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Hire a UNC Ph.D.

Our graduate program has quite a successful placement record.  Thank you for taking the time to review our candidates who are seeking academic appointments this year.

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    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 2013.

    For more information about any of our students, please see their individual web sites as listed below or contact Professor Frank Baumgartner, Placement Director or Ms. Dana Sadek, Graduate Studies Coordinator.

    American Politics

    Methods

    Comparative Politics

    International Relations

    Political Theory

     

    American Politics

    John Cluverius. American / Methodology. Thesis: Grassroots Lobbying and the Economics of Political Information in the Digital Age (Carsey, Gray, MacKuen, Treul, Gross).  Citizens lobby legislators about policy issues frequently in the United States. Media reports suggest that legislators face immense pressure to listen to the policy requests of their constituents, but also say that legislators rarely do so. Political science research finds conflicting conclusions; some studies find that legislators ignore lobbying by constituents that they do not agree with, and others find that legislators respond based on the cost constituents bear to contact the legislator. Kollman (1998) finds that legislators treat the volume of grassroots lobbying contacts they receive as a signal of issue salience.  In my dissertation, Grassroots Lobbying and the Economics of Political Information in the Digital Age, I develop a theory of political information to explain how legislators perceive, prioritize, and respond to grassroots lobbying. I envision political information as a marketplace where trust replaces price. Price is shaped by supply and demand, but legislators constantly seek information, and information is cheap and plentiful. Information costs have both reduced and flattened. If information cannot be evaluated using supply and demand, the scarce resource becomes useful and trustworthy information.  If trust replaces price, then legislators will no longer use the perceived effort of a grassroots lobbying campaign as a signal of issue salience. Institutions, which provide resources to assist information processing, and create constraints on trusting behaviors, condition the response of legislators. I test this theory using interviews with state legislators and interest group leaders in five states, and a survey sent to state legislators in the United States. Status: Ph.D. expected Spring 2015. Publications: Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media (co-authored, 2005); Publius (co-authored, 2013); Business and Politics (co-authored, 2013); American Politics Research(co-authored, forthcoming); Interest Groups and Advocacy(co-authored, revised and resubmitted). Teaching Interests: Intro to American Politics/Government, State and Local Politics, Interest Groups, Political Communication/Media and Politics, Public Policy, Public Opinion, Research Methods/Design, Introductory Statistics, Linear Regression, Survey Research Methods. Email: cluverius@unc.eduWeb: http://cluverius.web.unc.edu.

    Derek Epp. American / Public Policy. Thesis: Attention Scarcity and Instability in American Political Systems (Baumgartner, Stimson, Gray, Carsey, Clark). The thesis investigates how attention scarcities affect changes in political systems. It is situated within the punctuated equilibrium literature, which identifies cognitive and institutional constraints as the primary causes of disequilibria in government spending. I unpack these broad categories into more specific possible causes of punctuations in budgetary and other distributions of change over time, searching for the limits of the punctuated equilibrium framework by identifying the conditions under which proportional, as opposed to punctuated, change is possible. In my first chapter, I identify spending categories that are prone to instability versus those that rarely see punctuations. I utilize time series models to identify key political variables causing budget instability. The second chapter focuses on public opinion, demonstrating that the punctuated equilibrium model can account for patterns of change in opinion. The third chapter develops a direct measure of decision making costs for various institutions and tests if the occurrence of punctuations correlates with this measure as the punctuated equilibrium framework would predict. Status: Ph.D. expected Spring 2014. Teaching Interests: Intro to American, State and Local Politics, Agenda Setting, Public Finance and Budgeting, Public Opinion, Political Behavior, Race and Politics, Media and Politics, Introductory Statistics, Research Design.Email: derekepp@email.unc.edu Web: http://daepp.web.unc.edu/.

    Ellen Galantucci. American / Methodology.  ThesisNormal Winners: Campaign Strategies of Strong Candidates (Stimson, MacKuen, Gray, Aldrich, Roberts). 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 Fall 2014.  Teaching Interests: American Politics, State and Local Politics, Campaigns and Elections, Public Opinion, Congress, Research Methods.  Emailgutman@email.unc.edu.

