Hire a Yale PhD

Below is an alphabetical list of Yale Ph.D. students and recent graduates currently on the job market. Please feel free to contact them, their advisors, or the DGS for additional information.

Edwin Camp, Ph.D. expected May 2012 (Comparative Politics, Empirical Methods, Formal Theory) Website

Dissertation: Tending to the Barrio: Broker Motivation and the Electoral Success of Political Machines (Advisor(s): Susan Stokes, John Roemer, and Thad Dunning)

Currently, I serve as a Postdoctoral Associate for the Program on Democracy at Yale University. I am the recipient of the Annie G.K. Garland Memorial Fellowship (2010), the MacMillan Center Dissertation Research Grant (2009), the George Walter Leitner Felllowship (2009), and the Agrarian Studies Fellowship (2006). My research develops unique insights into how political machines dominate electorates and how the same dynamics that led to their dominance can ultimately cause their decline. My dissertation used formal theory and multiple research methods to better understand the internal organization of political parties and the electoral efficiency of political machines.

Blake Emerson, Ph.D. expected May 2016 (Political Theory, American Politics)

Dissertation:  Between Public Law and Public Sphere: An American Progressive Theory of the Administrative State

My research focuses on the relationship between German and American political thought. My dissertation develops a normative theory of the administrative state from American progressives who were influenced by German state theory.  I received the Edgar M. Cullen Prize for the Best Paper by a First Year Law Student at Yale Law School in 2011.  I also received an Honorable Mention for the Best Paper in Law and Courts Award from the American Political Science Association in 2013.  My research has been published in Philosophy & Social Criticism (2013) and in The Review of Politics (forthcoming 2015).

Nikhar Gaikwad, Ph.D. expected May 2016 (International and Comparative Political Economy, International Relations, Comparative Politics, South Asian Politics) Website

Dissertation:  Ethnic Politics and Economic Policy: Theory and Evidence from India

My dissertation explores how the presence of identity politics creates regulatory capture and influences the dynamics of economic policymaking in ethnically divided polities.  Over twenty years after pledging to break down governmental barriers to trade and investment, developing countries such as India remain among the most protected economies in the world.  I argue that standard societal coalition theories of economic policymaking fail to adequately explicate policymaking dynamics because they underestimate the role of identity politics in the electoral arena.  My dissertation develops and tests a new theoretical framework of political competition that helps explain observed sources of regulatory capture across culturally segmented polities.  My research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, International Growth Center, The Tobin Project, and several centers at Yale.  I received the David A. Lake Award for the Best Paper presented at the 2014 International Political Economy Society Annual Meeting.  Prior work has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Political Science.

Francesca Grandi, Ph.D. expected May 2015 (International Relations, Comparative Politics, Qualitative Methods)

Dissertation: Troubled Peace: Political Violence During Postwar Transitions (Advisors: Stathis Kalyvas (Chair), Elisabeth Wood, Steven Wilkinson, Jason Lyall)

I study conflict and political violence, focusing on civil wars, war termination, post-conflict peacebuilding, and transitional justice. My dissertation examines the occurrence and variation of extra-judicial killings generalizing from an historical setting, post-WWII Italy, to present-day situations, such as post-Qadhafi Libya. Data collection for this project, including fourteen months of archival research in Italy, received support from The Harry Guggenheim Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Yale MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, and the Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale. My other research activities include projects on counterinsurgency in history and revenge killings in post-WII Europe.

Anna Jurkevics, Ph.D. expected May 2016 (modern European political thought, critical theory, and democratic theory) Website

Dissertation: Cosmopolitan Territories: Land, Jurisdiction, and International Law (Advisors: Seyla Benhabib)

I am a political theorist interested in modern European political thought, critical theory, and democratic theory. In my research I investigate political geography and the politics of place in the history of political thought as well as contemporary political theory. My dissertation, Cosmopolitan Territories: Land, Jurisdiction, and International Law, seeks to revive territorial thinking for cosmopolitan critical theory. Some of this research, “Hannah Arendt Reads Carl Schmitt’s Nomos of the Earth,” has been accepted for publication at the European Journal of Political Theory. I have been funded by the Zeit-Stiftung’s Bucerius PhD Fellowship in Migration Studies, and prior to attending Yale, I received a B.A. in German Studies and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania (2008).

Bolek Z. Kabala, Ph.D. expected May 2016 (Political Philosophy, Contemporary Theory, and American Politics) Website

Dissertation: Hobbes, The New Secular Clerisy, and Spinoza’s Concern (Advisor(s): Professors Steven B. Smith (advisor), Bryan Garsten, and Karuna Mantena)

I study political philosophy with a particular emphasis on the theologico-political problem. I am also interested in political theology, the history of political thought, and critical theory. My dissertation reads Spinoza as responding to the possibility in Hobbes, noted by Mark Lilla, that government is a “prize for the spiritually ambitious.” Prior to attending Yale I also studied Hobbes and Spinoza at Harvard, where I received an A.B. in Social Studies. After graduating from Harvard I served for two years as Deputy Press Secretary for Governor Haley Barbour. I have published several short pieces on national politics, and I am working on submitting for peer review an article on toleration and Independency in mid-17th century England.

