Graduate Students

Graduate Student Directory

  • PhD Program 
    Muuhammet Akkus    
    Almonte Democratic Backsliding, Inquality and Civic Participation, Social Movements, Latin America & the Caribbean  LinkedIn
    Baker International environmental politics, international institutions and law, biodiversity politics  
    Bannon American Foreign Policy, International Relations, Bureaucratic Politics LinkedIn
    Onsel Gurel
    Bayrali Public Policy, Constitutional Political Economy, Machine Learning  
    Catalano Law and Courts, Judicial Independence, US State Courts, Constitutional Law Weebly
    Ekin Cengiz    
    Chu European Party Politics, Voting Behavior, Political Ideologies, Democratic Erosion, Public Policy  
    Emer Political Opposition, Authoritarian Regimes, Democratic Backsliding  
    Viktorya Erdogu    
    Evirgen Contentious Politics, State Repression, Human Rights, Coups  
    Oguzhan Irguren    
    Muhammet Furkan
    Hadis Karatashi    
    Ethan Krzysik    
    Enzo Jeson Li    
    Mary Lind    
    Perdue European Party Politics, Political Ideologies  
    Seyis Democratic Backsliding, Populism, Third Wave Democracies, Nationalism, Political Parties  
    Shi International conflicts, authoritarian regimes, state violence, terrorism  
    Yigit Comparative politics, Ethnic and religious minorities, State minority policies, Political violence  
  • MA Program
    Sean Collery    
    Kaya Foster    
    O'Connor Law and Courts  
    Hudai Sencan    

Student Excellence Award Winners

  • Student Excellence Awards
    • Michael Catalano (Research 2023)
    • Tara Riggs (Teaching 2023)
    • Mert Can Bayar (Teaching 2022)
    • Esol Cho (Teaching 2022)
    • Roya Izadidastgerdi (Teaching, 2021)
    • Christine Sylvester (Teaching, 2020)
    • Marc Davignon (Teaching, 2020)
    • Allison Bugenis (Teaching, 2019)
    • Jeremy Berkowitz (Teaching, 2018)
    • Mert Moral (Research, 2017)
    • Halil Ozen (Research, 2016)
    • Scott Boddery (Research, 2015)
    • Graig Klein (Research, 2015)
    • Sheryl Symons (Teaching, 2015)
    • Ben Farrer (Research, 2014)
    • Josh Zingher (Research, 2014)
    • Chad Clay (Research, 2012)
    • Ian Farrell (Teaching, 2011)

Student Publications

  • Graduate Student Publications

    Akcinaroglu, S & Shi, M, "Digital Shadows: Exploring the Impact of Cryptocurrency on Terrorism", Terrorism and Political Violen, forthcoming

    Cingranelli, D., Mark, S., & Sadykova DuMond, A. (2023). Democracy, Capacity, and the Implementation of Laws Protecting Human Rights. Laws, 12(1), 6.

    Ye, H. (2023). Delayed Cooperation: Political Systems, Elections, and the Outcomes of Trade Negotiations. Review of International Political Economy.

    Pashayan, A., Kehlenbach, E., Ye, H., Mueller, G., & Willis, C. (2023). The Realities Facing Graduate Students: Before, During, and After the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic. PS: Political Science & Politics, 56(3), 391-397.

    Munir, H., Catalano, M., & Martinek, W. (Forthcoming). Judicial Decision Making on Lower Federal Courts. In M. Fix & M. Montgomery (Eds.), Research Handbook of Judicial Politics. Edward Elgar Publishing.

    Catalano, M., & Chan, A. (2023). Common Law Systems and COVID-19 Policy response: Protective Public Health Policy in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. In 

    Catalano, M. A. (2022). Ex Ante and Ex Post Control Over Courts in the US States: Court Curbing and Political Party Influence. Justice System Journal, 43(4), 503-523

    Catalano, M. (2023). Can the US Constitution Handle Political Parties? In D. Klein & J. Smith (Eds.), The US Constitution in Five Minutes. Equinox Publishing Home

    Shvetsova, O., Zhirnov, A., Adeel, A. B., Bayar, M. C., Bayrali, O. G., Catalano, M., Catalano, O., Chu, H., Giannelli, F., Muftuoglu, E., Rosenberg, D., Seyis, D., Skopyk, B., VanDusky-Allen, J., & Zhao, T. (2022). Protective Policy Index, a Global Dataset of Origins and Stringency of COVID-19 Mitigation Policies. Scientific Data, 9(319).

    Shvetsova, O., Zhirnov, A., Giannelli, F., Catalano, M., & Catalano, O. (2022). Can Correlation Between Governor's Party and COVID-19 Morbidity Be Explained by the Differences in COVID-19 Mitigation Policies in the States? American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 62(6), E381-E383

    VanDusky-Allen, J. A., Utych, S. M., & Catalano, M. (2022). Partisanship, Policy, and Americans’ Evaluations of State-Level COVID-19 Policies Prior to the 2020 Election.

