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2018 Quandt Award Winners

A new set of scholars to receive the 2018 Quandt Awards has been chosen to pursue research overseas. The Quandt International Research Fund was started by the Department of Politics in honor of William Quandt, a distinguished faculty member and well-known expert on Middle Eastern politics. The Fund assists students and faculty in the Department to pursue studies and research abroad by making travel grants to defray the cost of international travel. The awards are administered annually by a faculty committee.

Project descriptions below are taken from their proposals and are subject to change based on their research and findings.

Mariana BrazaoMariana BrazaoThe Aestheticization of Politics: The Role of Indigenous Benches in Brazil’s Political Representation

Brazao will seek to examine how the general aestheticization of every-day, indigenous goods in Brazil impacts the indigenous populations’ political representation and presence in the country. She will visit São Paulo and Brasília, conducting research for two weeks including face-to-face interviews with government officials from the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), the Ministry of Culture, employees of BEI Editora, and employees of the Institute for Socio-Environmental Issues (Instituto Socio Ambiental – ISA). She will also conduct one-on-one interviews with indigenous tribe members, specifically the individuals who created the benches showcased in The Indigenous Benches of Brazil.

Danilo MedeirosDanilo MedeirosHow Policy Preferences Interact with Income Inequality: Political Polarization in Democratic Brazil

Medeiros’ research will investigate how income inequality is associated with political polarization in Brazil. His research targets the policy agenda of the executive and the relationship between the president and the legislature – features that are often ignored by the extant scholarship. His project also adds to the research agenda that takes economic inequality as an independent variable by including a case outside the advanced industrial world. His final goal is a framework to study the relationship between inequality and political polarization in any democracy with available data.

Nicole DemitryThe NGO Effect: A Bisection of Private Interests and Foreign Perceptions of American Public Policy

Over the last year, Demitry has developed a working hypothesis on perceptual disconnect in Haiti: many Haitians see NGO presence as an extension of US foreign policy, not as neutral non- governmental organizations. Perceptions of the recipients of foreign aid do not seem to be a static factor in the policy and implementation decisions of aid organizations. If this is correct, there are massive political implications not just in Haiti, but in many other underdeveloped countries with a large American NGO presence. Without accurately considering the perceptions of those receiving aid, or addressing potential self-referential truths within Western aid evaluative frameworks, NGOs will continue to fail in successful implementation of humanitarian aid. She will research how unsuccessful NGO activities contribute to this perceptual disconnect and how these effects can be mitigated.

Olyvia ChristleyOlyvia ChristleyNativism, Gender, and the Rise of the Radical Right

Much excellent work has already been done concerning radical right politics, but important gaps still remain, particularly when it comes to our understanding of how the radical right operates in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the United States. The bulk of the research and theorizing on the radical right has arisen from Western European party politics. The historical legacies and political institutions of CEE and the United States are not entirely analogous to those in Western Europe, so it stands to reason that the presence and implications of the radical right movement across these regions might vary in ways that have not yet been properly explored.

Hungary, Poland, and the United States—these three countries share some striking similarities, perhaps most importantly the fact that each one has elected an authoritarian head of state and/or government that is sympathetic to the radical right in the last decade. Christley plans to conduct the first cross-country study in political science that systematically compares the individual belief systems of radical right supporters within CEE to those in the United States. She will also use experimental studies and interviews to disentangle nativist and gendered attitudes among radical right supporters and voters, and examine the conditions that prompt individuals who hold both nativist and pro- (or anti-) gender equality views to support radical right ideologies, policies, and candidates.

Elana GrissomElena GrissomCross-Group Alliances in Ethnically Polarized Societies: The evolution of Arab-Jewish relations in Israeli municipal elections

Up until recently, local elections have been an under-researched area in the study of ethnic politics. Grissom will use municipal elections in Israel as a lens through which to analyze the political identity of the Arab minority. Specifically, she is interested in the factors that cause Arab parties and candidates to ally with Jewish parties, even when it is seemingly contrary to their in-group interests. She has also been granted a visiting research fellowship at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which will provide access to libraries, professors, and overall academic support.

