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


Checkel_SPS_150x125Jeffrey T. Checkel will join the Department of Political and Social Sciences in January 2020, as Chair in International Politics, moving from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. After a first degree from Cornell University in applied physics, Checkel received a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1991). Among the honors he has received is the Humboldt Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2015). In 2014, he was named a Global Fellow at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, in recognition of his contributions to research on peace and conflict.

See full CV.

Checkel's research interests include international relations theory (domestic-international linkages, international institutions, constructivism, governance), conflict studies (civil war), European integration (Europeanization, identity) and qualitative methods (process tracing, bridging positivist-interpretive techniques). At SPS, he plans to offer seminars on international-relations theory, civil wars, the liberal order and identity politics, international institutions and qualitative methods.


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). 

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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. Her research themes include: Political accountability and responsiveness, including corruption and clientelism, distributive politics, political parties, incumbency and reelection; also 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.

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

 

Latest News
The intergenerational transmission of social advantage: Is social class (still) a good measure

The intergenerational transmission of social advantage: Is social class (still) a good measure

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Paper presentation by Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund (University of Oslo) on 22 February 2019
Paternalism, Respect, and Nudging

Paternalism, Respect, and Nudging

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A Talk by Ian Carter (University of Pavia) on 22 February 2019
Interdisciplinary Experimental Working Group

Interdisciplinary Experimental Working Group

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Presentations by Gunn Elizabeth Birkelund and Joep Sonnemans on 21 February 2019
SPS Summer Academy 2019

SPS Summer Academy 2019

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Deadline for applications: 31 March 2019

Page last updated on 13 February 2019