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. 

Any Yale Graduate Student wishing to be added to this page can do so by filling out our Hire a Yale PhD submission form.

(Please note that information on this page will be removed once a year, every June 01.  You can resubmit or alter your information at any time via the link above.)


     
Jonathon Baron   Mass Attitudes and the Relationship Between Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons.

John Dearborn

American Politics The Representative Presidency: The Ideational Foundations of Institutional Development and Durability.
Mie Inouye Political Theory Antinomies of Organizing: Democracy and Transformation in the American Organizing Tradition
Melis Laebens Comparative politics Incumbents Against Democracy: Parties and the Logic of Executive Takeover
Stephen Moncrief International Relations The Long Commitment: UN Peacekeeping, Statebuilding, and Security Sector Reform
Tiago Peterlevitz Comparative Politics, Political Economy

Opportunistic Politicians and Clientelism: Explaining Vote Buying and Patronage Jobs in Latin America and Elsewhere.

Lauren Pinson International Relations, Comparative Politics Money or Blood? Why States Allow Illicit Economies
Christopher Price International Relations, Comparative Politics Legacies of Conflict: Civil War Violence, Group Identities, and Ethnic Polarization.
Hari Ramesh Political Theory Directed Association: A Defense of State Action in the Pursuit of Radical Democracy.
Nica Siegel Political Theory Exhaustion: The Life and Economy of Political Concepts
Matthew Shafer Political Theory What Violence Was.
Alicia Steinmetz Political Theory The Freedom of Unreason: Imagination, Skepticism, and Politics in Early Modern Thought
Baobao Zhang American Politics Causal Inference in Policy Feedback.
     

Jonathon Baron        

Date PhD expected: May, 2020

Dissertation Title:
Mass Attitudes and the Relationship Between Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons.

Personal website


John Dearborn

Date PhD awarded: May, 2019
Advisors:  Stephen Skowronek (chair), David Mayhew, Jacob Hacker

Dissertation Title:
The Representative Presidency: The Ideational Foundations of Institutional Development and Durability

Bio:
John Dearborn is a postdoctoral associate in the Center for the Study of Representative Institutions at Yale’s MacMillan Center and a lecturer in the Department of Political Science. His research and teaching interests focus on the Presidency, Congress, American Political Development, and American Political Thought. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in May 2019.

Based on his dissertation, John’s book project, The Representative Presidency: Ideas and Institutional Change, considers the impact of one of the most transformative ideas in American political history, the idea of presidential representation. A central puzzle in American political development is why Congress created the institutional presidency, a set of arrangements that passed to another branch authority that seemed securely vested by the Constitution in the legislature. In answering this question, John offers a framework that can establish the relationship between ideas and political change over time. His work shows that acceptance of the idea of presidential representation – an assumption that presidents possess and act based on a unique perspective due to their national constituency – was an essential precondition for many of the laws passed by Congress that together constitute the institutional arrangements of the modern presidency. However, the idea also had significant implications for American constitutional government, as innovations based upon this claim pushed against established institutional arrangements.

The Representative Presidency examines and compares the development and durability of laws passed by Congress creating the institutional presidency in five policy areas (budgeting, trade, reorganization, employment, and national security) over two periods of time (1921-1947 and 1973-1983). The first period demonstrates the political efficacy of the idea of presidential representation in supporting institutional reform. The second period shows what happens to reformed institutions when the idea behind them falls out of favor. By examining the changing influence of the idea of presidential representation, John’s work provides a fresh understanding of critical episodes in the development of relations between the presidency and Congress.

John has published articles based on this research in the Journal of Policy History and Presidential Studies Quarterly. His JPH article received the Founders Award for Best Graduate Student Paper from the Presidents and Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Archival research for John’s dissertation was funded by the Dirksen Congressional Center, Carl Albert Center at the University of Oklahoma, UCLA Library, Dole Institute at the University of Kansas, and the Yale Center for the Study of American Politics. He has also published a review essay on American imperialism and political development in the Journal of Politics. More on John’s current research and interests can be found at his website.

At Yale, John will be teaching two courses that examine representation in the American political context – “Ideas of Representation in American Political Development” (Fall 2019) and “Congress: How Legislating Works” (Spring 2020).
John is from Ansonia, CT and graduated in 2013 with a B.A. in political science from the University of Connecticut. He served as a rowing coach with Yale Community Rowing from 2010 to 2018.

