Presenting the 2011-2012 Job Market Candidates
The University of Michigan's graduate program in Political Science is tremendously proud to present our 2012-2013 job market candidates. Please contact the candidates, their advisors, or Rob Franzese, the Placement Director, for further information.
Dissertation Title: Diverse But Not Divisive: Tribal Diversity and Public Goods Provision in Jordan
Diversity has been blamed for poor public goods provision in many different contexts. It is associated with reduced spending on services, meager rates of tax collection, and poor policies. Focusing on tribal diversity, I argue in my dissertation that the impact of diversity actually varies according to circumstances. Using a multi-method approach, I examine the role of tribal cohesion in mediating the impact of diversity as well as diversity’s influence on electoral competition, patronage, and local economic development in Jordan.
Dissertation Title What the Theories of Political Participation Can Teach Us About the Blogosphere and Vice Versa
My dissertation taps one of the richest sources of political data in all history---the political blogosphere---to better understand political participation and communication. Blending techniques from social and computer science, I study blogging as an act of political participation. I test existing theories of participation in the context of the blogosphere, and break new theoretical ground by studying attention, hyperlinking, and tone of discourse in the political blogosphere.
Dissertation Title The Strategic Use of the Media by Autocracies
How do autocracies use the media? It's commonly assumed that autocratic leaders strategically use the media to control public opinion to bolster support for the regime. Yet, we have little systematic research on the decision facing leaders to censor, filter, or permit the flow of different types of information. I build a theory of how autocrats use the media and test it with an agent-based model of opinion change, content analysis of China's coverage of the 2010-11 Arab Spring protests, and longitudinal statistical analysis of coverage of international events in the People's Daily (Renmin Ribao) in China since 1948.
Dissertation Title Mobilizing Aggression in Mass Politics
How do campaign messages interact with audience personality to shape political behavior? I investigate dynamic effects of violent metaphors and trait aggression on electoral participation, vote choice, and violent attitudes utilizing national survey experiments, content analysis of presidential campaigns since 1932, and fifty years of ANES survey analysis. This work identifies new communication effects, affirms the conditional effects of communication and personality in politics, and introduces a new aggression framework for interpreting political behavior.
Dissertation Title Interests, Institutions, and Trade Politics in Democracies
Why do some protectionist groups receive higher levels of trade protection than others, even without actively engaging in lobbying? In my dissertation, I argue that the structure of domestic interests and the incentives for parties to optimize their electoral prospects interactively influence the allocation of protectionist rents across the electorate. My empirical findings show that protectionist interests located in electorally marginal constituencies receive higher levels of protection than those in safe constituencies and that the extent to which electoral systems moderate the rent-seeking behavior of legislators explains variation in the skill-bias of the tariff structure across democracies.
Dissertation Title Agencies and Appropriations
Congress frequently attempts to influence policy through squeezing agency budgets. However, agencies are slow to respond to a budget cut, and usually are just as slow to adjust upwards with a rise in appropriations. In my dissertation, I argue that agencies largely appear indifferent to money because agencies build slack into current policy that explicitly includes their expectations about future rounds of funding.
Dissertation Title Redefining the Nation: Center-Right Party Outreach Toward Ethnic Minorities in Western Europe.
Why do mainstream center-right parties in Western Europe seek the votes of immigrants at some time and not others? What are the implications of party strategies for immigrants’ future political incorporation? In my dissertation, I show that party strategy toward immigrations is more nuanced than standard treatments assume. Rather than treat all immigrants the same, center-right parties distinguish between those with citizenship and those without, and this difference drives their outreach strategies and helps to explain puzzling party behavior.
Dissertation Title Propaganda and its Consequences for Crisis Diplomacy
How can an inattentive public restrain its leaders during times of crisis? Research into the relationship between mass public opinion and war have ignored opinion’s role in the moment when it matters most: before a war begins, when state actors still hope to extract concessions without fighting. I use game theory, financial economics and a survey experiment to illustrate foreign policy elites' wide berth in talking their fellow citizens into war.
