Current Graduate Fellows
the clough center for the study of constitutional democracy
The Graduate Fellows Program at the Clough Center will be entering its third year with a roster of 20 graduate students from the departments of Sociology, Political Science, English, Economics, History, and Theology.
The 2014-2015 Graduate Fellows are:
Whitney Abernathy is a PhD candidate in the History Department at Boston College focusing on nineteenth-century French empire. She received her B.A. in history from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia and her M.A. in history from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research concentrates on the relationship between liberal democracy, colonialism, and religion within the works of Alexis de Tocqueville, spotlighting Christianity’s paradoxical role in the construction of contemporary French political and social institutions. The recent debates regarding the position of Muslim women wearing headscarves in France’s emphatically secular society have demonstrated the enduring and perhaps surprising centrality of religion to critical questions concerning universal republicanism, the politics of democracy, and post-colonial relations with racial “others” in contemporary France. As such, while France’s most historically celebrated cultural fixtures such as universal republicanism and its colonial manifestation, the mission civilisatrice, have been characterized as distinctly secular entities with their ideological and political roots in the First and Third French Republics, her research suggests that these cultural institutions were also fundamentally shaped by beliefs about Christianity held and espoused by public figures, particularly Tocqueville, during the French conquest and colonization of Algeria in the mid-nineteenth century.
Tocqueville, a secular liberal and resolute supporter of the separation of Church and state, explicitly utilized universal Christian principles to underpin France’s claims to moral preeminence within Europe while justifying colonial and geopolitical aims even as he simultaneously invoked France’s close ties to Christianity to contribute to the racialization of cultural difference in French Algeria. Reevaluating the ideological foundations of French universalism and republican imperialism changes how we comprehend the function of religion in France as well as Christianity’s role in the construction of a French colonial (and even post-colonial) identity. As one of the leading commentators on France’s mid-nineteenth century imperial undertakings and central figures of modern political thought, Tocqueville’s observations prove an effective lens by which to accomplish this objective. By examining Tocqueville’s views on religion in conjunction with the language used by the French government and Armée d'Afrique during the invasion and occupation of Algeria, this project demonstrates that Christianity, far from becoming less central to French identity and political life over the course of the nineteenth century, was—and is—a critical element to understanding the development of French democratic universalism, the mission civilisatrice, and the republican imperial project as they were conceptualized at the zenith of France’s empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Timothy Brennan is a PhD student in political science. He grew up in Sydney, Australia, and received a bachelor’s degree in politics and philosophy from the University of Melbourne. His main area of interest is the moral and political thought of the Enlightenment. At the moment he is working on the debate between Montesquieu and Rousseau over the popularization of the arts and sciences, particularly in Montesquieu’s Persian Letters and Rousseau’s Discourse on the Arts and Sciences. He is also interested in American political philosophy.
Pete Cajka is a historian of religion in America with interests in social, political, and intellectual history. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton (2008) and a master’s from Marquette University (2010). Both degrees are in history. He arrived at Boston College in the fall of 2010 and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department. His research has been supported by the American Catholic Historical Association, a Boston College History Department Manning/Gelfand Summer Research Fellowship, the Catholic University of America Archives, the Boston College Center for Christian-Jewish Learning, and the Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice.
Pete’s dissertation is a history of the moral theories and lived experiences of “conscience” in America after 1945. It attempts to explain why Americans embraced the “primacy of conscience” during and after the 1960s. Beginning in 1963 and exploding after 1968, a cross-section of religious and secular Americans (Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Human Rights Activists) assigned conscience a new pride-of-place in moral theory and they made conscience paramount to their lived experiences of Sixties-style protest, human rights advocacy, declarations of human dignity, spiritual discernment, and ethical reflection. Intellectuals moved conscience to the center of legal and theological analyses; activists used conscience claims to energize politics; and everyday Americans turned to conscience as a new moral compass. Pete’s research carries this analysis through the 1970s and 1980s, up to the end of the Cold War in 1991.