Personal website

Areas of Concentration:

  • American Politics
  • Presidency
  • Congress
  • American Political Development
  • American Political Thought
  • Public Policy

Mie Inouye

Date PhD expected: Spring 2020
Advisors:  Karuna Mantena (co-chair), Noreen Khawaja (co-chair), Hélène Landemore, James Scott

Dissertation Title:
Antinomies of Organizing: Democracy and Transformation in the American Organizing Tradition

Bio:
My dissertation, Antinomies of Organizing, reconstructs theories of democratic participation from the praxis of twentieth-century American organizers – JBS Hardman, Myles Horton, and Ella Baker – and their movements. It argues that the American organizing tradition is a crucial source for the idea of participation as a means of personal transformation, which has influenced participatory and deliberative democratic theory. This understanding of participation comes into tension with another idea, present throughout the organizing tradition, of participation as a means by which individuals influence decision-making processes. I argue that both theories of participation are essential to theories of democracy and social movements that aim at social transformation, and I reconstruct three historical and conceptual resolutions to the tension between them.
 

Areas of Concentration:

  • Democratic theory
  • religion and politics
  • social movements
  • theories of political action
  • history of political thought
  • twentieth-century American political thought

Melis Laebens

Date PhD expected: May 2020
Advisors:  Frances Rosenbluth, Susan Stokes, Stathis Kalyvas

Dissertation Title:
Incumbents Against Democracy: Parties and the Logic of Executive Takeover

Bio:
Melis Laebens is a PhD candidate in the political science department at Yale University. Her research focuses on democracy and political parties. Her dissertation project studies the process and outcomes of attempts by incumbent leaders to take over democratic institutions. Identifying incumbents worldwide who attempted takeover via institutional means since 1990, she aims to explain why incumbents challenge democratic institutions and why some democracies are more resilient against incumbents with authoritarian tendencies. Based on qualitative and quantitative data, including survey data as well as elite interviews and data on legislator backgrounds gathered through field research in Turkey and Ecuador, she argues that organizational characteristics of the ruling party help explain why some democracies survive incumbent takeover attempts while others do not. In other works she studies partisan identities and political behavior in Turkey and the organizational development of parties in Poland. In addition to Turkey, Poland and Ecuador, Melis also has research experience in Colombia, where she resided for several months and conducted research on party organizations as well as electoral politics in rural areas. She is a co-founder of the Northeast Working Group on Turkish Politics, a collective of graduate students whose research focuses on Turkey. She holds two BAs in Economics and Political Science and International Relations from Bosphorus University in Istanbul. She speaks Turkish, French, Spanish and German in addition to English.

Areas of Concentration:

  • Comparative politics
  • Democracy and democratic backsliding
  • Political parties

Stephen Moncrief

Date PhD expected: May, 2020 (expected)
Advisors:  Nuno Monteiro, Elisabeth Wood, Steven Wilkinson

Dissertation Title:
The Long Commitment: UN Peacekeeping, Statebuilding, and Security Sector Reform

Bio:
I am a PhD Candidate in the Political Science Department at Yale University. My current research focuses on United Nations peacekeeping, international intervention, statebuilding, and political violence. I have presented my research at a number of national social science conferences, and my work has also been published in the Journal of Peace Research.

In my dissertation, I examine how UN peacekeeping has changed since the end of the Cold War. Specifically, I examine how UN peacekeeping has gradually come to resemble external statebuilding. I study the effects of this change on the duration and effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations. I argue that when a UN peace operation commits to statebuilding, it invites new challenges that undermine its ability to exit. To support my argument, I use large-N quantitative analysis, as well as in-depth case studies of UN missions in Haiti and Sierra Leone.

Personal website

Areas of Concentration:

  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Violence

Tiago Peterlevitz

Date PhD expected: May, 2020 (expected)
Advisors:  Susan Stokes (co-chair), Steven Wilkinson (co-chair), Stathis Kalyvas, and Ana De La O

Dissertation Title:
Opportunistic Politicians and Clientelism

Bio:
Tiago Peterlevitz is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Yale University. His scholarly work focuses on distributive politics, the political economy of development, and race and ethnicity. To understand failures in democratic representation and governance, his current research projects investigate elite political behavior. His dissertation and book project, “Opportunistic Politicians and Clientelism: Explaining Vote Buying and Patronage Jobs in Latin America and Elsewhere,” is a theoretical and empirical investigation into the causes and consequences of clientelism. He holds a MA in Political Science from the University of São Paulo.

