The International Relations and Comparative Politics Workshops take place on alternate Wednesdays at 12:30 pm. Sessions are held in SOS B40 and streamed on Zoom for remote attendees.

● Papers are drafts for prospective journal articles in international relations and/or comparative politics.
● Sessions begin with 15-minute presentations followed by brief comments from a discussant; the floor then opens to questions that engage the presenter in a back and forth; the presenter ends the session with five-minute remarks.
● The goal of the series is to provide feedback that also gives the author (PhD students, faculty, or visiting faculty) an opportunity to make a presentation and engage PhD students and faculty. The workshops also facilitate publishable papers for PhD students and develop critique skills for discussants and attendees.
● Sessions last 75 minutes

Both series strive to build community among faculty and graduate students while fostering professional development through mentorship.

Sessions are restricted to USC faculty and graduate students. Undergraduate honors thesis students in international relations and comparative politics are also invited to attend. For inquiries about specific presenters and papers, and to volunteer to be a presenter or discussant, please contact

  • September 6, 2023
    International Relations Workshop
    Brian Rathbun*
    “The Other Cheek: Costly Signaling, Moral Psychology, and the Effect of Nonviolence”
    Discussant: Laura Breen**


    September 13, 2023
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Alden Young (UCLA)
    “Across the Red Sea: Diaspora, Revolution and Anti-Imperialism”
    Discussant: Saranyan Uthayakumar**


    September 20, 2023
    International Relations Workshop
    Julia Morse (UCSB) (Co-author with Tyler Pratt, University of North Carolina)
    “Fighting Facts or Fighting Norms: Norm Transgressions, Reputation Management, and International Organizations”
    Discussant: Yeiyoung Choo**


    September 27, 2023
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Thomas Pepinsky (Cornell)
    “A Political Economy of Social Categories”
    Discussant: Stephen Schick**


    October 4, 2023
    Special Session: CIS Open House for PhD Students
    We will discuss upcoming programming and funding opportunities and invite questions


    October 11, 2023
    No workshop due to fall recess


    October 18, 2023
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Pablo Francisco Argote Tironi (USC Postdoctoral Fellow) (coauthor with Giancarlo Visconti)
    “Ideological vs. Issue Voting:  Evidence from Chile”
    Discussant: Ewon Baik**


    October 25, 2023
    International Relations Workshop
    Alison Dundes Renteln* & Cher Weixia Chen (George Mason University)
    Special Session – Book Discussion: “International Human Rights: A Survey” (Cambridge University Press, 2023)


    November 1, 2023
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Brian Palmer-Rubin* (coauthor with Candelaria Garay and Mathias Poertner)
    “Mass Politics 2.0: Organizations and Political Identity in Neoliberal Latin America”
    Discussant: Sinan Kircova**


    *POIR faculty
    **POIR PhD student/candidate

  • February 15
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Agustina Paglayan, University of California, San Diego
    Discussant: Tine Paulsen*
    Title: “Countering Disobedience: The Rise and Spread of Mass Education”
    systems hinges on our ability to understand and come to terms with this troubling past.

    February 22
    International Relations Workshop
    Gaea Morales, PhD candidate
    Discussant: Therese Franklin**
    Title: “From Gatekeepers to Keys: The United Nations System and Local Authority Legitimacy”.

    March 1
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Chloe Bernadaux and Stephen Schick, PhD students
    Discussant: Yeiyoung Choo**
    Title: Economic Conditions and the Shaping of Subnational Propaganda under Autocracy

    March 8
    International Relations Workshop
    Tyler Jost, Brown University
    Discussant: Don Grasse, CIS postdoctoral fellow
    Title: “The Roots of China’s Contemporary Arming Behavior”

    March 15

    March 22
    International Relations Workshop
    Pongkwan Sawasdipakdi, PhD candidate
    Discussant: Ewon Baik**
    Title: “How Dare You Betray Me: Betrayal, Emotion, and Outrage in International Relations”

    March 29
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Jefferey Sellers, POIR professor; Chloe Bernadaux, PhD student; and Ada Li Sarain,
    POIR PhD alumna
    Discussant: Sinan Kircova**
    Title: “Territorial Attachment, Globalization, and the City”

    April 5
    International Relations Workshop
    Amanda Kennard, Stanford University
    Discussant: Donald Grasse, CIS postdoctoral fellow
    Title: “Climate Change and Political (In)Stability”

    *POIR faculty

    **POIR PhD student/candidate

  • August 31
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Tine Paulsen*, “Mass Party Advantage under Party-Centered Local Governance”
    Discussant: Allison Hartnett*

    September 7
    International Relations Workshop
    Jacques C. Hymans*, “Anti-War or Anti-Nuclear? The Gender Gap in Testimonials by Survivors of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”
    (co-authored with Tomoko Matsumoto, Tokyo University of Science)
    Discussant: Brian Rathbun*

    September 14
    No session: Week of the conference of the American Political Science Association

    September 21
    No session

    September 28
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Melissa Rogers (Claremont Graduate University), “Vote Your Region or Your Income? Decomposing Variance in Redistributive Voting”
    Discussant: Gaea Morales**

    October 5
    International Relations Workshop
    Graeme Blair (University of California, Los Angeles), “Evidence-Based Decision-Making on Research Ethics in the Social Sciences”
    Co-authored with Rebecca Wolfe (University of Chicago), Rebecca Littman (University of Chicago), and Sarah Ryan (University of California Berkeley)
    Discussant: Donald Grasse, CIS postdoctoral fellow

    October 12
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Brett Carter*, “The Kremlin and K Street: Vote-Buying in the U.S. Congress”
    (co-authored with Erin Baggott Carter* and Eva Isakovic, formerly an undergrad in POIR and now a Fulbright Scholar in Bosnia)
    Discussant: Stephen Schick**

    October 19
    International Relations Workshop
    Mariya Grinberg (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), “The Future of Economic Warfare (is Bleak)”
    Discussant: Yeiyoung Choo**

    October 26
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Tolu Babalola**, “In the Eye of the Beholder: The Relativity of Democracy and Redistributive Politics”
    (co-authored with Allison Hartnett*)
    Discussant: Alya Khemakhem**

    November 2
    No session: Week of the conference of Peace Science

    November 9
    International Relations Workshop
    Donald Grasse (CIS postdoctoral fellow), “The Logic and Impacts of Rebel Public Services Provision: Evidence from Taliban Courts in Afghanistan”
    (co-authored with Renard Sexton and Austin Wright)
    Discussant: Chloe Bernadaux**

    November 16
    Comparative Politics Workshop
    Courtenay Conrad (University of California, Merced), “Judicial Decisions, Police Officer Uncertainty, and the Escalation of Force
    (co-authored with Sophia Hatz and Kristine Eck)
    Discussant: Tolu Babalola**

    *POIR faculty

    **POIR PhD student/candidate