Political Methodology


Kirill Zhirkov is an Assistant Professor (General Faculty) in the Department of Politics and a Faculty Affiliate in the Democratic Statecraft Lab at the University of Virginia. Kirill's methodological research focuses on measurement of politically relevant beliefs and attitudes beyond standard survey self-reports. He uses these methods to address a number of substantive questions in the field of political psychology. One of them is the role of cognition in politics: how people perceive the social world and how these perceptions affect political preferences and behaviors.


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia.  I study judicial politics in the United States, with particular interests in the lower federal courts and public attitudes toward the judiciary.  One ongoing project considers how the U.S. federal court system shapes the decision-making of lower court judges, focusing on how judges on the U.S.


I study American politics—with focus on public opinion, political psychology, and gender, race & politics—and methodology—with focus on statistical analysis, research design, and experimental methods. I joined the department at UVa in the Fall of 2006; prior to that I held a tenure track position in the Government Department at Cornell; worked as a policy researcher at Policy Studies Associates in Washington, DC; and worked as a political campaign consultant, also in Washington. I received my Ph.D.



The Language of Signaling: National Rhetoric in International Bargaining


John M. Owen (co-chair), Todd Sechser (co-chair), Nick Winter

Current Placement

Assistant Professor of International Relations/National Security in the Department of History & Political Science

Anderson University

Placement Year



Chen Wang is a PhD candidate in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia. He received B.A. in Economics and M.A. in International Economics from the University of International Relations (China) and M.S. in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University.  His research focuses on international security, terrorism, and Chinese politics. His dissertation explores the impact of leadership turnovers on interstate relations. In his work, he applies a variety of methods, including statistical analysis, formal modeling, machine learning, and archival works.


My main areas of study include the intersection of international war, coercive bargaining, and crisis escalation. I am interested in how leaders interpret signals and intentions of adversaries during international crises, and how this leads to inadvertent crisis escalation. I received a MA in International Relations from Seoul National University in 2019.


My research interests center on American politics, news media, gender and race. I am particularly interested in interactions between intersectional systems of oppression, political behavior, and political and media representations.


Jan Vogler recently completed his Ph.D. in political science at Duke University–with a specialization in political economy and political methodology. He currently is a post-doctoral research associate in the political economy of good government at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. His research covers a wide range of topics, including the organization of public bureaucracies, various forms of political and economic competition (in domestic and international settings), the legacies of imperial rule, and structures and perceptions of the European Union.


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