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Graduate Student Spotlight!

Many of PPPA’s Graduate students presented at the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association annual meeting that took place in Boise, on October 15th-17th. Two of our graduate students, Pip Sherwood and Julia Pusateri, won awards for their posters. Congratulations to you both! Pip Sherwood shares her account of recent conference attendances. She writes,
“In the past four months I have had the pleasure of representing Washington State University and PPPA at three different conferences, the International Society of Political Psychology Annual Meeting in San Diego, sherwood posterthe American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco, and most recently, the Northwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Boise. At each conference I presented solo-authored work, either in a paper presentation or a poster session. While every conference is fun and exciting, I especially enjoyed the PNWPSA, where I won an award for best poster presentation for my poster, “Psychological Appeals in Terrorist Recruitment: Examining White Supremacists.” It was wonderful to see so many other PPPA graduate students presenting there as well. The critiques and feedback that I received at these conferences will be of great help in Pusateri posterthe year ahead, as I continue to work toward completing my dissertation.”

Conference Presentations:
Pacific Northwast Political Science Association Annual Meeting: October 2015

Joshua Munroe. “Public v Private (donors): Message Consistency in Presidential Primary Speeches.”
Hayden Smith. “A Realist/Idealist Typology of Foreign Policy Decision-Makers.”
Fernanda Buril Almeida. “Afterlife Beliefs and the Distortion of Cost-Benefit Analysis: An Evolutionay Approcah to the Logic of Religious Extremism.”
Brittany Wood. “The Effects of Traveling Abroad on Political Behavior.”
Andrew Flint. “Three-Dimensional Social Science: The Critical Theorhetical Orientation of Karl Marx.”
Samuel Rhodes. “Hotshots: Investigating the Challenger/Incumbent Dynamic in Attorney General Campaign Advertisements.”
Orion Yoesle and Rick Davis. “Force Relations in Physician Assisted Suicide: An Intersection of Care and Medical Ethics.”
Hayden Smith. “Khamenei and the Bomb: An Inside View Using Operational Code and Image Theory.”
Season Hoard and Richard Elgar. “What is Success? Feminist Policies in Europe and South America.”
Julia Pusateri. “The New Conservative? Utilizing Operational Code and Psychobiography to Understand British Prime Minister David Cameron.”
Pip Sherwood. “Psychological Appeals in Terrorist Recruitment: Examining White Supremacists.”
Travis Ridout, Samuel Rhodes, Michael Franz, and Erika Franklin Fowler. “Thirty Seconds over America: Exploring the Mitigative Effects of Dark Money Disclosure.
Season Hoard and Richard Elgar. “What is Success? Feminist Policies in Europe and South America.”

Other Accomplishments:
Graduate Student and Assistant Director of the Foley Institute, Richard Elgar serves as Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association.

Faculty Spotlight!

What do faculty do on their sabbatical? Every six years faculty have the opportunity to apply for a one or two semester professional leave. Here is what two of our faculty members did during their sabbatical leave last year.

Amy G. Mazur C.0. Johnson Distinguished Professor, What I did on my sabbatical ……
My leave year was divided into three “chapters”.

I spent the Fall as a Research Fellow at Birkbeck College at the Humanities Institute in London. There I worked on the Gender Equality Policy in Practice Project ( GEPP), which I co convene with Joni Lovenduski and Isabelle Engeli, through a Working Group for which we were able to secure funding through Birkbeck’s Social Science Institute.
GEPP’s goal is to conduct a systematic cross-national study of the implementation and impact of gender equality policies in western post industrial democracies. Over 80 researchers cover 24 countries across seven policy sectors (care, equal employment, gender-based violence, higher education, immigration, intimate citizenship, and political representation). We seek to collectively answer the crucial question of whether the past 30 years of policies that formally promote women’s rights and gender equality have actually achieved these goals in practice, outcomes and results. Data collection is being launched in 2016 and the group’s aim is to have findings in all of the issue areas and a capstone multi methods analysis published in 2020.
While at Birkbeck, our working group planned and held, in December, a two day meeting of GEPP’s executive council. There, we decided to formally establish 7 issue networks; provided feedback on member research proposals; developed a recruiting plan for additional team members and a funding application strategy to secure largescale network and research grants.

