You are here: Home / Graduate Program / Job Market Candidates

Job Market Candidates

Placement Candidates


American Politics

  • Christopher P. Donnelly, "Understanding Representation: How Citizens Evaluate and Elect U.S. Senators
  • Jordan Kujala, "Donors, Primary Elections, and the Success of Polarized Candidates in the United States"
  • Yoonjung Lee, "Irrational Actors, Rational Decisions: The Conditions and Consequences of Biased Information Processing"

 

Comparative Politics

  • Christy Cahill, "The Causes and Consequences of Policy Ambiguity for European Political Parties" 
  • Yuhui Li, "Multiparism and the “Beauty of Cycling”: Explaining Minorities' Bargaining Power under Majority Rule"
  • Nathan Rexford, "The Impact of Electoral Rules on Party Issue Positions"

 

International Relations

  • Tracy Lin, "The Health of Nations: International Influences and Domestic Response"

  • Joseph Picek, "Building the Norms of War: Tools and Targeting in US Military Doctrine"
  • Aaron Shreve, "All I want is a Little Respect: How Status Inconsistency Affects Cooperative and Conflictual State Behavior"

  • Daniel Tapia-Jimenez, "Technology and Cooperation in World Politics"
  • Andrey Tomashevskiy, "Political Investments: The Political Causes and Effects of International Capital Flows"
  • Shaina D. Western, "Hollow Commitments: An Analysis of Institutional Design and Ratification Rates"

 

Political Theory

  • Christopher Hallenbrook"Constrained Absolutism: The Power to Protect, the Rights of Subjects and the Duties of Sovereignty in Hobbes’s Political Thought"
  • Joel Landis, “David Hume on the Psychology and Nature of Political Party”
  • R.Lee McNish, "Virtuous Liberalism: Individuality and Virtue Ethics in Liberal Thought”
  • Sara Price“What Can Be Done in Light of What Has Been Done: The Intersection of Theory and Practice in Rousseau”

 


cahill picChristy Cahill

Primary Field: Comparative Politics
Secondary Field: Political Methodology
PhD expected June 2017

My dissertation focuses on the causes and consequences of party policy ambiguity for European political parties.  The first chapter examines the incentives for parties to present ambiguous policy positions to the electorate.  I find that worsening economic conditions and institutional factors influence parties to present more ambiguous policy positions to the electorate.  I also find evidence that private campaign contributions to political parties incentivize parties to present increasingly ambiguous policy positions.  My second chapter focuses on the corresponding electoral consequences of policy ambiguity.   I find that parties with ambiguous policy positions are increasingly punished in vote-shares as the effective number of parties in a system increases.  Finally, I examine the attributes that affect how individuals evaluate policy ambiguity.  In particular, I look at how political sophistication and socioeconomic status affect voters' evaluations of party policy ambiguity.  I supplement the three quantitative chapters with a chapter based on interviews with Members of Parliament in England and Germany, in which MPs describe the conditions under which they were strategically ambiguous or clear to voters about their parties' policy positions.    

Dissertation: "The Causes and Consequences of Policy Ambiguity for European Political Parties"

Dissertation Committee Composition

Jim Adams (Chair), Walt Stone, Matthew Shugart, Ethan Scheiner

Christy Cahill CV
E-mail:

www.christinemcahill.com

donelly, chris updated photoChristopher P. Donnelly

Primary Field: American Politics
Secondary Field: Methodology
PhD expected June 2017

