Two of the Department's graduate students presented fascinating work at the 2016...
Sahar received her Masters of Government and International Affairs from Virginia Tech in 2013. Her research focuses on political polarization, and the impact of institutional dynamics and discursive interactions on the emergence of radical political attitudes and behavior. Her interests include political institutions and political behavior, discourse analysis, formation of political identities and quantitative political methodology. She is currently working on a project that examines the role of political trust in the emergence of radical attitudes and another about the role of interest groups in influencing judicial behavior. She has served as a teaching fellow for Intro to Comparative Politics.
Alejandro Avenburg received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Buenos Aires in 2003. In 2009 he completed his dissertation for the Master in International Relations at Flacso- San Andres University. Alejandro’s areas of interest are Comparative Politics and Latin American Politics. He is currently completing his dissertation on corruption and electoral accountability in Brazil, using large-N analysis, experiments and elite interviews. He is expected to finish his dissertation by Spring 2016
Laura received her B.A. in Political Science from Simmons College in 2013. Her focus is on Comparative Politics, specifically in Central America and Mexico. Her research interests include citizen security, corruption, political and criminal violence, quantitative methodology, and the rule of law. Laura entered the program in Fall 2013.
Cantay received his BA from Brandeis University, majoring in Economics, Mathematics, and International Studies. He completed his MA in International Relations at Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey. His research interests include quantitative methodology and data science, renewable energy, energy policy, US Congress, and political economy. His dissertation will focus on the flow of money and interests in American energy politics by bringing aspects of policy choices, political connections, and societal perceptions together. In addition to his duties as a teaching fellow, Cantay has served as a Summer Research Fellow at the Pardee Center of BU and as a Quantitative Methods Fellow in his department.
Hao Chen received his B.A. in political science from Hunan University, China in 2009 and his M.A. in international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. He entered the PhD program at Boston University in Fall 2011. His research interests include comparative politics (e.g., welfare state, business- government relations, and regime legitimacy) and international security (e.g., US-China military relations and China’s military modernization).
Hao’s dissertation focuses on welfare state in authoritarian countries. His research explains both the motivations and the variations of welfare provision by examining the role of business and the relationship between business and government. In addition to his dissertation research, Hao is also working on several other projects, including democratization in rural China and political trust in China, and it draws upon both quantitative and qualitative methods. Besides research, Hao has served as a Teaching Fellow for several courses, including Introduction to American Politics, U.S. Media and Politics, and Introduction to International Relations. He also taught two courses – Rise of China, and Special Topics in Comparative Politics in 2014 – 2015.
SeulAh Choi received her BA in political science and her MA 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 PhD program in political science in Fall 2014.
Yasser El-Shimy is an Egyptian-American political analyst based in Boston, MA. He currently works as a Teaching Fellow at Boston University, while finishing his PhD in Political Science at the same institution. He has served as the Egypt analyst for the International Crisis Group, and is a former diplomat with the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs. Mr. El-Shimy’s specialties include Middle East politics and US foreign and national security policies towards the region. Most of his work focuses on analyzing complex socio-political developments based on discussions with key players in Middle Eastern politics and civil society. His reports, op-eds and media interviews convey detailed analysis of ongoing events in Egypt and the region, and suggest strategies for preventing and mediating conflict. His current research focuses on the failure of Egypt to democratize between 2011 and 2013.
Laura Esposito received her BA in psychology and history from Boston College in 2012. Her research interests include transitioning governments, Islam and politics, extremism, and quantitative methods with a regional focus in the Middle East and North Africa. She entered the program in the fall of 2014.
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 in 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 PhD program in Fall 2010.
Anshul Jain graduated from Duke University in 2002 with a B.A. in Political Science. His undergraduate research focused on theoretical modeling of hostage crises. After graduating from Duke he moved to Boston and eventually became an educator. Prior to entering Boston University, he worked for the Boston Public Schools as a high school teacher.
