Faculty

Zhirkov

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.

Rivero

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.

Winter

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.

Walsh

Denise Walsh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and the Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality at the University of Virginia, and a co-editor of the American Political Science Review. Her research investigates how liberal democracies can become more inclusive and just. ​Walsh's current book project, Weaponizing Rights: The Politics of Debating Culture and Women's Rights, compares policy debates about the face veil ban in France, polygyny in South Africa, and Indigenous women’s citizenship status in Canada.

Sechser

Todd S. Sechser is the Pamela Feinour Edmonds and Franklin S. Edmonds, Jr. Discovery Professor of Politics; Professor of Public Policy at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; and a Senior Fellow at the Miller Center of Public Affairs.

Waldner

David Waldner (Ph.D. Berkeley) is interested in the formation of the modern state, the political economy of economic development, and the politics of authoritarian survival, democratic transitions, and democratic breakdowns. In addition to an active research agenda on these topics, he also writes on qualitative methods of causal inference. His current research projects look at the political resource curse, political outcomes in the post-Arab Spring Middle East, and the long-term consequences of labor-repressive agriculture in Iraq and the American South.  

Smith

Michael Joseph Smith is the Thomas C. Sorensen Professor of Political and Social Thought at the University of Virginia.  A product of public schools in Yonkers, New York, he holds a B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, and an M.Phil. from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. After serving as an Assistant Professor of Government and Social Studies at Harvard from 1982-85, Prof. Smith came to the University of Virginia in 1986, and has taught a wide variety of courses on human rights, political thought, ethics, and international relations. 

Schoppa

My research examines the politics and political economy of Japan in comparative context. I have an ongoing interest in the political economy of low fertility rates in Japan, looking at: 1) how the decisions of couples not to have children feeds into the policy process as an “exit” signal that individuals are not happy with a system that puts the burden of child-rearing almost entirely on mothers; and 2) how policymakers respond to that signal through changes in welfare and work policies.  The former was the focus of my 2006 book

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