My research centers around American representation, with a particular interest in the various decision rules and shortcuts that citizens use to evaluate candidates and elected representatives alike.  Situated in the particular institutional context of the U.S. Senate, my dissertation consists of three chapters, each of which examines such a unique decision rule or shortcut that citizens might use to evaluate U.S. Senate candidates or U.S. Senators.  The first chapter, which was published in the June 2015 issue of Electoral Studies, seeks to explain the emergence of split-party U.S. Senate delegations--the phenomenon by which a state's voters elect one Democrat and one Republican to represent them in the Senate.  Specifically, the article assesses whether split-party U.S. Senate delegations arise from strategic "balancing," whereby voters seek to bring the average preferences of their state's two senators closer to the middle and, as a result, might choose the U.S. Senate contender to whom they are less ideologically proximate.  The second chapter, which currently has a "Revise & Resubmit" at Legislative Studies Quarterly, employs survey data regarding individuals' perceptions of their senators' voting behavior on various issues to assess the degree to which citizens use party cues to infer their senators' roll call behavior.  More importantly, I examine the degree to which use of such cues might lead citizens astray, as party cues will lead to the wrong inference when a senator votes against her party.  Finally, motivating the third chapter is the fact that while a great deal of research has been done to understand the causes of the "gender gap"--the tendency for women to support Democratic candidates and policies at higher rates than men--little has been done to understand why its size varies across different elections. In this vein, I seek to explain variation in the size of the "gender gap"--the difference between the percentage of the vote that males and females give to the Republican candidate--across different U.S. Senate elections, with a particular eye towards the gender breakdown of the two major-party candidates as a possible heuristic that voters might use in arriving at their candidate choices.  Each of these chapters, then, contributes to our understanding of the linkages between political elites and the citizens that they represent, or seek to represent.   

Dissertation: "Understanding Representation: How Citizens Evaluate and Elect U.S. Senators."

Dissertation Committee Composition

Erik Engstrom (Chair), Frances E. Lee (University of Maryland), Cheryl Boudreau, Jim Adams

Chris Donnelly CV
E-mail:

http://www.christopherpdonnelly.com/

Chris Hallenbrook

Primary Field: Political Theory
Secondary Field: American Politics
PhD awarded August 2015

My research agenda focuses on the nature of the relationship between individuals and their governments, particularly in the political thought of the 17th and 18th century Anglo-American world. I explore questions of the origin of political obligation, how to resolve conflict between political obligation and other nexuses of obligation, the circumstances that cause political obligation to be nullified, and the avenues of action that are left open to individuals in the aftermath of the cessation of obligation. In my dissertation I explore the origin and nullification of political obligation in the writings of Thomas Hobbes, and argue Hobbes conceives of both rights of subjects and duties of sovereigns that are more expansive and more substantive than has been typically recognized.

Dissertation: "Constrained Absolutism: The Power to Protect, the Rights of Subjects and the Duties of Sovereignty in Hobbes’s Political Thought"

Dissertation Committee Composition
John T. Scott (Chair), Robert S. Taylor, Shalini Satkunanandan

Chris Hallenbrook CV
E-mail: 

Jordan Kujala
Primary Field: American Politics
Secondary Field: Political Methodology
PhD expected June 2017

My research focuses on ideological representation in the United States. More specifically, I am interested in understanding sources of ideological polarization and the role elections play in modern American politics. In my dissertation, I investigate representation using a unique data set that places congressional candidates on the same ideological dimension as their primary, general election, and partisan donor constituencies. With this data, I find strong evidence that the influence of co-partisans and donors in primary elections are sources of polarization in the United States. On the other hand, I find that general elections act as a moderating force. Major party nominees are punished in the general election for their extremity, and partisans appear to respond by supporting more moderate candidates in competitive districts. However, given a lack of competitive districts, the polarizing effects of partisan constituencies dominate any moderating effects resulting in ideologically extreme nominees and, ultimately, members of Congress.

Dissertation: "Donors, Primary Elections, and the Success of Polarized Candidates in the United States"

Dissertation Committee Composition
Walt Stone (Co-Chair), Ben Highton (Co-Chair), and Jim Adams

Jordan Kujala CV
E-mail:

landis picJoel Landis
Primary Field: Political Theory
PhD expected June 2017

Parties, as was famously said, are the “orphans of political philosophy.” My research seeks to address this remarkable silence in political theory by investigating the oft overlooked but rich resources for thinking about party and faction found throughout the history of political thought. In my dissertation, I examine David Hume’s philosophical and historical project in order to articulate his theory of party. Hume shows how political divisions can be explained as natural products of our psychology, and how the religious and philosophical speculation that gained such prominence in the modern experience might exacerbate this psychological propensity toward division.