    Shvetsova, O., Zhirnov, A., Giannelli, F., Catalano, M., & Catalano, O. (2022). Governor's Party, Policies, and COVID-19 Outcomes: Further Evidence of an Effect. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 62(3), 433-437.

    Seyis, D., & Heller, W. B. (2021). Voter Support for Anti-Immigrant Populist Parties: The Effect of Economic Pessimism and "Out-Group" Immigration. Journal of Political Institutions and Political Economy, 2(3), 429-451.

    Best, R., & Seyis, D. (2021). How Do Voters Perceive Ideological Congruence? The Effects of Winning and Losing under Different Electoral Rules. Electoral Studies, 69.

    Naushirvanov, T., Rosenberg, D., Sawyer, P.S., & Seyis, D. (2022). How populists fuel polarization and fail their response to COVID-19: An empirical analysis. Frontiers in Political Science

    Mark, B. S., Ye, H.-J., Foote, A., & Crippin, T. (2021). It’s a Hard-Knock Life: Child Labor Practices and Compliance with IMF Agreements. Social Sciences, 10(5), 171.

    Walz, Matthew and Andrew Foote, 2020. “Keeping the Left at Bay: Delegate Selection System Choice in US Democratic Nominations.” Electoral Studies. 67

    Didem Seyis and Hayley Munir. "Judiciary Under Attack: Populists in Government  and the Independence of the Judiciary." In The Ideational Approach to Populism:  Consequences and Mitigation, edited by Kirk Hawkins, Eliza Hawkins, Nina  Wiesehomeier, Levi Littvay, Angelos Chryssogelos (Submitted to Cambridge  University Press). 

    Robin E. Best and Didem Seyis. How Do Voters Perceive Ideological  Congruence? The Effects of Winning and Losing under Different Electoral Rules.  Forthcoming at Electoral Studies. 

    Catalano, Michael A. (with Gerald Benjamin). 2020. New York State’s Multi  Party System. In The "Other" Parties: Minor Political Parties in Contemporary  American Politics, eds. Richard Davis. Lawrence, KS: University Press of  Kansas. 

    Mark, Brendan S. Program Lending by the IMF in Human Rights Research:  Lessons for Policymakers, eds. David Cingranelli and Mikhail Filippov, under  contract at UPenn Press. 

    Akcinaroglu, Seden and Efe Tokdemir. 2018. To Instill Fear or Love: Terror  Groups and Strategy of Building Reputation. Conflict Management and Peace  Science. 35(4). 

    Moral, Mert, and Andrei Zhirnov. 2018. Issue Voting as a Constrained  Choice Problem. American Journal of Political Science. 62(2): 280- 295. 

    Ozen, H. Ege. 2018. Egypt’s 2011-2012 Parliamentary Elections: Voting  for Religious vs. Secular Democracy? Mediterranean Politics. 23(4): 453- 178. 

    Tokdemir, Efe and Mark, Brendan S. 2018. When Killers Become Victims:  Political Use of Force, Human Rights, and Strategic Target Selection, with Efe  Tokdemir. International Interactions. 44(2) 

    Moral, Mert. 2017. The Bipolar Voter: On the Effects of Actual and Perceived Party Polarization on Voter Turnout in European Multiparty Democracies. Political Behavior 39(4): 935-965. 

    Moral, Mert, and Efe Tokdemir. 2017. Justices 'en Garde': Ideological  Determinants of the Dissolution of Anti-Establishment Parties." International  Political Science Review 38(3): 264-80. 

    Tokdemir, Efe. 2017. Winning hearts and minds (!): The dilemma of foreign aid  in anti-Americanism, forthcoming at Journal of Peace Research. 54(6)

    Zhiyuan Wang and Youn, Hyunjin. 2017. Repress or Respect? Precarious  Leadership, Poor Economy and Labor Protection. Human Rights Review 18(1):  21-43. 

    Klein, Graig R., and Efe Tokdemir. 2016. Domestic diversion: Selective targeting  of minority out-groups. Conflict Management and Peace Science. 36(1) 

    Moral, Mert. 2016. The Passive-Aggressive Voter: The Calculus of Casting an  Invalid Vote in European Democracies. Political Research Quarterly 69(4):  732-45. 

    Tokdemir, Efe and Seden Akcinaroglu. 2016. Reputation of Terror Groups  Dataset: Measuring Popularity of Terror Groups. Journal of Peace Research,  Vol. 53(2): 268-277. 

    Zhirnov, Andrei. 2016. Electoral Coordination in India: The Role of Costly  Campaign Communication. India Review 15(4): 359-378. 

    Zhirnov, Andrei. 2016. Campaigns, Information, and Coordinated Voting in Multi Party Elections under Plurality Rule. Electoral Studies 41: 190–201. 

