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Graduate Students Shine at MPSA Annual Conference

We are thrilled to announce that our graduate students had a strong showing at the recent Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) Annual Conference. Many of our dedicated students presented their research to a wide audience of political scientists.

The presentations covered a diverse range of topics, showcasing the breadth of knowledge and expertise of our graduate students. The positive feedback they received is a testament to their hard work, dedication, and passion for advancing their fields.

We congratulate our graduate students for their outstanding performance at the MPSA Annual Conference and look forward to their continued success in contributing to the academic community!

Graduate Student Presentations Heading link

Hector S. Alarcon – Land reform, violence, and development at the subnational level: An analysis for Colombia

This paper analyzes the long-term effect of institutions that promote better land distribution at the development level inside countries in the context of civil war. The paper proposes to analyze the subnational variation in the Colombian case.

Elena Borzenkova – Planned Like Los Angeles, Developing Like Chicago?

I challenge the economic determinism of urban theories by analyzing informal settlement patterns in cities that were built and populated from scratch.

Noah Briggs – Lost In Translation: The Second Amendment in American Political Thought

This paper uses neo-republican interpretations of Machiavelli to introduce an alternative reading of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

Yasmine Haiti – Democracy Inside: Assessment of Tunisian Ennahda

This analysis, by using primary policy documents and election results, explores how internal party dynamics hinder democratic consolidation in Tunisia.

Andrea Manning  – The Confluence of Religion and Gender on the Campaign Trail

This research analyzes the confluence of gender and religion.

David Morales  – Technological innovation and the policy process: the case of cryptocurrency

This project examines how political institutions process information in response to new technological innovations.

Sebastian T. Palma – Broken Promises: Why Ex-Combatants Fight Again After Peace Agreements

Why do some ex-combatants decide to return to organized violence after having signed a peace agreement with the government, while others inside the same organization do not? I try to answer this question by analyzing former rebel elites discourse.

Semih Patan – Autocrats in Opposition

What happens when autocrats lose power at the subnational level while maintaining their authoritarian rule at the top? We propose a new term, autocratic opposition, to capture the power incongruity at different levels in competitive authoritarian regimes, identify autocratic opposition strategies and their implications for regime survival.

Eliska Schnabel – Residents in Zoning Process: Who becomes vocal and why

This paper uses a conjoint survey experiment to show who is more likely to oppose new houses of worship and what motivates people to express their opinions to local officials.

Amir Toumie – Ethnic Nationalism and Political Parties

This project examines how and under which conditions is the newly-emerging ethnic/religious nationalism embodied in official political party manifestos.

Daniel Williams – Exiles from Gay Disneyland The Migration of Queer Men’s Sex Spaces in Chicago 1981-2019

Scholars propose two theories for the decline of “gayborhoods,” The post-gay hypothesis and the gay Disneyland hypothesis. Using mixed methods I pit these explanations against each other and find support for the gay Disneyland hypothesis.