IMG_0298I also served as an opponent, the external examiner, on a Ph.D. dissertation defense at the University of Stockholm in December.

I came back to the USA from January through March. I continued work on a new measurement to actually assess gender equality policy success, with four GEPP colleagues, and presented papers on our approach at Arizona State University to the gender and politics group of the School of Global Studies and at a meeting at Florida IMG_4023International University in Miami on Gender Equality Assessment worldwide.

From April to June, I went back to Europe, at the European Studies Center at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris (Sciences Po Paris) where I have held a visiting researcher position since 2011. During my three month stay there, I continued my work on GEPP, further developing our measurement and presenting our paper, with Isabelle Engeli, at the European Conference on Gender and Politics in Uppsala, Sweden. I also worked on building the French Team for GEPP and was able to recruit French and British researchers to cover all 7 of the policy areas in GEPP. As a team, we were able to meet with members of the French Women’s Rights Ministry to develop research contacts and potential funding.
Also at the ECPG in Uppsala we held some crucial meetings with the GEPP executive board and over 45 research members to move ahead the research.

IMG_4953Throughout the year, but also while in Paris, I continued my work as co editor on the Oxford University Press Handbook on French Politics with Robert Elgie and Emiliano Grossman – a 32 chapter book on the state of the study of French politic, begun in 2012. The three of us were able to meet in Paris to discuss the final stages of the project, including the specific division of labor on co authoring the introduction and conclusion. We will be submitting the final manuscript to the publisher before Christmas this year. I also was able to put the finishing touches on a chapter I co authored with Anne Revillard, also at the CEE, on Gender Policy Studies in France.

My sabbatical year was incredibly useful for me and helped us to significantly advance the various projects with which I am involved. Thanks to this year of collective work, GEPP is well on its way to conducting a large-scale international study on an important area of public policy and our OUP Handbook project is now nearly completed. Many thanks to the School and the College of Arts and Sciences for providing me with such an amazing opportunity to develop professionally, rarely seen outside of the academic world.

Mark Stephan Associate Professor, What I did on my sabbatical ……

Mark Stephan focused his sabbatical year on a new project about climate Stephanqrisk governance across the US States. Working with colleagues at Western Washington University and at the University of Kansas, he spent the year further developing the group’s theoretical framework, began the qualitative data collection for the project, and gave presentations at five different universities across the US. Highlights included a presentation at the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University and the opportunity to see the University of Kansas men’s basketball team at historic Allen Fieldhouse (go Jayhawks!). Weeks before the sabbatical began Mark learned he had received a three-year NSF grant for his planned research. The timing could not have been better.

Publications by PPPA Faculty:

Ridout, Travis N., Erika Franklin Fowler, John Branstetter and Porismita Borah. 2015. “Politics as Usual? When and Why Traditional Actors Often Dominate YouTube Campaigning.” Journal of Information Technology and Politics 12(3): 237-251.
Ridout, Travis N. and Annemarie Walter. 2015. “Party System Change and Negative Campaigning in New Zealand.” Party Politics. 21(6): 982-992.

Hoard, Season. 2015. Hoard, Season. Does Gender Expertise Matter? Toward a Theory of Policy Success. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Conference/Workshop Presentations:

31st Cultural Studies Dialogue: Knowledge, Expertise, and Wisdom, Vienna Austria.
Patricia Glazebrook. Nov. 2015. “ Wisdom and Happiness: On Knowing Oneself.”
18th Civil-Military Relations Conference, Vienna Austria:
Patricia Glazebrook. Nov. 2015. “The Walking Dead: Environmental and Climate Impacts on Identity.”

Pacific Northwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting:
Season Hoard and Richard Elgar. “What is Success? Feminist Policies in Europe and South America.”
Travis Ridout, Samuel Rhodes, Michael Franz, and Erika Franklin Fowler. “Thirty Seconds over America: Exploring the Mitigative Effects of Dark Money Disclosure.

