Job Market Candidates

The following doctoral candidates are on the academic job market. 

American Politics


Anthony Daniel                        

Adviser: Robert Y. Shapiro

Dissertation: "From Wagner to Taft-Hartley, Revisited"

Subfield: American politics

Research Interests: American political development, public opinion, state politics

Dissertation Abstratct


Patricia Kirkland


Advisers: Justin Phillips, Shigeo Hirano, Ester Fuchs, Isabela Mares

Dissertation: "America's Mayors:  How Voters Choose and How Mayors Shape Policy"

Research Interests: U.S. state and local politics, representation, urban politics, public policy, fiscal policy, elections

Patricia Kirkland studies American politics with a focus on state and local politics. Her ongoing research examines representation, public policy, and fiscal health in U.S. cities, exploring the relationship between descriptive representation and policy outcomes. Other current projects investigate vote choice in nonpartisan elections and the connection between divided government and legislative productivity in the states.

Ms. Kirkland also serves as a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Political Science and as a Graduate Assistant in the Empirical Reasoning Center at Barnard College.


Michael Schwam-Baird

Advisers: Donald Green, Robert Shapiro, Robert Erikson

Dissertation: "Essays on the Motivations and Behavior of Individual Political Donors"

Research Interests: campaign finance, political psychology, electoral behavior, inequality, judicial behavior, causal inference, experiments

Michael Schwam-Baird is a Ph.D. candidate in American politics at Columbia University. His dissertation research focuses on understanding the motivations and behavior of campaign contributors using field experiments and observational approaches. His other research projects include examining judicial behavior in the presence of electoral conflicts of interest, assessing consumers’ reactions to corporate political activity, and finding new ways to measure the effects of campaign spending on electoral outcomes.

Amy Semet


Advisers: Ira Katznelson and Michael Ting

Dissertation: "An Empirical Examination of Adjudications at the National Labor Relations Board."

Research Interests: American institutions, public law, quantitative methods, public opinion

Dr. Amy Semet was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University in 2015-2016 as well as a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Law School Information Society Project. Dr. Semet was a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College in 2014-2015, teaching four classes on American politics and quantitative methods. In addition to degrees from Columbia, she holds a B.A. in Government and History from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Prior to coming to Columbia, Dr. Semet practiced law full-time, mainly in the areas of intellectual property law and general commercial litigation, at a large New York City law firm. She also clerked for a federal court of appeals judge in Washington D.C.


Amber Spry


Advisers: Donald Green and Robert Shapiro

Dissertation: "Group Identity in American Politics: A Multidimensional Approach to Study and Measurement"

Research Interests: American politics, public opinion, political behavior, race, ethnicity and identity, political psychology

Amber Spry's dissertation is titled “Group Identity in American Politics: A Multidimensional Approach to Study and Measurement,” and is grounded in theories of political psychology and public opinion, and contributes novel measurement strategies toward our understanding of group policy preferences. She explores questions relating to group identity in the United States, critically examining the relationships between racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious identities as they manifest within individuals themselves (as people think of themselves as belonging to multiple groups at once), and across social categories (as politics are often borne out along group lines).


Adam Zelizer

Advisers: Shigeo Hirano, Gregory Wawro, Donald Green

Dissertation: "Three Field Experiments on Legislative Institutions, Information, and Behavior"

Research Interests: legislative behavior and institutions, state politics, capaigns and elections, media and public opinion

Adam Zelizer is a PhD candidate in American politics at Columbia University. His principal research interest lies in the effects of legislative institutions on indiviudal behavior and collective choice outcomes. Mr. Zelizer's dissertation presents three field experiments on the influence of legislative caucuses on cosponsorship, roll call voting, and bill passage. It focuses on how caucuses support policy expertise, deliberation, and bipartisanship. Caucuses illustrate how legislators depend on informal institutions - those that lack statutory powers - to make informed decisions about politics and policy and how caucuses use their informational advantages to benefit the policy proposals of their members.

Mr. Zelizer's research interests outside of his dissertation include observational studies on Congressional responsiveness and elections and experimental studies on campaign and media persuasion.