    Nicholas Howard. American / Methodology. Thesis: Members and Leaders in Senate Obstruction (Roberts, Baumgartner, Treul, Vanberg, Rohde). Obstruction is one of the most widely discussed, but least understood, aspects of the Senate. Filibusters and cloture votes are visible and widely studied, but most obstruction occurs and is managed off the floor. This existing focus is on who obstructs, but my dissertation focuses on what is obstructed. This dissertation establishes theories for why private obstruction is allowed, when it should be expected, and how leaders respond. Institutional circumstances, bill sponsor identities, and public support, along with time and agenda size are utilized to establish an understanding of when obstruction occurs and how it is managed. I then utilize data on holds, amendments, filibusters, and unanimous consent agreements (UCAs) to explore these questions.  The empirical chapters address what bills holds are likely to be targeted by holds, how leaders manage this obstruction through UCAs and floor management, and how different forms of obstruction are connected. Status: Ph.D. expected Spring 2015. Teaching Interests: Introduction to American Government, U.S. Congress, Legislative Politics, Congressional Elections, Separation of Powers, American Institutions, Interest Groups, Political Parties, Agenda Setting, Introductory to Intermediate Statistics, Research Design. Email: nohoward@email.unc.edu. Web: http://nohoward.web.unc.edu/

    John Lappie. American / Public Policy. Thesis: Voter Behavior in Elections without Party Labels (Carsey, Clark, Gray, MacKuen, Unah). My dissertation examines how citizens react to electoral institutions & candidate behavior, focusing on Elections without Party Labels (EWPLs). EWPLs include non-partisan elections, primaries, & some run-off elections. I address the theoretical tension that: (1) voters want to vote in line with their preferences, which for many means partisan voting, & (2) non-partisan elections were designed to suppress the party cue.  Removing party labels doesn’t change voters’ partisan goals, it merely makes it harder to pursue them. This generates three predictions: First, that when possible citizens will attempt to infer party from alternative cues, such as race or gender. Second, the decision to cast a ballot for a EWPL will depend on the messages sent by the campaigns & on the sophistication of the voter. Third, that the ability to cast a partisan ballot will depend on the messages sent by the campaign & the sophistication of the voter. The first chapter utilizes data from an original survey I am conducting. The second & third chapters use an original dataset merging precinct-level demographic data from the census with precinct-level election results. The third chapter is substantially complete & in preparation for submission. The results indicate that in formally non-partisan elections higher-sophisticates cast more partisan ballots than lower sophisticates. However, this is only true when the candidates run partisan campaigns. Whether the result of campaign strategy or individual-level sophistication, creating differences among voters in the ability to cast ballots in line with their preferences raises important normative questions about the nature of representation. Status: Ph.D. expected Spring 2015. Teaching Interests: Intro to American, State & Local Politics, Political Behavior, Campaigns & Elections, Public Policy, Judicial Elections, Undergraduate Methods. E-mail: lappie@email.unc.edu Web: lappie.web.unc.edu

    John Lovett. American / Methodology Thesis: Party Rebranding in American Politics (Baumgartner, Gross, MacKuen, Roberts, Stimson) My dissertation focuses on the factors that contribute to parties changing their issue priorities in American politics.  I place particular emphasis on the role and status of individual members in the process of party rebranding, exploring individual motivations for shifts in party priorities.  Keeping this in mind, I construct a simple model of successful party rebranding based on two factors: the lack of electoral success in previous elections and the strength of the message of those individuals who wish to change the party brand in some way.  I test my model by looking both at long-term data on party platforms and elite discussion of issues as well as focused case studies on cases of party rebranding, namely attempts to change the Republican Party, first in the early 1980s around decreased taxation, and the attempts by the Tea Party to change the Republican Party in the 2010s. Status: PhD expected Spring 2015. Publications: Political Communication (2014, co-authored); Political Research Quarterly (2015, co-authored); Policy Studies Journal (2015, co-authored). Teaching Interest Areas: Introduction to American Politics; State and Local Politics; Political Communication/Media and Politics; Political Parties; Campaigns & Elections; Congress; Agenda-Setting.  Email: jllovett@email.unc.edu Web: http://jllovett.web.unc.edu/