Research and Methods Symposium

Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs PortraitsThe Research and Methods Symposium is an informal venue for faculty and graduate students to present their research, with a particular focus on methodological issues. It provides an opportunity for researchers to get feedback on their work from a friendly audience and offers department members an opportunity to learn what their colleagues are doing and stay up-to-date on the latest developments in social science methodology. On Monday, October 19th, Dr. Amy Mazur gave a talk as part of PPPA’s Research and Methods Symposium. Her presentation is titled, “Toward a Feminist Measure of Gender Equality: Initial Lessons from the Gender Equality Policy in Practice Project.” She presented an in-progress measurement for assessing implementation and impact success in the area of gender equality policy in western post industrial democracies. It is being developed in the context of an international comparative research project on gender equality policy.

PPPA Welcomes New Faculty and Staff

Fall 2015 brought many new and exciting changes to PPPA. We are delighted to announce the arrival of our new faculty and Staff. This Fall, we welcomed new Faculty member, Dr. Ashly Townsen, Assistant Professor of Political Science and new Staff member, Stephanie Ficca, Secretary Senior.

Welcome to our new faculty member, Ashly Townsen, who joined The WSU faculty in August 2015. He comes to us freshly minted from the University of Illinois. Welcome to the Palouse, Ashly! Great to have you on board!.Townsen

Learn more about Dr. Townsen:

Research and teaching interests: Civil war, rebel groups, conflict management, post-conflict negotiation, peacekeeping, political psychology, spatial methodology, experimental methodology, and understanding which individuals join rebellions and why

Previous post: University of Illinois

Education and training: PhD, Political Science, University of Illinois; BS, Political Science, Sam Houston State University

Honors and achievements: “Hot Spot Peacekeeping,” with Bryce W. Reeder and Matthew Powers, in International Studies Review 18(1): 69-91 (2015)

Outside of work, I enjoy, traveling, hiking with my lab-mix (“Charlie”), concerts, camping, cooking new dishes, and watching baseball.

PPPA would also like to Welcome our newest staff member, Stephanie Ficca. Stephanie is our new Secretary Senior and also does all of the financials for PPPA. Stephanie has worked at WSU since December, 2012. She has worked in various departments across campus, before joining the PPPA Family in August 2015. Stephanie has lived on the Palouse all of her life. Welcome to PPPA, Stephanie! We’re happy you’re here!

Learn More about Stephanie:
Previous WSU Experience: University Receivables, Conference Management, Dining Financial Services

Outside of work, I enjoy, reading, riding horses, shooting guns, and spending time with family.

Faculty Spotlight

PPPA Faculty have a wide range of research and teaching interests, and these interests are often highlighted through their publications and achievements. Our faculty often facilitate in the planning of conferences that they attend.
Michael Goldsby is currently organizing the Inland Northwest PhilosAPA Pictureeeeeeeeeeeophy Conference (INPC) that will be held this coming April. This year’s topic is the philosophy of global climate change. Confirmed speakers include William McKibben (A leading environmental activist and author of The End of Nature), Stephen Gardiner (University of Washington) who authored A Perfect Moral Storm, and Andrew Light (George Mason University) who is part of the Paris climate talk’s negotiation team.
Dr. Goldsby’s participation in the implementation of the INPC is just one example of the outstanding faculty accomplishments that take place at PPPA. Others are highlighted through publication and conference presentations, to name a few.

Publications by PPPA Faculty:


Campbell, Joe. “Strawson’s Free Will Skepticism” accepted for publication in International Journal for the Study of Skepticism.
Campbell, Joe. “The Consequence Argument” completed and submitted for publication to the Routledge Companion to Free Will, edited by Meagan Griffith, Neil Levy, and Kevin Timpe.

Campbell, Joe. “Racial, Sexual Identities Aren’t Sudden Things” Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Baker, Dana Lee., Audrey Anna Miller, and Todd Bratton. “E’s Are Good: Standards of Quality in Public Administration as Reflected in Discourse on Canadian Public Policy Design.” July, 2015. Teaching Public Administration.

