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Graduate Placement Director
The Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware has a long-standing record of placing graduate students in academic positions at some of the best research and liberal arts schools in the country and abroad. For a list of positions that our former students have secured, please refer to the Recent Placements page.
For more information please contact Dr. Phil Jones, Graduate Placement Director.
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I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware with a primary concentration in international relations – focusing on the international political economy and development – and a secondary concentration in American politics – focusing on political behavior. I expect to graduate in May 2024.
My dissertation focuses on the rise of digital authoritarianism in Africa in the last two decades and the role African regimes and China play. I argue, using a realist-constructivist theory of norm diffusion, that China and African regimes have strategic goals that drive their respective supply and demand sides that drive this trend. My project conducts a quantitative (statistical panel) analysis to test my theory. This is followed by a more detailed qualitative analysis using case-based and field research methods of process tracing to present causality. I plan to submit this dissertation for review as a book-length manuscript to one or more peer-reviewed academic presses following its completion in the spring of 2024. I consider myself well versed in the use of quantitative methods in political science. I am also familiar with the use of qualitative methods, as my dissertation project employs a mixed methods approach to the study of the source of the rise in digital authoritarianism in African states.
With my training in pedagogy, I was able to employ both well established and emerging methodologies to design and instruct an upper-level course on the Politics of Globalization and Developing Economies, where I introduced students to key substantive topics and debates in the politics of globalization and development. I am passionate about teaching the following classes: at the undergraduate and graduate levels: introduction to American politics, political behavior, introduction to international relations, and international political economy. I am also passionate about teaching more specialized advanced courses such as globalization in the developing world, the rise of China in Africa, great power transitions, and international security. Given my broader experience as a teaching assistant and instructor at the University of Delaware, I would also be prepared to teach courses that intersect the above interests with political theory, American politics, and comparative politics, as needed.
Kevin Dwyre is a PhD candidate specializing in political theory and comparative politics. Applying an interdisciplinary approach relying on history and political economy, his research seeks to recover the contingency of past debates and their associated struggles to critique the determinisms of the present. Contra rationales which depoliticize prevailing social arrangements—especially as regards technological systems, labor-management relations, (un)employment, and the nature of work—Kevin instead theoretically situates interests, legal-property regimes, and power in the historical development and contemporary dynamics of politics and the market.
His dissertation explores the conflict between unions and management over automation in the post-World War II period. With funding support from the Russell Sage Foundation and W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, the project draws on a range of archival sources to demonstrate that management’s deployment of automation was not strictly motivated by neutral concerns with efficiency maximization. Rather, technology’s adoption was heavily animated by considerations of power and forms of productive control exercised by labor. Ultimately, unions would largely surrender their control over work rules and practices—won during the interwar period and claimed as their de facto property rights—in exchange for “automation funds.” Through this contest for technological appropriation and control, Kevin argues, labor articulated its own visions of the automated future and democratic governance. In excavating “the ruins of…alternative futures,” he illustrates that the assumptions of the current “automation discourse” recapitulate the determinism of postwar managerial rhetoric.
Kevin has extensive teaching experience, serving as a graduate teaching assistant and lab instructor for a range of courses. These include Introduction to Political Theory, Modern Political Thought, Democratic Theory, Contemporary Political Ideologies, Political Philosophy, Contemporary Moral Problems, Ethics, Philosophies of Life, Introduction to American Politics, and Research Methods. Prior to his graduate career, Kevin served in the Peace Corps Ecuador as a Youth & Families volunteer.
Sumeyye Iltekin Gocer
Sumeyye Iltekin Gocer is a Ph.D. candidate in political science and expects to earn her degree in the Summer of 2024. She earned her BA and MA in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University. Her research interests involve the politics of migration, race, and ethnic politics, state-minority relations, and intergroup attitudes with a regional focus on the US, Europe, MENA, and Russia. Sumeyye is interested in research methods and received methodological training at ICPSR and IQMR programs. Sumeyye’s dissertation explores the individual and contextual determinants of anti-immigrant attitudes in Europe and North America. She has conducted research for her dissertation as a visiting scholar at Columbia University.
She uses survey data and textual data for her dissertation and relies on multilevel modeling, text analysis, and experimental methods to analyze her data. Her dissertation reveals the role of economic insecurity and right-wing populist parties in triggering anti-immigrant sentiment. In her dissertation, she develops a generalizable analytical framework to comprehensively identify the drivers of outgroup hostility in different national contexts and theorizes on the relationship between the economy, party politics, and immigration attitudes. Sumeyye is proficient in R, STATA, and Qualtrics. She has advanced Russian, Arabic, and Turkish language skills, which helps her pursue research in comparative contexts.