Personal website

Areas of Concentration:

  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Economy

Lauren Pinson

Date PhD expected: December, 2019
Advisors:  Frances Rosenbluth; Margaret Peters; Susan Hyde

Dissertation Title:
Money or Blood? Why States Allow Illicit Economies

Personal website

Areas of Concentration:

  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics

Christopher Price

Date PhD expected: May, 2020
Advisors:  Elisabeth J. Wood (Chair), Stathis Kalyvas, Jason Lyall, Elizabeth Nugent

Dissertation Title:
Legacies of Conflict: Civil War Violence, Group Identities, and Ethnic Polarization

Bio:
Chris Price is a PhD candidate in political science at Yale University and a United States Institute of Peace Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar. Beginning in Fall 2019, he will be a Wisconsin International Relations Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Chris studies the dynamics and legacies of civil war violence. His dissertation looks at variation in the depth of post-war ethnic polarization, looking in particular at Liberia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The United States Institute of Peace, the Japan Foundation, and Yale University’s MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies have supported his research. Previously, Chris served with the Department of State and the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. He graduated with a BA degree in Political-Economy from Tulane University, and holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago’s Committee on International Relations.

Personal Website

Areas of Concentration:

  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics

Hari Ramesh

Date PhD expected: May, 2019
Advisors:  Karuna Mantena

Dissertation Title:
Directed Association: A Defense of State Action in the Pursuit of Radical Democracy

Bio:
Hari Ramesh is a College Fellow in Social Studies at Harvard University. He received his PhD in Political Science from Yale, with departmental distinction, in 2019 and holds a B.A. in Political Science and English from Williams College. His research interests are in political theory and the history of political thought, with specializations in democratic theory, histories and theories of social oppression, the intersections of South Asian, Afro-modern, and American political thought, and the relationship between empirical social science and political theory.

Hari’s current book project, based on his dissertation, draws insights from John Dewey, B.R. Ambedkar, and Brown v. Board of Education in order to offer an original account of the compatibility of coercive state action with a radical vision of democracy. Through new readings of three seminal figures, I articulate and defend what I call directed association: the idea that socially-oppressed groups can utilize the instruments of the state in order to create the conditions for democracy understood not just as a form of government but as ‘associated life.’ The project also sheds light on the transnational circulation of political ideas in the twentieth century, particularly between India and the United States, by uncovering heretofore overlooked historical linkages between Dewey, Ambedkar, and Brown. In particular, my analyses of Dewey’s influence on Ambedkar and of sociological perspectives analogizing race and caste on Brown lead to significantly revised understandings of these figures.

Hari’s article “The Politics of Peoples in Rabindranath Tagore and W.E.B. Du Bois” is forthcoming at History of the Present.

Personal Website

Areas of Concentration:

  • Political Theory

Nica Seigel

Date PhD expected: May, 2020
Advisors:  Seyla Benhabib, Karuna Mantena, Paul North

Dissertation Title:
Exhaustion: The Life and Economy of Political Concepts

Bio:

I am a doctoral candidate at Yale University, where I am completing my dissertation under the supervision of Professors Seyla Benhabib, Karuna Mantena, and Paul North. My dissertation research addresses theories of political action and its frustrations through a study of the concept of “exhaustion.” It engages the history of political thought, democratic theory, continental philosophy, and critical theory broadly conceived.

To this, I also bring expertise in legal theory, with a focus on South African jurisprudence.

Publications:

  • “The Roots of Crisis: Interrupting Arendt’s Radical Critique.” Theoria: a Journal of Social and Political Theory, Fall 2015.
  • “Thinking the Boundaries of Customary Law in South Africa,” South African Journal on Human Rights, September 2015.
  • “The South African National Development Plan and African Commission Jurisprudence.” Legal Resources Centre Working Paper Series. A2/2013.
  • Sarat et all. “Scenes of Execution: Spectatorship, Political Responsibility, and State Killing in American Film.”
  • Law & Social Inquiry, 2013.
  • Re-printed in Punishment in Popular Culture, NYU Press, 2015
  • In Progress:  “The Jurisprudence of Neglect: Apartheid and the Origins of Neoliberalism” (supported by the Mayibuye Archives at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa)

Personal Website

Areas of Concentration

  • Political theory
  • Theories of political action
  • Continental philosophy
  • Legal theory
  • Democratic theory
  • Psychoanalysis
  • South Africa.

