Manuel Cabal

Manuel Cabal is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science. He specializes in comparative politics with a regional focus on Latin America, and particularly on authoritarianism and state-building. His current research asks why dictators create developmental states, and how social policies contribute to power consolidation even when they are unpopular and face social resistance. His work also studies the geography of state capacity with a mix of quantitative and qualitative data on Mexico’s post-revolutionary education system. Contrary to common narratives of state-building in Latin America, his research shows that the territorial limitations of nation-states are as much the result of the incentives and constraints of national leaders, as they are of the resistance of peripheral power-holders. Manuel holds a BA (Licenciatura) in Political Science from Instituto Tecnológico Autonómo de México (ITAM), and an MA from The University of Chicago. He has also worked for the Mexican Federal Government as a policy analyst and a speechwriter. His office is located in Pick Hall 116. 

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Nick Campbell-Seremetis

Nick Campbell-Seremetis is a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences.  He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago (2020), where he specialized in international relations and political psychology. His current research examines the causes and consequences of people’s perceptions of the rationality of foreign leaders: in other words, people's beliefs about how their international counterparts think.  His dissertation utilizes a mixture of experimental and case study methods to investigate how factors like speaking style, ideology, and race shape observers' beliefs about the rationality of foreign leaders, and in turn how these beliefs shape preferences for diplomatic versus military approaches to crisis resolution.  His broader interests include diplomacy, conflict, the role of leaders, and incorporating factors such as emotions, perception, belief, performance, rhetoric, and race into longstanding debates in international relations. Nick holds a BA in Political Science and Drama from Vassar College (2013). His office is located in Pick Hall 115. For more information, please visit his website.

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Gentry Jenkins

Gentry Jenkins is a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago in August 2020. His research interests involve international security and comparative politics and are currently centered on the connections between state-building and armed conflict with an emphasis on revolutionary regimes. Gentry’s dissertation examines the conditions under which revolutionary state projects of centralization and social transformation trigger rebellions among ethnic groups and peasant communities in peripheral territories.  In addition to his doctoral studies, Gentry has worked as a graduate research associate for the Chicago Project on Security and Threats, where he conducted research on the targeting strategies employed by militant groups. He also served for two years as the student coordinator for the Program on International Security Policy. Gentry holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago’s Committee on International Relations and a BA in History from the University of Idaho. His office is located in Pick Hall 115. For more information, please visit his website

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Yubing Sheng

Yubing Sheng is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, specializing in International Relations and Comparative Politics. Her research focuses on nationalism, public opinion, domestic impact on foreign policy making, and conflict de-escalation. In her dissertation, she analyzes the conditions under which the state can insulate the influence of anti-foreign nationalism and make the conciliatory foreign policy that suits the state’s interest most. To test her theory, she employs comparative case study and process-tracing of three sets of cases, i.e., Britain before the 1854 Crimean War vs. Britain during the pre-WWII era, China during the 1931 Manchuria Crisis vs. China before the 1937 Sino-Japanese War, and Thailand and Cambodia during the 2008-2011 border dispute. Her other research interests include the conditions under which civil resistance work and states’ manipulation of audience cost in times of international crisis. Yubing holds a BA in International Relations from Beijing Foreign Studies University and an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Yubing’s office is located in Pick Hall 116. 

Yubing Sheng