This “turn to conscience” produced substantive results significant to the history of Constitutional Democracy in the United States. The turn to conscience signaled a “legitimation crisis” in American democracy, but this dissertation warns that it cannot be reduced to a negation of power or be interpreted merely as a libertarian impulse. Americans were attempting to replace one set of authorities with a new authority, one internal to the self. Explaining the turn to conscience will help scholars to understand how and why Americans replaced Great Society liberalism of the 1960s with new sources of authority. His dissertation also sheds light on contemporary debates about conscientious objection, claims of conscience in contemporary health care, the politics of religious freedom, and human rights. This project draws on primary sources from over a dozen archives from across the United States, including the University of Notre Dame, the Library of Congress, the Center for Jewish History, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.
Tim Carey is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Theology at Boston College where he studies Muslim-Christian relations in sub-Saharan Africa. His approach to Theology is deeply rooted in a commitment to inter-religious dialogue, human rights, and social justice as reflected in his professional domestic and foreign experience in the non-profit educational sector.
Tim graduated from Yale University in 2003 with a degree in Political Science, and began teaching in the Theology and History Departments at the Kent School in Kent, Connecticut. During this time and concurrent with his teaching commitment, he pursued a Master’s degree in Muslim-Christian Relations and Islamic Studies from Hartford Theological Seminary, which he was awarded in 2007. His thesis at Hartford Seminary focused on the development of Islamic law in Nigeria during colonialism.
After leaving the Kent School and Hartford Seminary, Tim lived in Arusha, Tanzania where he worked for a fledgling non-governmental organization which aimed to provide quality education for orphaned and abandoned children throughout northern Tanzania. As Program Director with this organization, he was primarily responsible for planning curricula and scheduling instructional periods, establishing a teacher training program for instructors in Arusha, and overseeing the construction of several major construction facilities at the organization’s affiliate orphanages.
Tim has spent the majority of the past decade studying the interaction between Muslim and Christian communities both here in the United States and abroad, and his academic interests include the dynamic between religion and culture, which is a central theme in his studies as well as his own personal experience. Tim’s research at Boston College examines how Muslim and Christian leaders in Kenya and Tanzania are responding to the HIV/AIDS pandemic from a religious standpoint, and how these religious leaders can affirm the inherent dignity of the individual suffering from the disease while also trying to make sense of the negative impact of HIV/AIDS on the broader society. Key figures in his work include David B. Burrell, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Hans Küng, Abdullaziz Sachedina, and Abdullahi an-Na’im.
Tim’s dissertation considers how the inter-religious Muslim and Christian response to HIV/AIDS in East Africa can be seen as a model for a contemporary inter-religious engagement. It also examines the respective Sunni Muslim and African Catholic responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Nairobi, Kenya as a case study for practical inter-religious dialogue. Situated in the Muslim and Catholic discourse of compassion, mercy, and justice, the project explores how religious communities attempt to make sense of the disease in terms that synthesize indigenous and foundational Abrahamic religious understandings of HIV/AIDS.
Tim has been a representative on the Jesuit Advisory Board for Inter-Religious Dialogue, as well as serving as Director of the annual Engaging Particularities Conference at Boston College which brings young scholars in the field of Comparative Theology together in a collegial atmosphere to present their work. Tim and his wife Alexina reside in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Lauren Diamond Brown
Lauren Diamond Brown is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology Department at Boston College. Her areas of interest are medical sociology, gender and feminist studies, and qualitative methodology. Her first area exam titled “Beyond the Nature/Medical Binary: The Unassisted Childbirth Experience”, adds complexity to previous understandings of natural birth through an in-depth study of unassisted birth, which is planned homebirth without the presence of a doctor, midwife or professional birth attendant. Her findings show that even the most extreme alternative to the medical model of birth is a hybrid practice where women are able to transcend oppressive aspects of medicine but not completely reject it; instead, they adopt a narrative that provides them agency to draw from medical and natural birth practices to create their desired experience. She is currently working on her second area exam, which investigates how obstetrician-gynecologists make clinical decisions in labor and delivery. Her preliminary data include two important findings: that the decision-making process varies across different organizational models of care, and that doctors rely on relational decision-making. Relational decisions are variable as opposed to standardized and determined through interaction, where perception, interpretation, and the relationship between provider and patient are factors in medical decisions. Her paper will analyze relational decision-making in labor and delivery across a range of different organizational models of maternity care. For her dissertation Lauren will further investigate how the organization of doctors’ work affects the practice of medicine for both the physician and the patient, with a particular focus on the growing trend to rationalize medical work.