Anshul recently coauthored a book, The Social Media President: Barack Obama and the Politics of Digital Engagement, published by Palgrave Macmillan at the end of 2013.
Anshul’s dissertation, “Migration and the Evolving Mediascape: New Media, Identity and the Transnational Politics of the Indian Diaspora,” concentrates on the role of digital media in the participation of subgroups of the Indian diaspora in the political life of their home country. Other ongoing research topics include:
– the historical use of small media formats by opposition groups in Iran
– the influence of former US Presidents in foreign policy
– the role of economic complexity and food subsidy systems in regime stability across the MENA region
Anshul is a Boston University Presidential Teaching Fellow and currently teaches Intro to Public Policy and Media & Politics. He has presented papers at conferences of APSA, MPSA, ISA, SPSA and ASMEA, and is currently revising several articles for journal submission.
Jillian’s research focuses on racial and ethnic politics, voting behavior, and the political incorporation of immigrants and minorities in the United States. Currently, she is working on two projects. The first considers the emergence of minority candidates and the effect of minority status on electability. She explores these issues using an original data set of mayoral elections in American cities from 1990 to 2015 and online survey experiments. The second project examines the motivation behind county participation in the Secure Communities program and its implications for immigrant and minority communities. Jillian entered the PhD program in 2011 with a teaching fellowship and in subsequent years served as a research assistant for the West African Research Center, Dr. Katherine Einstein, and Dr. Christine Rossell. In 2015, she was awarded the first Henry S. Newman Graduate Fellowship for Immigration Studies. At BU, Jillian has taught her own courses on American politics and the politics of North Africa and has also served as a teaching fellow for the Introduction to International Relations course. Jillian received her MA in International Relations from Boston University in 2010 and her BA in Political Science from the University of Portland in 2006.
Ji Soo Jeon received her M.S. in Public Policy and Management from the H. John III Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University in 2011, with a focus on policy analysis; and received her B.S. in Policy and Management with a minor in Professional Writing also from Carnegie Mellon University in 2010. During her master study, she published a paper titled “The Rapid Industrialization of Seoul City and its Implications,” in The Heinz Journal, wrote papers on China-North Korea relations and the implications on Chinese Property Rights Law, and produced policy memos on public poilcy issues ranging from education poilcy, human rights issues, health care, and ethics in public policy. She served as a research assistant at the Social Sciences Department at Carnegie Mellon, focusing on behavioral and decision research. Her current areas of interest include comparative politics and political economy, with a regional focus on East Asia (Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan). Some potential topics include: interplay of policy and politics in East Asia, contemporary China’s foreign affairs, and Korean political economy. She is also interested in behavioral economics and sociology, understanding peoples’ behaviors and decision making process, and how they shape the world as we see today.
Junda Jin is a political science Ph.D. Candidate at Boston University, enrolled in Fall 2014. He got his Economics B.A. from Peking (Beijing) University in 2011, worked as a journalist for one year and got his M.A. Degree in International Affairs (specialized 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 (2014) and her B.A. in International Studies and Political Science from Ramapo College of New Jersey (2012). In 2013, she assisted on a project about democratic transitions in the Arab World at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, Hamburg. Her current research interests include authoritarian governments in the Middle East, social movements, and radical-right parties in Europe.
Claudia Kim entered the program in Fall 2013. Her research interests are alliance politics and U.S. global force posture. She received her B.A. in political science from Ewha Women’s University in 2010 and worked for news agencies.
Hae Won Lee received her MA in Political Science from Sookmyung Women’s University in 2005 and her BA in Political Science from Sookmyung Women’s University in 2003. She is interested in studying the political economy of regional integration processes, specifically in Europe and East Asia.
Claire (Seulgie) Lim
Claire (Seulgie) received her BA in International Relations with a minor in English Literature at Seoul National University, South Korea, and her MA in International Cooperation at the Graduate School of International Studies also at the same university. She joined the PhD 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.
