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Department of Political Science

Hire a USC PhD

Daniel J. Lyons

Expected: May 2021

First Field American Politics, Second Field Public Admin/Public Policy

I am a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of South Carolina in the Department of Political Science.  My dissertation work covers informal social networks in American political institutions and how they interact with political careers, the production of public goods, and representation. As part of this research, I have been interviewing party officials, politicians, and government administrators across the Midwest to investigate the forms and functions of informal political networks. I have been published in peer reviewed journals that include the Journal of Experimental Political Science and American Politics Research. I have teaching experience in American Government through both in-person and online course designs. My general research interests are political parties, Congress, critical race theory, critical feminist theory, media and political communication, and democratic theory. Outside of academia I am interested in local food security issues in my hometown, Chicago.

Daniel J. Lyons CV [PDF]

Christopher Eddy

Expected Graduation: December 2022

Public Administration and American Politics 

My dissertation uses experimental and observational methods to examine the symbolic and active effects of representative bureaucracy in service and regulatory agencies. I am interested in public perceptions of bureaucracy, citizen participation in the regulatory process, and environmental agencies. My teaching interests are in public administration and public opinion, and I have taught Introduction to Public Administration, Public Opinion and Politics, and Ideology and World Politics. I am an avid hiker and spend much of my free time exploring the mountains with my partner and dog.

Christopher Eddy's CV [PDF]

Maddy Shanks

Expected: May 2023

Judicial Politics and Public Policy

I am a PhD Candidate at the University of South Carolina in the Department of Political Science, where I primarily study judicial politics and public policy. While my dissertation focuses on operationalization and measurement of case outcomes at the U.S. Federal District Courts, litigant and attorney decision-making, and lower federal court judge decision-making as a response to attorney actions, my broader interests and goals center around answering interesting questions with data to help others make informed decisions.

Maddy Shanks' CV [PDF]

Yu-Hsien Sung

Expected: June 2022

Comparative Politics, Judicial Politics

Yu-Hsien Sung is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of South Carolina. She is a pre-doctoral fellow at Academia Sinica and Fulbright alumni. Her research focuses on law and politics. Her dissertation, Prosecutorial Policies: District Attorneys, Public Opinion, and Localized Rule of Law, focuses on discretionary decisions and variations in local legal practices. Specifically, the dissertation examines how US prosecutors exercise policy-oriented discretion to generate support from political elites and voters in ways that vary across prosecutorial selection methods. Her findings clarify how and under what conditions prosecutorial behavior is constrained by political, ideological, and institutional factors. Her dissertation is supported by NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant and Warren E. Miller Fund in Electoral Politics by American Political Science Association.

Yu-Hsien Sung's CV [PDF]

Judit Trunkos

Expected: (Defended) May 2020

International Relations/Comparative Politics


I received my Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina and currently I am an Instructor at the Walker Institute of International and Area Studies at the University of South Carolina.  As an international relations scholar, I have been researching soft power, more specifically the various soft power instruments including sports, culture and education. I created a new soft power measurement method and a new dataset to evaluate all countries’ soft power use.  In Comparative Politics my focus has been the soft power use of European countries including former communist states such as Hungary and Russia. In 2018, I received an APSA travel grant and I was nominated for IPSA’s Francesco Kjellberg Award for Outstanding Papers Presented by a New Scholar for my conceptual and operation approach of measuring soft power.  The courses I have taught are Introduction to International Relations, European Studies, The Conduct and Formulation of U.S. Foreign Policy, Soft Power in International Relations and American Government.  

Judit Trunkos [PDF]

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