Strach, Patricia, Katherine Zuber, Erika Franklin Fowler, Travis N. Ridout and Kathleen Searles. 2015. “In a Different Voice? Explaining the Use of Men and Women as Voiceover Announcers in Political Advertising.” Political Communication. 32(2): 183-205.

Ridout, Travis N., Michael M. Franz and Erika Franklin Fowler. 2015. “Sponsorship, Disclosure and Donors: Limiting the Impact of Outside Group Ads. Political Research Quarterly 68(1): 154-66.

Myers, Michael. “Monotheism, Nondualism and Henotheism: A Reply to Ramakrishna Puligandla” accepted for publication by Indian Philosophical Quarterly.

Lopez, Anthony C. “Evolution of War: Theory and Controversy” accepted for publication by International Theory
Goldsby, Michael., and William P. Kabasenche. “Uncertainty, Bias, and Equipoise: A New (Old) Approach to the Ethics of Clinical Research.” 2015 Theoretical and Applied Ethics.

Goldsby, Michael., and W. John Koolage. “Climate Modeling: Comments on Coincidence, Conspiracy, and Climate Change Denial,” Fall (2015) Environmental Philosophy.


Cottam, Martha., Beth Dietz-Uhler, Elena M. Mastors, & Thomas Preston. Introduction to Political Psychology. 3rd Edition, Routledge, 2015.

Cottam, Martha ., Joe Huseby, and Bruno Baltodano. Confronting al Qaeda: The Sunni Awakening and American Strategy in al Anbar, accepted for publication by Rowman-Littlefield.

Conference/Workshop Presentations:

American Political Science Association:

Michael M. Franz, Erika Franklin Fowler, Ken Goldstein and Travis N. Ridout. 2015. “The Long-Term and Geographically-Constrained Effects of Political Advertising on Political Polarization.”

Fowler, Erika Franklin, Michael M. Franz and Travis N. Ridout. 2015. “Interest Group Issue Strategies: Advertising in the 2014 Elections.”
Society for Military History:

Michael Myers. 2015 “The Thesis of Japan’s Inevitable Defeat: Tracing the Roots.”

NIMBioS Investigative Workshop: Evolution and Warfare:

Anthony C. Lopez 2015. “Immaterial Causes of War: A Taste for Revenge?”

Other Achievements:

Martha Cottam and WSU PhDs Martin Garcia (2008) and Bruno Baltodano (2015) conducted field research in Nicaragua in August 2015 on female revolutionaries.

Travis Ridout is serving as the chair of the Political Communication Section of the American Political Science Association.
Amy Mazur has been selected as the Claudius O. and Mary W. Johnson Distinguished Professor in Political Science 2015-18.

Joe Campbell signed a contract to edit the Blackwell Companion to Free Will, with contributions by Marilyn McCord Adams, Sara Bernstein, Laura Ekstrom, Brian Leftow, Al Mele, Shaun Nichols, Derk Pereboom, Saul Smilansky, Manuel Vargas, Kadri Vihvelin, and others.

Instructor, Rick Davis, will be presenting, “Force Relations in Physician-Assisted Suicide: An Intersection of Care and Medical Ethics,” co-authored with Orion Yoesle. Davis’s research interests include Political, Legal and Moral Philosophy, Issues in Constitutional Law, and the philosophies of John Dewey and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Graduate Student Spotlight

Graduate Students are given the opportunity to publish and present their research at conferences. One PPPA Graduate Student, Orion Yoesle, presented along with faculty member Dr. Michael Salamone. Yoesle explains:
053454“From September 1st – September 6th, I stayed in San Francisco to attend the American Political Science Association (APSA) annual meeting. There I presented, along with Dr. Mike Salamone, research related to campaign messaging in State Supreme Court advertising.”
“Ideology and Television Advertising in Judicial Races” Michael F. Salamone & Orion Yoesle
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in Republican Party v. White, judicial candidates have been free to make ideological statements in their campaigns since 2002. However, judicial candidates may feel constrained by professional norms from engaging in overtly, political campaign speech. Using data compiled by the Wesleyan Media Project, we employ WordFish, a computational text analysis technique for ideological scaling, to attempt measure the relative political positions of judicial candidates using their television advertisements. We begin evaluate the reliability of this technique as a measurement of judicial candidate ideology. To this end, we compare this measure to an alternative measurements of ideology. If judicial norms constrain campaign behavior, we do not expect the two measures to correlate, particularly when deriving our measure only from candidate sponsored ads. We also test to if different campaign factors, such as the degree of competitiveness and whether the race is partisan, predict different measures of ideology. Though our preliminary results are mixed, we find some promising paths for subsequent analysis.”