Eric XuEric XuBrexit and International Students: A Chinese Case Study

Xu will travel to the United Kingdom to interview international students in the following prestigious London universities: London School of Economics (LSE), Imperial College, London (Imperial), and University College, London (UCL).

His project will target both post-graduate and undergraduate students at those institutions, in order to analyze the following factors relevant to higher-education migration: Why did they select the U.K., and London more specifically, as a destination for higher education migration? How did the U.K. post-visa process influence their decision, and how do they expect to remain in the U.K. after graduation? Has Brexit altered their perception of the U.K. and London’s openness to international students? What alternatives would they have considered in more detail had they had the chance to go back?

He will also speak with international student recruiting offices at the three schools in order to investigate their responses to the Brexit referendum and how they plan on recruiting Chinese students going forward. This project will allow him to collect responses from one of the centers of international student activity in the world, and analyze how push and pull migration factors are qualitatively changed by an exogenous political shock.

More Information about the Quandt Fund

Politics also at Midwest Political Science Association

ChicagoStudents and professors will also travel to Chicago for the 76th Annual MPSA Conference, April 5-8, 2018.

More info

Participants this year include:

Checks, Balances, and Federalism
Connor Maxwell Ewing
The Judicial Construction of Federalism
Thu, April 5, 9:45–11:15am

Courts, Transitional Justice, and Human Rights
Dana Katherine Moyer
Understanding the Decision–Implement Transitional Justice After Violent Conflict
Fri, April 6, 11:30am–1:00pm

Crime and Political Behavior
Daniel Willard Gingerich
Co-author Carlos G. Scartascini
A Heavy Hand or a Helping Hand?: Information Provision and Citizen Preferences for Anti-Crime Policy in Panama
Fri, April 6, 3:00–4:30pm

Distributive Politics in Africa
Brenton Peterson
Co-author Sarah Andrews, Principia College
The Electoral Effects of Credit Attribution for Local Development Projects
Fri, April 6, 4:45–6:15pm

Election Technology, Fraud, and Violence in Developing Countries
Brenton Peterson
Agents of the Regime: Polling Station Officials and Electoral Manipulation in Kenya’s 2017 Election
Fri, April 6, 3:00–4:30pm

Explaining Terrorist Violence II
Jihye Yang
Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo: The Logic Behind Target Selection by Terrorist Organizations
Sat, April 7, 11:30am–1:00pm

Firm Lobbying and Influence
Robert Kubinec
Tell It Like It Is: A Text Analysis of Firm Rationales for Political Participation in the Middle East
Fri, April 6, 4:45–6:15pm

Ideology and Policy Preferences
Gerard Alexander
Co-author Hovannes Abramyan, Reason Foundation
Challenging the Role of Personality as a Motivator of Political Ideology
Fri, April 6, 4:45–6:15pm

Immigration Politics in Europe
Hannah Alarian
Naturalization in the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis: Evidence from the EU-15
Thu, April 5, 3:00–4:30pm

Institutional and Ideological Innovation in Autocracies
Geoffrey Landor Gordon
The Guardian’s Dilemma: Institutional Choice During Transitions from Military Rule
Fri, April 6, 11:30am–1:00pm

Institutional Persistence in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes
Anne Meng
Institutional Persistence in Authoritarian Regimes
Thu, April 5, 1:15–2:45pm

Institutions in Autocracies
Carolyn Coberly, Discussant
Sat, April 7, 11:30am–1:00pm

International Influences on Democratization
Anne Meng, Chair
Fri, April 6, 8:00–9:30am

JSS Session 17/The Study of Emotions
B. Kal Munis
Joseph Phillips, Pennsylvania State University
Steven Morgan, Pennsylvania State University
Moral-Affective Dimensions of Extremist Discourse
Sun, April 8, 11:30am–1:00pm

Latin America and the Politics of Migration
Benjamin Clay Helms
Remittances and the Decline of Dominant Parties: Democratization in Mexico
Thu, April 5, 9:45–11:15am

Legislative Accountability and Public Opinion
Daniel Folsom, University of Virginia
Boris Heersink, Fordham University
Emily Sydnor, Southwestern University
What’s your excuse? Effects of Personal and Political Justifications for Flip-Flopping
Sat, April 7, 11:30am–1:00pm