Matthew Maguire is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Boston University, a Research Assistant with the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) project, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (October-December 2015). His research interests lie broadly in the fields of comparative politics, regulation and governance, and political methodology. His dissertation shows how the growth of voluntary corporate self-regulation, often referred to as corporate social responsibility (CSR), has lead to the development of new public policy in the European Union. He received an M.Sc. in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2008 and a B.A. in History from Cornell University in 2003.
Asako Mikami received her B.A. in Government (major) and Mathematics (minor) from Smith College in 2014. Her research interests are territorial disputes, application of game theory to international relations, and Japanese politics in comparative perspectives. Asako entered the program in Fall 2015.
Ph.D. student, Boston University, 2010 – Present. Course work and comprehensive exams completed. Dissertation is on Natural Law and the “Common Good.”
M.A. – Political Science – University of West Florida, 2007. Primary emphasis was political theory and secondary emphasis was public administration.
B.A. – Political Science – University of Central Florida, 1986.
Pensacola State College. 2015 – Present. Instructor in Political Science and History.
University of New England. 2008 – 2015. Adjunct Professor in Political Science. Courses taught include Introduction to Political Science, the American Presidency, Ancient Political Theory, the Politics of Empire, Religion and Politics and the Model United Nations.
Southern New Hampshire University. 2012 – 2014. Adjunct Instructor. Taught American National Government.
Bill is a third-year PhD candidate. He received a B.A. from Indiana University in 2011 with majors in International Studies and Germanic Studies. Afterwards he spend two years living in Kiel, Germany where he spent some time teaching English. He began studying at BU in the fall of 2014. His research interests include tax havens and tax haven policy, intergovernmental organizations, the political economy of tax and financial regulation, and the European Union.
Aki Nakai is a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) of Political Science at Boston University. He received his BA in Political Science from Waseda University and his MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. His primary areas of specialization are International Relations Theory, International Security, and Politics of East Asia. His doctoral dissertation: A Theory of Alliance Restructuring – the Cases in East Asia, 1946-2000, investigates why some allies restructure their existing alliance relationships which they once favored, but some allies do not? He is especially interested in advancing the understanding of international security in East Asia through the study of security alliances. His research interests include alliance burden sharing, alliance entrapment/entanglement, and territorial disputes/conflicts escalation. He has had teaching experiences in international relations and international security at the U.S. Naval War College (Fall 2012, Spring 2013), Boston University (Summer 2015), and Tufts University (Fall 2015).
Erik Olsson 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. He entered the PhD program at BU in the fall of 2015. His main focus is on international relations and international political theory, and he is especially interested in power relations, global governance, border studies, and identity politics.
Erzen Oncel is a PhD candidate in the department of Political Science at Boston University. She received her BA degrees in History and International Relations & Political Science from Bogazici University, Istanbul. Her major field of study is Comparative Politics with a special interest in political elite, descriptive representation, and ethnic politics in the Middle East. She was a teaching fellow for PO 271, Introduction to International Relations, and for PO 241, Introduction to Public Policy. She taught “Politics of Race and Ethnicity” and “State and Society in the Middle East” courses at Boston University and University of Mississippi.
From September 2008 to May 2010, she was the head research assistant and project manager for NSF funded “Colonialism and Its Legacies: A Historical Dataset Project” (co-PIs James Mahoney and John Gerring). Since Fall 2009, she has been managing “The Global Leadership Project” project, funded by Clinton Global Initiative at Boston University. Meanwhile, she is working on her dissertation project which examines the political, structural, and cultural factors underpinning the descriptive representation of ethnic groups among political elites across polities around the world. As a case study, she studies change in ethnic (particularly Kurdish) representation in Turkey since 1920. She received Boston University Graduate Research Fellowship Award in 2011.
Ruizhi Pang received his BA in Qingdao University, China, in 2012, majoring in International Politics. And got my MA 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 is a first year PHD.