Sumeyye has several years of teaching experience as an instructor and as a teaching assistant for various political science courses at the University of Delaware. She was an instructor of record for an Introduction to Comparative Politics course for two semesters, and she worked as a teaching assistant and discussion section instructor for Introduction to Global Politics, Introduction to American Politics, Research Methods for Political Science, Introduction to Political Theory, and several other political science courses. At the undergraduate level, she can teach introductory-level courses in comparative and international politics, political theory, American politics, research methods, and specialized courses on Immigration Politics, Race and Ethnic Politics, Populism, and Political Economy. She can also teach regionally focused courses on Middle East Politics, European Politics, and the Politics of the post-Soviet Region. At the graduate level, she can teach Comparative Politics, Immigration Politics, and Ethnic Politics.
James Korman is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Delaware in Political Science & International Relations. He specializes in comparative politics with a focus on the Latin American region and quantitative methodologies, with a research emphasis on corruption, development, Latin American politics, political economy, and state capture. Methodologically, James uses applied statistics and computational social science, particularly multilevel modeling and panel data analysis. His work has been published in renowned journals like the Emory International Law Review and the International Journal of Development Issues.
James' dissertation dissects state capture in Latin America, revealing that the top 1 percent wealth inequality and political party longevity drive this phenomenon. Notably, he identifies the rule of law as pivotal in mitigating state capture across the region. James is a skilled educator, capable of teaching comparative politics, Latin American politics, political economy, and corruption/state capture topics. His teaching expertise also extends to research methods, statistics, and data science. Beyond academia, James is fluent in Spanish at an advanced level in reading, writing and speaking, and proficient in Python and R programming for statistical and data analysis.
Rifat Binte Lutful
Rifat Binte Lutful is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware. Her major field is comparative politics, and her minor field is international relations. Her doctoral research aims to find the root causes of Islamic radicalism in Muslim-majority states. She has conducted comparative case studies and fieldwork on three developing countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Egypt. In her study, she found that the democratization factor and appropriation of social structure factor play a crucial role in determining the country’s Islamic radicalization level.
Currently, she works as an adjunct faculty in the political science department at Marist College. She has also worked as an undergraduate course instructor at UD. She was the recipient of the University of Delaware Summer Doctoral Fellowship in 2023. Her research work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and books.
Rifat's graduate research, coursework, and teaching experiences has prepared her to teach courses on democratization and comparative politics in the developing world, international security, introduction to global politics, international relations, american foreign policy, global governance, Islam and good governance, feminism, comparative political economy, and research methods. She can also teach regionally focused courses, including South Asian and Middle Eastern politics.
Yunus Ozturk is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Delaware in the Department of Political Science and International Relations. His primary field is international relations, and his secondary field is comparative politics. He specializes in international security, peace and conflict studies.His dissertation investigates the nexus between water insecurity and civil war dynamics (duration & outcome). He has conducted a mixed method analysis using a competing-risks survival analysis and three civil war cases from Africa: Chad, Sudan and Ethiopia.
His dissertation shows that persistent droughts prolong ongoing civil wars ending with negotiated settlements or government victories. This mainly occurs via two causal mechanisms: increased mobilization capacity of rebel groups through heightened grievances and/or increased participation rates; and predominantly weak state capacity through not providing social services and/or inability to sustain counterinsurgency operations.
During his dissertation writing phase, Yunus has mastered mixed-method research in which he focuses on survival analysis and process tracing. He is skilled in Stata, R and MAXQDA software programs. He was the teaching assistant for 10 courses, including three courses on research methods for political science (POSC 300). In fall 2023, he teaches the Model UN course (POSC 475) with a teaching assistant.
Kathrin Reed specializes in International Relations and Comparative Politics with a regional focus on East Asia. Her research agenda touches on small states, foreign policy, conflict management and resolution, and regionalism. Kathrin’s dissertation examines how small states conduct their foreign policies in a world of asymmetrical relationships and amid protracted territorial conflicts with neighbors. Funded by Fulbright and the Center for Khmer Studies, she conducted 13 months of fieldwork based in Cambodia and on trips to Thailand and Vietnam, involving 50 interviews. Absent an external security guarantor, her dissertation demonstrates that the small state of Cambodia relies on a three-tiered system of relational management to stabilize relations with its larger neighbors in the long term.
In Fall 2023, she is teaching International Relations of East Asia at Ursinus College. Her six years of teaching experience includes serving as either a graduate instructor or teaching assistant for Chinese Foreign Policy, Introduction to Global Politics, Politics of Developing Nations, Research Methods, Asia-Pacific Security, and Security Sector Governance. Previously, she worked for four years at the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance in Switzerland, where she also earned an MA in International Affairs at the Geneva Graduate Institute.