Matthew Shafer

Date PhD expected: May, 2020
Advisors:  Seyla Benhabib (chair), Karuna Mantena, Paul North (German Dept.), Joseph Fischel (WGSS)

Dissertation Title:
What Violence Was

Bio:

My research brings together the history of political thought and contemporary critical theory, investigating the origins, possibilities, and limitations of the ideas and vocabularies that shape our conversations about domination, injustice, and inequality. Recent work has appeared in the European Journal of Political Theory, in Constellations, and elsewhere.

My dissertation project, “What Violence Was,” presents a critical history of recent debates over the meaning of the concept of violence in anglophone social and political thought. For five decades, academics and activists have disputed not simply whether violence can be justified but more fundamentally what violence is; the definition of the word itself, its proper use and application, has become an object of political contestation. In my dissertation, I turn away from the attempt to settle this definitional question. Instead, I examine how and why it emerged as a historically-specific problem, reconstructing the development of the varied uses of the concept of violence and reflecting on its potential and limits for emancipatory politics today.

I hold an MA in History and an MPhil in Political Science from Yale, where I am also affiliated with the program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Before beginning doctoral study, I completed an MPhil in political thought and intellectual history at the University of Cambridge.

Personal Website

Areas of Concentration:

  • Political theory
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies (extradepartmental certificate)

Alicia Steinmetz

Date PhD expected: May, 2020
Advisors:  Bryan Garsten (chair), Ian Shapiro, Steven Smith

Dissertation Title:
The Freedom of Unreason: Imagination, Skepticism, and Politics in Early Modern Thought

Bio:

Alicia Steinmetz is a PhD candidate in Political Theory at Yale University. Her research interests include the political imagination, the history of European early modern political philosophy, twentieth-century Anglo-American politics and thought, the relationship between religion and politics, and rhetorical theory and textual interpretation.

Her dissertation project, “The Freedom of Unreason: Imagination, Skepticism, and Politics in Early Modern Thought,” explores the historical role of theories of imagination in contesting and reformulating the conceptualization of reason between the late sixteenth and late eighteenth centuries. The standard story told about the Enlightenment is that it was a movement in which reason and individualism fought and triumphed against superstition and absolutism in forging modern understandings of political right and legitimacy. This dissertation argues that it would be more accurate to describe the Enlightenment as a movement in which the very meaning of reason itself was transformed in ways deeply indebted to the imagination. The project focuses on four key philosophers – Michel de Montaigne, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Immanuel Kant. Each of them struggled with how political possibility is shaped by the dynamics of human social psychology, and each of them aimed—paradoxically—to rehabilitate certain forms of unreason in order to make reason itself possible.

Alicia’s recent publications include “Sanctuary and the Limits of Public Reason: A Deweyan Corrective” (2018), published in Politics and Religion, “Negative Liberty and the Cold War” (with Ian Shapiro), published in The Cambridge Companion to Isaiah Berlin (2018), and “Religious Reasons in Public Deliberation” (with Andrew March) in The Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy (2018).

Personal Website

Areas of Concentration:

  • Political Theory
  • Comparative Politics
  • Historical and Archival Methods

Baobao Zhang

Date PhD expected: December, 2019
Advisors:  Jacob Hacker (Chair), Allan Dafoe, Devin Caughey, Anthony Leiserowitz

Dissertation Title:
Causal Inference in Policy Feedback

Bio:
I am a PhD candidate in Yale University’s Political Science Department, a research affiliate with the Center for the Governance of AI at the University of Oxford, and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. My current research focuses on the governance of artificial intelligence (AI). In particular, I study public and elite opinion toward AI and how the American welfare state could adapt to the increasing automation of labor.

My previous research covered a wide range of topics, including the politics of the U.S. welfare state, attitudes towards climate change, and survey methodology. My papers have been published in Political Analysis, Nature Climate Change, the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, and JAMA Surgery. My research and graduate education have been funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Yale Institution for Social and Policy, and the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund.

I graduated with a BA in political science (2013) and an MA in statistics (2015) from Yale University. During graduate school, I worked as a data scientist for the Yale Project for Climate Change Communication and a researcher to former Secretary of State John Kerry

Personal Website

Areas of Concentration:

  • Public Policy
  • American Politics
  • Quantitative Methods