Political Methodology


Kirill Zhirkov is an Assistant Professor 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.


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.


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