Religious ViolencePPPA Graduate Student, Fernanda Almeida Buril, also shares her recent experiences in attending a conference and a workshop. She writes:

“Last July, I presented a paper at the Central European University, in Budapest, Hungary, during a summer course in Religious Violence. My paper was on how the belief in an afterlife can distort individuals’ calculations of costs and benefits.
Now, in September, I attended a workshop in the Evolution of Warfare organized by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. An interdisciplinary workshop attended by many prominent scholars using evolutionary Evolution of Warfareapproaches to the understanding of conflict and war in Political Science, Psychology, Anthropology, Mathematics, Physics, among other disciplines.”

Many other PPPA graduate students have conference presentations and other accomplishments, which are noted below. These experiences help prepare graduate students for the work-force and further publication.

Conference Presentations:
American Political Science Association:
Pip Sherwood. 2015. “Psychological Appeals in Terrorist Recruitment: Examining White Supremacists” pip presentation
International Political Science Association Annual Meeting:
Pip Sherwood. 2015 “Who Joins and Why? An Examination of White Supremacist Recruitment”

Other Accomplishments:
Congratulations to our Graduate Students who received travel grants through PPPA, Pip Sherwood, Andrew Flint, Taewoo Kang, and Orion Yoesle.

Undergraduate Spotlight

We take pride in the successes of our undergraduate students and their accomplishments after graduation. Two such graduates, Breanna Gocha and Nicole Smolinski, have both pursued their education since graduating with their BA’s and have gone on to have great experiences.
IMG_7922Breanna Gocha, a Philosophy major with minors in both French and Ethics, graduated in the winter of 2012. She went to pursue a Masters Degree in International Development at Richmond University in London, which she completed this September. While here, she travelled to Spain, Portugal, SwedeDSCF05181n (stayed at The Ice Hotel), Iceland, Mallorca, and Greece! Now she is in Olympia working for the Heath Care Authority. She is charged with increasing supplier diversity, and in particular with increasing the involvement of minority and women owned business with the Health Care Authority.
Nicole Smolinksi shares her endeavors since graduating first-hand. She writes:
“I graduated from WSU in Spring ’13 with 3 BA’s…Political Science, Philosophy and Asian Studies. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Southeast Asian Studies, focusing on gender and public policy, from the University of Michigan. I was awarded a Boren Fellowship for the 2015/16 academic year and enrolled in inCIMG3853tensive Thai language classes while also conducting field work in Chiang Mai, Thailand. My MA thesis will address how gender creates boundaries for female Burmese migrant workers as they navigate the visa obtainment processes in Thailand. My thesis aims to categorize ways in which female Burmese migrant workers interact and understand administrative bureaucracy, and the underlying policy decisions influencing implicit or explicit barriers. Furthermore, I explore how these understandings and boundaries negatively affect women’s access to obtaining migrant worker visas, as well as the health and human services provided with the visa.”

Grad Students Kick off Year with Speaker

The School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Graduate Student Association kicked off the year with a pair of lectures given by Professor Leslie McCall on August 31. Professor McCall, a Professor of Sociology and Political Science and Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, spoke to graduate students from our program and sociology on the complexities and difficulties of studying inequality in the United States.
After the methods symposium, Professor McCall gave a public Coffee & Politics lecture in the Foley Institute, where she discussed her book The Undeserving Rich: American Beliefs about Inequality, Opportunity, and Redistribution. Professor McCall emphasized the lack of data on mass opinions of inequality, while showing that the measures that are available indicate Americans want less inequality than they think exists.
Professor McCall’s talks were both well attended, and the public lecture filled the Foley Speaker’s Room to capacity. Professor McCall’s book, The Undeserving Rich, is available from the Cambridge University Press. The Graduate Student Association looks forward to another year of strong programming and is currently planning a spring semester speaker’s event.

