In the wake of the global democratization wave of the 1990s, in 1994 the National Science Foundation awarded a five year grant to UC Irvine to develop a graduate training program on democracy and democratization. The program created an interdisciplinary curriculum combining political science and sociology. The program trains a new generation of Ph.D.s with the research and theoretical skills to better understand and to strengthen the democratic process in established and emerging democracies.
When the NSF grant finished, community and business leaders in Southern California provided new funds for the Democracy Fellows program. The training program recruits new graduate students who are concerned about the central theoretical and political issues involved in building and strengthening the democratic process. In the past decade more than three dozen graduate students have participated in the democracy training program.
The activities of recent Democracy Fellows highlight the breadth of democratic studies at UC Irvine:
- Interviewing a Bulgarian peasant to learn how citizens participate in this formerly communist nation.
- Studying election monitoring in Mexico City as Vicente Fox is elected president.
- Participating in the development of the World Values Survey in Vietnam.
- Analyzing the voting patterns of Latinos in the 2004 elections.
- Assessing how social movements create the frames that influence the movement and the policy images of observers.
- Building models to explain the impact of institutions on citizens and elections.
The students from this program are establishing new careers as university faculty at Arizona State University, Colgate University, Hunter College, the University of Washington and other campuses. Other students have positions as polling experts, federal court clerks, the federal government, or in private consultancy.
For an alphabetical list of current fellows click here:
For an alphabetical list of the job placements of past Fellows click here:
Fellows by Class
Maneesh Arora (B.A., University of Oregon) Interests: Race and ethnicity, public opinion, and political behavior
Jessica Callahan (B.A., Tulane University) Interests: Social movements, sexuality, and family
Nathan Chan (B.A., University of California, Los Angeles) Interests: Race and ethnicity politics and American and comparative political behavior. I am particularly interested in studying political participation of Asian Americans as well as political protest and democratization in Hong Kong.
Sofia Pedroza (B.A., Sofia Pedroza) Interests: Political sociology, sociology of law, democracy, and reproductive rights
(University of Georgia, BA International Affairs)
Interests: Political Sociology, Culture and Equality
(Vassar College, BA Sociology and Religion)
Interests: culture and social movements
(UC Berkeley, BA Political Science, and UC Irvine, MA Political Science)
Interests: American politics and race and ethnic politics. Racial and ethnic representation in American political institutions (not pictured)
(University of Missouri, BA Political Science, UC Irvine, MA Political Science)
Interests: Electoral choice in democratizing nations, the role of political parties in developing democracies, and institutional development and democratization
(BA, Psychology and Peace Conflict Studies, UC Berkeley, AM, Social Service Adminstration, University of Chicago)
Interest: Social Movements, Political Sociology, Group Process, and Organizational Theory
(BA, Anthropology, Haverford Colleg, MPA, Public Affairs, Washington State University)
Interests: Social Movements, Social Change, Political Sociology, Participatory Democracy
(BA, Political Science & Sociology, Stony Brook University)
Interests: Global political economy, development, contentious politics, political violence, historical and comparative methods, Sub-Saharan Africa
Burrel Vann Jr.
(B.A., California State University, Fullerton, 2010, M.A. California State University, Fullerton, 2012)
Interests: Social Movements, Political Sociology, Statistics, Social Networks
Lila P. Kooklan
(B.A., University of California, Irvine, 2009)
Interests: Race/Ethnicity in American politics, Middle Eastern diasporas, racialization, political participation, incorporation, democratization, media and politics
(B.A., York University)
Interests: political sociology, social movements
Eulalie Jean Laschever
(B.A., Pacific University)
Interests: social movements, media, culture, political sociology
(B.A., Washington and Lee University)
Interests: democracy studies
Ralph Ittonen Hosoki
(B.A., Carleton College, M.A., University of Tokyo)
Interests: Labor unions and workers' movements, immigration and citizenship, Japan
Dana Marie Moss
(B.A., Loyola College, Maryland: M.A., Villanova University)
Interests: Sociology of religion, social movements and collective action, ethnic conflict, Yemen
(B.A., UC Riverside)
Interests: American politics, political behavior, public opinion, elections, public choice
(B.A., University of Georgia, M.A., Florida State)
Interests: Comparative Politics, mass political behavior, formal theory, democratization
(B.A., UC Santa Barbara, M.A., UC Irvine)
Interests: Social Movements; political sociology; race, class, and sexuality; latino politics; education; qualitative methodologies
(B.A., University of California, Los Angeles; J.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Interests: Comparative politics and democracy studies
(B.A., New York University)
Interests: Social movements, inequality, urban sociology
(B.A., Boston College)
Interests: Social movements and culture
(B.A., California State University, Fresno)
Interests: Immigration, race and ethnicity, political participation
Yiyang Hu (B.A., Hangzhou Dianzi University): Public opinion, Chinese Poitics Politic.al support, and International Political Economy.
Peter Miller (B.A., Reed College): American Politics, Comparative Politics.
Kathy Rim (B.A., University of Californa, Irvine; M.A., University of California, Los Angeles): Racial/Ethnic Politics, Asian American Political Behavior, Immigrant Political Incorporation.
Benjamin Thomas (B.A., University of Calfornia, San Diego): Environmental politics and policy, political economy.
Seth Alexander (B.A., University of Redlands) Democratization, political change, and enduring authoritarianism.
