Gordon Ballingrud

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science & International Affairs

Gordon is a Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia, researching judicial decision-making. He was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, received his Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College, and his Master of Arts from Duke University.

I was born in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1986.  I attended the Canterbury School of Florida until 2004 when I enrolled in Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina.  After graduating four years later, I returned home to Florida to prepare for graduate school; I enrolled in Duke University in 2010 in the Department of Religion to pursue my Master of Arts degree.  The Department, in order to encourage my arrival, offered me a departmental scholarship consisting in a %50 reduction in tuition costs.  While there, I became proficient in Arabic, due to my studies at Duke and a summer semester at the Monterey Institute for International Studies.

In 2011, I made the choice to switch academic fields to political science.  Most of my applications to graduate programs across the country were to study political science; this led me to the University of California at Davis.  I spent a year studying at this program, and enjoyed it a great deal, but my newfound interest in the science of the judiciary was not conducive to UC Davis—there were no tenured professors at Davis at the time who specialized in the field.  So, a second round of applications led me to the University of Georgia, which is replete with scholars of the courts.  The University of Georgia offered me their Scholar of Excellence award to encourage my arrival, which I enthusiastically and gratefully accepted.

I moved to Athens in the summer of 2013, and I tentatively expect to graduate in 2017.  After graduation, I hope to find a tenure-track position in a political science department somewhere close to my friends and family.  My intention, in beginning graduate study, was to teach at a liberal arts college for the sum of my career, such as my alma mater, Davidson College.  But my time in academia has given me a taste for research—as such, I would be equally pleased to accept a position at a major research institution.

  • B.A., Davidson College 2008, Religious Studies
  • M.A., Duke University 2012, Religious Studies
Of Note
  • Scholar of Excellence Fellowship, University of Georgia, 2013
  • Departmental Scholarship, Duke University Department of Religion
Research Interests

My research interests center on judicial decision-making, emphasizing the interplay of law and ideology.  My current research agenda focuses on modeling the legal and attitudinal models of judicial decision-making as interactive parts of a broader rational framework.

My interests cover a spectrum from the scientific to the normative study of the law and the judiciary.  I maintain an interest in constitutional politics, constitutional law, and legal theory.  I have several working projects in both the science of the courts and political and legal theory.