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Comparative Politics

The subfield of Comparative Politics focuses on the varying dynamics of power, authority and collective decision-making in polities around the world. Our group of seven comparative politics faculty is especially interested in the social, organizational, and ideational bases of political mobilization and power across a wide variety of contexts.

  • Erin Beck’s research addresses development in Latin America, especially Guatemala; gender and international development; violence against women; gender and migration.
  • James Conran (On-Leave 2017-18) conducts research on European politics, comparative political economy and sociology, and the role of ideas and institutions in politics.
  • Craig Kauffman specializes in environmental politics, environmental law (e.g., Earth Law and rights of nature), and transnational environmental networks.
  • Craig Parsons focuses on political economy, elite policy-making and political parties in the European Union and the United States.
  • Yeling Tan (On-Leave 2017-18) works on Chinese politics and international political economy.
  • Debra Thompson studies racial politics in the US, the UK and Canada and in comparative historical perspective.
  • Tuong Vu writes on revolutions, communism, nationalism, international relations, and the historical and social foundations of state power in East and Southeast Asia.

Recent or current PhDs have written on topics like comparative federalism in the U.S. and the E.U., politics of the body in Senegal and the U.S., Chinese elites, Roma identity in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Mexican social movements, or Turkish democratization.



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