Research Areas of Convergence

This page highlights some of the areas and topics that bring together the research interests of multiple members of the Politics faculty. These constitute bases for collaboration in the form of ongoing converstions, advising of students, engagement with guest speakers, and joint funding proposals. While hardly an exclusive list, it conveys specific points of shared enthusiasm and helps prospective graduate students envision promising directions for their own projects. Please visit individual faculty pages for complete information on current research.

American Political Development

  • Transformations of welfare state, drug control, labor policy (Bertram)
  • State politics and electoral institutions (Springer)
  • Congress, politics of military policy (Wirls)
  • Punishment, criminal law, race & inequality (Verma)

Democratic Politics: Social and Institutional Foundations

  • The political legitimacy of cities in world politics; transparency and accountability in global urban climate governance (Gordon)
  • American electoral institutions and voter turnout (Springer)
  • Preference formation and transformation (Pasotti)
  • Congressional arrangements and conceptions of democracy (Wirls)
  • Discredited representative systems and electoral boycott (Serres)
  • Emerging civil society organizations in China (Read)
  • Law and courts (MassoudVermaWirls)

Political Economy

  • Contestation and cooperation in global climate governance; just transformations (Gordon)
  • The politics of work (Bertram)
  • Varieties of capitalism (Schoenman)
  • Historical development of political-economic discourses (Mathiowetz)
  • Post-communist politics and economy (Schoenman)
  • The politics of social policy (Niedzwiecki)

The Politics of Asia

  • Philippine politics (Eaton)
  • British colonial India (Seth)
  • Philippine nationalism (Thomas)
  • Chinese and Taiwanese politics (Read)

The Politics of Latin America

  • Territorial conflict (Eaton)
  • Federalism and decentralization (Eaton)
  • Social policy (Niedzwiecki)
  • The Politics Department works closely with LALS in instruction and advising

The Politics of the Middle East and North Africa

Race, Ethnicity and Politics

  • Theorizations of Arab and Muslim selfhood (Daifallah)
  • European conceptions of difference (Seth)

The Developing World

  • Nationalism, militarism, and authoritarianism in the Global South (Serres)
  • Arab and Islamic political thought (Daifallah)
  • International law and development (Massoud)
  • Quality of democracy in transitional states (Read)
  • Party and electoral systems (Eaton)
  • Rule of law in conflict settings — Sudan and Somalia (Massoud)
  • Unions and social movements in Latin America (Niedzwiecki)

The Politics of Language

  • Philosophy of language (Mathiowetz)
  • Framing and preference formation (Pasotti)
  • Natural languages and nationalization (Thomas)
  • 'Race' as research concept & theoretical construct: logics, constroversies, politics and ethics (Verma)

City Politics

  • Mayors and urban branding (Pasotti)
  • Cities as global actors; cities and climate governance (Gordon)
  • City councils; neighborhood governance; accountability (Read)
  • Counties (Verma)
  • Decentralization (Eaton) mulitilevel government (Niedzwiecki) and policy devolution (Verma)

Post-Colonial Theory and Nationalist Discourse

  • Anti-colonial thought in Arabic-speaking countries: Theories of decolonization (Daifallah)
  • The Americas and India in British colonial imagination (Seth)
  • Populism and elitism in formerly colonized countries (Serres)
  • Orientalism and political identity in the Spanish colonial world (Thomas)
  • Colonial and postcolonial law (Massoud)

Early Modern European Political Thought

  • Political thought of Thomas Hobbes (Mathiowetz, Seth)
  • Emergence of political-economic discourse (Mathiowetz)
  • Pre-modern and modern notions of selfhood (Seth)

Informal and Translocal Political Organization

  • Patronage politics in Southern Italy (Pasotti)
  • State-sponsored local associations in China and Taiwan (Read)
  • Human rights and social movements (Massoud, Serres)