Malte Lierl, Ph.D. expected May 2015 (Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Methods) Website

Dissertation: Informal Governance: Enforcement and Accountability under Weak Institutions (Advisors: Thad Dunning (chair), Gregory Huber, Delia Baldassarri)

My research focuses on the political economy of governance under weak institutions, especially in the context of local-level governance in developing countries. In my dissertation, I examine how social sanctioning capacity and reputational mechanisms in Tanzanian villages influence the co-production of public goods by citizens and local leaders. This project is based on behavioral experiments (involving local leaders and ordinary citizens), surveys, and open-ended interviews and administrative data. Additionally, I am pursuing several large-scale policy experiments on municipal government accountability in collaboration with the government of Burkina Faso and the World Bank, as well as other ongoing research. My work has been funded by competitive grants from the Russell Sage Foundation, the World Bank, and other institutions. 

Matthew Longo, Ph.D. expected May 2014 (Contemporary Theory, Political Philosophy, Comparative Politics, Middle East Politics) Website

Dissertation: Sovereignty in the Age of Securitization: A Study on Borders and Bordering in the United States after 9/11 (Advisor(s): Seyla Benhabib (chair), James C. Scott, Paulina Ochoa)

My dissertation focuses on borders, sovereignty and citizenship, after 9/11. Drawing from qualitative research on contemporary US bordering policy and practice, I reveal borders to be increasingly thick, multi-faceted and bi-national – rather than thin, legal-topographical instantiations of state sovereignty. This re-conceptualization has great normative and geo-political significance: when states co-manage their borders in a shared battle against global flows, sovereignty at the border becomes paradoxically both joint and empty. I am the recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, as well as grants from the Institute for Social and Policy Studies and the MacMillan Center at Yale.

Rebecca Nielsen, Ph.D. expected May 2015 (Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Quantitative Methods) Website

Dissertation: War, Networks and Women in Politics: Female Secret Societies in Sierra Leone and Liberia (Advisors: Elisabeth Wood (co-chair), Thad Dunning (co-chair), Dara Cohen)

I study political development, violent conflict, religion and magic. My dissertation examines the differential impact of civil war on widespread ‘secret society’ organizations in West Africa and traces subsequent levels of women’s local and national political integration. Data collection for this project, including twelve months of fieldwork in Sierra Leone and Liberia, received support from the National Science Foundation and the Yale MacMillan Center. My other research activities include a project on the perverse consequences of NGO and INGO development interventions, and a study of why some armed groups choose to adopt supernatural weapons.

Shmuel Nili, Ph.D. expected May 2016 (Political Theory)

Dissertation:  A Theory of Global Injustice (Advisors:  Thomas Pogge, Ian Shapiro, Seyla Benhabib) Website

My main research focuses on the moral assessment of global politics. This focus is informed by social science, by the history of political thought, and by a methodological emphasis on the practical task of political philosophy.
My dissertation develops a methodological framework for analyzing global injustice that is independent of theories of perfect justice, around which much of contemporary political philosophy revolves. I illustrate the value of this framework by delving into under-explored moral dilemmas surrounding natural resource trade with authoritarian regimes.
Articles related to the dissertation have been published/are forthcoming in several journals, including The American Political Science Review; The Journal of Politics; The Journal of Political Philosophy; Politics, Philosophy & Economics; and International Theory.
Articles related to my secondary research interests have been published/are forthcoming in History of Political Thought, Review of International Studies, and International Studies Review, among others.   

Steven Rosenzweig, Ph.D. expected May 2016 (Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Quantitative Methods)

Dissertation: The Logic of Political Violence in Electoral Competition (Advisors: Thad Dunning (chair), Susan Stokes, Kate Baldwin, Steven Wilkinson) Website

I study comparative politics and the political economy of development, with a particular focus on political violence, government accountability, distributive politics, and the politics of sub-Saharan Africa.  I also have an interest in causal inference and research methods. My dissertation investigates the logic of political violence in electoral competition, analyzing why politicians use violence as a electoral tactic and how it affects voting behavior.  To answer these questions, I have conducted extensive fieldwork in Kenya, gathering original data from a series of survey experiments and qualitative interviews with Kenyan voters and politicians. My research has been supported by the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, the Leitner Program in International and Comparative Political Economy, and the Yale Council on African Studies. Previous work has been published in Electoral Studies. 

Luis Schiumerini,  Ph.D. expected May 2015 (Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Quantitative Methods) Website

Dissertation: Biased or Retrospective voters? A Theory of Incumbency Effects with evidence from South America (Advisors: Thad Dunning (co-chair), Susan Stokes (co-chair), David Mayhew)

I study political behavior and democratic representation in developing countries, with a regional focus on Latin America. My dissertation investigates the causes and consequences of incumbency effects drawing insights and data from twelve months of fieldwork in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. I argue that incumbency effects represent a constrained form of retrospective voting in environments where parties do not provide reliable policy information or valence. I combine a survey experiment, regression discontinuity designs and case studies to establish systematic variation in incumbency effects as a function of fiscal resources, economic performance and electoral rules. In other projects, I study the origins of preferences for redistribution and the determinants of participation in mass protests. My research has been supported by the Yale Program on Democracy, the Macmillan Center and the Institute for Social and Policy studies.

Rachel Silbermann, Ph.D. expected May 2014 (American Politics and Quantitative Methods) Website

Dissertation: Essays about Gender and Politics in the Present-Day United States (Advisor(s): Alan Gerber, Gregory Huber, John Bullock)

I am interested in American politics, political behavior, political psychology, and gender and politics. My dissertation uses observational and survey research, survey experiments, GIS software, and qualitative studies to address how understudied work-life balance concerns, such as commute time, affect the decision to run for public office. In survey experiments and in observational studies of state legislators and candidates, I find that women are less interested in running for office if they live far away from the capital, where they would be working. I received the APSA Political Psychology’s Section’s Distinguished Junior Scholars Award in 2012.