Moon-Young Choi(B.A., University of Californa, Los Angeles): Race/Ethnic Politics. Immigration Policy. (Not Pictured)
Sharmaine Jackson (B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder; J.D., Rutgers School of Law – Newark): Political sociology, public policy, globalization, human rights, international law and crime.
Alice Motes (B.A., Smith College): Political sociology, social movements, religion, and identity.
Dana Nakano (B.A. & B.A.S., University of Pennsylvania; M.A., San Francisco State University): Political sociology, social movements, race and ethnicity, Asian American studies
Fatima Rahman (B.A., UC San Diego; MA, University of Californa, Riverside): Islam and democracy, democratization in the Islamic world, religion and politics, Southwest Asia.
Elizabeth Sowers (B.A., UC Santa Barbara; M.A., University of Cambridge, UK): Globalization, labor, economic sociology, political economy.
Amy Alexander (B.A., M.A., California State University) Women and Politics, Comparative Development, Comparative Institutions, Comparative Legislative Behavior, Social Values.
Jerry Benzl (B.A., UC Berkeley): International Economics, Political Economy, Conflict Theory, Law and Economics. (not pictured)
Kristine Coulter (B.A., University of Minnesota): Gender, Race and Ethnic Politics
Gregory Ferenstein (B.A., UC Santa Cruz): Democracy Studies, Democratic Institutions
Karl Kruse (B.A., TCU): Northeast Asia, International Relations, Domestic Coalitions
Jared Olesen (B.A., Illinois State University): Globalization, Collective Action, and the Socio-political Consequences of Global Justice Groups
Michelle Peria (B.A., University of Washington): Political Sociology, Ethnography, Social Movements, Mass Media and Politics
Kimberly Shella (B.A., Oberlin College, A.M. University of Chicago, M.A. Columbia University): Democracy Studies, Race and Ethnic Politics
Lorien Jasny (B.A., Columbia University): Social Networks, Mathematical Sociology, Political Sociology, Social Movements and Organizations.
Reuben Kline (B.A., Hiram College): Public Choice, Comparative Politics, Electoral Systems, Federalism and Political Accountability.
William Chiu (B.A., UC Berkeley): comparative politics, democratization.
Jill Harper (B.A., Michigan State University): comparative politics, international relations, democratization.
Hsin-Yeh Hsieh (B.A., National Taiwan University): East Asian politics, electoral systems, democratization in East Asia, International Political Economy.
Willi Jou (B.A., UC San Diego): European union, international relations.
Chris Stout (B.A., UC Riverside): American politics, minority political behavior.
Matthew Cardinale (B.A., Tulane University)
John Ensch (B.A., UC Davis): comparative politics, empirical democratic theory, international relations.
Bryan Leifer (B.A., UC Berkeley)
Adam Martin (B.A., Cal Lutheran): American & comparative politics.
Kelly Ramsey (B.A., University of Nebraska): political sociology, international democratization processes
Catherine Corrigall-Brown (B.A., University of Ontario): political sociology, participation, and youth.
Natalie Masuoka (B.A., California State University): minority politics, Asian American grassroots mobilization, and political participation.
Alix van Sickle (B.A., San Diego State University): civil society & democracy, Latin American politics, comparative politics.
Matt Barreto (B.A., University of New Mexico)
Nhu-Ngoc Ong (B.A., California State University, Fullerton): democratization process, Asian values debate, socio-political attitudes, Vietnamese-American politics, and the World Values Survey in Vietnam.
Bogdan Radu (B.A., University of Bucharest, Romania): democratization, public opinion, Eastern Europe & Romania.
Bruce Hemmer (B.A., University of Virginia): political culture, democratization, ethnic conflict, civil society, democracy & diversity within associations.
Michael Jensen (B.A., University of Iowa): internet politics, democratic theory, and the history of the discipline.
Susan Kupperstein (B.A., UC San Diego): democratization in developing countries, African politics & foreign policy.
Michael Latner (B.A., California State University): American and Comparative Political Institutions, Political Geography, Urban Politics.
Lindsey Lupo (B.A., UC Santa Barbara): American & comparative politics, political violence, & political institutions.
Erik Faleski (B.A., SUNY Binghamton)
Steve Plette (B.A., UC Irvine): participation in community-level political activities, American electoral politics.
Deana Rohlinger (B.A., California State University)
Andrew Drummond (B.A., Indiana University)
Interests: political parties & electoral systems, political behavior & attitudes, representation & democratic theory.
Sharon Lean (B.A., Brown University)
Michael J. Struett (B.A., U.C. Berkeley)
Interests: international relations, East Asian Politics (not pictured)
Steve Weldon (B.A., Wittenberg College)
Interests: political parties, German & European politics, comparative immigration and ethnicity issues.
Greg Gardner (B.A., UCLA)
Steve Recchia (B.A., University of Michigan)
David McKey (B.A., Austin College)
Brian Adams (B.A., University of Southern California)(not pictured)
Lawrence Fan (B.A., California State University)
Randall Gibbs (B.A., Brigham Young)
Marcus Harper (B.A., Texas A&M University)
Miki Caul (B.A., Arizona State University)
Rachel Cichowski (B.A., UC San Diego)
Mark Gray (B.A., UCLA)(not pictured)
Debbie Kaplan (B.A., Union College)
Lina Newton (B.A., Wesslyn College)
Anthony Salvanto (B.A., Tufts University)