Kevin Weng

Kevin Weng is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and Comparative Politics. His more explicit research interests focus on civil-military relations, state-formation, security studies, and crisis policy-making. Kevin’s existing research uses a combination of Chinese and English-language archival sources to illustrate how the politics of state-building can impact military battlefield behavior through causal pathways that circumvent traditional civil-military mechanisms. By employing comparative case studies and process-tracing to analyze the dueling state-building projects of the Chinese Communist and Nationalist Parties from 1937-1948, he argues that variations in modes of resource mobilization can facilitate or constrain the logistical capabilities of military organizations and their resulting operational strategies. Additional research looks at crisis manipulation among great powers and weak states operating in asymmetrical alliances. Kevin currently holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Florida and an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Kevin's office is located in Pick Hall 115.

profile_thumb.gif

 

Yuna Blajer de la Garza

Yuna Blajer de la Garza is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, specializing in Comparative Politics and Political Theory. Her research focuses on belonging, citizenship, and trust in modern democracies. In her dissertation, she analyzes the ways in which formal inclusion into the political community is appropriated and translated into informal modes of inclusion in everyday life. Yuna’s dissertation combines political theory and ethnographic research in Paris and Mexico City. Her other research interests echo her desire to better understand the relationship between formal and informal normative frameworks: condoned violence and punishment, law and society, democracy and nationalism, inequality and power, and the politics of identity. Yuna holds a BA in International Relations from El Colegio de México. She is an alumna of CIR herself and received an MA with honors from The University of Chicago prior to joining the PhD program. Yuna's office is located in Pick Hall 116. Click here to sign up for office hours. Her office is located in Pick Hall 115.

yuna_0_thumb.png

Manuel Cabal

Manuel Cabal is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science. His research interests in comparative politics are related to political regimes, nation and state-building, public education and welfare states. His dissertation studies the politics of Mexico’s post-revolutionary nation-building project—through public education and policies of cultural assimilation—and the role of teachers in mass political mobilization. His office is located in Pick Hall 116. Click here to sign up for office hours.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 3.28.22 PM.png

Anjali Anand

Anjali Anand is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, concentrating in Comparative Politics and International Relations. Her research interests include early modern state building, the institutional underpinnings of relationships between rulers and elites, the economic history of colonialism, and the role of violent conflict in the creation and destruction of markets. Her dissertation examines how access to Indian merchant capital determined the survival or disintegration of Indian states in the pre-colonial era. By employing a comparative case design with attention to the chronological and interactive processes of geopolitical competition and revenue generation, she argues that contrary to conventional wisdom, rulers may not always act in their self-interest when pursuing sources of credit and revenue because they are constrained by the structural features of their ruling organizations. By examining eighteenth-century India using a lens of organizational variation, she sheds light on the pathways by which the East India Company became a dominant power in the subcontinent. Additional projects also grow out of her interest in historical processes of state formation, including the governing of territory by non-state actors, the use of national identities to make claims on territory, the institutional structure of empires, and the precolonial determinants of colonial institutions. Before entering the PhD program at Chicago, Anjali received a BA cum laude in Economics and Political Science from Amherst College. She has also worked as a Communication Skills Instructor at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey and been a Fellow in the Urdu Academic Year Language Program in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. Her office is located in Pick Hall 116.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 2.55.43 PM_thumb.png

Bonnie Chan

Bonnie Chan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and Comparative Politics. Her main research is about how non-great powers deal with rising regional threats. Her dissertation's empirical focus is Southeast Asia vis-à-vis China during the Cold War and after the Cold War. Broadly, she argues that the commitment of an extra-regional great power is critical to non-great powers' decisions to balance against or accommodate to a large threat because deterrence is fundamentally a threshold public good. In addition to alliance formation, Bonnie researches on how states orchestrate mass atrocities, particularly on perpetrator recruitment. Bonnie holds a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Her office is located in Pick Hall 116.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 3.01.48 PM_0_thumb.png