The research interests of the members of the Department of Political and Social Sciences (SPS) span across comparative politics, international relations, sociology, and social and political theory. 
We focus on contemporary phenomena, at the national, sub-national and transnational level, mainly but not exclusively in Europe.

We support an eclectic approach to research projects and doctoral theses, often cutting across traditional academic boundaries. A variety of method courses and workshops on data gathering and analysis are available in the first two years—survey, experimental and ethnographic; quantitative and qualitative—while field-work and data collection normally take place in the second and third year.

 

New appointments


Miriam GoldenMiriam A. Golden joins the Department of Political and Social Sciences in September 2019 as the Peter Mair Chair in Comparative Politics, moving from the University of California at Los Angeles. Golden studied at the University of California at Berkeley and the London School of Economics and Political Science, and received her Ph.D. in 1983 from Cornell University. She was a recepient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2014 and a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2018-2019. Golden is an active member of the international network Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP). 

See full CV.

Golden's research is in the area of political economy, and spans the developed and less developed world. She uses statistical, analytical, and field experimental research methods. Her focus is on the responsiveness
and accountability of politicians. 

"Students who work with me will be interested in acquiring advanced statistical, experimental, and social scientific research skills. I aim to train students to become independent researchers capable of original scholarship that is rigorous, replicable, and transparent. I meet biweekly with my students as a group using a laboratory training model. Specific topics on which I have expertise include corruption and clientelism, distributive politics, and political parties, incumbency and reelection. I also have strong interests in the politics of energy and water."


Arnout Van de Rijt Arnout van de Rijt will join the Department of Political and Social Sciences as Chair in Sociology in September 2019. Van de Rijt received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell University in 2007 and worked until 2016 as Assistant and Associate Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University, where he co-founded and -led the Center for Computational Social Science. Since 2016 he has been Professor of Sociology at Utrecht University. He is elected member of the European Academy of Sociology. Van de Rijt received the  Lynton Freeman (2010) and  Raymond Boudon (2017) early career awards.

See full CV.

His research and teaching focus on computational social science, social influence, social networks, self-emergent inequalities, and collective action.

“I welcome pretty much any Ph.D. proposal, regardless of topic, as long as it is interesting and the student wants to be creative, work hard and do well. Expertise-wise, I will be more useful if the proposal involves broad topics like social networks, social stratification, computational social science, social influence, or collective action. Methods-wise, I will be more helpful for quantitative projects, but I am open to supervise students who wish to use qualitative methods.”

 
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Page last updated on 05 December 2018