Dissertation: “David Hume on the Psychology and Nature of Political Party”

Dissertation Committee Composition
John T. Scott (Chair), Robert S. Taylor, and Shalini Satkunanandan

Joel Landis CV
E-mail:

Lee photoYoonjung Lee
Primary Field: American Politics
Secondary Field: Political Methodology
PhD expected June 2016

My research focuses on the role of political and social identities in opinion formation. I use lab and field experiments to test the effect of different informational contexts on the salience of different identities. My dissertation argues that competing group identities and their salience to voters should lessen the effect of partisan bias when evaluating policy issues. According to the literature on partisan motivated reasoning, we should expect partisans to keep reinforcing their partisan views, however, I find that depending on the type of issue and the identity that is made salient through priming. Broadly speaking, I am interested in survey and experimental design as a method for testing psychological processes in micro-politics.

Dissertation: "Irrational Actors, Rational Decisions: The Conditions and Consequences of Biased Information Processing"

Dissertation Committee Composition
Cheryl Boudreau (Co-chair), Bob Huckfeldt (Co-chair), and Brad Jones

Yoonjung Lee CV
E-mail:

Li photoYuhui Li

Primary Field: Comparative Politics
Secondary Field: Political Theory
PhD expected June 2017

My research interests mainly cover how formal institutions, especially electoral systems and executive structures, affect policy outcomes and democratic performance, with special attentions paid to applied theories in institutional design that built on scholars such as Taagepera, Lijphart, and Shugart. 

My dissertation, Multiparism and the “Beauty of Cycling”: Explaining Minorities' Bargaining Power under Majority Rule>, connects social choice theories with the comparative studies of party systems and addresses two long established but insufficiently answered questions in political science: First, why do the losers of the electoral games receive more distributive benefits in some democracies than in others? And second, in countries where distributions are highly biased against the minorities, does there exist an effective institutional solution? It first advances a theory on the relationship between minority protection and the defection costs from the winning coalition and tests it with a novel online rational choice experiment. It then makes the argument that parliamentarism and proportional representation just by themselves can reduce the defection costs and supports it with an analysis of an original vote share data.

Dissertation: "Multiparism and the “Beauty of Cycling”: Explaining Minorities' Bargaining Power under Majority Rule"

Dissertation Committee Composition
Matthew S. Shugart (Chair), James Adams, and Ethan Scheiner

Yuhui Li CV

E-mail:


photo of Tracy LinTracy Lin
Primary Field: International Relations
Secondary Field: Political Methodology
PhD awarded December 2014

My dissertation investigates how international factors — foreign aid, intergovernmental organizations, trade, conflict, and refugee flows — affect national health outcomes. Specifically, I examine how domestic health systems mediate the effect of these factors on public health. I argue that international pressures have more benign effects on public health when domestic health systems have stable funding, an institutionalized commitment to healthcare, and robust regulations. This is because such health systems restrict governments’ discretionary power on health expenditures and public health issues. My research thus illuminates how the design of domestic health systems can maximize the benefits from international cooperation while minimizing the costs of external shocks.

Dissertation: "The Health of Nations: International Influences and Domestic Response"

Dissertation Committee Composition
Zeev Maoz (Chair), Ellen Gold (Department of Public Health Sciences), Heather McKibben, and Jeannette Money

Tracy K. Lin CV
E-mail: 
Website: www.tracykuolin.com

McNish temp photoR. Lee McNish
Primary Field: Political Theory
Secondary Field: American Politics
PhD expected March 2017

I am broadly interested in the study of ethics and politics, in particular how ethical theories are realized into political institutions, and how these theories can be potentially morphed in response to demands from a non-ideal world. My dissertation is focused on the history of virtue ethics and its relation to liberalism and individuality, specifically in the theories of Thomas Hobbes and Adam Smith. My other research is focused on issues of moral and political obligation in social contract theory, with an emphasis on the theory of Thomas Hobbes.

