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Jeremy Berkowitz


Dissertation Title: Dangerous Delegation: Explaining the Rationales and Outcomes of State Sponsorship of Terrorism through the Principal-Agent Framework

Chair: Seden Akcinaroglu

Committee:  Benjamin Fordham, Katja Kleinberg

Dissertation Synopsis:  State sponsorship of terrorism, where a government deliberately provides resources and material support to a terrorist organization, is common in the international system. By conceptualizing state sponsorship as a relationship between a principal and agent, I develop a consistent theoretical model that explains why states pursue this foreign policy strategy, as well as how they rationally attempt to minimize the inherent risks of delegating to violent non-state actors.  I test my model by using a novel dataset on sponsorship behaviors that improves on the range, detail, and temporality of previously used measurements. My dissertation is organized into three distinct papers, the first of which examines why states choose to delegate to terrorists, the second which organizations they are likely to support, and the third how they attempt to control these unpredictable actors.


Marc Davignon

Dissertation Title: 

Chair: David L. Cingranelli

Committee: Mikhail Filippov, Gregory Robinson

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Patrick Jeffery

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Chair: Michael D. McDonald

Committee: Jonathan Krasno, Gregory Robinson

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Carl Kalmick

Dissertation Title: 

Chair: David L. Cingranelli

Committee: Ekrem Karakoc, Jonathan Krasno

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Hayley Munir  (Black) 

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Chair: Wendy Martinek

Committee: Jeffrey Yates, Robin Best

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Syed Rashid Munir

Dissertation Title:  

Chair:  Benjamin Fordham

Committee:  David H. Clark, Ekrem Karakoc



Kourosh Rahimkhani

Dissertation Title:  Actors, Strategies and Coordination in Iranian Electoral Politics

Chair: Mikhail Filippov

Committee: Ekrem Karakoc, Gregory Robinson

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Christine Sylvester

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Chair: Robin Best

Committee: William Heller, Ekrem Karakoc, Michael D. McDonald

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Andrei Zhirnov


Dissertation Title:  "Behavioral Determinants of Voting Coalitions and the Consequences of Electoral Institutions"

Chair:  Olga Shvetsova

Committee:  William Heller, Michael D. McDonald

Dissertation synopsis:  My dissertation focuses on the ways campaigning - a short-term behavioral factor of voting - interacts with voters' strategic incentives in the process of the formation of voting coalitions. Campaign events affect voters' decisions in a predictable way, thereby providing voters with exogenous information about future vote distribution. This exogenous information facilitates voters' strategic responses - strategic voting and rational abstention. Using the data from India and Canada, I show that more intense and more centripetal campaigns increase the predictability of voting patterns and facilitate coordinated voting. Further, I utilize the quasi-experimental settings created by the institution of rolling elections in India to study the effect of longer campaigning on strategic voting and rational abstention. I find evidence that the length of campaigning has an inverse U-shaped relationship with voters' propensity to abandon nonviable candidates.

Last Updated: 1/24/20