New Pre-Law Resource Center Kicks off Year with Big Event!

On September 18, the Pre-Law Resource Center (PLRC) hosted Cougar Pre-Law Day. The PLRC is a new a project of the College of Arts and Sciences whose mission is to provide information, mentorship, and networking opportunities to students interested in a career in law. The Director is PPPA Assistant Professor Michael Salamone.
Cougar Pre-Law Day kicked off with a keynote speech given by Justice Mary Yu of the Washington Supreme Court. That was followed by a panel discussion on the legal profession, where Justice Yu was joined by several WSU alumni currently working in various types of legal professions. These panelists were: Fé Lopez (class of ‘03), Executive Director of the Seattle Community Police Commission; Lonny Suko (class of ’65), Senior Judge of the United State District Court for the Eastern District of Washington; Breeana Van Engelen (class of ’11), associate at K&L Gates; and Cliff Webster (class of ’74), principal with Carney, Badley, Spellman, P.S. After the alumni panel, the event continued with a Q&A session with law school admissions representatives from the University of Washington, Gonzaga University, Willamette University, the University of Montana, and the University of Idaho. The day concluded with an admissions fair and networking reception.
To learn more about the PLRC, please visit

Potter Lecture Sucess

soberOn August 10th Elliot Sober spoke about Charles Darwin and his views on The Origin of the Species. Professor Sober is the Hans Reichenbach Professor and the William F. Vilas Research professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Sober discussed how Darwin’s theory centered on natural selection and common ancestry. Natural selection is an important force that contributes to evolution, while common ancestry is the idea that all species alive today come from one to a few original progenitors. Sober’s presentation focused on the first chapter of his 2011 book Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards, and examined how natural selection and common ancestry relate to one another.
Sober questioned why, in The Origin of the Species, did Darwin organize his book by beginning with natural selection and its importance, but then later in the book defend the theory of common ancestry. Sober’s main interest was how these two parts of the theory of evolution fit together, the relation between them, and the evidence that supports each.
Dr. Sober asserted that you can obtain ample amounts of evidence for common ancestry, even if natural selection never caused any characteristics to evolve. For example, Sober relates how Darwin researched skull sutures that are present in mammals, but also in birds and reptiles. In mammals, skull sutures help facilitate live birth, making the process easier. However, with birds and reptiles skull sutures do not serve the same function since birds and reptiles hatch from eggs. As such, Darwin hypothesized that they shared a common ancestor and the presence of skull sutures in birds and reptiles is evidence of that common ancestry and not natural selection. Sober suggested that this is some indication that common ancestry is evidentially prior to natural selection in The Origin.
Given the evidential priority of common ancestry, Sober considered three hypotheses about why Darwin started with natural selection. First of all, it could be that Darwin believed natural selection was more novel and exciting. On the other hand, it might also be the case that his readers would rebel against the idea that human beings and monkeys shared a common ancestor. However, Sober argued that Darwin thought natural selection should be first due to causal priority insofar as natural selection causes extinction pruning the tree of life.
Professor Sober ended his presentation by examining his question, did Darwin write the origin backwards, and he answered that by stating causally, the book is in the right order but evidentially, the book is backwards.
The 53rd Annual Potter Lecture was entitled “Darwin and Intelligent Design.” There were over 250 people in attendance and the question and answer period was lively and provocative. Dean Daryll DeWald of the College of Arts and Sciences was on hand to remind folks of the legacy of Frank and Irene Potter and additional introductions were provided by Michael Goldsby, Assistant Professor in PPPA, and a former student of Dr. Sober’s.
Earlier in the day, Dr. Sober gave the Potter Talk, entitled “Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards?” and part of Coffee & Politics series sponsored by the Foley Institute.
This year also marked the first Potter Breakfast, where professors from beyond PPPA were invited to spend some time with Dr. Sober. In attendance were researchers from Anthropology, the School of Biological Sciences, and Entomology at WSU as well as Business, Biology, Computer Sciences, and Philosophy at the University of Idaho.