The following students are currently pursuing PhDs in political science or have recently graduated and are on the academic job market. See also our separate list of job placement candidates.
Sahar received her Masters of Government and International Affairs from Virginia Tech in 2013. Her research focuses on the impact of institutional dynamics and discursive interactions on the formation of political attitudes and behavior. Her interests include political institutions and political behavior, political analysis, and quantitative political methodology. She is currently working on a project that examines the role of US interest groups in influencing judicial behavior on the US Supreme Court, and another that explores the role of political trust in the emergence of radical political attitudes. She is currently the Quantitative Methods Fellow, and in the past has served as a teaching fellow for various introductory political science courses.
Laura received her B.A. in Political Science from Simmons College in 2013 and entered the PhD program at Boston University that same year. Her major field of study is Comparative Politics, with a regional focus on Latin America. Laura passed her comprehensive exams in Comparative and American politics in September 2015. Currently, her research focuses on the political causes and consequences of criminal violence in Central America and Mexico. More broadly, her research interests include violence, citizen security, corruption, organized crime, and democratization. Her dissertation uses ethnographic methods to explore patterns of drug trafficking violence on the Caribbean coast of Central America. Laura developed and taught her own course, The Politics of the Drug War (PO 300), and has also taught Introduction to American Politics (PO 111). In addition, she has served as a teaching fellow for Introduction to Comparative Politics, Public Policy, and American Politics. She has also been a research fellow for Professor John Gerring.
Olivia received her B.A in political science and anthropology from Union College (Schenectady, NY) in 2018 and entered the Ph.D. program at BU supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in Fall 2018. Her undergraduate senior thesis analyzed how neoliberalism has reshaped humanitarian aid efforts and thus created a market for the commoditization of refugee bodies in connection to the revitalization of abandoned small Italian towns. Additionally, she examined the ways in which media depictions fabricate a narrative that makes refugees susceptible to the growing trend of fraudulent humanitarian relief projects. Olivia’s graduate research will expand on the previous literature that investigates media and its effect on policy and assesses how these findings can be used to modify asylum policy and refugee accommodation.
Ahyoung Cho received a Bachelor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a concentration of Comparative Culture and Identity from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 2016. She also received a Master of Public Policy degree from the Graduate School of Public Administration at Seoul National University in 2018. For her Master’s thesis, she investigated how socio-economic factors and geographical proximity affect the air quality performance of 100 countries using the panel data set. She joined the Ph.D. program in Political Science at Boston University in Fall 2018. Her current research interests include environmental performance and policy, public participation, policy support and urban regeneration through cultural and creative industries.
SeulAh Choi received her B.A. in political science and her M.A. in political science from Ewha Womans University, South Korea. Her current research interests are in international relations, focusing on the linkages between domestic politics and conflicts. She entered the Ph.D. program in political science in Fall 2014.
Miguel received his Master’s degree (Master in Public Management, 2015) from Universidad San Sebastian, Chile, and his Bachelor’s degree (B.A. in Political Science and Public Policy, 2014) from Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile. Between 2014 and 2017, Miguel worked at Universidad del Desarrollo in Chile, where he was a researcher at the Center for Public Policy, lecturer for the undergraduate programs in Political Science and Journalism, leader of the Electoral Studies Group and part of a multidisciplinary team which develops mobile applications for elections. Miguel’s research is in the field of comparative politics, with emphasizes on political behavior and public opinion. He is interested in the effects of electoral rules and historical events over participation and vote choice in Latin America, and the perception of corruption within groups. Previously, Miguel was part of a WHO project concerning the harm to others’ due drinking, which leads to a series of peer review publications in journals such as Alcohol and Alcoholism and the Chilean Journal of Medicine. Miguel joined the Ph.D. program in the fall of 2017.
Luisa joined the Ph.D. program in the fall of 2016. She previously received her Master’s degree (LLM) at University of Chicago in 2015 and her law degree from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 2011. She has worked as a research consultant for the Organization of American States (2012-2014) and the Inter American Development Bank (2015-2016), both in Washington D.C. Her previous professional experience was centered on researching the developmental implications of migration, education, crime and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean. For her Ph.D., Luisa is interested in exploring the influence of Federalism on parties, ideology, urban governance and development in the United States.
Mehmet Hecan received his B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University in Istanbul in 2013. He was also an exchange student at the Department of Political Science in George Washington University during fall semester 2011. Before joining the program at Boston University, he pursued a master of science degree in International Relations at Middle East Technical University in Ankara. Engaged in research at an Ankara-based research institution called USAK starting in 2013, Hecan also worked as a research assistant for more than three years at the institution’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies. He is a student of international political economy (IPE), mostly specializing in international development, international financial institutions (IFIs), development finance and global governance. His interests of research also include state-building and democratization as well as certain political economy issues in the Middle East and North Africa. Mehmet joined the Ph.D. program in the fall of 2016.