Dissertation: “Virtuous Liberalism: Individuality and Virtue Ethics in Liberal Thought”

Dissertation Committee Composition

John T. Scott (chair); Robert S. Taylor; Shalini Satkunanandan

R. Lee McNish CV

E-mail: rwmcnish@ucdavis.edu


picek picJoseph Picek

Primary Field: International Relations
PhD expected January 2017

My primary research interest is in the effects of technology change on state behavior. For empirical research, this means analyzing the effects of technology on state perceptions of possible, desirable, and appropriate actions. However, military technological development is a political project, and therefore endogenous to the normative developments themselves. My dissertation focuses on the impact of weapons on a state’s understanding of its obligations under the laws of war. Additionally, I have a research interest in the intersection of international relations and political theory. My political theory interest is in the ethics of international action, including the laws of war.

Dissertation:"Building the Norms of War: Tools and Targeting in US Military Doctrine"

Dissertation Committee Composition
Miroslav Nincic (chair), Heather McKibben, Brandon Kinne

Joseph Picek CV
E-mail: jdpicek@ucdavis.edu


Sara Price Sara Price

Primary Field: Political Theory
PhD awarded Fall 2012

The main question that I tackle in my dissertation is investigating the intersection between theory and practice in the political works of Rousseau. I show that by understanding Rousseau on this dimension, one can obtain a clearer picture of his project and his particular contribution to political theory, namely, that rather than merely presenting a polemical critique to his contemporaries and to posterity, he in fact has a practical philosophy in his works. This approach combats the one-dimensional views of Rousseau stemming from a pessimist-idealist dichotomy one often sees in the secondary literature. I reconstruct a practical positive theory of political association that is organic and self-correcting, and for which forward progress is possible..

Dissertation:"What Can Be Done in Light of What Has Been Done: The Intersection of Theory and Practice in Rousseau"

Dissertation Committee Composition
John T. Scott (chair), Robert S. Taylor, Julia Simon (French)

Sara Price CV
E-mail: sllprice@ucdavis.edu
Website: www.saralprice.weebly.com

rexford picNathan Rexford
Primary Field: Comparative Politics
Secondary Field: Political Methodology
PhD expected June 2017

Whether electoral rules impact party system polarization has been the focus of a lively but inconclusive debate over the last ten years. While my work also focuses on the potential impact of electoral rules on party positioning, I shift my attention away from conventional left-right measures to individual issue positions. Specifically, I argue that more proportional electoral rules lead to party systems more polarized across specific issue dimensions via parties that are willing to take more extreme positions on select issues relative to the rest of their platform as well as place a greater emphasis on these issues.  To accomplish this task, I employ more refined measures of electoral permissiveness as well as newly updated expert survey data. 

Dissertation: "The Impact of Electoral Rules on Party Issue Positions"

Dissertation Committee Composition:

James Adams (co-chair), Matthew Shugart (co-chair), Ethan Scheiner

Nathan Rexford CV

E-mail: njrexford@ucdavis.edu

Shreve temp photoAaron Shreve
Primary Field: International Relations
Secondary Field: Political Methodology
PhD expected March 2017

What happens when states are not ascribed status that is commensurate with their achievements? What are the effects on conflictual and cooperative behavior when states receive more status than their achievements suggest they deserve?  My research focuses on these status inconsistencies in the international system. States are status inconsistent (SI) when ascribed status (i.e. prestige) and achieved status (i.e. achievements) are incongruent. I make two key theoretical points. First, two types of SI can affect state behavior. Negative SI, the most common conception of SI, occurs when achieved status outpaces ascribed status. Positive SI, where ascribed status is greater than achieved status, also affects state behavior. Next, both positive and negative SI can influence conflictual and cooperative state behavior depending on the duration of change in SI and the duration of SI. SI leads states to exhibit both conflictual behavior, like conflict and arms buildups, and cooperative behavior, such as foreign aid and peacekeeping operations, as a means of building and keeping prestige.

