Political Science

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

July 2022

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin participated in a conference titled “Critical Margins. Politicizing the Crisis” sponsored by the European Sociological Association Research Network 25 on Social Movements, the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Participation and Mobilization, the University of Trento Department of Sociology and Social Research, and the University of Trento Research Group on Collective Action, Change, and Transition. Selbin presented a paper titled “Revolution as Idea and Practice Today,” chaired a session titled “Reactions to Collective Actions,” and served as a discussant for the panel “Constructing and Displaying Collective Identities.” The conference was held June 15–17 in Trento, Italy.

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Katharine Aha presented a paper titled “Diverse Yet Durable? Interethnic Coalitions and Government Formation” as part of a panel on government formation, stability, and responsiveness at the 2022 European Political Science Association Annual Conference, held June 23–25 in Prague, Czech Republic. She also served as chair and discussant for a panel on party competition and the environment. 

  • Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Faculty Alisa Gaunder presented a paper titled “Leadership in Crisis: Comparing Prime Minister Abe’s and Chancellor Merkel’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” with coauthor Sarah Wiliarty of Wesleyan University at the 28th International Conference of Europeanists, held June 29–July 1 in Lisbon, Portugal.

June 2022

  • Professor of Political Science Eric Selbin published the chapter “All Around the World: Revolutionary Potential in the Age of Authoritarian Revanchism” in Handbook of Revolutions in the 21st Century: The New Waves of Revolutions, and the Causes and Effects of Disruptive Political Change, edited by Jack A. Goldstone, Leonid Grinin, and Andrey Korotayev (Springer). Selbin was also an invited participant in a roundtable titled “Ideology and Authoritarian Resilience in the Global South” at the 2022 Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference, held virtually May 30–June 3.

May 2022

  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti gave an invited lecture at Texas Christian University on April 13. Her talk drew from her recently completed book manuscript titled Contemplative Democracy: Embodied Social Change as Ordinary Political Theory, currently under review with Oxford University Press.

April 2022

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor, Rachel Berger ’23, and Alaina Dixon ’24 presented their faculty-student project “Destructive or Democratic? Perceptions of Civility and Protest Attitudes” at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, held April 7–10 in Chicago. They were joined at the conference by Antonio Esparza ‘22, who presented his research “Climate-Fueled Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia: A Comparative Case Study of the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.” Esparza’s work, which he developed under the supervision of Professor of Political Science Bob Snyder, was part of the undergraduate poster session titled “Politics in a Time of Crisis: COVID-19 and Climate Change.”

March 2022

  • Professor of Spanish Katy Ross, visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Katie Aha, and Catherine Hiebel ’22 presented a panel titled “Populism and Surrogacy in Spain” at the XXIX Congreso Internacional de Literatura y Estudios Hispánicos, held March 8–10 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ross presented “Surrogacy in Spain: the Bioethical and Feminist concerns”; Aha presented “Populism and Surrogacy”; and Hiebel presented “Spanish Populist Parties and Their Positions on Surrogacy.” The three were told that their presentation was the most coherent and organized panel the audience heard.

  • Professor of Political Science Shannon Mariotti co-organized a fourth annual mini-conference as part of her work cochairing the Western Political Science Association’s Embodied Social Change and Healing Justice virtual community. This year, the mini-conference took place virtually on March 11 and featured roundtables and author-meets-respondents panels for three books: Farah Godrej’s Freedom Inside? Yoga and Meditation in the Carceral State, Rima Vesely-Flad’s Black Buddhists and the Black Radical Tradition: The Practice of Stillness in the Movement for Liberation, and Sokthan Yeng’s Buddhist Feminism: Transforming Anger Against Patriarchy. Mariotti also cochaired the final roundtable where an interdisciplinary community of academics and practitioners discussed connections between these three recent books. 

November 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor and Senior Director of Integrative and Community-Engaged Learning Sarah Brackmann are thrilled to share that the 2020 National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement reports, which present national voter turnout data for students at colleges and universities as well as specific data for member schools, have been released.


    The 2020 voting rate on SU’s campus was 70.8%–higher than the national average (66%) and a 20% increase over our voting rate in the 2016 presidential election (50%). These successes wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of several SU students. Eugenia Agobe ’23, alex bell 21, Erica Burley ’22, Antonio Esparza’22, Anna Franklin 22, Emily Gilby ’21, Alesha Lewis ’21, Juan Mojica ’22, Maureen Rendon ’21, Rachel Thompson ’23, and Josh Tenorio ’23 worked to register and turn out their classmates in spite of the pandemic and ever-changing Texas voting laws. 

October 2021

  • Southwestern University was well represented at the 11th Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference, held October 20–23 in Baltimore, Maryland. The SU Racial History Project presented a panel featuring research from both 2020 and 2021 SCOPE projects. The panel included:

      • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson: “The Southwestern Racial History Project: An Overview”
      • Kristine Velez ’22 (Anthropology): “McKenzie College: A Plantation on the Edge of Indigenous Territory”
      • Saul Zuniga ’22 (History): “Soule University, Slavery, and the Confederacy”
      • Juan Mojica ’22 (Anthropology): “Hispanics, Methodism, and the Reproduction of Whiteness”
      • Rini Mannankara ’22 (Political Science and Anthropology): “The Presence and Representation of Blackness in the 1960s and 1970s at Southwestern University”

    In addition, SU alumna Esther S. Ramos-Garcia ’19 (Latin American and Border Studies), who is currently a graduate student at the University of Texas in the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies program, presented “Accompanando Ninos Migrantes ‘No Accompanados’: A Feminist Geopolitical Perspective on Central American Unaccompanied Minors in U.S. Long-Term Foster Care (LTFC)” as part of a panel titled “Asylum in Crisis.”

  • Professor of Political Science Bob Snyder’s paper titled “Ideology and Global Conflicts: Revolutionary Actors and Their Opposition to Liberalism” was published in the journal Studies in Conflict & Terrorism.