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APSA Dissertation Workshops

APSA will organize dissertation workshops on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, in Boston, in advance of the 2018 APSA Annual Meeting.

Each full-day workshop will include six PhD candidates who will present a dissertation chapter, along with two scholars who will lead the workshop and moderate discussions. 

The deadline for the 2018 dissertation workshops will be in May 2018. Please check back here for information. 

Questions? Contact [email protected].

2018 APSA Dissertation Workshops


Fiona Adamson, Associate Professor, SOAS University of London
Willem Maas, Jean Monnet Chair and Associate Professor, York University

European Union citizenship, a central achievement of European integration, reconfigures the meaning of boundaries within Europe by superimposing a new political community over already-existing member state political communities. In this way, Europe becomes comparable to federal states such as the United States and Canada, which are usually viewed in terms of singular citizenship but which can be better understood through the lens of overlapping jurisdiction and multilevel citizenship. Governments at all levels (central or federal, state or provincial, local or municipal) must balance the desire for equal citizenship with demands for ‘own polity first’. Migration between US states or Canadian provinces raises worries about social dumping analogous to those raised by Euroskeptics concerned about free movement within the EU. Yet despite significant internal variation, overarching welfare programs assuage these worries about the ability of governments to control the boundaries of political community. This workshop invites applications from PhD candidates working on citizenship and migration in the EU or federal states such as Canada or the United States.


Erica De Bruin, Assistant Professor, Hamilton College
Kristen Harkness, Lecturer, University of St. Andrews

This workshop will bring together PhD candidates researching military and security forces. It will include two thematic panels. The first will explore the role of paramilitaries, militia, and other irregular security forces in mass protests, civil war, and international conflict. The second will examine how military and security forces influence processes of democratization and democratic consolidation. Dissertations on a range of topics related to these themes are welcome. Each participant in the workshop will share a dissertation chapter prior to the workshop, and present it on one of the two panels. The workshop leaders will provide feedback that suggests concrete ways to improve the drafts and draws connections between the chapters presented on each panel. In addition to providing participants with substantive feedback on their work, the workshop will serve as an opportunity for PhD candidates to develop a network of peers in the field. 


Carl Klarner, Klarnerpolitics
Saundra K. Schneider, Professor, Michigan State University

Dissertation topics covering any aspect of state politics and policy are welcome.  Before the workshop each student participant will submit one draft of a dissertation chapter, and all participants will read each other's work and prepare feedback.  The workshop will provide constructive feedback in a supportive environment on how the chapters can be improved, both in their theoretical rigor, research design and presentation.  Suggestions for additional analyses and how to best emphasize findings will also be discussed.  Possible topics could include, but are not limited to, state legislatures, governors or other state executives, state judiciaries, direct democracy, state elections, or state public policy.  

Previous Dissertation Workshop Descriptions

↕2017 Dissertation Workshop on Comparative Political Theory

Burke Hendrix, Associate Professor, University of Oregon
Leigh Jenco, Associate Professor, LSE

This workshop will focus on research in the field of comparative political theory. By broadening the traditional canon of political thought to include global and non-western intellectual traditions, comparative political theory opens up new avenues for research while also raising important methodological questions. Dissertations on a range of topics in comparative political thought are welcome. Before the workshop each student participant will share one draft of a dissertation chapter, and all participants will read each other's work in advance and prepare feedback. Faculty leaders and students will discuss the drafts and provide detailed comments. Each graduate participant will be expected to offer formal comments on one of the papers, scheduled in advance. The workshop will also provide students with a network of peers in the field and allow for a discussion about the state of political theory more broadly. 

↕2017 Dissertation Workshop on U.S. Congressional Politics

James Curry, Assistant Professor, University of Utah
Danielle Thomsen, Assistant Professor, Syracuse University

The goal of this workshop is to develop a network of emerging scholars working on issues related to U.S. congressional politics. Dissertations on a range of topics are welcome, including legislative institutions and processes, parties, gender and politics, leadership, and more. Before the workshop each student participant will share one draft of a dissertation chapter, and all participants will read each other's work and prepare feedback. Faculty and students will discuss the drafts and suggest potential ways to improve research design, theory development, and writing style. In addition, the workshop will take time to address general professional development issues. Students will leave the workshop with directed revisions to strengthen both their theoretical and methodological approaches to dissertations and future studies. 

↕ 2016 Dissertation Workshop on the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in American Political Behavior

Sarah Allen Gershon, PhD
Associate Professor 
Department of Political Science      
Georgia State University 
Nadia Brown, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science &
African American Studies Program
Purdue University


This workshop will focus on research revolving around the intersection of race, ethnicity and gender in American political behavior. Studies of the intersection of identity in American politics are growing significantly. As a part of this growth, scholars are developing increasingly diverse methodological approaches to explore the intersection of gender and ethnorace in America. Yet different methods yield different information about the intersection of identities and come with different strengths and weaknesses. As researchers that have used a variety of approaches to study race and gender in American politics (including content analysis, experiments, interviews and survey data), we hope to help young scholars build their research and guide them towards thinking about all the different ways these subjects may be explored. Dissertation chapters that explore mass and/or elite behavior in American politics from an intersectional perspective are welcome.

The panels will revolve around methodological approaches to the topic, with one panel including primarily quantitative work and the other including qualitative approaches. Common themes to our discussion will include theory development, measurement, and methodological approaches to studying intersectionality in American politics. We will also discuss some of the challenges associated with publishing intersectional research and highlight strategies for overcoming those barriers. The workshop will provide students with constructive feedback from both the leaders and the participants. Through the course of this process, we will provide individual students with guidance as well as create a space for a broader discussion about the state of the literature and avenues for new research. Students will leave the workshop with directed revisions to strengthen both their theoretical and methodological approaches to dissertations and future studies.


↕ 2016 Dissertation Workshop on Advances in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy

Ramiro Berardo, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Environment and Natural Resources
The Ohio State University
Sarah Anderson, PhD
Associate Professor
Bren School of Environment and Management & 
Department of Political Science
University of California Santa Barbara


This workshop will develop a network of emerging scholars in science, technology and environmental politics through the discussion of ongoing dissertation projects. Each student participant will provide one draft of a chapter/paper and one research plan for another chapter/paper. Organized around panels addressing behavior and institutions, the faculty and students will discuss the drafts and suggest potential ways to improve their theoretical grounding, research design, and writing style. In addition, the workshop will take time to address such issues as building an effective network of research collaborators, finding the right professional mentors, and efficiently managing time for a successful career post-graduation.

Each graduate student participating in this workshop will be given a $250 stipend from the Science, Technology and Environmental Politics Section.

American Political Science Association
1527 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036-1206
(202) 483-2512 • Fax: +1 (202) 483-2657

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