Bryce Freeman, a dual Political Science and Economics graduating senior, was one of three undergraduate students to win the University Scholars Program’s university-wide Best Paper contest. His paper, “Purging Participation? The Impact of Targeting “Potential Non-Citizens” on Voter Turnout,” was written under the direction of Faculty Mentor Dan Smith.

Will Hicks successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, Representation in the American States: Partisan Competition and its Conflicting Effects on Representative Government, on March 14, 2014. Will’s doctoral committee is comprised of Larry Dodd and Dan Smith (co-chairs), Michael Martinez, Beth Rosenson, and Larry Kenny (Economics).

His dissertation, “Representation in the American States: Partisan Competition and Its Conflicting Effects on Representative Government,” asks: what is partisan competition, and how does it influence the strategic incentives and capacity of representative government? In addition to describing the causes of partisan competition, he explores its effects theoretically and empirically on interest groups’ use of ballot initiatives, legislative efficiency, and policy representation (i.e., the effect of public opinion on policy outcomes). With recourse to multilevel modeling techniques, he evaluates these ideas by comparing the experience of the American states from 1976-2010.

The Department of Political Science is excited to announce that David Samuels, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, will present material from his co-authored book with Ben Ansells on Tuesday, April 1, 4-5:30pm in Anderson 216.

David Samuels specializes in democratization, Brazilian politics, Latin American politics, political parties and elections, and US-Latin American Relations.

He is the author of Presidents, Parties, and Prime Ministers (with Matthew Shugart) (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Ambition, Federalism, and Legislative Politics in Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and the co-editor of Decentralization and Democracy in Latin America (University of Notre Dame Press, 2004). His introductory undergraduate comparative politics textbook, Comparative Politics and country-casebook Case Studies in Comparative Politics, are available from Pearson Higher Education. He is currently working on a book project entitled “Inequality and Democratization.”

Professor Samuels has published articles in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political ScienceComparative Politics,Comparative Political StudiesLegislative Studies Quarterly, and the British Journal of Political Science, among others. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation (in 1996 and 1999) and the McKnight Foundation (in 2001), and was awarded Fulbright Fellowships in 2004 and 2013. He currently serves as co-editor of Comparative Political Studies.

For more information, visit his website.

Undergraduate major Michelle Asuncion represented UF at the 22nd National conference of the National Association of African-American Studies and Affiliates, held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Feb 10-15. She presented a paper on Filipino culture of migration.

On Friday some 30 graduate students attended the second session of the Department’s graduate student socialization series. Professors Amie Kreppel, Ben Smith and Leo Villalon spoke and answered questions on “How to Write and Win Grants.”

Two of our undergraduate majors, Shannon Crawford and Nishant Srivastava, have recently attended the United States Air Force Academy Assembly, a prestigious annual undergraduate student conference held in Colorado Springs. The theme of this year’s conference was “U.S.-India Relations: Partners in Democracy.” Shannon Crawford reports that it was “a stimulating, thought-provoking experience. The 3-day conference included lectures from several scholars and diplomats who are experts in the field of US-India relations . . . Delegates also participated in roundtable discussions with these scholars and diplomats . . . Aside from the academic aspect of the conference, we toured US Air Force Academy grounds, visited the base’s airfield and airplane hangars, and attended a formal closing banquet. I got the chance to meet peers who are as interested as I am in US-India relations, as well as delegates from India who were able to share their insights. I also had the opportunity to ask questions of several speakers, and I got more insight into cadet life at the Academy. Overall, through large lectures, small group discussions, and one-on-one conversations with scholars, the conference provided me with a wealth of insight on US-India relations.”

The Department held its first Political Science Information Cafe yesterday. Close to 40 undergraduate students attended the event (held in Emerson Alumni Hall), mingling in an informal setting with faculty and staff members. Participating faculty/staff members answered questions and dispensed information on internships, honors theses, graduate programs, certificate programs, library resources, and more.