Nativism, Public Opinion, and Political Participation
Hannah Alarian, Discussant
Thu, April 5, 1:15–2:45pm

New Perspectives on Political Development
Connor Maxwell Ewing
From Predicate–Object: Constitutionalizing Sovereignty in the American Political Order
Fri, April 6, 9:45–11:15am

Outsourcing and Procurement in Public Sector
Rachel Augustine Potter
The Political Economy of Government Outsourcing in the U.S. States
Sat, April 7, 3:00–4:30pm

Overcoming Opposition: Women’s Organizations and Policy Change across the Developing World
Paromita Sen
Diana Catalina Pedraza Vallejo
Denise M. Walsh
Opposition–Women’s Civic and Political Participation in the Global South: Building a Research Agenda
Fri, April 6, 1:15–2:45pm

Parties and Party Systems
Carolyn Coberly
Authoritarian Party Systems and State Capacity
Sun, April 8, 11:30am–1:00pm

Parties, Campaigns, and Elections in APD
Anthony Sparacino
Republican Governors and the Nationalization of American Party Politics
Fri, April 6, 3:00–4:30pm

Politicians in Developing Countries
Carol A. Mershon, Discussant
Sat, April 7, 9:45–11:15am

Politics and Development in Africa
Carol A. Mershon
Co-author Olga Shvetsova, SUNY at Binghamton
Traditional Leaders and their Bargaining for Legitimacy in Dual Legitimacy Constitutional Systems
Sat, April 7, 1:15–2:45pm

Poster Session 3/Trajectories of Democratization in the 21st Century
Geoffrey Landor Gordon, Discussant
Thu, April 5, 1:15–2:45pm

Presidential Power and the Constitution
Connor Maxwell Ewing, Discussant
Sun, April 8, 9:45–11:15am

Gendered Challenges–Democratic Legitimacy
Paromita Sen
Straight From the Politician’s Mouth: Official Talk on Rape
Sat, April 7, 3:00–4:30pm

The International Dimensions of Terrorist Violence
Chen Wang
The U.S. Allies Under Fire: A Centre-Periphery Theory of Terrorists’ Target Selection
Thu, April 5, 4:45–6:15pm

The Political Economy of U.S.-China Relations
Aycan Katitaş
Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Threat Perceptions: Evidence from Chinese Investment in the U.S.
Sun, April 8, 11:30am–1:00pm

The Politics of Immigration in Canada
Hannah Alarian, Chair
Fri, April 6, 1:15–2:45pm

The Politics of Investment and Financial Stability
David Andrew Leblang
Fri, April 6, 3:00–4:30pm

The Politics of Policy-Making
Danilo Buscatto Medeiros
How Policy Preferences Interact with Income Inequality: Legislative Polarization in Brazil
Sun, April 8, 8:00–9:30am

What Makes a Good Lawmaker?
Craig Volden
Co-author Andrew James Clarke, Lafayette College
The Legislative Effectiveness of American Party Factions
Sun, April 8, 8:00–9:30am

White Racial Attitudes
Gerard Alexander
Is “Modern Racism” Actually Racism?
Sat, April 7, 4:45–6:15pm

Politics at 2018 International Studies Association Conference

San FranciscoThe Department of Politics will have a wide range of speakers at this year’s ISA Conference in San Francisco. The conference will be tagged on social media as #ISA2018. It will run from April 4–7, 2018.

The New Financial Geopolitics: Whither American Power?
Mark Schwartz
Banks, Bonds, and Balance Sheets: Can American Financial Geo-Power Persist?
Wednesday, April 4, 8:15–10:00

Panel: (Re)Writing the Rules of International Tax
International Political Economy
Chair Herman Mark Schwartz
Wednesday, April 4, 10:30–12:15

Panel: Of Militias, Insurgent Groups, and Border Zones: The Syrian War in Comparative Perspective Peace Studies International Security Studies
Chair Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl
Wednesday, April 4, 10:30–12:15

