CSDP Introduces 2016-2017 Fellows

March 23, 2016

We are delighted to introduce next year's visiting fellows in the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics. This seventeenth cohort of CSDP fellows will be in residence through the 2016-2017 academic year. Please join us in welcoming them to Princeton in September.

Elliott Ash received his PhD in economics from Columbia University, where he was supervised by Bentley MacLeod, Suresh Naidu, and Massimo Morelli. Elliott's thesis research focused on empirical analysis of judge behavior and text mining of legal documents. Elliott plans to push this research agenda forward as a CSDP fellow and thereafter as an assistant professor of economics at University of Warwick.

Before obtaining his PhD, Elliott received a BA in economics, government, and philosophy from University of Texas at Austin, a JD from Columbia Law School, and an LLM in international criminal law from University of Amsterdam. More recently, his research on the judiciary is facilitated by affiliation with the Free Law Project, which aims to provide free and open source legal corpora and research tools to practitioners and social scientists. Finally, Elliott has provided expert witness testimony for the Department of Justice Civil Rights investigation into discriminatory practices at Ferguson Police Department.



Devin Caughey is an assistant professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, having received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 2012. Devin works on American politics, particularly American political development, as well as political methodology. He is currently completing a book manuscript on public opinion and congressional representation in the one-party South. While at CSDP, Devin will continue working on his multi-part project with Chris Warshaw, “Dynamic Democracy,” which examines the dynamic relationships between public opinion, electoral outcomes, and policymaking in the American states over the past century.


John Holbein is a graduate of Brigham Young University, having received a B.A. in Political Science in 2011, and is a PhD Candidate at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy (expected May 2016). While at Duke, he worked under the direction of Sunshine Hillygus, Helen "Sunny" Ladd, Jacob Vigdor and Nicholas Carnes. His dissertation -- Making Good Citizens: Policy Approaches to Increasing Civic Participation -- explores several public policies' impacts on voter turnout. His work has been, or will soon be, published in the American Political Science Review and the American Journal of Political Science. His most recent project, which he will continue to work on while at CSDP, examines the role that psychosocial skills play in determining whether citizens vote. Psychosocial skills (sometimes called "non-cognitive" skills) are the teachable human attributes that are not captured by standard measures of cognitive ability. These skills include the general motivations, abilities, and attitudes involving self-regulation and sociability. John’s work uses a unique combination of school administrative data, longitudinal surveys starting in childhood, and randomized-control childhood interventions to show that children who develop psychosocial skills are much more likely to vote in adulthood than those that do not.


Peter Loewen is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. Most of his work involves studying voters, though he is more recently interested in studying politicians. While at Princeton, Peter will continue his work on the capacity of politicians to know their constituents’ preferences and to make decisions that correspond with minimal definitions of rationality. He combines interview and experimental data to demonstrate the frequency with which representatives fail at both of these tasks. Peter’s work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and other outlets.



Pia Raffler is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Yale University. Her work lies at the intersection of comparative politics and political economy. Pia studies the politics of development, focusing on governance, bureaucracy, and electoral politics in Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular Uganda. She is interested in how theories on democratic political accountability travel to settings where many of their core assumptions – informed voters, political checks and balances, and a Weberian bureaucracy are not met. Her dissertation research focuses on political oversight of bureaucrats and implications for public service provision in local governments in developing states. She uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to measure causal relationships and disentangle the underlying mechanisms. During her time at both the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics and the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, Pia will work on turning her dissertation into a book and continue working on three extensions, each focusing on a different link in the accountability cycle: candidate selection, retrospective voting, and direct accountability. Pia holds an M.A. and M.Phil. from Yale University and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.


Sally Nuamah is a 2016-2017 Values and Public Policy Postdoctoral Research Associate with appointment in the Woodrow Wilson School/Center for the Study of Democratic Politics and the University Center for Human Values. She is a politics and policy scholar focusing on issues related to race, gender and education, both in the U.S and abroad. As a fellow, she will be working on a book manuscript, "When Schools Close: Race, Education and Politics in the New Urban City," that examines the political consequences of school closure for racial attitudes and democratic politics. In addition, she will assess the normative implications of the school closure policy's impacts.

In addition to her research, Sally has an award winning film on girls and education in Ghana, HerStory, and a number of experiences with large organizations including the American Bar Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development and the United Nations Foundation. Sally holds a M.A in political science from Northwestern University and a B.A. in political science and public policy from The George Washington University. Sally will graduate with her Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University.


Chloé Bakalar was a 2015-16 Values and Public Policy Postdoctoral Research Associate with appointment in the Woodrow Wilson School/Center for the Study of Democratic Politics and the University Center for Human Values, and will continue her fellowship for 2016-17.  Bakalar is a political and legal theorist with an empirical background in American politics.  Her research focuses on questions of democratic theory, the history of modern political thought and public law.  She is currently working on a book manuscript, Small Talk? The Impact of Social Speech on Liberal Democratic Citizenship, that considers and maps the positive and negative effects of everyday talk on liberal democratic citizenship and political outcomes.  Bakalar holds an A.M. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree in politics from New York University.