Candidates for Placement
The Department of Political Science at the Boston College is delighted to announce its current candidates for academic appointments. Most have their Ph.D. in hand or will have completed their degree by August of this academic year.
Dissertation: Educating Anxious Minds: Intellectual Virtues for Liberal Democracies
Subfields: Political Theory
Bio: Nathan Davis is a Ph.D. candidate in the Political Science Department studying political theory. His research draws from early modern philosophy to contribute to theories of the civic virtues that support liberal democracy. His dissertation focuses especially on John Locke and Montesquieu, whose works help articulate the intellectual component of flourishing liberal citizenship: freedom of mind. This project elaborates their suggestions that citizens’ anxiety about individual security, though sometimes an impediment to reasoned deliberation, might be elevated and made the basis for new epistemic virtues. Along with his research, Nathan is a devoted educator and has won awards for his teaching at both Boston College and Harvard. His courses—which have ranged from Ancient and Modern political philosophy to American political thought and governance—seek to show how timeless questions about justice, liberty, and authority remain with us today, whether in the political arena or in the daily lives of his students.
Tyler B. Parker, Ph.D.
Dissertation: Securing Status: Why the Gulf Governments Support U.S. Policies in the Middle East
Subfields: International Politics (major), Comparative Politics (minor)
Tyler defended his doctoral dissertation in July 2023 and is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Martin Institute at the University of Idaho. His articles have appeared in Terrorism and Political Violence, Middle East Policy, and Small States & Territories. He was awarded The Omar A. Aggad grant in 2020 and 2022 to research in Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. He has taught and TA-ed international relations, comparative politics, and Arabic courses and he is eager to secure a tenure-track position to further his research and teaching on the international and comparative politics of the Middle East and North Africa.
Tyler’s dissertation evaluates the competitive status-seeking strategies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) governments to explain their support to United States (U.S.) foreign policy plans since the 1990s. He argues that deferential status-seeking with the U.S. results in more material and/or rhetorical support, whereas defiant status against the U.S. yields less support. He evaluates this argument through within- and across-case comparisons of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. He aims to contribute a timely evaluation of U.S.-Gulf relations and to design an original theory that explains supportive dynamics of the U.S.’s asymmetric alignments in and beyond the Middle East.