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APSA Dissertation Workshops

APSA sponsors in person & virtual dissertation workshops annually. Our in person events are held the Wednesday prior to the APSA Annual Meeting. Each full-day workshop includes six PhD candidates who present a dissertation chapter, along with two faculty members who lead the workshop and moderate discussions. Our virtual workshops are held over a two-week period during the summer. Each virtual workshop includes six PhD candidates who present a dissertation chapter, along with two faculty members who lead the workshop and moderate discussions. 

If you are interested in co-leading a 2023 workshop, please email [email protected] Co-leaders are provided with honoraria for their work.

2022 Workshop Call for Proposals Now Open!

 

Virtual Workshops

 

In-Person Workshops

These workshops will take place on Wednesday, September 14, in conjunction with the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Montréal, Québec, Canada. 

 

Virtual Workshops

2022 Virtual Dissertation Workshop

DEADLINE May 20, 2022

New Topics in European Politics

Co-Leaders
    

We invite any and all graduate students studying European politics to submit proposals. Mareike Kleine has special expertise in international political economy and international organizations. Rahsaan Maxwell has special expertise in political behavior, immigration, diversity and globalization. However, we are open to any and all submissions that engage European politics and that would benefit from feedback.

A summary of the schedule is as follows:

Week 1 (June 20-June 24): Group presentations and one-on-one sessions with faculty co-leaders. ** Please note, chapters will be due on June 6 for participants to review before the workshop begins **

Week 2 (June 27-July 1): Independent writing & revising week.

Week 3 (July 4 - July 8): Group presentations, feedback, and debrief session, with optional one-on-one sessions with faculty co-leaders.

Please note: the exact days of the week and times will be determined once the participants have been selected to best accommodate the time zones represented.

In order to apply you must be an ABD (all-but-dissertation) PhD candidate who has successfully defended a dissertation proposal. There is no fee for APSA members to participate. The non-member participation fee is $25.

 

Apply for the New Topics in European Politics Workshop Here

2022 Virtual Dissertation Workshop

DEADLINE June 1, 2022

State Politics and Policy Dissertation Workshop

Co-Leaders
  
  • Dan Mallinson, Penn State, Harrisburg
  • Ellen Seljan, Lewis and Clark College
 

This virtual dissertation workshop will provide an opportunity for PhD candidates studying State Politics and Policy to present a chapter from their dissertation, receive feedback and faculty coaching, and connect with peers conducting research on similar issues.

This virtual dissertation workshop will focus on providing both faculty and peer feedback to doctoral candidates pursuing their doctorate with a focus on politics and/or policy in the American states. Graduate students in the dissertation phase may apply. The topical focus can span the breadth of the subfield of state politics and policy. We are particularly interested in supporting scholars who are examining issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the states and those who are themselves from groups underrepresented in the discipline of political science. Dissertations from any epistemological approach are acceptable. The goal of the workshop is to offer doctoral candidates a space to workshop their ideas with faculty active in the subfield and to begin building an academic network. Doctoral candidates should choose a single chapter from their dissertation to workshop.

The workshop will consist of two scheduled roundtable discussions on each chapter with feedback from the faculty leaders and fellow candidates. We will leverage the resources in Zoom for holding both large- and small-group discussions. Candidates will be expected to offer quality feedback to their peers so chapters will be expected in advance to give everyone time to come prepared and create the best possible workshop environment. The program will span three weeks. During the first week students will present their work and receive feedback. They will then have roughly one week to work on their chapter before presenting updated work during the third. The state politics section has a strong community, and thus members will be invited to attend the second week sessions to see the work from these emerging scholars and to provide their own feedback. Sessions will be held between 11 am and 3pm EST to accommodate researchers in different time zones.

A summary of the schedule is as follows: Week 1 (July 18-22): Group presentations and one-on-one sessions with faculty co-leaders. Please note: chapters will be due on July 11 for leaders and participants to review before the workshop

Week 2 (July 25-29): Independent writing & revising week.

Week 3 (August 1-2): Group presentations, feedback, and debrief session, with optional one-on-one sessions with faculty co-leaders.

Please note: Weeks 1 & 3 will include approximately 8-10 hours of meeting time, while the exact days of the week will be determined once the participants have been selected.



Apply for the State Politics & Policy Dissertation Workshop Here

In-Person Workshops

2022 In-Person Dissertation Workshop

This in-person workshop will take place on Wednesday, September 14, in conjunction with the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Montréal, Québec, Canada. 


