Graduate Students

Graduate Student Directory

Student Excellence Award Winners

  • Student Excellence Awards
    • Christine Sylvester (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

    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.

Hire a Binghamton PhD

  • Hire a PhD

    Andrew Bennett

    • Dissertation Title: Internet Media and Democratic Breakdown: Polarization, Populism, and the Online Information Marketplace
    • Chair: Ekrem Karakoc
    • Committee: David Cingranelli, Robin Best
    • Dissertation Synopsis: Events like the 2011 Arab Uprisings and 2016 US Presidential election vividly demonstrate the profound role that internet media has come to play in politics. My dissertation focuses on two factors connected with democratic breakdown—rising polarization and populism—and how the ownership structure of internet media shapes its impact on these phenomena. Concentrated and oligopolistic internet ownership allow for an online marketplace that is far less transparent, regulated, or constrained—making it ripe for exploitation by political actors who are motivated to capitalize on unprecedented volumes of online advertising and propaganda in order to polarize public opinion, intensify bases of support, and open up new pathways to the political arena. Drawing on original data on global internet ownership, as well as original interviews conducted in Tunisia very shortly after their most recent presidential election (October 2019), I am able to show online marketplace concentration as a leading contributor to higher affective polarization and populist party vote share in forty electoral democracies across the globe.

    Marc Davignon

    • Dissertation Title: The Political Economy of Human Rights
    • Chair: David Cingranelli
    • Committee: Mikhail Filippov, Gregory Robinson
    • Dissertation Synopsis: My dissertation explores the role of economic incentives in determining respect for human rights around the world. While human rights scholarship often focuses on more formal constraints, this dissertation builds from a world like that of Olson’s hypothetical roving bandit by suggesting that economic self-interest provides for a foundational level of respect for human rights. This dissertation focuses on the behavior of regimes for two chapters, and the actions of business and labor in a labor rights context for the third. In each chapter, the hypothetical of a purely self-interested actor is argued to yield some level of respect for human rights. Using this thought experiment as a foundation for each theoretical argument, this dissertation tests these theories empirically using country-level human rights data. The results of each chapter suggest these underlying economic incentives to respect human rights may exist across a wide range of differently constrained political actors.

    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.

    Kourosh Rahimkhani

    • Dissertation Title:  Actors, Strategies and Coordination in Iranian Electoral Politics
    • Chair: Mikhail Filippov
    • Committee: Ekrem Karakoc, Gregory Robinson
    • Dissertation Synopsis: My research interest focuses on three interconnected areas: democratization, electoral authoritarianism, and ethnic and religious conflict. My research findings (including my dissertation) suggest that whereas a dictator uses crackdowns on organized political opposition, free press, and freedom of assembly (i.e., coordination goods) to disallow the masses from coordinating, competitive elections in nondemocratic regimes can pave the way for strategic coordination of collective action by elements of the political elite and the opposition. The nondemocratic leaders use political institutions strategically to increase their chances of remaining in power. Hence, institutions such as legislatures serve as an instrument of cooptation and as a forum for reducing the transaction cost of bargaining concessions for political support. When the key important means of political mobilization, preference aggregation, and interest articulation (e.g., political parties) are weak and politics in nondemocracies become personalistic, the critical task for dissident groups becomes how they can solve the problems of collective action among themselves and establish coordination between themselves and masses, understanding that autocrats aim to increase the polarization of dissidents.

    Christine Sylvester

    • Dissertation Title: (Con)Textual Politics: Intra-Party Issue Raising , Issue Emphasis, and Issue Adoption
    • Chair: Robin Best
    • Committee: William Heller, Ekrem Karakoc, Michael D. McDonald

    Brendon Szendro

    • Dissertation Title: Religion, State, and Modernity: Defining the Contours of Desecularization
    • Chair: Gregory Robinson
    • Committee: Ekrem Karakoc, David Cingranelli
    • Dissertation Synopsis: Proponents of secularization theory assumed that religious activity would die out with modernization. Since the end of the Cold War, scholars have struggled to explain the renewed political influence of religion and religious actors. In this book-length project, I argue that globalization has facilitated a religious resurgence due to challenges to national sovereignty and changes in demogrpahics. In short, I demonstrate that a multilateral process related to globalization decreases positive religious identifiers, such as service attendance, and increases negative identifiers, such as attacks on religious minorities. I further examine these findings through two case studies regarding the rise of Evangelist Christianity in the United States and Jihadi Islam in the Middle East-North Africa.

    • Didem Seyis
    • Roya Izadidastgerdi
    • Patrick Jeffery