Panel: Of Militias, Insurgent Groups, and Border Zones: The Syrian War in Comparative Perspective Peace Studies International Security Studies
Fighting for Dominance: How the Insurgent Balance of Power Drives Conflict in Civil Wars
Samuel Plapinger
Wednesday, April 4, 10:30–12:15

JSS Group Conflict: The Politics and Tactics of Counterterrorism Junior Scholar Symposia
Do Democratic Regime Types Make a Difference in Terrorist Incidents?
Hsuan-Yu Lin
Thursday, April 5, 8:15–10:00

Interrogating the Formal and Informal Rules of Access II: Governing Surplus Populations Global Development
Chair Herman Mark Schwartz
Thursday, April 5, 8:15–10:00

Roundtable International Political Theory and “Real Politics” II: Issues, Problems, and Policies
Part. Denise Walsh
Thursday, April 5, 8:15–10:00

Illiberal Democracy and Human Rights: Thematic Approaches
The Liberal Origins of “Illiberal” Democracies Panel
Robert Fatton
Thursday, April 5, 8:15–10:00

After Victory: Reconsidering a Breakthrough Work in IR
Part. John M. Owen
Thursday, April 5, 10:30–12:15

State Capacity in Asia
Discussant John E. Echeverri-Gent
Thursday, April 5, 10:30–12:15

Panel: The Politics of Big Infrastructure: Asia, North America, and South America
Discussant Herman Mark Schwartz
Friday, April 6, 10:30–12:15

Adapting Liberalism to the 21st Century
Part. John M. Owen
Friday, April 6, 10:30–12:15

Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy
Part. Todd S. Sechser
Friday, April 6, 1:45–3:30

Panel: Network Analysis, Complex Interdependence, and Structural Power in the Global Political Economy
Discussant Herman Mark Schwartz
Friday, April 6, 1:45–3:30

Rules of Power and Rising Powers: The Case of India
India and the Institutions of Global Finance: A Reformer More Interested in Distribution Than Restructuring
John E. Echeverri-Gent
Friday, April 6, 1:45–3:30

Border and Territorial Disputes
The Dog that Barks: State-Led Propaganda Campaigns on Territorial Disputes
Yaping Wang
Saturday, April 7, 8:15–10:00

Panel Media and Conflict
Discussant Yaping Wang
Saturday, April 7, 10:30–12:15

Illiberal Democracy and Human Rights: Case Studies I
Chair Robert Fatton
Saturday, April 7, 1:45–3:30

Politics @ Huskey 2018 Graduate Research Exhibition

The annual Huskey Graduate Research Exhibition was held Tuesday, March 20th 2018 in Newcomb Hall. Grad participants from the Department of Politics included:

  • Simonas Cepenas—Partisan Politics and Taxation: Why Some Democracies are More Heavily Taxed than Others
  • Anthony Sparacino—Republican Governors and the Nationalization of Party Politics: 1960–1968
  • Aycan Katitaş—Making Trade Electorally Salient: Trade Campaign Advertisements in the U.S.

Dr. Robert J. Huskey was a professor of Biology at the University for 32 years. To honor Dr. Huskey’s commitment to graduate students, in 2001 the Graduate Student Council introduced the Huskey Graduate Research Exhibition. Presentations are intended for a general audience and may be oral presentations, or poster talks.

2018 Huskey Graduate Research Presentation Schedule

Please join our graduate scholars presenting at the 2018 Huskey 2018 Graduate Research Exhibition.

This year’s political scientists:
Simonas Cepenas
Partisan Politics and Taxation: Why Some Democracies are More Heavily Taxed than Others
Anthony Sparacino
Republican Governors and the Nationalization of Party Politics: 1960–1968
Aycan Katitaş
Making Trade Electorally Salient: Trade Campaign Advertisements in the U.S.
Nicholas Jacobs
The Political Dynamics of “Creative Federalism”: President Johnson, the Mayors, and the Development of Federal Local Urban Policy in the 1960s

Dr. Robert J. Huskey, professor of Biology, served the University of Virginia for 32 years. As Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Dr. Huskey sought to improve the graduate student experience, in particular by developing assistantships and providing affordable health care. To honor Dr. Huskey’s commitment to graduate students, in 2001 the Graduate Student Council introduced the Huskey Graduate Research Exhibition. This upcoming exhibition will mark the 18th annual opportunity for graduate students to present their innovative research with the University of Virginia community.
The exhibition is intended for a general audience. High-scoring presentations will effectively 1) set up the question being investigated; 2) frame the question in context of its broader importance; 3) communicate an evidence-based argument; 4) be accessible to an audience of diverse educational backgrounds.

