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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Political Science

Graduate Study

Graduate Students

Presently there are about 60 students in residence in the department, plus a number of others doing dissertation research or teaching while finishing up their dissertations. Approximately half of our students are women and about half are international students as well. Many have come to the Maxwell School directly from undergraduate programs, but others arrived with a master’s degree or with work experiences ranging from an Attorney to law office interns to military service to performing in a rock band. In recent years, entering students have arrived from the following institutions: American University of Paris, Austin College, Baylor University, Binghamton University, Bogazici University (Turkey), Clarkson University, Colgate University, Cornell University, Doshisha University (Japan), Emory and Henry College, Faculdade Casper Libero (Brazil), Indiana University, Knox College, Kyung Hee University (Korea), Lahore School of Economics (Pakistan), London School of Economics, Marist College, Marquette University, Martin Luther University (Germany), New York University, Ohio State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Parahyangan Catholic University (Indonesia), Roger Williams University, Sao Paolo State University, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Plattsburgh, Syracuse University, Tel Aviv University (Israel), Union College, University of Adelaide (South Australia), University of Arizona, University of Colorado, University of Essex (UK), University of Kwazulu (South Africa), University of Pittsburgh, University of West Florida, Victoria University of Wellington, Waseda University (Tokyo), Yangzhou University (China), and Yonsei University (Korea).

Anirban Acharya

Anirban Acharya (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory and Methods

Interests:  Comparative Politics, Political Theory and Methods, International Relations, South Asia.


Sara Adams

Sara Adams (JDMA Student)


Uğur Altundal

Uğur Altundal (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, Political Theory and Methods

Interests:  Contemporary Political Philosophy, Political Legitimacy, and Multiculturalism


Robert Andrea

Robert Andrea (Ph.D. Student)


Andre Anselmo

Andre Anselmo (Ph.D. Student)


Giles David Arceneaux

Giles David Arceneaux (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  Nuclear proliferation and strategy; civil-military relations; political analysis.


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Whitney Baillie (Ph.D. Student)


Abolghasem Bayyenat

Abolghasem Bayyenat (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  Abolghasem's interests include state identity discourses and foreign policy; international relations of the Middle East; Foreign Policy of Iran; political economy of the international trade system and development; and politics of national and subnational identities.   


Jason Blessing

Jason Blessing (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  International Relations, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  Cybersecurity; International Security; Foreign and Defense Policy; Terrorism and Insurgency; Political Methodology


Farrah Brown

Farrah Brown (Ph.D. Student)


Vinessa Buckland

Vinessa Buckland (Ph.D. Student)


Lindsay Burt

Lindsay Burt (Ph.D. Candidate)


Colleen Dougherty

Colleen Dougherty Burton (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  American Politics, Comparative Politics

Interests:  Political institutions; comparative political economy; social policy; women and politics; female representation


Nathaniel Carrington

Nathaniel Carrington (Ph.D. Student)


Sunghee Cho

Sunghee Cho (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  I am interested in state identities--processes of their formation and modification through interactions among states--and how security issues can be approached from identity perspective, with special regional interests in Northeast Asia


Sinan Chu

Sinan Chu (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  Authoritarian Politics, Chinese Politics, State-Intellectual Relations, Theories of International Relations,  Constructivism


Eduardo Cobian Aguayo

Eduardo Cobian-Aguayo (Ph.D. Student)


My'Asia Colon

My'Asia Colon (MA Student)


Bess Davis

Elizabeth Davis (Ph.D. Student)


Michael Dedmon

J. Michael Dedmon (Ph.D. Student)


Robert Demgenski

Robert M. Demgenski (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  International security and strategic studies 


Nneke Eke

Nneka Eke (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  African Politics with a focus on oil multinational corporations and indigenous rights in Nigeria; African diaspora communities; Feminism in International relations.


Esra Ekinci

Esra Ekinci (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  Political institutions, democratization, electoral systems and political parties


Colin French

Colin French (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  American Politics, Comparative Politics

Interests:  Public Opinion, Rational Irrationality, Political Ignorance, Experimental Methods, Unorthodox Ideologies, Risk Orientation.


Erik French

Erik French (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  Strategic studies, US foreign policy, deterrence theory,  alliance strategy, global governance, Asian security


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Chandra Hewitt (MA Student)


Daniel Jackson

Daniel Jackson (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations


Laura Jenkins

Laura Jenkins (Ph.D. Student)


Havva Karakas Keles

Havva Karakas Keles (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  Foreign Policy Analysis, European Politics and Government, Middle East Politics, Parliamentary Political Systems, Political Leadership and Decision Making, Politics and Government in Turkey, Germany, United Kingdom and Israel.


Bridget Fahey

Bridget K. Kelley (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  American Politics, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  Climate change policy and politics, state and local politics, water resources, issue definition, bureaucratic policy advocacy


Joel Kersting

Joel Kersting (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  American Politics, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  Congress; Representation; Political Incorporation; LBGT Politics; Public Policy 


Drew Kinney

Drew Kinney (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  International Relations (security, foreign policy), Comparative Politics (civil-military relations, political violence, development), Middle Eastern Studies


Ranitya Kusumadewi

Ranitya Kusumadewi (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  International Relations, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  I am interested in the International Political Economy subfield especially on International Trade issues. In specific, I am interested on the interlink between international trade and development.