Emilie Dubois is a doctoral student in economic and organizational sociology at Boston College. Her focus is on consumer behavior, economic exchange, and emerging marketplaces. She has spent the past three years working for the MacArthur Foundation alongside Juliet Schor. Together they have investigated the emergence of collaborative consumption within sustainability and peer marketplaces through quantitative and qualitative research projects. Emilie directed case studies on the Greater Boston Time Trade Circle, the Community Connections TimeBank of the Visiting Nurses Service of New York, Airbnb, Taskrabbit, and RelayRides. The results of this research are available in print from Yale University Press, Journal of Consumer Culture, and MacArthur Foundation.
Emilie works with unconventional data. They range from the ethnographic field notes on the culture and norms of exchange in a Cambridge barter club to Airbnb’s rental transaction records. She has taught on topics ranging from consumer behavior to multivariate statistics to undergraduate, M.B.A. and Ph.D. students at Boston College, Simmons University, and Framingham State University.
Michael Franczak is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, where he was awarded a Presidential Fellowship. He was born in 1990 in Detroit, MI. In 2011 he received a B.A. with high distinction and highest honors in History from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His senior thesis, “Multilateralism with an American Face: The United States, Great Britain, and the Formation of the Postwar Economic Order, 1941-1947,” supervised by Professor Ronald G. Suny, examined the political economy of the Anglo-American creation and implementation of the main institutions and arrangements for postwar international finance, trade, and development. His thesis won the John A. Williams Award for Best Thesis in U.S. History, and received an honorable mention for the University's Shapiro Library Research Award. His publications include entries in the Encyclopedia of American Imperialism and Expansionism (ABC-CLIO), the Encyclopedia of American Military History (Facts-on-File), and essays on the historical background of and pedagogical strategies for teaching about the Holocaust, to be included in a forthcoming memoir project by Dr. Irene Butter, Professor Emeritus of Public Health at the University of Michigan. He has given presentations on international trade and finance at the Mid-Atlantic Conference on British Studies (March 2013 and 2014, Lehman College, Bronx, NY), the Northeast Conference on British Studies (October 2013, UConn-Storrs), the Society for Historians of U.S. Intellectual History (November 2013, UC-Irvine), and the Symposium on Moral Economies (March 2014, UNC-Charlotte). He has been a Clough Center Graduate Fellow since September 2013.
At Boston College Michael is studying economic history with Professor Prasannan Parthasarathi, international history with Professor James Cronin, and the history of American foreign policy with Professor Seth Jacobs. He is currently preparing a paper titled “’Asia’ at Bretton Woods: India, China, and Australasia in Comparative Perspective” for a symposium marking the 70th anniversary of the Bretton Woods conference, to be held at the Roosevelt Study Center, Middleburg, the Netherlands (September 2014). Michael draws from newly available material to argue for a reinterpretation of select developing and commodity-producing countries’ views at Bretton Woods, which he argues deserve more credit for their novelty and prescience than they have been given by both the institutions’ architects and their subsequent interpreters. The symposium is part of a wider project between the RSC and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, on ‘the UN at 70’. His essay will be published as part of an edited collection following the symposium.
In addition to international economic institutions, Michael is interested in the intellectual history of capitalism, the connections between U.S. foreign policy and economics, and the political economy of globalization. He looks forward greatly to continuing his participation in the Clough Center’s intellectual and professional activities.