Leslie Sale graduated magna cum laude from James Madison University in May 2009 with a BA 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 PhD program at Boston University this fall, 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.
Kristin Sippl is finishing her Ph.D. in the Department of Political Science at Boston University and is currently a Doctoral Research Associate at the Susilo Institute for Ethics in the Global Economy at the Questrom School of Business. Her dissertation explores why global governance organizations target some industries and issues but not others, using the case of non-profit certification organization response to gold mining for the jewelry industry. This project aligns with her broader research interests in private regulation, transnational advocacy, organizational behavior, and institutional analysis in the empirical realms of public health and natural resource management in developing countries. Kristin has taught in the areas of international relations, human rights, and non-state actors. Prior to entering academia, she worked as a Business Analyst for Target Corporation at their headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Eniola is a 5th year Ph.D student in the political science department, with a focus in political philosophy.Her Ph.D dissertation, The Law’s Moral Legitimacy and the Significance of Participation’ uses Aristotle and Rousseau to examine the nature and position of legitimate law to men within political society. Her dissertation project uses a city-wide transportation system in Lagos, Nigeria as the basis for conducting a set of field experiments to empirically examine the relationship between citizen deliberative participation in rule-making and citizen adherence to rules and perceptions of rule ‘legitimacy’. Eniola is currently in the field.
She obtained her BA from the University of Kent in the UK and her MSc from University College London. She has previously worked at Chatham House and the Guardian Newspaper. She writes and edits a blog on Nigerian politics at www.politicalmatter.org
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 PhD program in 2013.
Joo-Hee Suh received her bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration in international relations from Williams College in 2003 and her master’s degree in history of international relations from London School of Economics in 2005. Joo-Hee previously worked at the British Embassy Seoul as a political and media officer and most recently, at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland as a human rights officer. Her research interests include international relations, human rights, humanitarian intervention and transitional justice.
Taiyi Sun received his B.A from Ripon College, WI, double majored in Politics & Government and Business Administration with a minor in Leadership studies, and M.A. in International Affairs from American University, Washington, D.C. Taiyi’s research focuses on disaster and civil society, social capital, and Chinese politics. He is currently a lecturer teaching PO520 “Readings in Public Policy”.
Taiyi previously worked as the executive assistant and office manager for the Center for Asian Studies, AU. He is also actively involved in organizing citizen policy discussions/forums and is a resident at the Interactivity Foundation. Taiyi currently writes columns for various media outlets in China (including the largest youth magazine in China) and is also playing the first violin with the Boston Civic Symphony. Please visit his personal webpage at: www.taiyisun.com
Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu received his MS and BS degrees in International Relations from Middle East Technical University, in Ankara, Turkey. His research is located at the intersection of International Relations Theories and politics of ethno-religious identities. Ahmet Selim is currently conducting his dissertation fieldwork which examines transnational Muslim identity construction among American Muslims in six communities in Boston and San Francisco Bay Area. He previously thought Politics of Race and Ethnicity in Summer 2012, and will teach Introduction to International Relations in Summer 2014. Ahmet Selim was a Junior visiting Fellow with the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna during Spring 2010, and has been a non-resident researcher for SETA Foundation in Washington, D.C for the past two years. Previously he was a graduate fellow at Pardee Center at BU, and attended Syracuse University’s Institute on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR). Since July 2013, Ahmet Selim has been directing the Los Angeles leg of Public Ethics and Citizenship in Plural Societies Project, a research cluster of Notre Dame University’s Contending Modernities Project, as part of a team of researchers at BU’s Institute on Religion Culture and World Affairs (CURA).
Metehan entered the program in Fall 2015, and is interested in the political and ethnographic implications of the neoliberal paradigm and the Middle East. More specifically, he is interested in the creation and manipulation of public opinion through the use of mass media and propaganda, social engineering and leader cults, corruption, the rise of political Islam and how Islamist Radicalism interacts with the West, and Turkey’s own Kurdish Issue.