Abigail Post Joins Anderson University

Abigal PostAbigail Post joins Anderson University in Indiana as an Assistant Professor of International Relations/National Security in the Department of History & Political Science. Her dissertation was title The Language of Signaling: National Rhetoric in International Bargaining, and her research included laboratory and survey methods. Her committee included John M. Owen (co-chair), Todd Sechser (co-chair), and Nicholas Winter.


Kenny Lowande: from UVA to UMich

Kenneth LowandeStarting Fall 2018, Kenny Lowande will be an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Policy (by Courtesy) at the University of Michigan.

Kenny earned his Ph.D. from UVA in 2016, and has been a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, and the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University. He studies American political institutions, policymaking, and the executive branch. The University of Michigan political science program is ranked 4th by the U.S. News and World Report.

Kenny spent four years in the program—advised by Jeff Jenkins (Chair), Craig Volden, Rachel Potter, and David Lewis (Vanderbilt). He first met Lewis during the American Politics Speaker Series at UVA. UVA’s Quantitative Collaborative funded portions of his dissertation and supported other research coauthored with Andrew Clarke. His first published paper grew out of a graduate seminar with Sidney Milkis.

A galvanizing moment of awareness occurred during his stint as Editorial Assistant at the Journal of Politics (2015–2016), while at UVA. “Famous” professors’ papers were routinely being rejected. Authors whose previous work was nonpareil, whose reputations were golden, were regularly being denied, and still they submitted. To Kenny this indicated persistence was key, as was listening to the advice of reviewers and maintaining a leathery hide.

He developed tough skin during the series of steps that led to Michigan. The doctoral program at UVA and multiple postdocs exposed him to different academic cultures, varying research pressures, and a broader range of scholars than one might see going straight from Ph.D. to faculty.

Kenny is a first-generation college student from Burbank, CA. When asked for advice for those who follow, he said…

“Being on the market is a full time job. Expect to spend most of Summer and Fall, preparing for, applying to, and getting a job. The periods between feedback are difficult.”

“There are a lot of talented, accomplished people on the market. It often takes time to find the right ‘fit.’”

“Be a good citizen. Read others’ work, share your data, go to talks, and review manuscripts (quickly).”

Request for Abstracts – Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Working Group Graduate Research Workshop

The Race, Ethnicity and Gender Working Group (REG) in the Department of Politics brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students to advance research, mentorship and teaching on political questions that address race, ethnicity and gender.

An integral element of our mission is to support graduate research on the politics of race, ethnicity and gender. Therefore, we will hold the first annual REG Graduate Student Workshop on January 19, 2018. We invite applications from graduate students to present a working paper, receive feedback from a faculty discussant and receive a $200 gift certificate to the UVA Bookstore in recognition of their research excellence. Ph.D. students in the Department of Politics are eligible to apply. We anticipate selecting 3-4 students.

Proposed research papers must involve some aspect of race, ethnicity and/or gender. Papers may be standalone projects or a discrete component of a larger research project.

Workshop participants will be expected to

  • Present their working paper at the January 19 workshop, to be held from 12-1:30pm.
  • Attend the REG Open House, 5-7pm, hosted by Nick Winter.

Submissions should include:

  • Title of the paper, abstract of not more than 200 words that identifies and explains the importance of the question to be addressed, describes the approach(es) used, and articulates the connection between the research and race, ethnicity and/or gender.
  • CV

REG faculty from several subfields will evaluate abstracts on the importance of the questions they raise; the suitability of the approach they take; and their relevance to race, ethnicity and gender in the study of politics.

Abstracts and CVs must be submitted by email as a single PDF attachment to Nicholas Winter, by 5pm on December 15. Selections will be announced in early January, 2018.

More information about REG is available on our website. Inquiries about REG may be directed to Denise Walsh.