The Departments of Political Science and International Affairs are proud to have outstanding students on the job market. Brief profiles of each of our candidates are provided below. Please contact the candidates, their faculty advisors, or the Graduate Advisor, Dr. Megan Morgan, for further information.
PhD, Expected 2021
Dissertation Committee: Dr. Micah Gell-Redman (Chair), Dr. Anthony Madonna, Dr. Daniel Hill, Dr. Grace Bagwell-Adams
I am a political economist whose research focuses on the political economy of health. My interdisciplinary research has appeared in venues as diverse as World History and Southeastern Archaeology and the Midwest and Southern Political Science Associations. While my research focus on health and public action has often focused historically, I have also conducted modern research on rural health and the effects of macroeconomic changes on health and welfare nationally and internationally. My dissertation research focuses on electrification and distributional politics in the Tennessee Valley Authority finding that not only did the expansion of electricity under the TVA greatly improve the health of those living in the service area, but the expansion of a new welfare enhancing service insulated the Democratic Party from loses of support as time went on. Lastly, the study confirms that as the TVA and many historians have argued, power distribution does not seem to have been allocated along partisan lines.
I have taught five different courses as the instructor of record and an additional two courses as a teaching assistant. As instructor of record I have taught both core courses such as International Political Economy, Comparative Political Economy and International Organizations as well as specialty courses including The Politics of Disease Control and Slavery in the Atlantic World. In addition to winning the Christopher Allen Graduate Teaching Award, I have received what I consider to be the highest teaching honor: repeat students who choose to take more classes from me even with so many options.
PhD, Expected 2020
Dissertation Committee: Dr. Shane Singh (Chair), Dr. Hanna Kleider, Dr. Ryan Bakker, Dr. Alexa Bankert
Dissertation: Identity and Political Behavior: How Attitudes toward Immigrants Shape Political Outcomes
Professional Website: https://mattbufford.wordpress.com/
I am a PhD candidate (ABD) specializing in political behavior, political psychology, and social identity in advanced democracies. Using quantitative methods and survey experiments, my research focuses on the intersection of public opinion and policy results, particularly with regard to immigration and support for welfare policies. My research agenda addresses the question of how individuals in the West think about immigration and identity and how this perception affects their political behavior. I am also broadly interested in the ways political actors use issue framing to alter political outcomes, and I seek to further explore this topic in experimental settings.
I have experience teaching American Government, Global Issues, and Comparative Politics at the University of Georgia. Additionally, as an instructor for the Duke Talent Identification Program, I have developed and taught introductory international relations courses. I am prepared to teach several other courses, particularly on quantitative methods, research design, and political behavior.
PhD, Expected 2021
Dissertation Committee: Dr. Richard Vining (Chair), Dr. Keith Dougherty, Dr. Scott Ainsworth, Dr. Christina Boyd
I am a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) and an institutional specialist, with particular emphasis in Law and Courts and Bureaucracy. I also study American Political Development generally. I expect to complete my degree in Summer 2021. My main research agenda focuses on the strategy and decision-making of interest groups and their role in public law litigation in the Federal Courts. I seek to understand how policy outcomes are affected as a result of those decisions and their long-term consequences. I also plan to conduct research in the future which will explore bureaucratic responses to interest group lobbying, and the concept of regulatory capture.
I have experience teaching Constitutional Law at UGA, and American Government at the University of Oklahoma, and I am also a former attorney (J.D.) with a background in government service. In addition to law related courses, I am prepared to teach in the areas of public administration, legislative process, political behavior, and research methods.
PhD, Expected 2021
Dissertation Committee: Dr. Shane P. Singh (Chair), Dr. Alexa Bankert, Dr. Mollie Cohen
Dissertation: Evaluating the Origins, Psychology, and Impacts of Democratic Attitudes
I am a PhD candidate studying comparative political behavior, attitudes towards democracy, and applied quantitative methodology. A book chapter, “Compulsory Voting: The View from Canada and the United States” co-authored with Shane P. Singh and forthcoming in A Century of Compulsory Voting in Australia: Genesis, Impact and Future, examines the history and outlook for compulsory voting in North America. My first-author article, “Gender Differences in the Impact of Winning on Satisfaction with Democracy”, forthcoming at Electoral Studies, examines the differences in increases in satisfaction with democracy among men and women electoral winners. In my dissertation, entitled “Evaluating the Origins, Psychology, and Impacts of Democratic Attitudes”, I explore the foundations and nuances of democratic attitudes, as well as introduces a novel psychological dimension to democratic attitudes.
Beyond research, I have experience teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate level in topics ranging from comparative political behavior, American politics, global issues, and statistics. I have served as the instructor of record for three separate honors sections of Introduction to Global Issues at the University of Georgia over the course of the 2019-2020 Academic Year. Furthermore, as evidence of my success as an instructor, I was awarded the Office of Instruction Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award and Christopher S. Allen Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching awards in the Spring of 2019. With regard to prior experience teaching graduate-level statistics, among hundreds of applicants, I was selected to serve as a teaching assistant for Bayesian Modeling for the Social Sciences I: Introduction and Application at the ICPSR Summer program in the summers of 2018, 2019, and 2020, and as a teaching assistant for Statistics and Data Analysis II: The Basics of Regression in 2020.