Nick received his Master’s degree (M.P.P. in International Development, 2016) and Bachelor’s degree (B.A. in Economics, 2015) from the University of Maryland. He has led economic development fieldwork in Guatemala, India, Morocco, and South Africa, and worked in Washington DC for The World Bank Group and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Nick’s research is in the field of international political economy. He is interested in the role that corporations, local capital holders, and financial institutions can play in the integral economic development of underdeveloped areas. His current research on improving development outcomes from remittance transfers will be published in 2018. Nick joined the Ph.D. program in the fall of 2017.
Breno Hermann entered the program in the Fall of 2014. He has a masters degree in International Relations from the University of Brasília and a masters in Philosophy from the same institutions. He is interested in Comparative Politics, especially in issues related to Democracy in Latina America. He is also broadly interested in political methodology , in international political economy and in the use of force in international relations. Breno is a member of the Brazilian Foreign Service. Previously to coming to Boston he has served at the Brazilian Mission to the WTO and at the Brazilian Embassy in Mexico.
Lilian Jaimes received her B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from CIDE and her Master of Public Policy at ITAM, both in Mexico. Lilian is a Fulbright Fellow and her area of interest is Latin American Politics with a focus on Mexico and Brazil. Lilian entered the Ph.D. program in Fall 2010.
Junda Jin is a political science Ph.D. Candidate at Boston University, enrolled in Fall 2014. He received his Economics B.A. from Peking (Beijing) University in 2011, worked as a journalist for one year and received his M.A. Degree in International Affairs (specializing in quantitative methods, concentrated on China Studies) from Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in 2014. His current research interests include security and policy related to China’s energy, resource and environment, with comparative politics as his major field and international relations as the minor field.
Valeriya received her M.A. Degree in International Relations from Jacobs University-Bremen, Germany in 2014 and entered the Ph.D. program at Boston University that same year. In 2013, she assisted on a project about democratic transitions in the Arab World at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, Hamburg. Currently, her research focuses on the role of intra-party democracy and grassroots activism in the success of right-wing populist parties in Europe. Valeriya has served as an Instructor and Teaching Fellow for several courses, including European Politics, Introduction to Comparative Politics and Introduction to International Relations.
Elvis is a Ph.D. student focusing on comparative politics, having entered the program in Fall 2018. His research interests include authoritarianism, protest and social movements, regime change, political development, and contemporary Chinese politics. He received his Master’s degree (International Studies) from Seoul National University in 2018 and Bachelor’s degree (Business Administration) from Shenzhen University in 2014. His master’s thesis examines the political impact of the internet and social media in China. It responds mainly to two scholarly debates: One is over the relation between the internet and democratization; the other is over the prospects for regime change in China. Elvis’s thesis investigates the potentials and limitations of the internet to drive institutional changes by using the framework of the political process theory, which emphasizes three aspects of contentious politics: insurgent consciousness, organizational strength, and political opportunities.
Claudia Kim entered the program in Fall 2013. She researches politics of U.S. military bases abroad, alliances, contentious politics, and East Asia. Her work has appeared in Pacific Review, Journal of Contemporary Asia, and Social Science Japan Journal. She received her B.A. in political science from Ewha Women’s University in 2010.
Jay (Jaewook) Lee entered the program in Fall 2016. He received B.A. and M.A. degree in Political Science from Seoul National University. His research interest lies in comparative political economy, especially politics of labor incorporation in the economic reforms in the late-industrialized countries of coping with the pressures of the globalized world. Jay wrote his master’s thesis on the rapid rise and breakdown of social pacts and its related politics in South Korea in the late 1990s. Also, he published an article on the politics of labor and government concerning unemployment benefit reforms by comparing experiences of Belgium and Denmark in 1990s. He aims to study comparing various types of the institutional change and policy reform process that reflect the conflicts and coordination among labor, business, and government.
Claire (Seulgie) received her B.A. in International Relations with a minor in English Literature at Seoul National University, South Korea, and her M.A. in International Cooperation at the Graduate School of International Studies also at the same university. She joined the Ph.D. program in Political Science at BU in Fall 2013. Her interest lies in exploring the relationship between religion (Islam) and politics in West Africa, more specifically in Senegal and Mauritania. Her other academic interests include social activism, civil society dynamics, and women in politics. She has been working as a Teaching Fellow for PO171/IR271 for three semesters. She was also a graduate summer fellow at the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer Range Future, where she spent the summer of 2015 researching on Senegal and the Gender Parity Law of 2010.