Elise Franklin is a doctoral candidate in the History department. Her dissertation, “Associational Life, Social Aid, and Decolonization in France and Algeria, 1954-1979,” focuses on the process of decolonization through para-state associations. She argues that France’s one hundred and thirty year colonial relationship with Algeria did not appear evenly or immediately. Rather, she calls attention to social service associations in order to understand France’s continued colonial posturing even as it shifted to a politics of aid over the course of the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) and in the context of the so-called “thirty glorious years” of economic expansion (1945-1975). Her research draws on gender analysis and social and intellectual historical methods to analyze the trajectory of French and Algerian state and para-state officials as well as their clients during the collapse of French colonialism, and later, the collapse of the immigration between the two nations. The often ignored yet protracted social ties between the two countries shaped their policies on economic development, welfare, and immigration during this period and led to the endangerment of all three by the time Francois Mitterand became the first Socialist president of the Fifth Republic in 1981.
Elise received her Bachelor of Arts in French language and literature from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2009 and a Masters in History from Boston College in 2013. She is a Boston College Presidential Scholar, and has spent the past academic year (2013-2014) as a visiting student at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France, where she conducted archival and oral historical research for her dissertation. Her research has been funded by the Clough Center for Constitutional Democracy, the Society for French Historical Studies, the American Historical Association, and the Social Science Research Council’s Dissertation Proposal Development Fellow program.
Perin Gokce graduated from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, and completed a master’s degree in International Relations at Boston University focusing on political economy and the Middle East. Her Master’s thesis explored the rise of political Islam in Turkey, with a particular focus on economic factors and demographic changes, and analyzed the policies pursued by the Islamist Justice and Development Party with respect to political and social reform since it assumed power in November 2002. Before coming to Boston College for a PhD in Comparative Politics in the Political Science Department, Perin worked for the Turkish Consulate General in Boston, and part-time for a research project on social movements in the Middle East based at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Perin’s research interests include social movements and democratization, immigration, ethnic politics and identity with a regional focus on the Middle East but also including Muslims in Western Europe. Over the summer, she will be conducting field research among Turkish immigrant communities in Vienna, Austria on ethnic identity and immigrant integration. Austria is an interesting case because while it is home to 200,000 Turks, it is still one of the most restrictive countries in Europe in terms of granting citizenship and political rights to immigrants. There is also a significant presence of far-right anti-immigrant parties, which often leads to the adoption of legislation that can be discriminatory against immigrants. Against this background, Perin is interested in the underlying institutional reasons accounting for the challenges associated with the structural integration of Turkish immigrants. The primary focus of her research will be on integration into the labor market and in the area of education. However, her work will also take into account other aspects of integration, including the interplay of social and cultural integration with more structural factors. Perin’s project will explore how Austrian state policies towards immigrants have evolved overtime to accommodate this seemingly challenging group of newcomers and how the home countries of immigrants, in this specific case Turkey, have responded to the needs of their citizens’ abroad.
Perin is also interested in the civic participation of Turkish immigrant communities, and whether the strong associational life and dense social networks among Turkish immigrants has a spillover effect into increased political trust and political involvement in the host society. A related question of interest is how, if at all, Turkish immigrants make claims to local and state governments in demanding access to services and resources. In answering these questions, she will incorporate a variety of primary and secondary sources into her research, including interviews with immigration officials in Austria and representatives of Turkish associational groups as well as Turkish diplomats. Furthermore, she will also draw on comparisons between Western European countries who have also received labor migrants from Turkey, in order to explore if there are additional insights to be gained from a cross-country comparison for a broader understanding of the integration of Turkish immigrants.
John Hungerford recently concluded his third year as a Ph.D. student at Boston College in the Department of Political Science where he focuses in Political Theory. His main research interest is in ancient Greek political philosophy, an interest acquired as a freshman in college when he was first confronted by the Socratic question “what is justice?” A question he never thought to ask because he had always taken for granted that such questions – questions about virtue – were outside the scope of science, such that one could not hope to arrive at a definitive answer to them. The immediate and obvious importance of these questions, however, made it clear that this assumption must be questioned. He is currently trying to understand the relation of nature to moral and political questions in Aristotle's thought.
