American Political Behavior
Amanda is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. She received her PhD from the Department of Political Science with concentrations in American politics and public policy and administration. Broadly, her research tends to focus on: (1) racial/ethnic, gender, and class disparities in both the political and criminal justice systems, and (2) public opinion and political attitudes. She is particularly interested in exploring questions related to these topics at the subnational level, especially across U.S. cities. Her work makes use of large public opinion surveys, pre-registered survey experiments, and “big” administrative data, and has appeared in outlets such as Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Research, and the Journal of Crime and Justice.
Amanda also has a strong interest in applied research. In her current position, she is involved in several projects that examine issues at the intersection of the criminal justice system with substance abuse and behavioral health. This work is often conducted in partnership with community agencies and organizations, and has informed program development and change in Milwaukee and surrounding counties.
Please visit Amanda’s webpage, here.
Comparative Politics and International Relations
In general, Jingnan Liu (刘景南) studies comparative politics and international relations. His research interests include comparative authoritarianism and democratization, nationalism and ethnic conflicts, and international political economy. He also specializes in Chinese politics. In the dissertation, he applies several statistical analysis strategies to estimate the effects of the Chinese Communist Party’s personnel management on China’s economic reform and development. Through showing quantitative evidence, his research reveals that, even though experiencing reform for decades, the Chinese economic development is still based on the informal politics. Jingnan also conducts research on post-Cold-War globalization and democratization, ethnic conflicts in China’s remote provinces, Chinese foreign policies, and anti-corruption campaigns in China. His work is forthcoming in some top journals, such as Review of International Political Economy and Journal of East Asian Studies. He has several other works under review.
The Political Economy of Factionalism in Reform-Era China: Informal Institutions and the Regional Distribution of Non-Public Investment
This dissertation discusses the effects of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) formal personnel management and informal politics on Chinese reform and development. It argues that the CCP’s informal politics can help to improve China’s economic reform performance. In the absence of strong rule-of-law institutions to sustain the market economy, the CCP’s organizational resources enable the supreme leaders to control their political factions. The CCP’s supreme leaders thus can induce non-public investors to follow the party’s economic development goals. Thus, the CCP’s informal politics may not result primarily in inefficiency or chaos. Instead, it may be a driving force for informal cooperation between the party officials and private entrepreneurs, which makes well-connected provinces especially attractive destinations for private investment. Quantitative research methods are applied to conduct several original empirical studies. The first study analyzes how the party’s top leaders control provincial personnel through factions. It shows that the CCP’s supreme leaders still dominate personnel management at the highest levels of China’s party-state. The second study analyzes the relationship between factional politics and the growth rate of domestic non-public investment. Analysis of provincial-level panel data from 1993 to 2017 shows that shared working experiences between provincial leaders and the CCP’s incumbent supreme leader significantly increase the growth rate of private investment. The third part further illustrates the impacts of such factions on the regional distribution of foreign direct investment (FDI). Empirical evidence shows that provincial leaders’ personal connections with the CCP’s incumbent general secretary had positive and statistically significant effects on the annual growth rate of provincial FDI inflows. These effects were more salient in inland provinces and during the Xi Jinping era. Overall, this research shows the importance of informal politics in promoting China’s economic reform and prosperity. Although informal politics may contribute to sub-optimal distribution of economic resources, it may also compensate for the weaknesses of Chinese formal legal system in promoting the non-public economy.
Political Behavior in Developing Countries
Yunus Orhan is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at UWM. His research broadly focuses on political behavior in developing countries, determinants of democratic backsliding, and authoritarian survival. He is primarily interested in quantitative and experimental methods.
His dissertation project, “The Road to Democratic Backsliding: How Affective Polarization Increases Support for Illiberal Politicians?,” is a theoretical and empirical investigation of the causes and consequences of the affective polarization.
He holds a MA in Political Science from the Istanbul Sehir University.
Shin Young Park
American Political Behavior
Shin Young Park is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Fields of interest include American politics, political behavior, public attitudes and policy outcomes, and political psychology.