Job Candidates

The following FSU graduate students are currently seeking academic positions:

American Politics / Comparative Politics

Juan David Irigoyen Borunda (Ph.D. expected Summer 2023)
Curriculum Vitae

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Florida State University. I plan to defend my dissertation in the Summer of 2023. My research focuses on electoral behavior, vote-selling, and turnout buying in the US and Latin American contexts. As an instructor, I teach courses on Latin American politics, Public opinion and electoral behavior, and American government.

In my dissertation, I propose a vote-selling formal theory that aims to explain how exogenous incentives–be they material or immaterial–affect individuals’ voting behavior in different settings. For the second chapter of my dissertation, I will test the propositions from this model using a voting-game experiment programmed using the software oTree. The final chapter of my dissertation looks at the topic of turnout-buying by analyzing the effects and implications of a turnout-buying campaign implemented in the state of Chihuahua since the 2016 election. The results of this research will contribute to understanding the implications of turnout-buying efforts, how sensitive the public is to them, and if elites may use them to mobilize certain types of voters to gain electoral advantage.

This dissertation is the first step in a research agenda that examines how exogenous incentives can mobilize voters and alter their behavior. This research plan includes the natural next step of doing an observational analysis of the empirical implications of the vote-selling model. In a similar vein, I will study if and how religion may play a role akin to clientelism by acting as an incentive structure that uses rewards and punishment to curb the behavior of religious voters. Additionally, I plan to analyze further the effects of turnout buying. I will evaluate public opinion attitudes towards turnout buying, as this will help in understanding if the public perceives turnout-buying as a legitimate strategy to incentivize electoral participation and if these attitudes vary as people learn if either a public or a private organization is behind a turnout-buying campaign. Finally, I plan to do an additional study that explores the motivations of the organizations that promote turnout-buying programs. In this sense, there are two critical questions: Are business owners trying to influence the elections by selectively targeting specific types of voters? Similarly, are they seeing election day as a marketing tool to boost their sales or increase their brand’s visibility?

Beyond my dissertation, other projects I am currently working on include a study of social desirability bias on expressed attitudes toward clientelism in Mexican public opinion (with Rafael Isaias Gonzalez Guerrero). Using LAPOP survey data, we show that Mexican respondents tend to evaluate clientelism more harshly if they reveal they have received a clientelist offer. This behavior suggests that respondents are trying to signal that they did not engage in vote-selling. In addition, I am working on a project examining how the rate of taxes paid by an immigrant may affect immigration attitudes (with Alexandra Artiles). We use ANES data, along with a conjoint experiment, to study how important is the economic argument–paying a fair share of taxes–when it comes to attitudes toward immigrants.

Dissertation Committee: Brad Gomez (Chair), Jens Grosser, and Lonna Atkeson

Public Policy

Justin Crofoot (Ph.D. expected Summer 2023)
Curriculum Vitae

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Florida State University. I expect to defend my dissertation Summer 2023. I study state politics and public policy with a focus on the role of interest groups in the policymaking process across the American states. My research projects investigate policy adoption and policy design at the state level. I teach courses on American politics, state politics, and public policy.

My dissertation examines the effect of increased protest activity across the United Sates on the adoption of anti-protest legislation by the states. Chapter 1 uses a survey experiment to test how the group protesting and the tactics used by protesters influence attitudes regarding the right to protest and anti-protest legislation. I find that the group protesting does not influence these attitudes, but more violent tactics leads to decreased support for the right to protest. Chapter 2 analyzes state-level adoption of anti-protest legislation. Chapter 3 investigates when individual legislators vote in favor or against anti-protest legislation. I utilize roll call votes across the states from 2017-present and examine the effect of legislator, district, and state characteristics.

Other Projects: My second project explains the different political processes involved in the adoption of recreational marijuana laws, medical marijuana laws, decriminalization, and expungement across the states. I am working on coauthored projects analyzing the effect of political protests on voter registration, voter turnout, and election outcomes (with John Holbein and Hans Hassell) and explaining the variation in state Medicaid program designs (with Charles Barrilleaux and Jeffrey Swanson).

