Government

The Representation of Dictators in Contemporary Arabic Literature

Faculty Member: Sami Alkyam

This project focuses on the manifestation/s of dictators and dictatorships in contemporary literary genres—the representation of its various configurations, and the politics of re/writing history. Specifically, the project focuses on contemporary Arabic novels that call attention to the parallel/s between narrative and the rhetorical processes and structures that once played a role in empowering dictators and helping them to create godly-like figures of themselves. Each literary work offers an articulation of history and history-making where it is conceived as a fluid narrative that is ideologically constructed through interaction, rejection, and recognition. The project focuses on opening a discussion on how novels can be read as tools of dissent against “Arab dictators” ongoing rhetorical self-empowering over their own people and nations.

Project Title: The Abolition of Capital Punishment in Austria, 1770‐1970

Faculty Member: Alison Frank Johnson

Faculty member has collected from archives in Austria hundreds of decisions in death penalty cases made by the Habsburg Emperor. These decisions reveal the crime, information about the convict, rates of execution, and substitute punishments. Faculty member needs help organizing the data to allow quantitative analysis.

The Origins of State Capacity in China

Faculty Member: Professor Yuhua Wang

This project examines the historical origins of state capacity at the sub-national level in China. Using historical, quantitative data, investigate the impact of war, crops, and the imperial civil service exam system on contemporary China's local state capacity.

Description of RA Duties: Responsibilities primarily include collecting data from Chinese sources, such as gazetteers. Some simple data analysis might be involved as well.

State Legislative Responses to Demographic Change

The project is a longitudinal study of state legislative responses to demographic change. In particular we are interested in the relationship between growth in a state's minority population and efforts to restrict voting rights. Our empirical scope includes legislative efforts in every U.S. state, from 2000-2012 .  The scholar is responsible for collecting and coding data on state legislative activity regarding voting rights.  We are trying to determine to what extent state efforts to restrict voting rights--e.g.

The Emergence of Party Discipline in the British House of Commons

This project comprises the compilation of the most extensive database of British legislative records ever built.  We have already acquired every speech made in the British House of Commons after 1803, and are soon to acquire every roll call undertaken between 1832 and 1900.  Our research focuses on when and how party discipline emerged in the British House of Commons.  Primary responsibility of the student is  to 'clean up' of roll call records, which list member of parliament …

The Development of Democratic Politics in Victorian and Edwardian Britain (1830s-1914)

Spring 2011

We investigated the development of democratic politics in Victorian and  Edwardian Britain (1830s--1914).  We gathered the largest ever data collection on electoral results, roll call votes and speeches by members of  parliament.  We also employed new quantitative techniques for investigating the same.

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