    Chelsea Phillips. American / Social Psychology. Thesis: The Role of Politics in Romantic Relationships (Carsey, Conover, MacKuen, Green, Peterson). I examine the impact of political attitudes and identities on romantic relationship initiation, development, maintenance, and dissolution. In my first empirical chapter, I use an experimental design to show that individuals are more attracted to others who share similar political attitudes than to politically dissimilar others. I demonstrate experimentally in my second chapter that individuals are more attracted to others who share similar political identities than to politically dissimilar others. In my third chapter, I use original data from a first-of-its-kind dyadic panel study to explore the role of political attitude and identity similarity in real-world, premarital romantic relationships over time. Status: Ph.D. completed, May 2014. Awards: National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant. Research Interests: Survey Research, Public Opinion Polling, Research Design. Teaching Interests: Political Psychology, Social Psychology, Political Behavior, Public Opinion, Political Socialization. Email: chelsea.phillips86@gmail.com, Web: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/chelsea-phillips-ph-d/60/6a4/1aa/.

    Gregory J. Wolf. American/Methodology. Thesis: Parties in the American Electorate (Stimson, Baumgartner, Carsey, MacKuen, Wlezien). The thesis evaluates the meso-level attitudes of partisan opinion on American politics at the system level. Aggregate models of the U.S. macro political system typically use macro-level measures of public opinion that cover up the attitudes of partisans. Considering the importance of political parties in democratic systems, the incorporation of parties in the electorate can lead to a further understanding of the interactions between citizens and government. I construct measures of partisan mood to measure the opinion of parties in the electorate and use these data to evaluate the changing attitudes of mass partisans over time and the roots of mass partisan attitude change, how the polarization of partisan attitudes affects election outcomes, and how parties are represented in government by responsible parties. In these analyses I develop micro theories of citizen and representative behavior and macro models of behavior based on aggregation mechanisms of micro behaviors. I demonstrate the importance that partisan attitudes have on politics at the system level for opinion change, election outcomes, and how responsible parties in government provide representation to their parties in the electorate. Together, the findings add to the understanding of macro politics in the United States, building an understanding of meso-level factors that are often covered up through aggregation. Teaching Interests: Intro to American Government, State Politics, Public Opinion, Campaigns and Elections, Political Behavior, Political Parties, Religion and Politics, Undergraduate Methods, Research Design, and Time Series. Status: Ph.D. expected Spring 2014. Email: gregwolf@email.unc.edu Web: www.unc.edu/~gregwolf.

    Mark Yacoub. American/Methodology. Thesis: The Unique Influence of New Media on Issue Framing (Conover, Baumgartner, Gross, MacKuen, Stimson). Research on media framing and its effects has grown tremendously in recent years. A logical direction for future study is to examine how the media environment in which frames appear influences the framing process. Specifically, the rise of new media--the Internet, blogs, social media--represents a change in how information is disseminated and in how people consume news and interact with one another. Up to this point, the potential unique influence of new media on both the mass media and issue framing has not been fully explored. In my dissertation, I integrate the framing and new media literatures and show how the unique characteristics of new media (its increased number of sources, rapid updating, highly competitive, social, and deliberative nature, and individual control) influence framing processes, particularly at the aggregate level, thus changing our traditional understanding of how frames operate. I examine how these characteristics affect the entire frame environment surrounding an issue--that is, the entire set of frames that develops, how they are related, who uses them, how often they are used, where they appear, which frames dominate, and how people perceive them. Empirically, I perform in-depth comparisons of the frame environments surrounded issues that have emerged in the current new media culture to those that emerged before the advent of new media using content analyses of traditional and new media sources. I also use time series analysis of public opinion data to test the influence of new media on the effectiveness of issue frames. Status: Ph.D. expected Spring 2015.Teaching Interests: Introduction to American Government, Political Behavior, Political Psychology, Public Opinion, Political Communication, Media and Politics, Survey and Experimental Methods, Quantitative Methods. Email:myacoub@email.unc.edu