Dissertation Title Public Broadcasting, Public Funding and the Public Interest: How Government Broadcasting Subsidies increase Political Knowledge and Participation
As shown by Mitt Romeny's recent proposal to fund Sesame Street with advertising, providing taxpayer subsidies for public broadcasters is a flashpoint in policy debates in both the United States and other democracies. Past research has suggested that public broadcasting has a positive effect on levels of political knowledge and participation. However, my research demonstrates that it is specifically the government subsidies of public broadcasters that drive increases in knowledge and voter turnout, not merely the existence of a public broadcaster.
Dissertation Topic The Effectiveness of Implicit and Explicit Racial Appeals in “Post-Racial” America
I use an experimental approach to test the effectiveness of different race-based appeals utilized by black and white candidates. The first experiment demonstrates that the norm against racist speech is not universally accepted by White Americans. Specifically, white liberals are far more likely to vote for a black candidate who violates the norm than for a similarly situated white candidate. The second experiment demonstrates that voters draw inferences about a candidate based on the race of the supporters pictured in an advertisement. For example, White Democrats are penalized by white voters for even a mere visual association with blacks. Finally, I include case studies of several campaigns to provide direct evidence of the types of race-based appeals black candidates use to garner white votes.
Dissertation Title The Origins and Decline of Dominant Party Systems: Taiwan's Transition in Comparative Perspective
Dominant party systems are puzzling because they combine regular, contested elections with an absence of ruling party turnover. I use a new cross-national dataset of incumbent duration to examine what causes these long periods of one-party rule. I find that most dominant party systems occur at the beginning of new regimes and gradually break down into more competitive systems over time, and that this decline occurs faster under presidentialism than parliamentarism.
Dissertation Title The Inter-Institutional Construction of Judgment
Anxiety over popular capacity to govern is ancient, but recent work in political psychology suggests that individuals are cognitively incapable of making the sorts of judgments a modern democracy regularly demands. These studies are damning only if we assume judgment is an essentially individual, cognitive capacity. Building on the work of Rawls and his critics, my dissertation argues judgment is a collective process, shifting the focus from individual cognitive capacity to those institutions that shape political contest.
Dissertation Title: Protecting Civilians Abroad: Why States Participate in the Liberal Post-Cold Ward Collective Security System
"Why do leaders support humanitarian missions? Why do leaders who routinely abuse their citizens protect civilians in other countries? Using a new dataset on state contributions to peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and refugee reintegration projects, I show that concerns about refugee inflows drive leaders’ responses to conflict and disaster abroad. This motivation has serious implications for how states conduct peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions, as well as the security afforded to civilians in those conflict areas by third parties."
Dissertation Title: Divine Entanglements: Religious Claims-making and American Democracy
With the dramatic re-emergence of religions in public life, scholars have been confronted by the question of religion’s place in democratic practices. Departing from the doctrinal conception of religion, I approach religions as bodies of aesthetic, rhetorical, and performative resources. In this way, religions offer not only the content of claims but also crucial modes of acting and speaking politically. I develop this account through a combination of textual, conceptual, and historical analysis organized around several historical case studies, including Garrisonian abolitionism, the fanaticism of John Brown, the Social Gospel counterpublic, and the rituals of public mourning following September 11.
Dissertation Title: The Court Speaks, the Public Decides
The U.S. Supreme Court’s credibility enables it to confer legitimacy on even controversial public policies, according to experimental research. Why, then, do many high profile decisions generate public backlash? I use original data to explore when the persuasive power of a ruling declines, finding that judicial dissent causes the press to reframe the Court’s opinion. I then demonstrate how the media’s politicization of the institution, coupled with criticism of a decision, circumscribes its persuasive powers and paves the way for public backlash. These answers to an important empirical puzzle help to bridge disparate lines of inquiry involving the Supreme Court.