International Relations


Jonathan Blake


Dissertation Committee: Jack Snyder, Alfred Stepan, Michael Doyle, Timothy Frye, and James Jasper (Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center)

Dissertation: “Ritual Contention in Divided Societies: Participation in Loyalist Parades in Northern Ireland”

Subfield and Research Interests: comparative politics and international relation, ethnicity, nationalism, and religion, contentious politics and collective action, conflict and violence

Dr. Jonathan Blake is a Visiting Fellow at the Columbia Global Policy Initiative. He received a Ph.D. in political science with distinction from Columbia University in May 2015, and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in 2015-16. His book manuscript, which uses a range of original quantitative and qualitative data to explain the logic of participation in controversial ethno-religious ritual parades in Northern Ireland, is under review at a major university press. It is based on his dissertation, which received Honorable Mention for the 2016 Aaron Wildavsky Dissertation Award for the best dissertation in religion and politics from the American Political Science Association’s Religion and Politics Section. Dr. Blake holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Kate Cronin-Furman


Advisers: Jack Snyder, Tonya Putnam, and Michael Doyle

Dissertation: "Just Enough: The Politics of Accountability for Mass Atrocities" 

Subfield and Research Interests: international relations/comparative politics, conflict and violence, human rights, international law

Dr. Kate Cronin-Furman received her Ph.D in International Relations at Columbia University. Her dissertation looked at the domestic and international politics of accountability for atrocity crimes. Before beginning the Ph.D., she practiced international law in Cambodia, New York, and The Hague.


Emily Holland


Advisers: Jack L. Snyder and Alexander Cooley

Dissertation: "Poisoned by Gas: Institutional Failure, Energy Dependence and Security”

Subfields: international relations, comparative politics,

Research Interests: energy politics, political development, Russian/Post-Soviet politics, trade

Emily Holland is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in nternational relations at Columbia University. Her dissertation examines the influence of institutional development and regional politics on energy security in the post-Soviet region. Her research draws on extensive field research in Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Ukraine combining large-N statistical analysis and qualitative methods including elite interviews. Ms. Holland's work has been generously supported by the Harriman Institute and Columbia Business School and she has been a visiting fellow at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) and the European Council on Foreign Relations.


Tamar Mitts


Advisers: Christopher Blattman, V. Page Fortna, Macartan Humphreys, Jack Snyder

Dissertation: “How Terrorism Creates Foreign Fighters: A Study of the Islamic State’s Recruitment on Social Media Using Twitter Microdata”

Research Interests: international relations, comparative politics, politcal violence, conflict, civil war, terrorism, automated text analysis, machine learning

Tamar Mitts is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Columbia University. Her dissertation examines how the Islamic State exploits rising anti-Muslim hostility in the wake of terrorist attacks to radicalize and recruit foreign fighters in the West. The research draws on an ongoing data collection on the online behavior of about two million users linked to ISIS on Twitter, and on qualitative accounts of individuals who attempted to travel to the Syrian civil war.


Comparative Politics


Hadas Aron


Advisors: Jack Snyder, Sheri Berman, Yotam Margalit

Dissertation: "Intimate Rivals or Enemies of the State: State Ethos and the Policing of Far Right Groups"

Subfield: comparative politics and international relations

Research Interests: nationalism, social movements, democratization, political violence, political narratives, right wing populism

Hadas Aron is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Columbia University. Her research and teaching interests lie in the fields of international relations and comparative politics. In particular, she is a scholar of nationalism, ethnic conflict, political narratives, right wing politics and populism with a regional focus on Eastern Europe, the United States and Israel. Her dissertation, titled "Intimate Rivals or Enemies of the State: The Policing of Far Right Groups" is focused on the relationship between states and radical movements, with cases studies from the U.S., Israel, and Central Europe. Ms. Aron earned an M.A. from Columbia, an M.Sc and a B.Sc from Tel Aviv University.

Ms. Aron has conducted field research in Central Europe and Israel and was a visiting scholar at the Central European University and The Hungarian Academy of Science (Fall 2014). She is currently a Senior Lead Teaching Fellow at the Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning.

Ms. Aron's research was supported by The Harriman Institute for Russian Eurasia and East European Studies, Academic Exchange, and the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies.