    Zhiyuan Wang and Youn, Hyunjin. 2016. Locating the External Source of  Enforceability: Alliances, Bilateral Investment Treaties, and Foreign Direct  Investment. Social Science Quarterly. 99(1): 80-96. 

    Best, Robin E., and Andrei Zhirnov. 2015. Perils and Pitfalls of Ignoring  Disproportionality’s Behavioral Component. Electoral Studies 40: 256-267. 

    Madariaga, Amuitz Garmendia and H. Ege Ozen. 2015. Looking for Two-sided  Coattail Effects: Integrated Parties and Multilevel Elections in the U.S. Electoral  Studies, 40:66-75. 

    Moral, Mert, H. Ege Özen, and Efe Tokdemir. 2015. Bringing the Incumbency  Advantage into Question for Proportional Representation. Electoral Studies 40:  56-65. 

    Carkoglu, Ali; Thomas Vitiello, and Mert Moral. 2012. Voter Advice Applications  in Practice: Answers to Some Key Questions from Turkey. International Journal  of Electronic Governance 5(3/4): 298-317.

    Zhirnov, Andrei. 2010. Issues of Territorial Stability in India. In “Giant”-States:  Problems of Territorial Stability. Eds. I.M. Busygina, L.V. Smirnagin, M.G.  Filippov. Moscow: MGIMO- University.

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    Michael Catalano- 

    • Dissertation Title: Court Curbing in the US States
    • Chair: Wendy Martinek
    • Committee: Jeffrey Yates, Olga Shvetsova
    • Dissertation Synopsis: State courts in the United States operate in varying levels of judicial independence, conditioned in large part by attacks on those courts by state legislatures through the use of court-curbing policy. My dissertation explores three specific questions about court-curbing in the US States. First, how should we measure court-curbing activity? Not all court-curbing is created equal; I develop two new indicators of court curbing that measure intensity (rate of proposed institutional change) and likelihood of passage of court-curbing proposals. Second, why do we see variation in the use of court curbing in the US states? I explain that ex ante control mechanisms of courts (i.e., judicial nomination and selection systems) condition the motivation for ex post control mechanisms (i.e., court curbing). Third, what are the implications of court curbing on judicial behavior? While court curbing aims to influence judicial decision-making, my dissertation contributes to the small group of scholarship on the topic in the US states, with broad implications on the study of judicial independence.

    Andrew Foote

    • Dissertation Title: Choosing Who Votes
    • Chair: David Clark
    • Committee: Amanda Licht, Ekrem Karakoç
    • Dissertation Synopsis: When are we likely to see incumbents undertake electoral reforms that selectively alter the voting population? I argue that reforms such as absentee voting, citizenship extensions and revocations, and ballot quotas are tools of pre-election manipulation (PEM) that an incumbent can use when there is growing support for an opposition group, but she has committed to improving the quality of elections. When an incumbent commits to improving the quality of elections, she makes it more costly to engage in electoral fraud or to repress the growing base of opposition support. PEM strategies allow the incumbent to selectively alter the electoral playing field while avoiding the perception that her commitment to election quality has weakened. I introduce the Citizenship, Absentee Voting and Suffrage Dataset, and create an index of PEM usage. I test the relationship between growing opposition support, commitment to election quality, and uses of PEM strategies, and also test the effects of PEM usage on the likelihood of future protests and leader turnover.

    Didem Seyis

    • Dissertation Title: A Third Wave of Autocratization?: An In-Depth Look into the Populist-
      Driven Executive Aggrandizement
    • Chair: Robin E. Best
    • Committee: Ekrem Karakoc, William B. Heller
    • Dissertation Synopsis: In my dissertation, I argue that populists, when they control the executive and the legislative branches, gradually expand their control over checks and balances and erode democratic institutions. To show this phenomenon, which Bermeo (2016) calls “executive aggrandizement,” in Chapter 1, I explore the global trends of democracy measures and show that democracies governed by populist incumbents who also control the majority of the legislature experience democratic backsliding. In Chapter 2, I
      turn to the judiciary, arguably the most vital democratic check on the executive and
      legislative branches. I specifically focus on judicial independence and demonstrate
      quantitatively that populist incumbents who control the majority of the legislature
      gradually expand their control over the judicial system. After showing quantitative
      evidence for global populist-driven executive aggrandizement in two chapters, I study how populists erode the independence of the judiciary by conducting process tracing on
      Turkey and Ecuador. My dissertation contributes to the democratic backsliding and populism literature by showing that (1) the populist-driven democratic decline is not limited to a few outliers but a global trend, although (2) (younger) unconsolidated democracies are affected more significantly than consolidated democracies. Also, this study explores (3) the specific conditions and chain of events that lead to executive aggrandizement at the expense of judicial independence.