Application & Financial Support Due date: February 27th, 2006
Implications of Theoretical Models
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Christian Breunig is a fifth-year PhD student at the University of Washington. His fields are Comparative Politics, Political Economy, and Political Methodology. Christian's interests center on comparative politics and political economy of advanced industrialized democracies (with a concentration on Europe). He's especially interested in exploring how the interaction between institutions and political actors shapes public policy processes. His dissertation investigates the determinants of shifts within national budgets by considering institutional constraints, attention, and partisan preferences in Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Christian is originally from Heidelberg, Germany.
Jon D. Caverley is a third-year PhD student in political science at the University of Chicago , where he specializes in international relations. Broadly, his research takes a political economic approach to the provision of defense. His dissertation asks the questions, "How does democracy influence defense preparation?" and "How do certain types of militaries change the costs of conflict for democracies?" He makes the case that heavily capitalized militaries redistribute the risks of conflict away from the median voter, and that this can lead to aggressive international behavior by democracies. Additionally, he has also written on the effects of globalization in the defense industry. Prior to entering the PhD program Jon served in the United States Navy as a submarine officer and Assistant Professor of Naval Science at Northwestern University. He is originally from New York.
Mary Deason is a fourth-year political science PhD at UNC - Chapel Hill. She studies American politics (interest groups, the media, bureaucracy, and elections). Specifically, she's interested in the role organized interests play in elections and how changes in institutional structures (campaign finance regulations, etc.) can affect this role. Mary is originally from St. Petersburg , FL.
Matt Holian is a third-year PhD in economics at Ohio State University . Although his formal training is in economics, he has always felt that someone who really wants to understand how the world works needs perspectives from all of the social sciences. Matt's current research interests are: privatization of government services, federalism and intergovernmental relations, and bureaucratic organization and management. He approaches these issues from the level of local governments, although he tries to emphasize the generality of his results whenever possible. This summer, Matt hopes to make substantial progress with his study of elderly voters and EMS privatization. He also hopes to gain insight for future projects. In his free time Matt enjoys swimming and lately he's been experimenting in the kitchen with Italian and Indian cuisine.
Kyle A. Joyce is a fourth-year PhD student in Political Science at Pennsylvania State University. His fields of study are International Relations and Political Methodology. Kyle is interested in international conflict, game theory, computational modeling, and statistical methodology. His dissertation explores three interrelated puzzles: 1) Why do some wars expand while others do not? 2) How does war expansion alter the dynamics of war? 3) How does the participation by third parties influence the likelihood of participation by other third parties? He investigates these puzzles using a combination of formal and empirical techniques. He uses agent-based modeling to run computer-based simulation experiments, from which he derives propositions based on the emergent behavioral patterns of third parties during an ongoing war and the effects of third party intervention on the dynamics of war. He then subjects the propositions derived from these computer experiments to empirical evaluation using statistical analysis. At EITM, Kyle will be expanding upon the currently programmed agent-based model and working on devising empirical tests of the propositions.
Thomas Jensen is a PhD student at the Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen , Denmark . His main fields of interest are Political Economy, Behavioral Economics and Applied Game Theory. He is especially interested in “Behavioral Political Economy”, i.e. bringing the philosophy and models of Behavioral Economics into the field of Political Economy. Thomas primarily works with theory, but lately he has also become interested in testing his formal models by doing empirical and/or experimental work. His research proposal for EITM is on political ambiguity. Thomas suggests that (part of) the reason why some politicians are ambiguous with respect to their issue positions is that it allows voters to “think what they want to think”. He has formulated and analyzed a formal model allowing him to take a closer look at this hypothesis. During EITM he hopes to improve and extend the formal modeling part of the project and develop ideas on how to test (some of) the assumptions and conclusions of his model. Thomas has lived in Copenhagen for the last ten years or so. When he is not working he likes to do and watch sports (especially football/soccer), to go to concerts (mostly alternative pop/rock), to travel, or to just relax with his friends.
Katja Kleinberg is a fourth-year political science PhD student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill . Originally she hails from Halle an der Saale in Germany. Her fields of study are International Relations and Comparative Politics. The two subfields equally inform her dissertation project, which looks at the link between international economic exchange and militarized interstate conflict. She is currently also working on papers investigating the role of states' reputations in alliance formation as well as a piece on the efficacy of preventive war. Finally, she has been studying military history and strategy for some time. The project she will be developing at EITM forms the core of her dissertation. She plans to derive a general theory of the domestic political forces affecting interstate disputes by looking at how the costs and potential benefits of conflict are distributed across societies. Of particular interest to her are two factors: first, the extent to which state leaders are constrained in their foreign policy options by the economic interests of their core constituency; and second, in what ways the preferences and strategies of core constituencies combine with the institutional structures of polities to determine whether economic ties between states increase or decrease the chance for militarized conflict. Sports and reading classical literature are her favorite pastimes.