Conor Kelly is a Ph.D. candidate and Flatley Fellow in theological ethics at Boston College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and theology and a Master of Theological Studies in moral theology from the University of Notre Dame, where his undergraduate thesis explored the concept of personhood in theology and law. His doctoral coursework has ranged across bioethics, sociology of religion, systematic theology, and social ethics. In the fall of 2012 he passed comprehensive examinations in scriptural ethics and family life, the theology of grace, ancient and medieval ethics, modern philosophical and theological ethics, contemporary philosophical and theological ethics, and sexual ethics. He has delivered conference presentations on a variety of topics ranging from the role of moral intuitions in ethical discernment to the development of Catholic social teaching and the possibilities of Augustinian political realism. He published an article on the hookup culture that was honored as a co-recipient of the 2012 Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza New Scholar Award from the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion.
Conor’s dissertation focuses on theological virtue ethics and moral discernment in ordinary life with a special attention to work and leisure. Broadly, though, his research interests explore the ways in which theologians and ethicists can provide resources for everyday ethical evaluations. In keeping with the tradition of Plato and Aristotle, which understood ethical training as a means of refining self-control, he envisions this work complementing the Clough Center’s commitment to the study of self-governance. Additionally, during his appointment as a Clough Graduate Fellow, Conor will continue working on a research project that examines the question of contemporary political gridlock in the United States through a theological lens. As part of this project, Conor will be completing a paper critiquing the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision in light of Reinhold Niebuhr’s understanding of “collective egotism,” and he will present this paper at the annual meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics in January 2015.
Throughout his graduate studies, Conor has also pursued various forms of service to his sponsoring universities. During his final year at Notre Dame he served as an assistant rector in Fisher Hall, joining in the oversight of a dorm of 175 men. At Boston College he has worked as a research assistant at the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public life, aiding in the planning of two major conferences for the university’s sesquicentennial celebration. One, on “Religion and the Liberal Aims of Higher Education,” drew a distinguished group of panelists and presenters in November 2012, and the other, on “Religious Diversity and the Common Good,” did the same in November 2013. He is now a research assistant for the Fall 2014 issue of C21 Resources, a biannual publication of Boston College’s Church in the 21st Century Center. For the 2014-2015 academic year he will be teaching a core class on Catholicism for the theology department.
Outside his studies, Conor enjoys running, cooking, traveling, and spending time with his wife, Kate. The two live in Jamaica Plain.
Kiara Kharpertian is a 6th year doctoral student in the English department and a 4th year Clough fellow. She focuses on American literature from 1850 to the present and is primarily interested in literature of the American West. Her studies look closely at literary representations of class, labor, and space; specifically, her dissertation explores the way literature navigates the spatial texture of the American West’s confusing, prolonged, and still occurring transition between relative “openness” and “closedness” by way of the literary patterns and habits that accompany class and labor. Broadly, she argues that literary depictions of class are a function of labor in particular Western ecological and urban spaces. Ultimately, her dissertation argues that ambivalence and anxiety toward spatial development and socioeconomic structures shape how citizens of the West navigate and define their senses of self and relationships to their work, as well as larger political policies and public institutions.
In the past, Kiara has completed doctoral exams on migration in contemporary American Western fiction and on cultural politics and space in historical and literary American Western texts. She is also interested in the role of popular culture and popular texts in the classroom and the way academia and academic writing can productively incorporate the popular. Among others, she has taught classes on American literary space and the Wild West in American fiction. When she’s not locked in the library, you can probably find Kiara rock climbing or riding her pony Tindur.