Jim Wallace is mid-career PhD candidate (ABD) with expertise in International Relations and Religion, Islamic Political Movements, and Religion and Politics in China. He previously earned a doctorate in theology from Samford University, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Seminary, and Boston University. He has also done graduate studies at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and Divinity School. Jim is currently completing his PhD dissertation entitled, “Blowback of the Gods: The U.S. Government’s Covert Use of Religion as a Tool of Foreign Policy in the Early Cold War Years and Its Consequences.”
Presently, Jim is a Lecturer in BU’s Department of International Relations teaching courses on “History of American Foreign Policy,” “Religion and American Foreign Policy,” and “International Relations and Religion.” He is also a Fellow in the Religion Fellows Program co-hosted by BU’s School of Theology and BU’s Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs. Jim is co-author of a forthcoming book with Oxford University Press entitled, “Smarter Than You Think: The Surprising Emergence of an Evangelical Intelligentsia in America.” As well, Jim has published peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Cold War Studies as well as the Review of Faith and International Affairs. Jim has been a guest lecturer at Harvard University and at Shanghai University.
Previously, Jim worked in Canada for over 25 years as a religious leader and a senior policy advisor and speechwriter for several senior Canadian politicians and government ministers. He is founder and CEO of a global consultancy dealing with international affairs, culture and religion – LACUNA Group International.
Lenka received her B.A. in History, Society and Culture from Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH in 2002. She completed her M.A. in Euroculture in 2005 at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Lenka held several positions as a researcher and an analyst in the U.S. and Europe, including working as a security advisor at the International Relations Department at the Slovak Ministry of Defense. She entered the PhD program in 2009 and passed her qualifying examinations in October 2010. Her research interests include issues of international security, identity politics and democracy with regional focus on the European Union and its immediate neighborhood. She is currently working on a dissertation proposal.
Gregory Winger earned BAs in history and political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a member of the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars. His dissertation examines the use of defense diplomacy as a tool of international statecraft. In particular, he investigates how programs like officer exchanges and training exercises function as a form of soft power and can help shape world events. A specialist in U.S. foreign relations, Gregory has had works accepted for publication in Diplomacy & Statecraft and The Journal of Cold War Studies. Previously, Gregory has served as a visiting junior fellow at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (Institute for Human Sciences) in Vienna Austria as well as a guest researcher at the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland and De La Salle University in Manila. Gregory has been awarded several academic grants and fellowships including the World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship from the Smith Richardson Foundation and the Leifur Eiriksson Scholarship.
Oya Yegen received her BA in Social and Political Science from Sabanci University, Turkey. She entered the program in 2007 and passed her comprehensive exams in 2010. Her research interests include Latin American politics, civil-military relations, Turkish politics and human rights. Currently she is teaching at Simmons College and working on her dissertation.
Office: PLS 404A
Dominic Zarecki earned a B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale. His work with Professor John Gerring resulted in two co-authored papers:
- “Demography and Democracy: A Global, District-Level Analysis of Electoral Contestation,” in the American Political Science Review, argues that larger electorates have more competitive elections because of four mechanisms: a mechanical effect as well as increases in challenger supply, constituent diversity, and the impersonality of representative/constituent relationships. This conclusion is based on analyses of the ROAD and HEDA archives, suffrage extensions, municipal consolidation in Sweden, and a new dataset of over 400,000 elections.
- “The Diverse Effects of Diversity on Democracy,” in the British Journal of Political Science, uses a cross-national dataset to find that ethnic diversity tends to increase democracy while religious diversity depresses it.
Building on the resource curse and subnational democracy literatures, Dominic’s dissertation analyzes how institutions mediate the relationship between oil and democratic competition. In additional to analyzing states and U.S. states, he creates and analyzes a novel dataset of U.S. counties. Data availability as well as the position of counties within the federal structure create an unparalleled opportunity to study the role formal and informal institutions play in the resource curse.