Evan Laksmana

Evan A. Laksmana (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  Disciplinary: military change and effectiveness, comparative civil-military relations, and international security.Regional and country specialization: Indo-Pacific, Southeast Asia, Indonesia


Aaron Lattanzi

Aaron Lattanzi (Ph.D. Student)


Tae Hyun Lim

Tae Hyun Lim (Ph.D. Student)


Dongshu Liu

Dongshu Liu (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  Authoritarianism, democratic development, China politics, political participation


Cara Lutz

Cara Lutz (JDMA Student)


Rachel McMaster

Rachel MacMaster (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  American Politics, Law and Courts

Interests:  American political development, American constitutional law; civil rights and liberties; public law; constitutional development; race and gender politics; executive-judicial relations; law and society.


Pedram Maghsoud-Nia

Pedram Maghsoud-Nia (Ph.D. Student)

Interests:  State and Society Relations, Political Economy of Development, Middle East Politics, Social Theory


Angely Martinez

Angely Martinez (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  De facto states, Civil war outcomes, Blackspots


Sean Miskell

Sean Miskell (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  International Relations, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  In my academic research, I study the policy process with a focus on the dynamic interplay between policy design and organized political behavior as well as the development governance institutions and their interaction with private markets and interests. My ongoing research projects consider the politics of big data in education policy, the role of the submerged state in health policy, and the politics of 'policy drift' in US health and energy policy.In my role as a Research Fellow with the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, my work focuses on the intersection of public and private coverage programs with an emphasis on Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchange and market reforms.


Samantha Netzband

Samantha Netzband (JDMA Student)

Interests:  My research interests include issues surrounding reproductive justice, women's rights, and human rights.


Hanna Noh

Hanna Noh (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  International Organizations, Environmental Politics and Treaty, Trade Agreements, Authoritarian Regimes, International Participation of Developing Countries


Zachary Olsavicky

Zachary Olsavicky (Ph.D. Student)


Aykut Ozturk

Aykut Ozturk (Ph.D. Student)

Interests:  Aykut majors in comparative politics and minors in international relations. His research interests encompass democratization, populism, political psychology, and Islamist movements.


Sobia Paracha

Sobia Paracha (Ph.D. Student)


Darci Pauser

Darci Pauser (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  International Relations, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  International Environmental and Trade Agreements, International Organizations, Global Governance, International Security, Transboundary Natural Resource Issues, Turkey, Middle East, Europe 


Raza Raja

Raza Raja (Ph.D. Student)


Carly Rasiewicz

Carly Rasiewicz  (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  International Relations, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  Security Studies; Sex and Gender-Based Violence; Gender Issues in Conflict & Post Conflict Settings


Hengel Reina

Hengel Reina (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  American Politics, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  American political parties, political campaigns, voter mobilization, and organizational theory.


Beatriz Rey

Beatriz Rey (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  Legislative Politics, Policymaking, Agenda-setting, Framing, Comparative Public Policy, Budgeting, Authoritarian Politics, Latin America.


Elise Roberts

Elise Roberts (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  Civil war, post-conflict reconstruction, foreign aid, governance 


Katharine Russell

Katharine Russell (Ph.D. Student)


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Matthew Schachte (JDMA Student)


Sefa Secen

Sefa Secen (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  Middle East & Ottoman History, Race/Ethnicity and Nationalism, Identity, Human and Minority Rights.


Li Shao

Li Shao (Ph.D. Student)


Prakhar Sharma

Prakhar Sharma (Ph.D. Candidate)


Claire Sigsworth

Claire Sigsworth (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, Law and Courts


Nilesh Sinha

Nilesh Sinha (Ph.D. Student)


Catriona Standfield

Catriona Standfield (Ph.D. Student)

Sub-fields:  International Relations, Political Theory and Methods

Interests:  Conflict resolution; feminist international relations theory; gender mainstreaming; deliberative democracy; the Middle East.


Kyungwon Suh

Kyungwon Suh (Ph.D. Student)


Honggang Tan

Honggang Tan (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  My research interests straddle public policy and administration and comparative politics. My area focus is East Asia and Greater China in particular. I am interested in the formation and political participation of civil society and its implications for the improvement of democratic governance and civil rights and liberties.


Charles Tuthill

Charles T. Tuthill (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, International Relations

Interests:  Interests: State building, political economy of development, ethnic politics. Focus on the developing world with a regional interest in sub-Saharan Africa.


Eric van der Vort

Eric van der Vort (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  American Politics, Law and Courts

Interests:  American constitutional law and development; LGBT politics; public law; emotion, morality and hierarchy; politics and fiction; normative theory


Maria Laura Veramendi Garcia

Maria Laura Veramendi Garcia (Ph.D. Student)


Lorena Vinuela

Lorena Vinuela (Ph.D. Candidate)

Sub-fields:  Comparative Politics, Public Administration and Policy

Interests:  Lorena Viñuela's research interests center on comparative political economy, public administration and public policies, democratization, decentralization, and party politics with a focus on developing countries. Her primary regions of interest are the Latin American and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her dissertation examines how changes in the distribution of resources across levels of government have impacted party systems in fiscally decentralized countries in Latin America between 1980 and 2008.


Kimberly Waddy

Kimberly Waddy (Ph.D. Student)


Kari Waters

Kari Waters (Ph.D. Student)


Brian Wolfel

Brian Wolfel (Ph.D. Student)


Jiayi Zhang

Jiayi Zhang (Ph.D. Student)