Noah Buckley


Adviser: ​Timothy Frye

Dissertation: "Calculating Corruption: Political Competition and Bribery under Authoritarianism"

Subfield: comparative politics and political methodology

Noah Buckley's research interests and areas of specialization include comparative politics, corruption, authoritarianism, bureaucracy, and quantitative and experimental methodologies. His regional focus is on the post-communist states of the former Soviet Union, with particular emphasis on subnational politics in Russia. Mr. Buckley has conducted field research in Russia and Georgia, including extensive elite interviews, qualitative, and quantitative data collection. His work has been published in Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of Experimental Political Science, and Europe-Asia Studies.


Brett Meyer

Advisers: Isabela Mares, Vicky Murillo, and John Huber

Dissertation: "The Perils of Post-Industrialism: Essays on Technological Change, New Social Cleavages, and Labor Market Institutions in Advanced Industrial Democracies."

Research Interests: comparative political economy, labor market politics, social policy and inequality, advanced democracies.

Dr. Brett Meyer's dissertation focused on how structural economic changes in advanced democracies, such as automation and the development of financial markets, affect labor market institutions and policies, as well as how both structural changes and existing institutions interact to shape political attitudes and social cleavages. Dr. Meyer’s research is mixed methods, combining large-N data analysis, qualitative methods, including interviews and archival work, and causal inference methods in quantitative and qualitative research.

Mark Schneider


Advisers: Robert Shapiro (Chair), Kimuli Kasara, Andrew Nathan, Devesh Kapur (University of Pennsylvania)

Dissertation: "Whither the Quid Pro Quo? Party-Voter Linkages and Distributive Politics in India."

Subfields: comparative politics (Major), international relations (Minor)

Research Interests: patronage politics, elections in developing countries, party-voter linkages, survey design, intra-party organization, ethnic politics, state capacity, and the implementation of anti-poverty policies.

Dr. Mark Schneider is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College. He completed his Ph.D. in comparative politics at Columbia University in 2015. Dr. Schneider's research focuses on the micro-foundations of clientelism and distributive politics in India. Drawing on behavioral and experimental measures from a unique cross-referenced survey, in which local politicians were asked directly about sampled voters in rural Rajasthan, he argues that democratic accountability is more robust at the local level than previous research suggests. Specifically, he finds that local middlemen lack the capacity to identify voters' partisan preferences, which is a requirement of the quid pro quo logic of clientelism. He also finds that these village politicians hold pro-poor distributive preferences, contrary to the expectation of research on elite capture. Future research projects will expand the study of local politicians' preferences, strategies and constraints to higher-level politicians at the state and district levels. This long-term project will culminate in a book project on party organization, party-broker interaction, and politician-voter linkages in India. A second collaborative project will address state capacity in India through a series of articles on state institutions in India beginning with the postal service.Dr. Schneider received his B.A. in Political Science with highest honors at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Political Theory


Andreas Avgousti


Advisers: David Johnston and Melissa Schwartzberg (Department of Politics, NYU).

Dissertation: “Politeiai and Reputation in Plato's Thought”

Areas of interest: Ancient Political Thought; History of Political Thought; Moral Psychology

Dr. Andreas Avgousti (Ph.D., Columbia) is Core Lecturer in Contemporary Civilization at the Department of Political Science. He is working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Recovering Reputation: Plato and Demotic Power, which characterizes the role of reputation in political order and political judgment across several Platonic dialogues. With one eye on contemporary social scientific research, Dr. Avgousti seeks to motivate a conceptual account of reputation by expanding his research project to other ancient Greek texts. Dr. Avgousti also has interests in democratic theory, politics and knowledge, moral psychology, and international politics.

Kevin Elliott


Advisers: David Johnston and Melissa Schwartzberg (NYU)

Dissertation: "The Keystone of Democracy: Prioritizing Inclusion in the Design of Democratic Institutions "

Subfield and Research Interests: political theory and American politics

Dr. Kevin J. Elliott earned his Ph.D. in the Political Science Department at Columbia University where he worked on normative democratic theory and institutional design. Drawing on both theoretical and empirical literatures, his dissertation project investigated how to reform the participatory institutions of contemporary democracies to promote effective political inclusion, particularly in the United States. A native of California, he received a B.A. in Political Science and Public Policy from UCLA (summa cum laude, and with departmental and collegiate honors) and an M.Sc. in Political Theory from the London School of Economics.


