Job Candidates

Hire a University of Houston Ph.D.

Our graduate students have strong records of accomplishment and promise. Some of our recent graduates have accepted tenure-track faculty positions at CIDE, Utah State University, Lamar University, and the University of Alabama. Others have been awarded pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard University and Rice University. We are excited to call your attention to students entering the academic job market in Fall 2014. For more information about any of our students, please refer to their web sites or contact Professor Jonathan Slapin (, the Graduate Placement Coordinator.

Comparative Politics

Abdullah Aydogan (PhD Expected May 2015)

Dissertation Title: Institutional Determinants of Military Coups: Constitutional Design and Military Centrality

Dissertation Committee: Jonathan B. Slapin (chair), Jim Granato, Eduardo Aleman, Ryan Kennedy, Milan Svolik (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abdullah Aydogan’s research focuses on institutions in the developing world, civil-military relations, party politics, legislative politics, and Middle East politics. His dissertation, “Institutional Determinants of Military Coups: Constitutional Design and Military Centrality”, examines the circumstances under which militaries in the developing world exercise political power. He finds that countries’ institutions greatly affect the likelihood of military coups. Countries with parliamentary institutions are less likely to experience coups because elites have semi-constitutional options beyond coups to influence politics. In another recent study, co-authored with Prof. Slapin and forthcoming Party Politics, he examines party position-taking in Turkey. This study examines how the primary left-right ideological dimension in the Turkey differs from that found in Western European party systems.

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Laila Sorurbaksh, PhD (May 2012)

Dissertation Title: "Feedback in the EU Advocacy System"

Dissertation Committee: Jim Granato (chair), Jonathan Slapin, Eduardo Aleman, and Christine Mahoney (University of Virginia)

Laila Sorurbakhsh received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Houston with specializations in Comparative Politics, American Politics and Quantitative Methods. Her dissertation, entitled “Feedback in the EU Advocacy System,” studies how institutional, environmental, and structural changes to the European Union have impacted interest group populations via their levels of competitiveness and survivability. Laila has published works in European Political Science, and has recently received the New Faculty Research Grant to conduct interviews in Brussels, Belgium regarding interest groups and biofuel policy. At the University of Houston, Laila has taught courses in American Politics, Comparative Politics, European Union Politics, and International Organizations. She has also recently accepted a position as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics at the University of Missouri-Columbia for the 2014-2015 academic year.

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Ching-Hsing Wang, PhD (December 2013)

Dissertation Title: "Causes and Consequences of Political Trust in East Asia"

Dissertation Committee: Scott Basinger (chair), Jim Granato, Kent Tedin, and Min-Hua Huang (National Taiwan University)

Ching-Hsing Wang’s research interests include research methods, political behavior, public opinion and political institutions. He has published articles in such scholarly journals as Party Politics, Electoral Studies, International Political Science Review and Issues & Studies. His dissertation, Causes and Consequences of Political Trust in East Asia, uses cutting edge methods to investigate the origins of political trust and the relationship between political trust and political participation in four East Asian countries – China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

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American Politics

Michelle Belco, PhD (May 2013)

Dissertation Title: "Unilateral Orders and the Legislative Process"

Dissertation Committee: Greg Weiher (chair), Brandon Rottinghaus, Jennifer Clark, Paul Brace (Rice University)

Michelle’s research interests are political institutions including the President, Congress, executive-legislative branch relations, and the bureaucracy. Her dissertation, Unilateral Orders and the Legislative Process, takes a quantitative approach to analyze Congress’s response to the use of unilateral orders as a legislative strategy. She has published articles in such scholarly journals as Presidential Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, and has a book entitled Unilateral Orders in a Separated and Shared Power System (with Brandon Rottinghaus) under review at Cambridge University Press. She has taught courses on American Politics, the Presidency, and Public Policy since 2010.

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Alan Steinberg, PhD (May 2013)

Dissertation Title: "Cyber Participation: Reducing Bias & Increasing Turnout"

Dissertation Committee: Scott Basinger (chair), Kent Tedin, Jeronimo Cortina, and Jeff Gulati (Bentley University)

Alan Steinberg’s research interests include social media, political behavior, public opinion, emergency management and space policy. He has published articles in such scholarly journals as PS: Political Science & Politics, White House Studies, Space Policy, Astropolitics, Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, and Peace, Conflict & Development. His dissertation, Cyber Participation: Reducing Bias & Increasing Turnout, explores the value of political participation though social media as a means of increasing turning among traditionally less likely voters.

CV | Website | Email