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Rachel E. Finnell

Rachel E. Finnell

Dissertation Synopsis: Rachel’s dissertation explores whether or not authoritarian regimes are following the functions outlined in their constitution. Specifically, she examines what she calls the functional effectiveness of these constitutions—that is how closely and effectively these regimes follow the functions laid out in their constitution. Rachel theorizes that most authoritarian regimes are following their constitutions, but differences will occur with respect to the type of authoritarian regime the constitution is operating within. To test her theory, she conducts in-depth case studies and create a dataset that will measure whether the constitution is being followed within each respective country from 1990 to 2010. This dataset will include indexes measuring the functional effectiveness of executive authority, executive tenure, legislative authority, legislative autonomy, and legislative tenure. These measurements will be from twenty-five countries across the world in multiple regions including Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and others. Rachel’s broader interests and expertise include research methods, comparative institutions, international relations, and authoritarian attitudes.

Dissertation Committee: Dr. John James Kennedy (Chair), Mark R. Joslyn, Robert Rohrschneider, F. Michael Wuthrich, and Eric A. Hanley

Major Fields: Comparative Politics and International Relations
Minor Field: Research Methods

M.A. University of Kansas 2018
B.S.B.A. University of Central Missouri 2015

Click here to view Rachel's CV.

Click here to view Rachel's website.

Abigail Vegter

Abigail Vegter

Dissertation Synopsis: Abigail's dissertation will examine the intersecting identities of religion and gun ownership and the subsequent effects on policy preferences and the policy process itself. While the literature is clear that there is a relationship between Christian religious identity and gun ownership, few scholars have gone beyond this basic demographic fact. Abigail theorizes that gun ownership acts as a social identity that is reinforced by religious identity. Moreover, the interaction of these two identities hold real implications for both political attitudes and the policy process.

Dissertation Committee: Dr. Donald Haider-Markel (Chair), Dr. Patrick Miller, Dr. Kevin Mullinix, Dr. Brittnee Carter, and Dr. Margaret Kelley

Major Fields: American Politics and Public Policy
Minor Field: Quantitative Research Methods

Courses Taught: Ideas and Institutions in American Politics, Urban Politics, American Public Policy, Public and Non-Profit Administration, and Introduction to Political Science
Courses Assisted: Political Science Methods of Inquiry and Introduction to U.S. Politics

M.A. University of Kansas 2018
B.A. Calvin College 2017

Click here to view Abigail's website.

Friday, Nov 6 is the first of the KU Trade War Speaker Series! RSVP at Link: https://t.co/hfys5SpASJ https://t.co/AbP2yz3qu7

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