    Methods

    Elizabeth J. Menninga. International Relations / Methodology.  ThesisMultiparty Mediation: Identifying Characteristics of the Mediation Dream Team (Gent, Crescenzi, Cranmer, Bapat, Beardsley). In this thesis I explore how and when multiparty mediation efforts overcome the collective action problems associated with multiple mediators (free-riding, forum-shopping, and mixed messages).  While multiple mediators sometimes complicate the negotiating environment, not all multiparty efforts are equally plagued by these problems. Moreover, some multiparty efforts provide unique advantages that make them better able to influence the combatants and generate an agreement. Beginning with the assertion that mediation is a club, and as such is vulnerable to overcrowding, this project explores the ideal composition of mediation teams. As a heterogeneous club, some potential mediators have desirable characteristics while others do not. The mediation dream team is one of balanced biases and complementary sources of leverage. Desirable members contribute to the balanced and complementary nature of the team, increasing the strength of the mediation effort and the likelihood of producing a durable peace. Coordination within the team minimizes the risk of overcrowding. Therefore, the ideal mediation team is a coordinated, balanced, and complementary collection of international actors. Research Interests: Conflict resolution, mediation, and peace-building; network analysis and Bayesian methods. Status: PhD expected May 2015. PublicationsConflict Management and Peace Science (2012); R&R at Science (Resubmitted 2014); and two  manuscripts under review. Teaching Interests: International Relations, Quantitative Research Methods (at both the undergraduate and graduate level), Strategy and International Relations. Email: menninga@email.unc.edu Web: menninga.web.unc.edu.

    Comparative Politics

    Santiago Anria. Comparative Politics (Latin America) / Political Theory. Thesis: Movements, Parties, and the Left in Latin America: The Bolivian MAS in Comparative Perspective. (Huber, Robertson, Schoultz, Stephens, Vachudova). The thesis questions the established wisdom that political organization leads to oligarchy by assessing the democratic potential of movement-based parties when they assume national-level power. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Bolivia, it examines the behavior of the MAS (Movement Towards Socialism) in the crucial arenas of candidate selection and national policymaking. The dissertation is motivated by the concerns that arise when state power is excessively concentrated in the hands of the executive body. The case of the MAS offers important insights into the opportunities and constraints of a form of organization that can diffuse power, keep grassroots control on the leadership, and enhance the influence of groups that have been historically underrepresented. The thesis should interest not only Latin Americanists but also scholars and practitioners concerned about the substantive defects and potentialities of young democracies elsewhere. Status: Ph.D expected Spring 2014. Publications: Latin American Politics and Society (2013), a book chapter in Latin America's Left Turns (Lynne Rienner, 2010), Comparative Politics (under review), Studies in Comparative International Development (under review).Teaching Interests: Comparative Politics, Latin American Politics, Social Movements and Democratization, Comparative Political Parties. Email: sanria@email.unc.edu; Web: www.santiagoanria.com

    Lauren Biddle. Comparative Politics / Methodology. Thesis: Corruption in Democratic Brazil (Hartlyn, Huber, Searing, Stephens, Martinez-Gallardo). This thesis, in the form of three articles, is based on over two years of field research in several Brazilian states. It deals with different ways to measure corruption, patterns of sub-national corruption and the institutional environment of anti-corruption agencies using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The first article looks at patterns of municipal corruption in Brazil using an innovative database created from the analysis of over 700 government audit reports. The performance-based measure of corruption generated from this data is then utilized to explore the political, socio-economic and environmental factors associated with sub-national corruption levels. Another article uses survey data from four case studies of Brazilian municipalities to create a multilevel model investigating the determinants of individual corruption perceptions, which include the socio-economic and attitudinal characteristics of survey respondents, as well as performance- and victimization-based measures of corruption. A third article focuses on the Comptroller General’s Office, the premier anti-corruption agency in the country. It provides a case study of institutional development and analyzes the reasons for the lack of success in curbing corruption through examining the larger context of Brazilian politics. Status: Defense complete, Ph.D. December 2013. Teaching Interests: Comparative Politics, Latin American Politics, Brazilian Politics and Political Research Methods. Email: lvbiddle@email.unc.edu;Web: http://lvbiddle.web.unc.edu/

