Governance / Democracy

Research Interest

Rachel Fisher

Graduate Student
Political Science

Rachel Fisher is pursuing her PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on comparative politics and political behavior, including candidate ambition and recruitment, international development, and policy evaluation. She employs experimental methods to study gender differences in political participation.

Fisher is the recipient of the 2021 IIS Simpson Research Grant.

Blaze Joel

Graduate Student
History

Blaze Joel is a Ph.D. student in the History Department at the University of California Berkeley. His research focuses on nationalism, memory, violence, and national identity in twentieth-century Europe. He studies these issues in the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, and the Basque Country, as well as in an international, trans-European framework. He also studies the Cold War in a global perspective.

Oren Samet

Graduate Student
Political Science

Oren Samet is pursuing a PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include comparative politics and comparative democratization, with a particular focus on political transitions, parties, and elections in Southeast Asia. Before coming to Berkeley, he worked in various roles for non-governmental organizations in Thailand, including as Research and Advocacy Director for ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, a network of regional legislators.

Otto Kienitz

Graduate Student
Political Science

Otto Kienitz is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on autocratic institutions in comparative perspective ranging from Europe to imperial and post-Soviet Eurasia. His dissertation explores the relationship between local self-government and state capacity in Russia, Ottoman Turkey, and China. He is the co-founder of the Berkeley Historical Social Science Workshop and concentrates on the role of local political economy in autocratic state-building.

Gabriel Lesser

Graduate Student
Spanish and Portuguese

Gabriel Lesser is a Ph.D. student in Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. His interests include 19th and 20th century humor, visual studies, caricatures, and cartoons in Mexico and Brazil.

He is the recipient of the 2021 IIS Pre-Disseration Research Grant.

Matthew Kovac

Graduate Student
History

Matthew Kovac is  PhD student in History at the University of California, Berkeley. His current research focuses on the Irish republican movement, decolonization, and the Global Cold War. 

Kovac is the recipient of the 2021 IIS Pre-Dissertation Research Grant.

Jennie Barker

Graduate Student
Political Science

Jennie Barker is a Ph.D. student in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, where she studies international influences on democratization. Her current research examines recipient government behavior toward democracy assistance. Prior to coming to UC Berkeley, Barker worked at the National Endowment for Democracy and completed a Fulbright fellowship in Germany. 

Barker is also a recipient of the 2021 IIS Pre-Disseration Research Fellowship.

Matthew Stenberg

Graduate Student
Political Science

Matthew Stenberg is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studies Central Europe and the European Union. His research interests include democratic backsliding, local politics, and multilevel party politics.

Susan Hyde

Professor
Political Science
Center on the Politics of Development

Susan D. Hyde is a Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Avice M. Saint Chair in Public Policy. She studies international influences on domestic politics, teaches courses on international relations and comparative politics, and is active in promoting policy-relevant research.  She is an expert on international election observation, election fraud, and democracy promotion.

Aila Matanock

Associate Professor
Political Science
Center on the Politics of Development

Aila Matanock is an Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of California Berkeley. She was also previously a national fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and has received research support from the National Science Foundation, the Minerva Research Initiative, the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and the Center for Global Development. Prof. Matanock studies statebuilding and civil conflict, with a particular focus on the influence of international actors and civilian participation.