DEADLINE June 10, 2022

Political Violence (Comparative Politics)

Co-Leaders
  
  • Megan M. Turnbull, Department of International Affairs, University of Georgia
  • Azeez O. Olaniyan, Department of Political Science, Federal University Oye Ekiti
 

This workshop will be held in-person at the 2022 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 14 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. All candidates must be pursuing their Ph.D. in political science. In order to apply you must be an ABD (all-but-dissertation) PhD candidate who has successfully defended a dissertation proposal.

Political violence has become one of the forces reconfiguring the trajectories, geographies, nature, and economies of countries around the world. As brought to the fore by the 9/11 attacks and responses to it, politically-driven violence can assume grim dimension, and can also change the ways of the world in many ramifications. Also, as evidenced in the refugee crises in the recent times, the brunt of political violence could be borne by society that may not even be directly involved in it. Political violence is all-encompassing, including a variegated issues such as terrorism, genocide, occupation, invasion, torture, capital punishment, police brutality, rebellion, insurrection, electoral violence, coup d’état, wrongful imprisonment, illegal detention, forced eviction, rioting, revolution, mass killings, civil war, counter-insurgency, denial of statehood, exclusion and even denial of citizenship. Despite growing interconnectedness of the world and ascendancy of democratic ideals in the world, political violence continues to be a recurring decimal, with debilitating effects on peace, security, and the economy. The rampancy and debilitating effects of political violence makes it a compelling area of research focus by researchers in the humanities and social sciences. But researching political violence, and writing dissertation on it on it, could be challenging. This dissertation completion workshop seeks to improve the skills of graduate students in identifying and unpacking challenges associated with dissertation writing on all areas of political violence. It seeks to shed more light on the nature and forms of contemporary political violence and how to go about researching them for the purpose of writing good dissertation. In essence, the workshop sets out to take students through the mills of report writing to doctoral students in furthering the quality of their dissertation on political violence.

Manuscripts are invited on the following, but not exhaustive, areas in political violence.

  • Ethnic politics and violence
  • Rioting, revolution, and rebellion
  • Electoral violence
  • Civil wars, communal violence, insurrection, and uprising
  • Insurgency and counter-insurgency
  • Terrorism, mass killings and genocide
  • Police brutality
  • Coup d’états and democratic reversals
  • Invasion, forced eviction and unprovoked attacks
  • Political exclusion, citizenship, and statehood denials
  • Illegal detention, capital punishment

The leaders will draw on their rich pedigree to organize a stimulating workshop. The workshop shall be organized into two broad sessions. We shall focus the first session on general tips on doctoral dissertation, especially writing of introduction, doing literature review, setting the theories, research methods, result analysis, discussion of findings and drawing conclusions and making recommendations. The second will dwell on extensive discussions and feedback on the chapters submitted by individual student. Lastly, facilitators will provide useful tips on professional development such as job placement, publications, and grant opportunities.

Apply for the Political Violence (Comparative Politics) Workshop Here


2022 In-Person Dissertation Workshop

DEADLINE June 10, 2022

Citizen and Migration

Co-Leaders
    

This dissertation workshop welcomes proposals from PhD candidates working on any aspect of citizenship and/or migration, such as those highlighted by the APSA Migration and Citizenship Organized Section:


  • The local, national, transnational, international, and global politics of voluntary and forced migration, including political attitudes and orientations both towards and of all categories of migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, and economic, family, circular, business, high-skilled, and irregular migrants;
  • Immigration and emigration policies and laws, including the international relations, international political economy, and political philosophy aspects of such policies and laws;
  • Immigrant integration and refugee resettlement policies and their implementation, including immigrant and refugee civic engagement, political incorporation, and citizen-making;
  • Border and security studies as well as studies on intranational, regional, transnational, and international cooperation on the management and control of migration;
  • The changing meanings and practices of citizenship, including the relationship between citizenship and identity, gender, multiculturalism, race and ethnicity, racism and xenophobia, human rights, indigenous peoples, empires and imperialism, civic engagement, transnationality, welfare, and public policy;
  • The relationship between citizenship and transformations in or political contestation of sovereignty and political community, including state formation or disintegration, nationalism, sovereignty or secession movements, language, ethnic or other minorities, the politics of diaspora mobilization (including conflicts, democratization, voting, and economic development), and subnational, supranational (e.g., European Union), multilevel, corporate, or global citizenship;
  • The politics of nationality and citizenship (and the distinctions between them), including the moral and empirical rights and obligations attached to citizenship, comparative or historical nationality law, statelessness, and policies and practices concerning the acquisition and loss of nationality through such procedures as naturalization and expatriation as well as dual or multiple citizenship.