    Benjamin Danforth. Comparative Politics / Methodology / Population Studies. Thesis: Building the Learning Society: The Development of Education and Training Systems in Advanced Capitalist Countries (Stephens, Brady, Hooghe, Huber, Marks). In this thesis, I examine why advanced capitalist countries have developed different institutional mixes of general and vocational education, particularly at the secondary level. In exploring this question over the period from 1880 to 1980, I argue that governmental structures, coordination legacies, and partisanship patterns are the decisive factors in explaining the rise of distinct institutional arrangements in education and training. To support this argument, I draw on evidence from an array of time-series cross-section analyses covering 17 countries and in-depth case studies of Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In addition to shedding new light on the political origins of education and training systems, this thesis contributes to our understanding of social investment, social policy, political economy, and historical institutionalism. Status: PhD expected in May 2014. Publications: Journal of European Public Policy and Journal of European Social Policy, both forthcoming. Teaching Interests: comparative politics, European politics, political economy, comparative welfare states, introductory and intermediate statistics (including linear regression, generalized linear models, and time-series analysis).Email: btd5@live.unc.edu Web: http://www.unc.edu/~btd5.

    Svet Derderyan. Comparative Politics / IR. Thesis: My dissertation focuses on three broad questions pertaining to the influence of the EU on Central and Eastern Europe's (CEE) ability to fight corruption before and after accession. The first is whether the CEE candidate countries made progress in corruption control during the pre-accession period, and importantly, whether such progress was sustained post-accession. The second is whether the EU was able to empower civil society in CEE and make it a strong ally in the battle against corruption, and whether this empowerment was permanent or only temporary. The third is whether corruption had a differential effect on FDI inflows in CEE before and after membership was granted to these countries. The thesis contributes to our understanding of how international organizations influence governance, civil society, and economic development in newly democratized countries (Vachudova, Marks, Hooghe, Robertson, Jenkins). Status: Ph.D. expected August 2014. Publications: A book chapter in EU Enlargement: Current Challenges and Strategic Choices, edited by Finn Laursen (P.I.E.Peter Lang edited volume); co-authored book with OUP “Governance Above the State” (Gary Marks, Liesbet Hooghe) (forthcoming); An R&R article in International Organization. Teaching Interests: Comparative Politics, International Organizations, Contentious Politics and Democratization, EU Politics, International Political Economy.  Email: sd@unc.ed.

    Hanna Kleider. Comparative Politics / International Relations. Thesis: Decentralization and the Welfare State: Territorial Disparities, Regional Governments and Political Parties (Stephens, Hooghe, Huber, Marks, Vachudova). I examine how decentralization and the territorial structure of political preferences affect within country disparities in the provision of key social services. The analysis is based on a novel dataset that combines data on subnational social spending, subnational socio-economic conditions and partisanship of subnational governments for 14 OECD countries from 1980-2010. The multi-level growth curve analysis is complimented with evidence from in-depth interviews with subnational government officials. I find that political decentralization is related to larger territorial inequality. Yet, certain institutional factors, like centralized political parties and policy coordination mechanisms, cushion the centrifugal effect of decentralization. Contrary to previous findings, the analysis also suggests that territorial inequalities are not purely driven by socio-economic factors but are subject to the dynamics of partisan politics. Status: PhD completed in May 2014. ACCESS Europe post-doctoral fellow at the VU Amsterdam. Publications: R&R Journal of European Social Policy, co-authored book chapter with OUP (forthcoming). Teaching Interests: Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Social Policy, European Politics, Latin American Politics, International Relations, Introductory Statistics Email: h.kleider@vu.nl Web: www.hkleider.com