Valentin Krustev is a political science PhD candidate at Rice University, Houston. His field is international relations, and he's interested in international economic sanctions, trade and conflict, and the application of bargaining approaches to the study of international politics. In his dissertation, Valentin develops an integrated bargaining theory of the threat, imposition, success, and termination of economic sanctions. The EITM project he will be pursuing will focus more narrowly on the implications of endogenizing the sanctions demand for our understanding of the sanctions process. Valentin is from Sofia, Bulgari.
Ian McDonald is a third year Ph.D. student at Duke studying American politics. His research interests include legislative institutions, public opinion, and elections. His dissertation will examine postwar domestic migration, and its links to polarization, and legislative behavior in the U.S. Congress. His EITM project will (probably) use computational modeling to predict electoral outcomes based on length of residency and shared demographic characteristics within legislative districts. Ian grew up in Seattle and wound up with an M.B.A. from the University of Washington in 1983. He worked for nearly two decades for Intel near Portland, Oregon. Theoretically, he's still an Oregonian. For now, he lives in Chapel Hill with his wife (Sarah) and seventh grade daughter (Natalie), whose talent, looks, and academic skills unquestionably surpass his own.
Jamie Monogan is finishing his third year at UNC, Chapel Hill . His principal research interest is American mass political behavior, namely ideology and public opinion. At EITM, his project will examine with Monte Carlo methods the properties of logistic quantal response estimates in cases of model misspecification or heteroscedasticity. Jamie's original home is Charleston , SC.
Monika Nalepa joined the faculty of Political Science at Rice University in July 2005 after receiving her PhD from Columbia University in May 2005. She researches transitional justice, that is how new democracies deal with members and collaborators of the former authoritarian regime. More specifically, she examines how democratic institutions, such as parliaments, elections, constitutions and veto players affect transitional justice outcomes. Her primary regional focus is East-Central Europe. At EITM Monika wants to learn how to draw empirical implications from a series of theoretical models that she developed in her dissertation. The first model illustrates that commitments to amnesties and refraining from transitional justice made during pacted transitions cannot last any longer than the transition negotiations themselves. The second model shows how legislative institutions together with electoral incentives and limited information impose serious constraints on the possibility of designing efficient transitional justice institutions. The third model uses a mechanism design approach to demonstrate how in designing transitional justice institutions, one can exploit informational deficits in conjunction with the incentives politicians have to preserve their careers. She hopes to combine these models with empirical work in a book entitled "The Power of Secret Information: Explaining Transitional Justice After Communism" that she will write during a post-doc fellowship at Harvard in 2006/2007. When she's not in her office, Monika is either long-distance running, playing tennis, hiking or skiing (in exactly that order). Monika is from Poland.
Yoshikuni Ono is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Michigan. Yoshi's research interests are in the field of comparative politics, especially issues related to parliamentary democracies. He is particularly interested in political parties and the behavior of legislators in parliamentary democracies. As a dissertation research, Yoshi is currently studying the intra-party bargaining between party leaders and rank-and-file members in parliaments from a comparative perspective. He grew up in Fukui, Japan, a small town about 100 miles north of Kyoto, and graduated from the University of Tokyo with an LL.M. (in Law and Politics) in 2001. Yoshi came to Michigan in 2002 and he has spent several winter seasons in Michigan, and now understands what freezing really means. Despite the cold he enjoys life in Ann Arbor very much and loves to travel around the United States, especially visiting National Parks.
Valeria Palanza is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics at Princeton University currently in her fourth year, and her fields of study are Comparative and American Politics. She's interested in legislative politics and inter-branch relations in separation of powers systems. Her dissertation is on the delegation of legislative prerogatives to executives (with focus on four Latin American cases: Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru ). Specifically, she analyzes the conditions under which legislators give up decision rights in favor of the executive. Recently she has used the framework provided by Diermeier and Myerson AER (1999) to argue that given a certain level of difficulty in the legislative process, delegation of decision rights is a function of the level of preference homogeneity amongst external agents. Although she analyzes delegation broadly, she focuses on one specific instrument present in the four cases, i.e., statutes passed by the legislature authorizing the executive to legislate on a certain topic within a specified period of time. Valeria has also worked on issues of oversight in Argentina , and hope to extend that work in comparative perspective. At the EITM Institute she expects to continue work on a paper where she presents a theory of delegation of decision rights to executives. She wishes to tailor the theory to better fit the specificity of her cases, while also deducing implications and thoroughly thinking through which might be the best ways to test the theory empirically given the data that she has and that she might still collect. Valeria is from Buenos Aires, Argentina .
