The Program

The Graduate Political Science Program at the University of California, Riverside prepares students for research and teaching in academic institutions. The Department offers a small, research-oriented program. We are particularly well suited to train people interested in political behavior, race, ethnicity and identity, comparative political institutions, and experimental methods.  Additional specializations include civil-military relations, Latin American politics, skepticism, liberalism, and hermeneutics.  Students receive the broad methodological training needed to succeed as political scientists.

Total graduate enrollment is approximately 40 students. Consequently, our graduate classes are small – first-year classes typically have around 10 students.  We encourage close working relationships between faculty and students. This makes for a collegial atmosphere that helps serve the professional education of our students.

The department has actively participated in, and often initiated, workshops and conferences that rotate between the major academic institutions in the area. These include conference series on Comparative Political Institutions, Political Behavior, Race, Ethnicity and Immigration, and Experimental Methods.  These conferences provide opportunities for students to interact with scholars working in these areas and to present their own work.

Ours is a young and energetic department. Many of our faculty have been hired within the past few years and comprise a community of scholars active throughout the profession. Many faculty members continue to work with graduate students in joint projects beyond their dissertations. Some recent publication co-authored by faculty and current or former graduate students include:

Kenneth Lowande, Melinda N. Ritchie, and Erinn Lauterbach. 2019. “Descriptive and Substantive Representation in Congress: Evidence from 80,000 Congressional Inquiries.” American Journal of Political Science 63(3): 644-659.

Newman, Benjamin J., Jennifer L. Merolla, Sono Shah, Danielle Lemi, Loren Collingwood, and S. Karthick Ramakrishnan. Forthcoming. “The Trump Effect: An Experimental Investigation of the Emboldening Effect of Racially Inflammatory Elite Communication.” British Journal of Political Science.

Holman, Mirya R., Jennifer L. Merolla, Elizabeth J. Zechmeister, and Ding Wang. 2019.  “Terrorism, Gender, and the 2016 Presidential Election.” Electoral Studies 61.

Miguel Carreras and Igor Acácio. 2019. Electoral Volatility in Latin AmericaOxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics.

Collin Grimes & David Pion-Berlin. (2019). Power Relations, Coalitions, and Rent Control: Reforming The Military’s Natural Resource Levies.  Comparative Politics 51(4), 625-643.

DeMora, Stephanie, Loren Collingwood, and Adriana Ninci. (Forthcoming). The Role of Super Interest Groups in Public Policy Diffusion. Policy & Politics.

Collingwood, Loren, Stephen Omar El-Khatib, Ben Gonzalez O’Brien. (2019). Sustained Organizational Influence: American Legislative Exchange Council and the Diffusion of Anti-Sanctuary Policy. Policy Studies Journal. 47(3): 735-773.

Williams, Brian, & Indridi H. Indridason. (2018). Luck of the Draw? Private Members’ Bills and the Electoral Connection. Political Science Research and Methods, 6(2), 211-227.

Collingwood, Loren, Jason Morin, and Stephen Omar El-Khatib. (2018). Expanding Carceral Markets: Detention Facilities, ICE Contracts, and the Financial Interests of Punitive Immigration Policy. Race and Social Problems, 10(4), 275-292

Erinn Lauterbach, Ben Newman, & Sono Shah. (Forthcoming). Who sees an Hour-glass? Assessing Citizens’ Perception of Local Economic In-equality. Research & Politics.

Laursen, John Christian & Kevin Pham. (2017). Empires for Peace: Denis Veiras’s Borrowings from Garcilaso de la Vega. The European Legacy.

Gonzalez, Benjamin, Loren Collingwood, & Stephen O. El-Khatib. (2017). The Politics of Refuge: Sanctuary Cities, Crime, and Undocumented Immigration. Urban Affairs Review.

Skulley, Carrey, Andrea Silva, M.J. Lang, Loren Collingwood, and Benjamin Bishin. (2017). Majority Rule vs. Minority Rights: Immigrant Representation Despite Public Opposition on the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. Politics, Groups, & Identities.

Newman, Ben, Sono Shah, and Loren Collingwood. Race, Place, and Building a Base: Local Latino Growth and the Nascent Trump Campaign for President. Public Opinion Quarterly.

Grittersova, Jana, Indridi H. Indridason, Ricardo Crespo, & Christina Gregory. (2016). Austerity and Niche Parties: The Electoral Consequences of Fiscal ReformElectoral Studies 42: 276-289.

Bishin, Benjamin G., Thomas J. Hayes, Matthew B. Incantalupo, & Charles Anthony Smith. (2016). Opinion Backlash and Public Attitudes: Are Political Advances in Gay Rights Counterproductive?. American Journal of Political Science 60(3): 625–648.

Laursen, John Christian & Whitney Mannies. (2016). “Diderot and Diez: Complicating the Radical Enlightenment,” in Marta García Alonso, ed., Lumières radicales et politique, Paris, Champion.

Mannies, Whitney & John Christian Laursen. (2014). Denis Diderot on War and Peace: Nature and Morality.  Araucaria: Revista Iberoamericana de Filosofía, Política, y Humanidades, 16(32): 155-171.

Laursen, John Christian & Whitney Mannies. (2014) “Historical Interpretation,” in Michael Gibbons, ed, Encyclopedia of Political Thought. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 1666-1670.

Pion-Berlin, David, Diego Esparza & Kevin Grisham. (2014). Staying Quartered: Civilian Uprisings and Military Disobedience in the Twenty-First Century. Comparative Political Studies 47(2): 230-259.

Merolla, Jennifer, S. Karthick Ramakrishnan & Chris Haynes. (2013). ‘Illegal,’ ‘Undocumented,’ or ‘Unauthorized’: Equivalency Frames, Issue Frames, and Public Opinion on ImmigrationPerspectives on Politics 11(3): 789-807

Hayes, Thomas J. & Bishin, Benjamin G. (2012). Issue Salience, Subconstituency Politics, and Legislative Representation. Congress & the Presidency 39(2): 133-159.

Murphy, Chad, Curt Burgess, Martin Johnson & Shaun Bowler. (2012). Heresthetics in Ballot Proposition Arguments: An Investigation of California Citizen Initiative RhetoricJournal of Language and Politics 11(1): 135-156.

Ugues Jr, Antonio, D Xavier Medina Vidal & Shaun Bowler. (2012). Experience Counts: Mixed Member Elections and Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies. The Journal of Legislative Studies 18(1): 98-112.

Pion-Berlin, David, Antonio Ugues Jr. & Diego Esparza. (2010). Self Advertised Military Missions in Latin America: What is Disclosed and Why?  Political and Military Sociology: An Annual Review 38: 101-127.

Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick & Tom K. Wong. (2010). Partisanship, Not Spanish: Explaining Municipal Ordinances Affecting Undocumented Immigrants, in Monica Varsanyi, ed., Taking Local Control: Immigration Policy Activism in U.S. Cities and States. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.

Medina, D. Xavier, Antonio Ugues, Shaun Bowler & Jonathan Hiskey. (2010). Partisan Attachment and Democracy in Mexico: Some Cautionary ObservationsLatin American Politics and Society 52(1): 63-87.

Medina, D. Xavier, Antonio Ugues, Shaun Bowler & Todd Donovan. (2009). Two Political Worlds? The Relevance of Language in California PoliticsCalifornia Journal of Politics and Policy 1(1).

In recent years, our graduate students have been well represented at major professional conferences and have published in leading professional journals.  The department has a strong record of placing students in academic positions at both research universities and liberal arts colleges.