Jennifer M. Hudson


Advisers: Nadia Urbinati, Jean L. Cohen, and Samuel Moyn (History)

Dissertation: "The Bureaucratic Mentality in Contemporary Democracy and Democratic Theory"

Research Interests: democratic theory, modern and contemporary political thought, European politics, history of political ideas, continental philosophy, social theory

Jennifer Hudson is currently a member of the social science faculty at Bard Prison Initiative, Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities at Bard College, and Associate Fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities. 

Ms. Hudson was a Columbia Lindt fellow for dissertation writing in 2012-2013 and a Cordier teaching fellow at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs from 2009-2011, teaching in the Master of International Affairs program. Before joining the Department of Political Science, Ms. Hudson was a Fulbright Scholar in Freiburg, Germany.  She earned a master's degree in political theory and international affairs at l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a B.A. in political science. 

Ms.Hudson has been teaching in mens and womens correctional facilities as a member of the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) faculty since 2013, and two of her students were part of the BPI college debate team that recently won against the team from Harvard!

Yao Lin

Advisers: David Johnston & Jon Elster

Dissertation: "Value Pluralism and Liberal Democracy"

Subfield: political theory and comparative politics

Research Interests: modern political thought; democratic theory; human rights; transitional justice, comparative political theory

Rejecting the Rawlsian doctrine that metaphysical truth is irrelevant for political theorizing, Dr. Lin's dissertation develops a version of value pluralism that, on the one hand, addresses the paradox of liberal constitutionalism versus popular sovereignty, and on the other hand, accounts for the indispensable yet largely under-theorized role of judgment, tradeoff, and statesmanship in political decision-making.
Dr. Lin was a Global Justice Fellow at Yale Global Justice Program and has worked as a rapporteur for Columbia University's Neo-Confucian Studies Seminar ( He has been involved in human rights activism in China, and regularly contributes political commentaries and philosophical essays to Chinese media.
Dr. Lin received a B.S. in Biology and an M.A. in philosophy from Peking University in China.

Nathaniel Mull


Adviser: Jean Cohen

Dissertation: “Natural Law and the Idea of the Secular State in Early Modern Europe”

Research Interests: Natural law theories from Aquinas to Locke, Secular-ecclesiastical conflict in medieval and early modern Europe, Liberty of conscience in contemporary democracies

Nathaniel Mull's current research brings together two strands of early modern political thought: the revival and transformation of natural law theory and the emergence of a secular notion of the state. In his dissertation he shows how the language of natural law was used in 16th- and 17th-century political thought to argue for the autonomy of civil power from religious authority and theological controversy. Mr. Mull argues that the secular constitutionalism that eventually emerged in the seventeenth century was shaped by a particular strand of natural law theory that originated in the Spanish School of Salamanca. One of his aims is to call attention to this early form of political secularism, which provides a stark contrast with the predominant Rawlsian conception of liberalism.

Benjamin Schupmann


Advisers: Jean Cohen and Nadia Urbinati

Dissertation: "Leviathan Run Aground: Carl Schmitt and the Origins of Militant Democracy"

Dr. Schupmann majored in political theory with an “external” minor in philosophy under Akeel Bilgrami. His minor paper “Thoughtlessness and Resentment: Determinism and Moral Responsibility in the Case of Adolf Eichmann,” won the award for Best Graduate Student Paper at the NPSA 2012 Conference, has been published in Philosophy and Social Criticism

Dr. Schupmann's dissertation extrapolates Carl Schmitt’s state theory, which Schmitt formulated in response to Weimar’s overheated and deeply troubled democracy. In Weimar, movements existentially opposed to the state such as Nazis and Communists whipped up an emotionally charged base, obtaining for themselves a veneer of democratic legitimacy and the means to parliament. Once in parliament, they exacerbated Weimar’s crises and struggled against one another to advance their revolutionary goals. Schmitt saw these conflicts as the 20th century equivalent of the Confessional Civil Wars and saw himself as the 20th century Hobbes. He theorized how to neutralize the factionalism caused by mass democracy and restore the state’s sovereign authority. Schmitt’s state theory anticipated “militant democracy,” a constitution type that guards against certain forms of popular sovereignty by entrenching basic rights and banning “unconstitutional” parties. It offers us an original theory of militant democracy, something invaluable for making sense of its legitimacy – and it limits – today.

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