Robin Phinney recently completed her fourth year in the doctoral program in Public Policy and Political Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She graduated from UCLA in 2000 with a degree in Communication Studies and Political Science. Before coming to Michigan, Robin worked as a Program Director for the UCLA Hunger Project, as a Research Assistant for a substance abuse facility for low-income women, and as a Planning Intern for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. At the University of Michigan, she has worked on projects related to the passage of fair housing legislation, housing instability, and housing cost burdens and well-being among low-income women, and homelessness in Washtenaw County. For the past several years, she has worked as a Research Assistant for the Michigan Program on Poverty and Social Welfare Policy, and the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy. Robin is interested in studying the relationship between political institutions, social welfare policy, and disadvantaged populations in the United States. Her dissertation explores how the strategic behavior of interest groups representing the poor differs from that of other interest groups, how this behavior is structured both by the internal characteristics of interest groups and the larger institutional and political environment, and the implications of the strategic choices of such groups for the representation of politically disadvantaged groups.
Christian Ponce de Leon is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science and a Research Assistant in the Center for Population Economics at the University of Chicago. His fields of specialization are Comparative Politics, Political Economy, and Political Methodology, with special interests in the Political Economy of Development, Political Regime and Poverty Alleviation, and the Politics of International Development. He is currently working on two projects. The first, "Political Economy of Poverty Alleviation" examines the challenges that a democratic government faces when implementing social expenditure programs to benefit exclusively the extremely poor. The second project is a compilation of detailed data on public social expenditures in developing countries.
Philip Potter is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. His dissertation research focuses on the relationship between globalization and international crisis. For the 2006-07 academic year Philip will serve as a pre-doctoral fellow at Harvard University 's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Robi Ragan is a graduate student at the University of Georgia in both the Department of Economics and the Department of Political Science. His interests lie at the intersection of formal theory and quantitative analysis. In the Political Science department, his fields are Methodology, American Politics, and Formal Theory. In the Economics department, his fields are Public Economics/Public Choice and Econometrics. Robi's dissertation consists of three essays on American Politics. The first essay (which is also his project for EITM) incorporates a pivotal politics model of Congress and the President into an equilibrium size of government model, in the spirit of Meltzer and Richard's 1981 JPE paper. After calculating comparative statics his hope is to then empirically test the model. His second essay is an attempt to update Aldrich's 1980 APSR paper that dynamically modeled presidential nomination campaigns. Robi hopes to incorporate rational expectations formation into an optimal control theory model. This will hopefully allow more insight into the nomination process. He hopes to also empirically test this model once testable predictions are found (do more candidates make the system more unstable...etc.). The third essay is still up in the air.
Greg Robinson is a fourth-year PhD student at Michigan State University. His fields of interest are American and Comparative Politics. He is also interested in institutions generally, and legislatures specifically. Greg is also interested in adapting rational choice models of political and economic behavior to account for how individuals' moral considerations affect their decisions. His dissertation research is focused on how the higher office goals of legislators affect their individual behavior and, more broadly, the organization of legislative institutions. Greg is originally from Cadillac, Michigan.
David Schwab earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in 2002, and his Masters degree in political science from Indiana University— Bloomington in 2005. He is currently a PhD candidate in political science at Indiana University — Bloomington. His research interests include deliberative democracy, social dilemma resolution, critical theory, and game theoretical models of small group political behavior. David's dissertation is an experimental test of the efficacy of Jurgen Habermas' “ideal speech” situation for resolving social dilemmas. He's also writing a book chapter with Elinor Ostrom on the evolution of trust-generating institutions, and an article with Adam Simon incorporating social identity theory into game theoretic models of social dilemma resolution. His project at EITM is to develop an empirically testable formal model of small group communication incorporating insights from game theory, social psychology, and discourse theory.
Eser Sekercioglu is a third-year PhD student at Stony Brook University, a part of State University of New York System. His fields of study are Political Economy and Political Psychology, which is not a very conventional couple to bring together. Broadly speaking his interests are Behavioral Game Theory and evolution of cooperative and coordinative social institutions. Hence, his dissertation is titled “Developments in Public Good Provision Games: Towards a Behavioral Theory” in which he examines the psychological determinants (or more accurately, correlates) of free riding, altruistic punishment and learning in public good provision games. During EITM 2006 he's planning to develop an experimental test of Randall Calvert's cooperation models, which he spelled out in two book chapters in 1995. More specifically, he intends to apply Evolutionary Game Theory to the analysis of cooperation and coordination and design an experiment to test the expectation of the evolutionary game theoretic model. Eser is originally from Istanbul, Turkey.