Dissertation: "All I want is a Little Respect: How Status Inconsistency Affects Cooperative and Conflictual State Behavior"

Dissertation Committee Composition:

Zeev Maoz (chair), Miroslav Nincic, Kyle Joyce

Aaron Shreve CV

E-mail: apshreve@ucdavis.edu

tapia-jimenez picDaniel Tapia-Jimenez
Primary Field: International Relations
Secondary Field: Political Methodology
PhD expected Spring 2017

How does technology affect cooperation between states? Answers to this question are complicated by the reality that technological developments do not yield linear changes in political responses; both changes and reactions are often non-linear and multifaceted. While the consequences of technological changes for international cooperation are difficult to discern, my dissertation attempts to clarify this relationship by building on an existing framework that identifies four ways technologies may affect international relations. Within this framework, technological effects can be straightforward changes in states’ capabilities or nuanced shifts in their beliefs, for example. As these effects can alter countries’ strategic considerations, I derive hypotheses that describe the conditions under which cooperative behavior can be expected. With original data on incidents of cooperation and non-cooperation (related to developments in agricultural biotechnology and cyber security), fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis is employed to determine whether cooperation is systematically related to the presence of technological effects and their respective conditions. Ultimately the dissertation aims to demonstrate that its approach affords a more comprehensive understanding of technology’s relationship to international relations.

Dissertation: "Technology and Cooperation in World Politics"

Dissertation Committee Composition
Heather McKibben (Chair), Miroslav Nincic, Jeannette Money

Daniel Tapia-Jimenez CV

E-mail: datapiajimenez@ucdavis.edu

Andrey Tomashevskiy
Primary Field: International Relations
Secondary Field: Political Methodology
PhD awarded March 2015

My dissertation consists of three essays focused around the relationship between politics and international investment. I examine the impact of investment in two distinct issue areas: government partisanship and authoritarian regime stability. I develop a formal model to explicate the relationship between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the likelihood of coups in authoritarian regimes. The model predicts and I find support for a non-linear, U-shaped relationship between FDI and risk of coups. Second, I argue that increasing portfolio investment contributes to electoral success of right-wing parties. I find evidence for this hypothesis using a new dataset on political contributions to right wing parties. Lastly, I examine the influence of information and common international ties on inflows of foreign direct investment. I predict FDI flows by using a network model to account for complex interdependencies present within the global network of FDI.

Dissertation: "Political Investments: The Political Causes and Effects of International Capital Flows"

Dissertation Committee Composition
Daniel Kono (Chair), Zeev Maoz, Gabriella Montinola

Andrey Tomashevskiy CV
E-mail: atomashevskiy@ucdavis.edu
Website: atomashevskiy.weebly.com

ShainaWesternShaina Western

Primary Field: International Relations
Secondary Field: Methodology
PhD awarded June 2015

My primary research agenda focuses on understanding the nature of global governance. Specifically, I focus on understanding the variation in global governance based on the tendency of governments to adopt international conventions. I find that many international agreements are poorly ratified, such that while they may appear to establish international law, in reality they have little effect because they apply to only a handful of states. My research argues provides a theoretical framework that explains why ratification rate varies across agreements. I argue that preferences are persistent and that they influence both the negotiation and the ratification phases. I evaluate this theory with a quantitative test of 153 universal United Nations treaties. In addition, I use comparative case studies of six different agreements to illustrate how these mechanisms play out during treaty negotiations.

Dissertation: "Hollow Commitments: An Analysis of Treaty Negotiations and Ratification Rate"

Dissertation Committee Composition
Jeannette Money (chair), Heather McKibben, Josephine Andrews

Shaina Western CV
E-mail: sdwestern@ucdavis.edu
Website: www.shainawestern.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Us

469 Kerr Hall
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 752-0966
(530) 752-8666 fax

Donate

Your donations make a difference!

Make a gift