American government, voting behavior in American and comparative contexts. Email: email@example.com; Web: http://www.unc.edu/~kropko.
Russell Bither-Terry. Comparative (Latin America) / Methodology / Latin American History. Thesis: Fome Zero: The Politics of anti-Hunger Policy in Brazil (Huber, Schoultz, Stephens). Thesis provides evidence from elite interviews and government documents that Brazil adopted the conditional cash transfer Bolsa Família as its primary anti-hunger program because it was a simple, direct, and rapid way to increase the ability of the poor to buy food. It analyzes micro-data from national household surveys to argue that the number of people brought completely out of poverty by Bolsa Família is smaller than is commonly assumed, but that the program achieved an impressive reduction in the severity of poverty, which explains its political salience, and that this reduction in the severity of poverty led to success in the original goal of reducing hunger. Status: PhD expected Spring 2013. Publications: Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, forthcoming. Teaching Interests: Intro to Comparative, Latin American Politics, European Politics, Comparative Welfare States, U.S.-Latin American Relations, Intro to Statistics, Politics of Food. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: http://rbt.web.unc.edu/.
Besir Ceka. Comparative Politics / International Relations. Thesis: Causes and Consequences of Political Trust (Vachudova, Hooghe, Marks). I study the causes and consequences of political trust in European states. Using over three hundred public opinion surveys from a number of sources, I show that the intensity of political competition and the extent to which opposition parties criticize and expose the misdeeds of the government has a significant negative effect on trust in political institutions and satisfaction with democracy. I also find that dissatisfied citizens are more likely to support unorthodox (i.e. anti-establishment) parties. Status: PhD expected Spring 2013. Publications: Comparative Political Studies, forthcoming; Oxford University Press co-authored book under contract. Teaching Interests: Introduction to Comparative Politics, European Integration, International Organizations and Global Issues, Eastern and Western European Politics, American Politics. Email: email@example.com. Web: http://www.unc.edu/~bceka/Welcome.html.
Sarah Shair-Rosenfield. Comparative / IR. Currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Arizona State University. Thesis: Electoral Reform, Party System Evolution and Democracy in Contemporary Indonesia (Hartlyn, Liddle (Ohio State), Marks, Reynolds, Robertson). This dissertation examines the links between electoral reform and political party system development in new democracies where iterated reforms are increasingly common, requiring an understanding of their causes and short-term consequences. I assess the effects of time and alternative motivations on reform adoptions and subsequent party system outcomes by combining a large-N analysis based on an original dataset 34 cases of electoral reform from 1950 to 2010 with a case study of Indonesia based on in-depth interviews with key reform actors, archival research, and an analysis of election outcomes from 1999-2009. I show that political elites in iterated reform processes, particularly in new democracies, suffer from constraints on their seat-maximization strategies that single-event reformers do not face. Status: Ph.D. 2012. Publications: Electoral Studies (2012), Inside Indonesia (2011), Oxford University Press co-authored book under contract. Teaching Interests: comparative politics, party politics, women and politics, democratization, politics of Southeast Asia, politics China, decentralization and federalism. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: http://www.public.asu.edu/~sshairro/.
Heather Sullivan. Comparative Politics / IR. Thesis: Managing Dissent: State Capacity, Democracy, and Responses to Protest in Mexico (Huber, Robertson, Schoultz, Hartlyn, Martinez-Gallardo). The thesis argues that state capacity, as opposed to democracy, reduces the likelihood that protest events will be met with repression. Using an original dataset on responses to protest in Mexico, I explore the ways that state capacity, regime type, and event-level characteristics affect protest and response. The thesis contributes to our understanding of contentious politics, political violence, democracy and authoritarianism, state capacity, Latin American politics, and subnational politics. Status: PhD expected May 2013. Publications: one article under review. Teaching Interests: Comparative Politics, Latin American Politics, Contentious Politics and Democratization, Political Violence. Email: email@example.com; Web: http://hsullivan.web.unc.edu.
William Kindred Winecoff. International Relations / Methodology. Thesis: The Politics of Crisis and Reform: Firms and Governments in the Global Financial System (Oatley, Mosley, Munger, Bapat, Cranmer). The central question is: “How does the structure of the global financial system influence the behaviors of firms and governments?” Using mixed methodologies across multiple levels of analysis, I argue that the topology of the global financial system, as well as complex network dynamics, has a large effect on governments’ policies related to finance and regulation, and to firms’ investment behaviors. Status: PhD expected May 2013. Publications: Edited book under contract at Edward Elgar. Papers forthcoming at Perspectives on Politics, revise and resubmit at International Studies Quarterly, and under review. Several book chapters either published or under contract. Teaching Interests: International relations, international political economy, political economy, the politics of finance, economic statecraft, socio-political network analysis, Bayesian regression, ordinary least squares regression, maximum likelihood estimation of generalized linear models. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: http://wkwine.web.unc.edu.
Carl Najdek. Theory / American. Thesis: Identity, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism in Walt Whitman’s Political Thought. (Lienesch, Leonard, Bickford, Spinner-Halev, McGowan) The thesis describes Walt Whitman’s democratic thought on the relationship between individuals and the communities in which they live, the idea of the modern democratic nation, and finally the role of the United States in an increasingly industrialized and globalized world. By looking at these three concepts, I consider Whitman as more than just a poet with political concerns but rather as a serious thinker whose thought transcended his time and envisioned a political system at once transformed by changes in industry and technology and united through a shared democratic culture. This thesis relates to American political thought, American political culture, democratic theory, literature and politics, and political theory more generally. Status: ABD (Projected defense in April 2013). Publications: American Political Thought (Revise and Resubmit). Courses Taught: Introduction to Political Theory, Ancient Political Thought, Modern Political Thought, American National Government (Online and in-person), Political Theory of Revolution and Terror, Evolution of Empires, Popular Culture and Political Theory. Interested in Teaching: American Political Thought, State and Local Politics, American Legislature, Literature and Politics, Medieval Political Thought, Democratic Theory. Email: email@example.com Web: http://cnajdek.web.unc.edu/
Joel Winkelman. Theory / American. Thesis: A Working Democracy (Lienesch, Bickford, Spinner-Halev). The thesis argues that work is central to democratic life, both in theory and in practice. Through an analysis of three of the most important American democratic thinkers, I demonstrate that work was the central political concept in the arguments of democratic thinkers who sought to create institutions that protected individual interests and public goods. The thesis relates to American political thought, American political development, democratic theory, and political theory more generally. Status: PhD, 2012. Publications: Polity (2012). Teaching: Intro to Political Theory, American Political Thought, Modern Political Thought, Classical Political Thought, Feminist Political Thought. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: http://jmwink.web.unc.edu.