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The following Ph.D. graduates are currently on the job market:
"Early Voting and Turnout: A County-Level Analysis"
My dissertation examines the effects of state and local early voting laws on the electoral process using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In particular, it focuses on the role of early voting in increasing voter turnout, the degree to which it eases burdens on election administrators, and the unintended consequences which may result from allowing widespread advance voting.
“Authoritarian Management of (Cyber-) Society: Internet Regulation and the New Political Protest Movements”
My dissertation uses a mixed-method approach to analyze global patterns of information and communication technology (ICT) policy adoption across hybrid and authoritarian regimes, and to offer a preliminary model of key causal factors and processes influencing policy choice. Large- and medium-N analysis examines patterns of ICT policy adoption globally and in the FSU region, while case studies of the changing policy environments in Kazakhstan and Russia are used to examine possible causal mechanisms underlying policy choice, particularly focusing on the manner in which regime policies respond to the uses of the new technologies by civil society and protest movements and the perceived threat to political stability.
Armed Group Competition and Civilian Abuse in Multiparty Civil Wars: Evidence from Colombia
My dissertation is composed of three papers on armed group behavior in multiparty civil wars, with a geographic focus on Colombia. The first article addresses the effect that competition among armed non-state actors in irregular civil wars has on civilian abuse; the second paper the drivers and consequences of cooperation among armed non-state actors in irregular war; and the third what leads some combatants in multiparty civil wars to switch sides from one armed group to another, and what drives others to demobilize, leaving armed groups altogether. Each of these papers uses quantitative data combined with qualitative data gathered through ten months of fieldwork in Colombia to test my hypotheses.
"Party Matters: The Institutional Origins of Competitiveness and Hegemony in Post-Cold War Africa"
My dissertation titled "Party Matters: The Institutional Origins of Competitiveness and Hegemony in Post-Cold War Africa," explores differences in how Africa's formerly single-party regimes have contested multiparty elections. I compare ten cases more broadly and use the cases of Tanzania, Kenya, and Cameroon to show how differences in party capacity developed under single-party rule were the key factors explaining the capacity of incumbents to dominate elections and their propensity toward fraud and coercion. My research utilizes mixed methods in the form of typological theorizing, detailed case-studies, and within-case statistical analysis of sub-national voting outcomes.
"Strange Bedfellows or Brothers-in-Arms: Why Do Terrorist Organizations Ally?"
Conventional wisdom maintains that terrorist groups with a shared enemy or ideology will work together to advance their common cause. This characterization oversimplifies the hurdles to these relationships; therefore, Tricia Bacon’s dissertation, “Strange Bedfellows or Brothers-in-Arms: Why Do Terrorist Groups Ally?” examines this under-theorized question, finding that organizational learning and adaptation needs instigate alliances while identity defines the parameters of acceptable partners. Tricia’s dissertation research builds on a decade of counterterrorism experience at the State Department as well as experience as an adjunct professor at American University.
“That Nauseating Phrase I Think I Invented”: Reassessing the Role of Winning “Hearts and Minds” in Counterinsurgent Victory.
Why “hearts and minds” do not win counterinsurgencies. Common wisdom states that democracies win counterinsurgencies by winning the “hearts and minds” of the population—usually through minimizing their use of lethal force and promoting economic, social and political reforms. My dissertation shows that this strategic formula rests on a dubious set of theoretical assumptions and a shaky empirical foundation. Instead, historically speaking, most democratic counterinsurgents have won these conflicts though very different tactics—co-opting local leadership, exploiting local tensions and controlling the flow of key resources, particularly food supplies, to the insurgency. This alternative model often is not pretty or popular, but its military effectiveness underscores a basic lesson about these types of conflicts: when it comes to counterinsurgent victory, whether the population loves you or thinks like you matters less than whether or not you can control them.
The Dahiyeh Doctrine: The Conditions Under Which States Can Establish Asymmetric Deterrence
My research looks at how deterrence theory could be applied to 21st Century non-state threats. Rather than focus on deterrence strategies, I examin deterrence theory through the lens of the groups states were trying to deter. The result is the Asymmetric Deterrence Matrix (ADM) which accurately predicts how susceptible non-state actors are to deterrence based on their group characteristics.