    Florian Stoeckel. Comparative Politics / Social Psychology. Thesis: Solidarity among Strangers? Citizenship, Identities, and Ambivalent Attitudes in Europe (Hooghe, Conover, MacKuen, Marks, Risse, Stephens). In my dissertation, I bring together work in political science and social psychology to examine the nexus between social interactions, political identities, and attitudes in Europe. First, using a pre-post test design with control group, I show the causal role of social interactions for the notion of community among individuals from different EU member states. Second, I demonstrate the role of ideological orientations on a left-right and new politics dimensions for the link between a shared identity and solidarity in Europe. Both chapters rely on a novel panel data set (n=1500), which I collected between 2010 and 2011. The third empirical chapter is based on a survey experiment (n=1013) in which I manipulate elite and identity cues to examine attitudes towards redistribution between more and less affluent EU countries. Status: PhD completed in May 2014. Currently Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence) and lecturer at James Madison University (campus Florence). Publications: Journal of European Public Policy (2014), European Union Politics (2013), book chapter with Routledge (2011), more work under review. Teaching Interests: European politics, comparative politics, public opinion, political psychology, experimental methods in political science Email: florian.stoeckel@gmail.com Web: www.florianstoeckel.de

    Alissandra T. Stoyan. Comparative Politics / Methodology / IR.  Thesis: Constituent Assemblies, Presidential Majorities, and Democracy in Contemporary Latin America (Hartlyn, Huber, Martinez-Gallardo, Robertson, Vachudova). This dissertation examines how presidents with ambitious reform agendas implement them in a democratic context. It focuses on one particular reform mechanism in detail: a constituent assembly with supreme power to change the political system. It examines the conditions under which a president is more likely to choose this route of reform, the factors that increase the likelihood of executive success, and the short-term consequences for democracy. I argue that the most important factors effecting the likelihood of a president choosing this method are insufficient partisan/coalitional support in congress and a willingness to bend the institutional rules. The success of reform via constituent assembly is determined by mobilizational leverage in combination with institutional leverage. Lastly, although these reforms enhance one pillar of democracy, participation, they also have the potential to undermine another, contestation. This research highlights the interplay of popular leadership and institutions in flux, contributing to our understanding of institutional change and executive power in contemporary Latin American democracies. It draws upon eight months of fieldwork and elite interviews in Bolivia and Ecuador. Status: Defense complete, Ph.D. expected December 2014. Publications: International Political Science Review (forthcoming), Legislative Studies Quarterly (under review), Studies in Comparative International Development(under review). Teaching Interests: Comparative Politics, Latin American Politics, International Relations, and Research Methods. Email: stoyana@email.unc.eduWeb: www.alissandratstoyan.com.

     

    International Relations

    Robert Galantucci. International Relations / Comparative Politics / Methodology.  Thesis: Taking the Lead on Trade:  Legislative Attention, Strategy and Effectiveness in Foreign Trade Policy (Mosley, Oatley, McKeown, Roberts, Gross).  Existing research on US trade policy frequently understates the continued role of Congress in the issue area, and also fails to fully consider individual legislators’ participation in the policymaking process.  This dissertation seeks to overcome these limitations.  In Chapter 1, I assess long-term trends in Congressional activity on trade policy, and then explore the factors that drive individual legislators’ level of participation in the issue area.  Relying on a newly-constructed dataset, I conduct a statistical analysis of (co)sponsorship behavior in the context of import regulation legislation.  In Chapter 2, I examine legislators’ strategic behavior by identifying the ways in which international interdependence and procedural considerations impact positions on exchange rate legislation.  Chapters 3 & 4 explore legislative effectiveness; I consider a range of Congressional behavior throughout the lawmaking process to identify what makes particular legislators central to the creation of trade policy.  The empirical component of this dissertation relies on a diverse set of statistical methods (e.g., standard regression; Bayesian methods; network analysis) as well as a host of qualitative materials.  Status: PhD expected Spring 2015.  PublicationsReview of International Political Economy (2014); International Studies Quarterly (forthcoming)Foreign Policy Analysis (forthcoming); other work under review.  Teaching Interest Areas: Intro to International Relations/Comparative Politics; Comparative Economic Development; Int’l Political Economy; Int’l Law & Organizations; Int’l Economic Law & Policy; US Foreign Policy.  Emailrgalant@email.unc.edu Webhttp://galantucci.web.unc.edu/