Yael Levin Hungerford
Yael Levin Hungerford is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Political Science Department at Boston College, with a focus on political theory. Her work is concerned with the liberal political order, religious freedom, and modern epistemological skepticism. She is writing a dissertation on the status of truth and knowledge and the political thought of Charles S. Peirce. Among other things, she is interested in determining the extent to which Peirce’s modest skepticism can answer the critics of Lockean liberalism. Locke built his political project similarly on a modest skepticism, which has come under attack by postmodern critics who claim that the Lockean system ultimately unravels according to its own logic. Yael’s dissertation is examining Peirce’s attempt to define a meaning of truth in the face of extreme skepticism, and from her evaluation of his attempt, will explore whether Peirce can ultimately bolster Lockean skepticism and the liberal political order. Yael earned an A.B. in philosophy from the University of Chicago.
Amy Limoncelli is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the History department at Boston College, studying modern Britain and international history. Her dissertation, “Great Britain and the Rise of an International Civil Service, 1945-1975,” examines Great Britain’s role in shaping postwar international organizations including the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. British officials had a prominent role in the early years of these organizations, including the hosting of the United Nations Preparatory Commission and the first year of United Nations meetings at temporary headquarters in London. Moreover, Great Britain contributed the second-highest rate of international civil servants to many of these organizations in the ensuing three decades, second only to that of the United States.
Her dissertation compares the views of British officials in the Foreign Office with those of the British nationals who joined the international civil service in a variety of roles. It argues that British officials encouraged a high rate of participation in the international civil service in the hope that this would strengthen Britain’s global influence, while British members of the international civil service shared a mix of ideological and practical reasons for their work. It also examines the ideology behind the international civil service and British influences upon and responses to that ideology. Although international civil servants were by definition loyal to the goals of their organization rather than their home country, British officials hoped that high representation would help reshape Britain’s postwar and post-imperial role through technical, administrative, and humanitarian “expertise.” British involvement in the international civil service did not only help redefine Great Britain’s world role, it also helped to shape the development of the international organizations themselves. The dissertation examines where British international civil servants made the biggest contributions and how this affected each group’s understanding of the British role in international organizations. It also illustrates how Britain’s role within these organizations changed from 1945 to 1975, as ideas of the meaning of an international civil service developed to identify more specific responsibilities.
Amy received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Public Policy from the College of William and Mary in 2010, and a Masters in History from Boston College in 2013. She was the recipient of a Council for European Studies Pre-Dissertation Fellowship in 2012 to fund a summer of archival research in the United Kingdom, and has presented her research at conferences in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Edinburgh. She spent the 2013-2014 academic year researching in archives in London, Oxford, New York, and Washington, DC, funded by a Dissertation Fellowship from the Boston College History Department. This is her third year as a Clough Center Graduate Fellow.
John Louis is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Boston College. His dissertation States Building: Constitutional Structure, Political Culture, and the Bottom-up Origins of U.S. Infrastructural Development evaluates two key episodes of U.S. infrastructure politics from a historical perspective. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, John’s research uses modes of analysis from legal history and economics as well as political science. The dissertation examines the ways in which America’s constitutional structure interacted with civil society activist and finance capital to pattern processes of infrastructural development in both the early 19th and early 20th centuries. Comparing the outcomes of these cases, John hopes to uncover not only the origins of America’s infrastructure policy, but also to discover solutions for addressing our nation’s current infrastructure crisis.
John regularly presents his research at major political science conferences, and participates in the Boston Area Public Law Colloquium. During the 2013-2014 academic year John served as a Teaching Fellow in the Political Science department. His teaching interests include American Public Law, Constitutional Law, American Political Development, Democracy in America, and the Modern State.
For fun, John enjoys spending time in the great outdoors and performing as a singer songwriter at local area open mics.
Liam Martin is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at Boston College. He first came to America from New Zealand as an undergraduate. In a sociology class, Liam learned the United States has more than two million people in prison. This seemed to provide a stark warning against walking the punitive path. Yet New Zealand followed quickly behind. Not long after he returned home, politicians passed ‘three strikes’ legislation. This law – couched in a sporting metaphor foreign to a country that doesn’t even play baseball – is a vivid symbol of deeper correspondence. In both countries, prison growth has been part of a broad political and economic transformation often described as neoliberalism, and heavily concentrated in communities of color where the factories closed and the jobs disappeared. African-Americans make up 13 percent of Americans but half of all prisoners. The figures are almost identical for Māori, New Zealand’s indigenous people.