Dissertation Committee: Eric Coleman (Chair), William Berry, Michelle Whyman, and Richard Fording (University of Alabama)

Kenneth Mackie
Curriculum Vitae

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Florida State University and a research fellow at the LeRoy Collins Institute, a non-partisan Florida policy think tank. I expect to defend my dissertation by Spring 2023. My primary research centers on the nature of the politics surrounding the environment using a dynamic lens, whereby parties shape public opinion and the public incentivizes party position-taking. At FSU, I have taught a total of twelve courses in public policy and research methods, and am well-suited to teach courses in American politics as well.

My dissertation explores how political institutions, identities, and perceptions shape climate change attitudes in the public and the positions elites take. Chapter 1 explores the nature of mass climate change attitudes in a descriptive and theoretical analysis, focusing on the way these attitudes have changed over time and the role of individual vs. system-level (information and political environment) factors in shaping these opinions. In the second chapter, I seek to better understand why partisan sorting has increasing on climate change, basing my theory off conflict extension by Carsey and Layman (2002; 2006). Using panel data from the CCES and ANES, I compare the relative contributions of party-based issue conversion and issue-based party conversion in the rise of partisan sorting over climate change. My third dissertation chapter uses a candidate-choice survey experiment to qualify and challenge beliefs that (1) climate change is a low salience issue that citizens do not use in determining their vote choice, and (2) that Republicans do not have an electoral reason to support climate change or to campaign on it.

Beyond my work on the climate and the environment, I have an active collaborative research agenda in other areas of public policy and political behavior. On the former, I have recent work published on topics related to federalism, state policy, education, and race/ethnicity policy (with Carol Weissert, Matthew Uttermark, and Alexandra Artiles). I am also engaged in research on election science and administration, including using the Florida voter file (n > 100 million) to design a sampling frame to implement the 2022 Florida Election Study (with Lonna Atkeson, Yimeng Li, and Eli Mckown-Dawson). On political behavior, I have projects on the way, and implications of how, voters attribute blame for political polarization (with Austin Cutler and Edward Hohe) as well as how affective polarization/social identities intersect with asymmetric information environments to shape public opinion.

Dissertation Committee: Bob Jackson (Chair), Matthew Pietryka, and Lonna Atkeson.

Comparative Politics

Anastasiia Vlasenko (Ph.D. expected Fall 2021)
Curriculum Vitae

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Florida State University and a visiting researcher at Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany. I expect to defend my dissertation by Fall 2021. I study authoritarian politics and democratization with specialization in politics of Ukraine and Russia. My research focuses on transitional period reforms, propaganda, legislative politics, and elections. At FSU, I teach courses on comparative politics, statistics, and post-Soviet studies.

My dissertation examines the effect of legislative networks on corruption and political survival in Ukraine. Chapter 1 investigates how legislative networks affect the proliferation of corruption. I argue that well-connected legislators get more rent returns to office than their less connected peers due to the higher efficiency that attracts potential bribe-paying clients. Chapter 2 analyzes the impact of legislators’ clientelistic and patronage-ridden connections on their prospects of reelection under the conditions of weak democratic institutions. Chapter 3 studies the electoral effects of institutional reforms (decentralization) at national and local levels. This project has been supported through Helen Darcovich Memorial Doctoral Fellowship at Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies and Dissertation Research Grant at Florida State University.

Other projects: My second project focuses on the electoral effects of symbolic politics. In the paper “The Real Consequences of Symbolic Politics: Breaking the Soviet Past in Ukraine” (with Arturas Rozenas), which is currently under review, we show that the removals of the Soviet symbols in Ukraine mobilized supporters for parties with a relatively sympathetic view of Soviet past, creating a backlash effect. I am also working on co-authored projects analyzing the electoral effects of Russian Orthodox Church expansion (with Katie Hess), forecasting German federal election 2021 (with Mark Kayser and Arndt Leininger), and investigating the effect of religious competition in Ukraine on local elections (with Tymofii Brik).

Dissertation Committee: Quintin Beazer (Chair), Holger Kern, and Amanda Driscoll.