Milena Ang

Milena Ang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, specializing in Comparative Politics and Political Methodology. Her dissertation uses a mixed-methods approach to study the trajectory of politicians that have been involved in corruption scandals in Mexico, India, and Indonesia. In particular, she analyzes how a variety of actors and democratic institutions (elections, political parties, and the judicial system) fail or succeed at holding them accountable. Other research interests include transparency, federalism and subnational politics, democratic practices and institutions, and representation in contemporary democracies. Milena enjoys building and analyzing large-N datasets, particularly if the data structure is well suited for hierarchical modeling, and is currently learning web scraping and content analysis. She holds a BA in Political Science and International Relations from CIDE (Mexico City, 2008). Before coming to the University of Chicago, she worked as a research assistant for a public opinion firm in Mexico. Milena's office is located at 5730 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Room 403.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 3.58.13 PM_thumb.png

Chad Levinson

Chad Levinson is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, specializing in International Security, American Political Development, and US Foreign Policy. His research examines the role of interest groups in US national security politics. He focuses on the mutually beneficial relationship between the executive branch and particular extra-governmental organizations, and the public relations collaboration between these two sets of political actors. This partnership allows the government to bypass statutory restrictions on domestically-targeted propaganda, and provides outside groups with access to the national security apparatus. Chad employs a methodologically pluralist approach to research design, using large-n statistical analysis, laboratory experiments, and archival research to demonstrate the centrality of third-party organizations in the growth of the state's political capacity in the domain of national security during the twentieth century. This research agenda touches on various topics, including presidential politics, public opinion, security studies, international political economy, congressional oversight (or the lack thereof), the military-industrial complex, campaign finance, lobbying, and political communication, to name a few. Chad also worked as a software developer, database programmer, and general technology consultant before embarking on an academic career. Chad's office is located at 5730 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Room 403.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 3.59.02 PM_thumb.png

 

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 expicit 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 116.

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.

yuna_0_thumb.png

Manuel Cabal

Manuel Cabal is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science with a concentration in Comparative and American Politics. His research interests are related to state building in developing countries, political regimes, public education and welfare states. He is currently working on a project about the relationship of the expansion of state institutions and developmental policies, with the incorporation of the popular masses to the political arena. The project focuses on the centralization and growth of Mexico’s primary education system, and the role of teachers in mass political mobilization. Other research interests include the political development of autocratic regimes, and teachers unions in comparative perspective.

Manuel holds a BA in Political Science from ITAM (Mexico City, 2011), where he studied the democratization process of Mexico’s countryside in comparative perspective. And, before coming to the University of Chicago, he served in the Mexican federal government in areas related to economic development and sustainability. Manuel’s office is located in Pick Hall 116.

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 1.55.32 PM_thumb.png