This historical-comparative perspective on the growing use of imprisonment drives Liam's research and teaching. But he is also concerned about ‘big questions’ leaving my academic work distanced from the lived experience of incarceration. His immediate priority as a graduate student is engaging with the people most directly affected by the prison system. Liam teaches Introduction to Sociology at Norfolk State prison, and last year, spent three months living at a halfway house for men leaving prison and jail, doing participant-observation and life history interviews with former prisoners. He is planning a return to the house. This fieldwork begins dissertation research examining how the prison experience follows people upon release, and the social processes contributing to cycles of imprisonment, release and return. The questions Liam is asking draws connections between the experience of a small number of men and women and the large-scale processes reproducing mass incarceration by creating systemic recidivism: two-thirds of those released from state prison are back behind bars within three years.
Heather Pangle is currently a Ph.D. student in Political Science at Boston College. She completed her doctoral coursework primarily in political theory and American politics. Her doctoral research will focus on themes and questions of freedom, equality, and political legitimacy. She is currently studying these topics in the context of a comparison between ancient Persian and Athenian imperialism, and in an investigation of the foundations of modern liberal democracies.
The first project compares the imperialism of democratic ancient Athens and despotic ancient Persia, asking how the Persians and Athenians justified and understood empire. This requires investigating their opinions about what makes political rule seem desirable, what makes ruling seem justified to those who rule, and how it is that rulers legitimate or justify their rule to others. The second project addresses questions about the foundations of modern liberal constitutional democracies and their compatibility with religion. It looks at the development of major positions in the 19th and 20th centuries about whether liberal democracy needs supra-rational foundations, and whether such positions were influenced by the gradual Christian acceptance and endorsement of democracy. During this period, Christians – especially Catholics – who had generally been wary of liberal democracy since its philosophical birth in the Enlightenment became some of its strongest advocates, while secular defenders and promoters of liberal democracy who had historically been likely to understand the advance of liberal democracy as a victory against religious establishments were increasingly to be heard doubting the adequacy of liberal democracy’s secular theoretical foundations. This research will likely develop into a doctoral project that outlines some of the intellectual and religious causes of these changes.
Scott Reznick is a doctoral candidate in English. He specializes in nineteenth-century American literature and is particularly interested in the way that literature explores, imagines, and shapes the culture of American democracy. His research interests include American Romanticism, transcendentalism, literary realism and naturalism, and political oratory. He recently completed a doctoral exam entitled “Slavery and American Literature” that explored how writers, poets, orators, and politicians confronted the problem of slavery by examining, and often reinterpreting, the nature of the relationship between the individual and the democratic community. By focusing on the intersection between literature, history, and moral and political philosophy, he aims for a new understanding of the “politics” of American literature and the ways that literature can enable a deeper understanding of American politics.
Jesse Tumblin is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department at Boston College who is interested in the relationship between war, identity, and the evolution of the state. His dissertation examines the making of Empire-wide defense policy in the British Empire of the early twentieth century and how that process structured the national evolution of colonies and Dominions. Jesse’s work hopes to contribute to our understanding of the twentieth century’s extraordinary violence and powerful, centralized states. It explores new definitions of national sovereignty, observable within the British Empire, that came to typify international norms after World War I. These were predicated upon the projection of military force, an issue that remains salient in the present day.
Kate Ward is a doctoral candidate and Flatley Fellow in theological ethics at Boston College. Her articles have appeared in New Theology Review, Journal of Religious Ethics and Theological Studies, and she is the coeditor of Hungering and Thirsting for Justice: Real-Life Stories by Young Adult Catholics (ACTA Publications, 2012.) Kate's dissertation, "Wealth, Poverty and Inequality: A Christian Virtue Response," engages a range of sources from across the Christian tradition to describe the effects of both wealth and poverty on virtue formation, arguing that growing societal inequality has a previously neglected moral impact.
