Hire a Duke Ph.D.

Our graduates have gone on to outstanding careers in higher education, public service, and the private sector. Again this year, we are proud to have outstanding students on the job market. Brief sketches of our placement candidates are available below. We also include their contact information. Some students maintain their own page with more detailed information regarding their preparation and strengths. If you have questions about graduate student placement, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator Kathy Ivanov (kathy.ivanov@duke.edu). If you have any questions about our Ph.D. program in general, contact Director of Graduate Studies Kyle Beardsley (kyle.beardsley@duke.edu).

Job Candidates

Moohyung Cho
Research Summary

Moohyung Cho is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, specializing in comparative politics and political institutions. He is interested in analyzing the conditions under which political leaders design and develop binding political institutions. His research examines this puzzle specifically in the context of judicial institutions in authoritarian regimes.

Dean Dulay
Research Summary

Dean Dulay is a PhD student in Political Science at Duke University, with a focus on the political economy and political institutions of weak states. In particular, his research agenda explores how in weak states non-state actors (such as the family and religious organizations) substitute politically for formal state institutions. He has a regional focus on Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. Current projects include (i) examining the organizational strategies of political dynasties and (ii) reconceptualizing colonial religious missions as extensions of colonial states.

Margaret Foster
Research Summary

Margaret Foster is a PhD candidate specializing in Security, Peace, and Conflict. Her dissertation proposes a theory of grassroots-driven, "bottom-up," transformation in resource-constrained organizations. Additional projects explore the dynamics of militant groups and include analysis of organizational structures in militant groups. Her research uses a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative case studies with quantitative and computational methods, particularly applied Bayesian statistics, text-as-data, and network analysis. 

Ida Hjermitslev
Research Summary

Ida Hjermitslev is a Ph.D. Candidate studying comparative political behavior. Her primary focus is on mass-elite linkages pertaining to political ideology and belief systems. Her dissertation explores the effects of coalition patterns on voters’ perceptions of party positions and policy space. Her research, including peer-reviewed work, combines insights from fields such as spatial party competition, coalition formation, public opinion, and survey methodology.  Before coming to Duke, Ida graduated from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, with a master’s degree in Political Science. 

Chris Kennedy
Research Summary

Chris Kennedy is a PhD candidate in Political Science, specializing in political theory. He is interested the political significance of the advent of the internet, especially with respect to controversies over the use or abuse of information technology. His dissertation examines three political conflicts over the use of the internet in a liberal democratic society.

Gabriel Madson
Research Summary

Gabriel Madson is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in Political Behavior & Identities, American Politics, and Political Methodology. His research focuses on how the American public uses issue information to make political decisions, and how this relationship changes based on subjective issue importance. He relies on a variety of original survey experiments and cross-sectional panel data in his dissertation to better understand how and when voters will rely on policy information over factors like partisanship to inform their political decision-making.

Devin McCarthy
Research Summary

Devin McCarthy is a PhD candidate specializing in behavior and identity. His research focuses on the intersection of public opinion, voting systems, and election administration. His dissertation examines how American citizens make the tradeoff between partisan interest and democratic principle when forming their opinions on election reforms. 

Soomin Oh
Research Summary

Soomin Oh is a PhD candidate in Political Science specializing in political economy. Her research primarily focuses on explaining subnational variations in access to water, sanitation and health services in the developing world. In her dissertation, she proposes a spatial framework to explain the local variations in the patterns of public goods provision and tests the framework using fine-grain survey data and quasi-natural experiments of Indonesia and Cameroon.

Jordan Roberts
Research Summary

Jordan Roberts is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Duke University, graduating in Spring 2020.  His research and teaching focus primarily on Security, Peace, and Conflict, as well as International Relations more broadly.  His dissertation explores the determinants of American covert action, and he has various other research projects published in peer-reviewed outlets, forthcoming, or currently under review.  He has previously been a visiting researcher at the University of Konstanz (2016), visiting instructor at Humboldt University (2018), and is currently

Jason Todd
Research Summary

Jason Douglas Todd is a PhD candidate whose work spans the fields of American and comparative politics to examine how political institutions shape the law, whether that be through the legislators who make it or the judges who interpret it. His primary research agenda concerns the U.S. Supreme Court and its role atop the federal judicial hierarchy, which he approaches through the lens of the Court’s case selection process.

Isak Tranvik
Research Summary

Isak Tranvik is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Duke University specializing in Political Theory with a secondary specialization in Law and Politics. His dissertation, situated at the intersection of normative political theory, religious studies, and comparative politics, examines the religious or spiritual claims of prominent twentieth-century civil disobedients. His research and teaching interests include modern and contemporary political theory, post-colonial political theory, theories of secularization, and civic education. 

Jan Vogler
Research Summary

Jan Vogler recently completed his Ph.D. in political science–with a specialization in political economy and political methodology. As of fall 2019, he will be a post-doctoral research associate in the political economy of good government at the University of Virginia's Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics.

Tusi Wen
Research Summary

Tusi (Ündes) Wen is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in political economy and methodology, with regional expertise in China, East Asia, and Inner Asia. Situated at the intersection of political economy, comparative politics, and international relations, his research focuses on authoritarian regimes and their transformations. At the center of his research agenda is his dissertation, which investigates the strategies, consequences, and limitations of authoritarian control - including its potential implications for revolution and democratization.