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Student Profile - Andrei Zhirnov
“As an undergraduate student

… it struck me that most of the economic and political recipes derived from the experience of the Western countries were not that good at explaining the world I studied and the world I lived in. This led me to comparative politics – a discipline that tries to explore those processes systematically.”.
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Binghamton University Department of Political Science


The Annual Dr. Han-Jyun Hou Conference

Political Violence: Bargaining Through Coercion - September 2015

Political violence is an overarching theme in social and political science research. It is well understood that states, groups, and individuals alike quite often seek to change or enforce political outcomes through violent behavior; but why these actors resort to violence is subject to great contention and debate. Further, the question of why these diverse actors choose violence is of significant importance to academics and policymakers alike, as more peaceful means to achieving political outcomes are clearly desirable.
At the state-level, political violence involves issues of war and peace, mass repression, forced population resettlement, and counterinsurgency. At the group-level, it addresses the formation of violent non-state actors, protest and dissent, and targeted violence against civilians. Finally, at the individual-level, political violence entails the microfoundations of political behavior; an individual's choice to participate in more violent forms of political engagement. Why these units resort to violence is the central puzzle we aim to explore, as we encourage papers that address how violence shapes political processes, power, or institutions.

Conference Web Page


Comparative-American Workshop (formed Fall 2002)

Meets bimonthly on Wednesdays during the semester. Students and faculty present projects in progress or engage in practice conference/job talk presentations.
Faculty Advisor (For more information, contact)
William Heller:

Comparative-American Workshop Papers



World Politics Workshop (formed Fall 2000)

Meets weekly on Fridays during the semester. Students and faculty present project in progress or engage in practice conference/job talk presentations. Participants are from both the department of political science and the department of economics.
Faculty Advisor (For more information, contact)
Benjamin Fordham:

BU Women in Political Science (formed Fall 2004)

B.U. Women in Political Science was founded in the Fall of 2004 to create an environment that allows women to better integrate into and succeed in the political science community. Our organization is designed to facilitate discussion of gender-specific issues, sharing professional and personal experiences to assist members in developing the skills necessary for an academic career and how to best accommodate both professional and family aspirations. We accomplish these goals by offering opportunities for faculty and students to interact professionally and socially both inside and outside the regular academic environment, by encouraging female faculty to act as role models for female students, and by stimulating student interaction to ensure a more efficient and supportive learning experience. A key goal of the organization is to create a positive learning and working environment in which women in political science can thrive and succeed.

Meets two or three times during the semester. Provides an informal atmosphere where graduate students and faculty can interact to discuss the challenges that face women in the discipline and, more generally, provides a support network for female students.
Faculty Advisors (For more information, contact)
Olga Shvetsova:



Political Science Graduate Student Organization

Meets as needed during the semester. As the departmental sub-organization of the university Graduate Student Organization, the PSGSO serves as the governing body of the graduate students. The PSGSO determines how funds allocated from the GSO should be spent and more generally addresses the issues/concerns of current graduate students. The PSGSO organizes two activities annually: the graduate student Fall Foliage Tour (a trip to vineyards on Cayuga Lake for wine tasting with dinner in Ithaca) and an end-of-the-year departmental function (a catered picnic at a Binghamton Mets Baseball home-game). The executive council is composed of second year graduate students.
Current President (For more information, contact)
Bruce Blair 2011-2012:

Click on paper title to view in PDF format.

Dowling, Conor. "Attempting to Minimize the Effect of Electoral Structure on Party System Size by Holding Nonpartisan Elections." (February 23, 2005)

Lem, Steve B. "Strikes and Political Systems: The Effects of Partisanship and Political Institutions on Strike Behavior in Industrial Democracies." (March 9, 2005)

Collins, Paul M. Jr., and Lisa A. Solowiej. "Participation, Competition, and Conflict: Interest Groups in the U.S. Supreme Court." (March 30, 2005)

Paskeviciute, Aida. "Political Parties, Partisanship, and Support for the Political System in Established Democracies." (April 13, 2005)

Best, Robin. "Disloyalty, De-Mobilization or Diminishing Numbers? The Class Cleavage and Voting Behavior, 1971-1999." (May 4, 2005) Figures available in this Zip file.

Celep, Odul. "Exploring the Vote-Share Potential of the Extreme Right-wing Parties in Western Europe." (May 11, 2005)

VanDusky, Julie. "Competing Theories? Re-thinking the Use of Proxy Variables in the Privatization Literature." (October 28, 2005)

Fitzgerald, Meggan H., and Steve B. Lem. "Partisanship, Institutions, and Respect for Labor Rights in Developing Democracies." (November 4, 2005)

Macharia, Paul. "Foreign Aid, Regime Type, and Human Rights." (November 11, 2005)

Best, Robin E., and Steve B. Lem. "Votes, Seats, and Policy: An Examination of the Policy Responsiveness of Electoral Systems." (February 3, 2006)

Buliga-Stoian, Adriana. "Tying Each Other's Hands in Coalitions." (February 17, 2006)

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Last Updated: 5/18/15