    Elizabeth J. Menninga. International Relations / Methodology.  ThesisMultiparty Mediation: Identifying Characteristics of the Mediation Dream Team (Gent, Crescenzi, Cranmer, Bapat, Beardsley). In this thesis I explore how and when multiparty mediation efforts overcome the collective action problems associated with multiple mediators (free-riding, forum-shopping, and mixed messages).  While multiple mediators sometimes complicate the negotiating environment, not all multiparty efforts are equally plagued by these problems. Moreover, some multiparty efforts provide unique advantages that make them better able to influence the combatants and generate an agreement. Beginning with the assertion that mediation is a club, and as such is vulnerable to overcrowding, this project explores the ideal composition of mediation teams. As a heterogeneous club, some potential mediators have desirable characteristics while others do not. The mediation dream team is one of balanced biases and complementary sources of leverage. Desirable members contribute to the balanced and complementary nature of the team, increasing the strength of the mediation effort and the likelihood of producing a durable peace. Coordination within the team minimizes the risk of overcrowding. Therefore, the ideal mediation team is a coordinated, balanced, and complementary collection of international actors. Research Interests: Conflict resolution, mediation, and peace-building; network analysis and Bayesian methods. Status: PhD expected May 2015. PublicationsConflict Management and Peace Science (2012); R&R at Science (Resubmitted 2014); and two  manuscripts under review. Teaching Interests: International Relations, Quantitative Research Methods (at both the undergraduate and graduate level), Strategy and International Relations. Email: menninga@email.unc.edu Web: menninga.web.unc.edu.

    Political Theory

    Amanda Barnes Cook. Theory / Comparative Politics. Thesis: Breastfeeding, Feminism, and Political Theory (Bickford, Spinner-Halev, Lienesch, Eichner, Labbok). The thesis situates breastfeeding mothers within political theory.  I conduct a comparative study of welfare states, assessing states’ approaches to accommodating breastfeeding workers; examine breastfeeding in public, exploring the extent to which breastfeeding mothers are subject to demands to experience public life in a circumscribed way, without the full experience of publicness; and use the case of incarcerated mothers and the case of custody battles for breastfed infants to argue that mothers require access to their breastfed infants. Throughout, my approach and contribution is to prioritize both women’s autonomy and breastfeeding, and to determine what these twin goals demand of the state. Status: Ph.D. expected Spring 2015. Teaching Experience: Modern Political Thought, Contemporary Political Thought, Theories of Justice, Intro to Comparative Politics. Teaching Interests: Classical, Modern, Contemporary, and Feminist Political Thought, Literature and Politics, Intro to American Politics, Intro to Comparative Politics, Welfare States. Email: cookanb@email.unc.edu Web: http://cookanb.web.unc.edu

    Joshua Miller. Theory / International Relations. Thesis: Democracy and Judgment: Lessons from Ancient Greek Political Thought. (Bickford, Lienesch, Leonard, Spinner-Halev, Reeve) My dissertation examines the practical and ethical dimensions of democratic decision-making.  Insofar as democracies rely upon the policy decisions of their citizens, the question of what counts as good judgment has long been of rich theoretical concern.  It was especially important for the ancient Greek thinkers Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle, who placed judgment not only at the center of democratic life but also at the junction between political theory and practice.  Through an examination of their works, I conceive of sound political judgment as a reflective practice balancing moral contemplation with emotional intelligence and practical experience such that actors can make decisions under conditions of uncertainty.  By relating ancient Greek thought to contemporary theories of political judgment, I further suggest that democratic theorists can gain insights into the challenges citizens face in making policy decisions, as well as suggestions for how they might be overcome. Status: PhD expected May 2014. Publications: Polity (2012), other work under review. Teaching Experience: Ancient Political Thought, Modern Political Thought, Feminist Political Theory, America and the World: Challenges and Opportunities.  Email: millerjp@email.unc.edu Web: joshmiller.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: najdek@email.unc.edu 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: joel.winkelman@unc.eduWeb: http://jmwink.web.unc.edu.

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