More details and application information can be found here

Previous Workshops

International Law, Human Rights, and the Politics of Rights in International Relations


Co-Leaders
 
Description
The goal of this workshop is to bring together PhD candidates researching international law, cooperation, human rights, and politics of rights in international relations. Each participant will present a chapter from their dissertation and receive feedback from faculty moderators as well as other emerging scholars. The structure of the workshop will include peer review, break out lightning sessions on research issues, and moderator feedback. We hope to guide scholars to think about the different methods used to study legal and rights topics, facets of international law, definitions and measurements of human rights, and political contexts as they develop their dissertation projects. The potential topics may include but are not limited to, treaty ratification and compliance, ICC cases and rulings, regional human rights courts, global social movements and rights mobilization around international law, domestic contexts of implementation, and human rights in foreign policy. The workshop will serve a 1) networking role connecting PhD candidates with others working on similar topics in their fields and 2) a mentoring role through discussion of broader issues across academia including the challenges in publishing, balancing roles, and grant-targeting.

Public Administration and Policy


Co-Leaders
 
Description
This virtual dissertation workshop focuses on providing both faculty and peer feedback to doctoral candidates pursuing their Ph.D. or doctorate in public administration and policy or with dissertations on topics in public policy. The topical focuses can span the breadth of the field in both policy or public administration, but potential topics include public management, organizational theory, political economy, policy theory (i.e., punctuated equilibrium, policy diffusion, advocacy theory, multiple streams theory), and policy areas such as but not limited to education, housing, drug, immigration, and environmental/energy policy. Dissertations using both qualitative and quantitative methods or a mixed-methods approach are welcome. The goal of the workshop is to offer candidates in these areas a space to workshop their ideas with faculty active in the field and to begin building an academic network. Doctoral candidates will submit a chapter of their dissertation they would like feedback on before the conference. The workshop will consist of two scheduled roundtable discussions on each chapter with feedback from the faculty leaders and fellow candidates. These sessions will be scheduled based on focus and methodology to allow students to work with the leader that fits their projects best and to work with others who are working in similar fields and with similar methodologies. Using breakout sessions, those in the workshop will also have a chance to group by method or topic area to have more focused sessions. We will use the resources in Zoom for holding both large- and small-group discussions. Candidates will be expected to offer quality feedback to their peers so chapters will be expected in advance to give everyone time to come prepared and create the best possible workshop environment.

Communication and Collaboration in Congress


Co-Leaders
 
Description
The goal of this workshop is to develop a network of emerging scholars working on issues related to collaboration and communication in legislative studies. By broadening traditional Congress research beyond legislative activity, this workshop opens up new avenues for research that explore alternative measures of lawmaker behavior and novel methodologies. Dissertations on a range of topics are welcome, in particular research that addresses negotiation, lawmakers' strategic communication, and new methods for quantitative analysis. 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.
 

The Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in American Political Behavior


Co-Leaders

Description
Co-sponsored by the Women and Politics Research Section, our 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 ethno-race 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 potential topics may include but are not limited to: candidate behavior, protest movements, immigration, mass behavior, voting, and legislative or judicial behavior. 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. The workshop will require participants to engage in peer review and will be a collaborative space. Students will leave the workshop with directed revisions to strengthen both their theoretical and methodological approaches to dissertations and future studies. Finally, this workshop will create a stronger relationship with their peers and others working in their same field. We hope to use this workshop as a networking and mentoring space as well. 
 

Nationalism and Populism in International Relations

 
Co-Leaders

Description
This workshop will bring together PhD candidates researching on nationalism, national identity, populism, and public opinion in international relations (including both international security and international political economy). Each participant will share a chapter of their dissertation prior to the workshop. All participants will read each other’s work and prepare feedback on how the chapter can be improved. For each presentation, one participant will also be assigned as a primary discussant in order to facilitate more focused discussion. This workshop will offer a valuable opportunity for PhD candidates to get constructive feedback on their dissertation chapter, develop a network of peers, and exchange their views on the direction of future research on these under-explored, yet increasingly important topics in international relations. 

 

Migration and Citizenship


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

Description
This workshop will bring together emerging scholars working on diverse topics related to contemporary citizenship, migration, membership, and belonging. By focusing on multilevel and transnational citizenship we hope to widen the debate beyond the established literature on national-level citizenship regimes in established democracies. Dissertations on a range of approaches to citizenship and diaspora politics are welcome. We especially encourage proposals that are grounded in empirical work and that would allow us to undertake cross-regional comparisons of multilevel and transnational forms of citizenship. 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 broader fields of migration, citizenship, and diaspora politics. 


Militaries and Security Forces: From Repression to Democratization


Co-Leaders
Description
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. 

State Politics and Policy


Co-Leaders
Description
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.  

 

Co-Leaders

Description
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. 

Co-Leaders

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

Description
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.

Co-Leaders

  • 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
Description
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.

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.