Michael Luke received his B.A. in Political Science from Boston University in 2011. He went on to obtain his M.A. from New York University in 2012 with a concentration in Comparative Politics. Michael’s specialization is in the comparative political economy of the welfare state in advanced industrialized countries. His research interests include welfare state retrenchment, the impact of employer preferences in social policy, and social democracy.
Asako entered the PhD program in Fall 2015. She is interested in data analysis and statistical inference of causality from observation studies. Specifically, she is interested in demarcating when quantitative methods become inappropriate for meaningfully answering social science questions.
Erik Olsson joined the program in Fall 2015. He previously completed two Bachelor’s degrees from Uppsala University, Sweden: one in Political Science and one in Economics. He received his M.S. in Political Science, also from Uppsala University, in 2015, with a thesis studying EU policy on Roma integration. His main focus is on international relations, international political economy, and comparative politics, and he is especially interested in power relations, global governance, and transnational relations.
Ruizhi Pang received his B.A. in Qingdao University, China, in 2012, majoring in International Politics and M.A. from China Foreign Affairs University (2014), with major of Diplomacy and Columbia University (2015), with major of Political Science. His research interests are in international relations, especially communication noise in international relations, power transition theory, and Chinese nationalism. He entered the Ph.D. program in Fall 2015.
Song earned her B.A. in International Studies and Russian Language & Cultures at Emory University in May 2015. After working for a start-up company in education and the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), she entered the Ph.D. program in Fall 2017. She is currently interested in studying Eastern European politics and international security.
Leslie Sale graduated magna cum laude from James Madison University in May 2009 with a B.A. in International Affairs. In her senior year, Leslie was chosen to represent JMU at SCUSA, the Student Conference of US Affairs in West Point, NY. Before joining the Ph.D. program in Fall 2009, Leslie volunteered at a lion conservatory in Livingstone, Zambia. This trip also gave her the opportunity to spend time in other countries in Southern Africa, including Botswana and South Africa. Leslie’s research interests include comparative politics, and international relations with a regional focus in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Sarah is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science and is also a pre-doctoral fellow at the Pardee School’s Global Development Policy center. She studies global development and international political economy, with a particular focus on politics and economics in China. She also uses network analysis to examine global financial flows and China’s role in the international political economy. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies from Brown University and also studied at Minzu University in Beijing.
Stacey earned her B.A. in English and Political Science at Middlebury College and her M.A. in Political Science at Lehigh University. An experienced teacher of U.S. history and AP Comparative Politics at the secondary school level, Stacey’s areas of interest are comparative politics (especially nationalism and the European Union) and political theory (particularly revolution and regime change). She entered the Ph.D. program in 2013.
Metehan received his B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Koç University in Istanbul in 2015, and started the Ph.D. program the same year. His main research interests are nationalism and its durability in contemporary politics, the institutionalization of populism, the spread of neoliberal ideas, and hegemony. Metehan’s dissertation is about how populism is institutionalized and perpetuated, with a special focus on the resilience of populist ideas in Turkey. He has served as an instructor teaching Introduction to Public Policy, and also teaches International Relations.
Kehan received his B.A. in English (2011) and Master of Laws in Diplomacy (2013) from China University of Political Science and Law, and M.A. in International Relations (2015) from New York University. His current research interests are democratization in China and Latin America, revolution and political sociology. He entered the program in Fall 2016.
Clyde Yicheng Wang joined the program at Boston University in fall 2017. Before that he obtained a master’s degree in China Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he graduated with Distinction and received the Fei Xiaotong Prize for the Best “China in Comparative Perspective” Dissertation. Clyde also holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry (first class honor, minor in social sciences) from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Clyde is primarily interested in comparative politics, with a special focus on the propaganda system in China. His current project concerns how the propaganda work in China uses and appropriates mass culture to mobilize popular support, especially on the Internet. His research also touches upon the mobilization of nationalism, state-society relations, and the source of state power and legitimacy. Working papers include “The Discipline of Happiness: Investigating the ‘Positive Energy’ Discourse in China” (co-authored with Zifeng Chen from Peking University) and “When the Party Starts Partying: The Changing Strategies of the Chinese Party-State on Social Media”.
Zeying Wu entered the Ph.D. program in Fall 2017. Before joining BU, she was educated in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan. She is particularly interested in the theory of nationalism, international relations in Northeast Asia, comparative politics and survey research. So far, she has published one journal article onJapan Studies Review and her co-authored book chapter is forthcoming on The New Handbook of Political Sociology by Cambridge University Press. She is now working on the spread of nationalism to Japan, China and other Northeast Asian societies.