Gisela Sin is a graduate student at the University of Michigan “just about” to defend her dissertation. In the fall she will be joining the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Although she is from Argentina and started as a comparativist, the main focus of her research now is on American Politics, more specifically institutions. In her dissertation Gisela develops a theoretical framework for understanding the distribution of power in the US House of Representatives as a consequence of the larger bargaining context in which it acts. In contrast to existing studies of legislative organization, which assume that decisions regarding allocation of power in the House are totally independent of the Senate and the president's preferences, she argues that they are not. She claims that shifts in the partisan balance of the Senate or in the President's political preferences that alter the set of possible legislative outcomes lead to modifications in the House's power sharing arrangement. During her years at Michigan she has worked mostly with Skip Lupia, Jenna Bednar, Ken Kollman and Dan Carpenter (before he left UM). Until August, she will be living in Ann Arbor with her husband, Nate Schmitz and her daughter Sophia (3). Most of their free time these days is spent performing Cinderella where Gisela always plays the role of the evil step-mom and Nate the role of the Prince. It's not hard to imagine WHO gets to play the role of Cinderella. They also like cooking, gardening and riding bikes.
Jaekwon Suh graduated from Yonsei University in Seoul , Korea and now is a PhD candidate in the department of Political Science at UCLA. His research interest lies in comparative political economics. Jaekwon is working on his dissertation regarding the economic effect of electoral systems, in particular, on national competitiveness.
D.G. Webster has recently earned her PhD in Political Economy and Public Policy at the University of Southern California , and is continuing her research on collective action in the area of international fisheries management. Her previous work focused on the economic foundations of national policy preferences in regards to the multilateral management of highly migratory fish species. To explain several recent and unexpected regulatory innovations, she hypothesized that countries whose commercial fleets are economically vulnerable under increasingly global competition would prefer stronger management sooner than their less vulnerable counterparts. Currently, she is extending the vulnerability response model to include aggregation techniques that will allow for generalized prediction of management outcomes based on this conceptualization of national behavior. Additional case studies may be used to test this larger model, but she is also working to develop agent-based simulations. A larger goal is the exploration of broadly applicable causal mechanisms that can illuminate the circumstances under which negative cycles of resource use are self-limiting and when they are not.
Matt Winters is a fourth-year PhD student at Columbia University, studying international political economy and development. Matt's dissertation, "The Impact of Domestic Political Constraints on World Bank Lending Programs" uses a formal model to examine how differing capacities for collective action among impoverished groups and differing government preferences in aid-receiving countries effect the implementation of international developmental aid programs. Given the difficulties of credibly enforcing aid conditionalities at the international level, the thesis looks for domestic mechanisms that can restrict a government's ability to redirect or otherwise capture aid. The model will be tested empirically on a sample of recent World Bank programs. Winters is a fellow in Columbia's multidisciplinary IGERT Program on International Development and Globalization and spent the summer of 2005 as a research intern in the World Bank's Development Research Group. He also is interested in Northeast Asian international relations (with a particular focus on Korea ). Originally from Connecticut, Winters has lived in New York City for almost a decade and is an avid music fan and a part-time radio DJ.
Scott Wolford is a third-year PhD student at Emory University , specializing in international conflict and methods. His dissertation (currently in the form of a theory paper and a prospectus) will examine the effect of leadership turnover on international crisis bargaining, both in terms of how long incumbents have held office and how long they expect to hold office. Equilibrium behavior predicts turnover-driven cycles of conflict and reputation-building between incumbents and challengers that theories cast at the state level cannot account for. Further, it identifies a challenger's beliefs about potential successors as an important determinant of how it bargains with incumbents in the present, which makes a strong theoretical argument for shifting the analyst's theoretical unit of analysis from the state to the leader. His EITM project will focus on developing empirical tests for his dissertation model. His interests also include the informational role of international institutions in crisis bargaining and the role of postwar commitment problems in theories of endogenous war termination. When he's not worried about all the above, Scott is glued to any television with Cubs baseball or Kentucky basketball. That said, he's originally from Kentucky, and he got his undergraduate degree from Transylvania University .
Dominick Wright is a fourth-year graduate student at the University of Michigan whose research interests include state preference/policy formation processes as applied to the issue areas of security and international political economy. His focus during EITM 2006 will be to complete development of an endogenous preference formation model that carefully analyzes how the type of issue that a state faces plays an integral role in the character of the endogenous preference formation process that ensues. The model will allow for horizontal and vertical modes of strategic as well as non-strategic interaction between the masses and the elites. The international component of the project analyzes how conditions in the preference formation environment shape the strategic interactions between competing and coordinating political elites on the world stage.