Patrick O'Mahen

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OMahen 2011

Doctoral Student
American and Comparative Politics

  • Fields of Study
    • Comparative Politics, American Politics
  • About

    My primary research examines the relationship between the media and democratic institutions both in the United States and in a comparative context. Using the logic of political economy and extensive survey data, my dissertation demonstrates a relationship between how societies choose to fund their public broadcasters and levels of citizen political knowledge and political participation. The project also examines how historical choices in the development of broadcasting systems have ramifications for the possibilities of maintaining the positive effects of public broadcasting in an increasingly fragmented media market.
    In other media-related work, I have a general interest in the influence of freedom of information laws on public policymaking and corruption. A secondary strand of my research focuses on the power of women in politics and their influence on policy outcomes. Current projects analyze the effects of female legislators on gay marriage legislation and the appointment patterns of female cabinet secretaries.
    In the classroom, I’m comfortable teaching a wide variety of courses in American and Comparative politics. Currently I have detailed syllabi and lesson plans for introductory-level survey courses in both fields that could be easily adapted to a variety of formats (lecture, small-seminar, quarters or semesters). I also have enough background in coursework to offer specialized upper-level undergraduate courses in media and politics, electoral systems, political participation and political parties, among other topic areas. These courses could be either American or Comparative in nature. Finally, I also have three semesters experience teaching an undergraduate course in methods that introduces the principles of research design and basic quantitative methods.

  • Education
    • University of Rochester, BA in Political Science & Spanish, 2001
    • University of Michigan, MA in Political Science, 2009
  • Awards
    • Alfred Meyer Summer Fellowship (2011)
    • John F. Kingdon Teaching Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (2007)
  • Grants
    • Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant (2010)
    • Department Thesis Research Grant (2010, 2011)
  • Presentations
    • “Public Broadcasting and Political Participation,” American Political Science Association Conference (2012)
    • “Present at the Creation: The Relationship Between Institutional Development and Relative Influence of Public Broadcasters,” Midwest Political Science Association Conference on April 15, 2012
  • Dissertation Title
    • Public Broadcasting, Public Funding and the Public Interest: How Government Broadcasting Subsidies Increase Political Knowlege and Participation
  • Dissertation Chairs
    • Nicholas Valentino and Allen Hicken (co chairs)
  • Dissertation Committee
    • Nicholas Valentino, Allen Hicken, Jenna Bednar, Mike Traugott