In addition to working on this major project, Kate will use her time with the Clough Center to complete an article using Reinhold Niebuhr's understanding of power to further conversation about the role of taxes in public life.
Gary Winslett earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Florida in 2009. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science specializing in International Relations. His research focuses on International Political Economy and the politics of trade. When he is not researching and teaching, he enjoys travelling with his wife and skiing.
His doctoral research examines the politics of international cooperation over regulatory trade barriers. As the global economy becomes more deeply interconnected, how governments manage the competing demands to reap the benefits of international trade while upholding their citizens values and preferences is becoming one of the central dilemmas for constitutional democracies. His research focuses on this very question within the context of the political of international cooperation on regulatory barriers to trade. Successive round of international trade negotiations through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have reduced tariff barriers on non-agricultural goods to just a small fraction of what they were in the late 1940s. As tariff barriers to trade have receded in importance, non-tariff barriers have become increasingly significant for international trade and different states’ trade policies. A particularly important subset of those non-tariff barriers is regulatory barriers; these are domestic regulations that still function to limit international trade. These kinds of regulatory barriers occur in a number of policy areas ranging from labor and environmental standards to intellectual property rights on pharmaceuticals to antitrust regulation. In essence then, how constitutional democracies govern themselves is now inextricably linked to the global economy and how other states govern themselves.
His dissertation starts with an observation. Governments can and have chosen a diverse array of policy routes to cooperate over these regulatory barriers to trade. At times, they have chosen to internationalize their domestic regulations with seemingly little regard for the trade consequences. One example of this is the United States’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Another policy route that states have chosen is to harmonize their regulations through a formal treaty. An example of this is the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. A third policy path is to coordinate policies through an international organization. The Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) through the WTO is an example of this. A fourth route is to have transgovernmental cooperation between regulators. An example of this how U.S. and E.U. regulators coordinate decisions with regards to business merger review. A fifth path is indirect international regulation through private actors. An example of this is the regulations written and enforced by the International Accounting Standards Board. The last path is no path at all. In some areas, states cannot come to any agreement with each other over different approaches to a given set of regulations. The ongoing dispute between the U.S. and the E.U. over genetically modified organisms in agriculture are an example of this. His central research question is when do states choose each these different paths and why.
Sarah Woodside’s dissertation research focuses on social entrepreneurship and how social ventures navigate the two inherent imperatives of revenue generation and social mission achievement. While theories of constitutional democracy assume that the state is the guarantor of citizens’ rights, in the current global economic context, both states and markets have failed to perform as their defenders suggested they should. Social ventures have, in some measure, been created to take up the slack.
Sarah examines how the current economic context supports the rise of social ventures. Social ventures are not-for-profit, for-profit, or hybrid organizations that use business methods to achieve a social mission. The current economic context is one in which their operating strategy—to use business methods that capitalize on market exchange—aligns with the dominant economic paradigm. She looks at whether, in the face of high need and weakened government institutions, social ventures emerge not just out of altruism but also out of necessity.
She also considers whether social ventures can meet the needs of all sectors of society even as these organizations sit at the intersection of the goals of social mission achievement and revenue generation. Using an institutional logics framework, she looks at how social ventures negotiate the tensions that emerge between these two goals. By focusing on how tensions and conflicts are resolved within social ventures, we can see whether the rights and safeguards of constitutional democracies, while relocated to intraorganizatonal sites, are being honored or not.
She is also interested in the role of beneficiaries in social ventures and they may help to facilitate the broad social venture aims of democracy and social justice.
Sarah holds a B.A. from McGill University (Montreal) in Middle East Studies and Political Science, a B.Ed. from the University of Toronto, and an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts Boston in Dispute Resolution. She is currently a doctoral student in Sociology at Boston College and has been a Clough Fellow since 2013.