Political Science Graduate Awards for Spring 2023

May 5, 2023

MSU Political Science PhD students Alejandra Lopez-Villegas and Jonathan King were given the annual graduate student awards at a reception May 5.

Alejandra won the Best Graduate Student Paper for her work entitled "Who Supports the Authoritarian Incumbent? Elite Dynamics and Democratic Backsliding" which tackles an important substantive and normative question: how can the process of democratic backsliding be prevented?

"The paper draws attention to the crucial role of intra-party elites in either acquiescing to the backsliding or resisting it," said Graduate Program Director Dr. Sarah Reckhow. "The paper has a careful and detailed discussion of the modeling choices, motivated by a clear theory and a simple game."

Additionally, Jonathan King, who graduated May 5, was named Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher for his work teaching both PLS 320 and PLS 321 five times for a total of over 370 students.

"Over the past four years, Jonathan has provided exemplary mentorship to an astonishing 23 undergraduate research assistants and five undergraduate learning assistants," Dr. Reckhow said.

Alejandra Lopez-Villegas and Jonathan King