who we are
Monika Nalepa (PhD, Columbia University) is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. With a focus on post-communist Europe, her research interests include transitional justice, parties and legislatures, and game-theoretic approaches to comparative politics. Her first book, Skeletons in the Closet: Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Europe was published in the Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics Series and received the Best Book award from the Comparative Democratization section of the APSA and the Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award from the Political Organizations and Parties section of the APSA. She has published her research in Perspectives on Politics, the Journal of Comparative Politics, World Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Theoretical Politics, Studies in Logic and Rhetoric, and Decyzje. Read more about Monika here. Check out her Google Scholar page here. You can contact Professor Nalepa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ipek Cinar is a fifth-year PhD student in political science. She studies comparative politics with a focus on comparative democratization, quantitative & computational methods, and their applications to political science research. She received a BA in economics and business from Koc University, Turkey (2016) and an MA in social sciences from the University of Chicago (2018). She joined the lab in January 2017 and has been contributing to the coding as well as collection of transitional justice events for the Global Transitional Justice Dataset. She has also been extensively involved in the creation of the web interface for the purpose of making a user friendly geo-coded mapping of the projects. She has published in Perspectives on Politics and Presidential Studies Quarterly. She also has several ongoing projects as part of the lab, including work identifying the causal effects of transitional justice events on the quality of democracy, and work identifying the causal effects of purges on crime. Read more about Ipek here. Check out her Google Scholar page here. You can contact Ipek at email@example.com.
Steven Boyd is a fourth-year PhD student in the University of Chicago Political Science Department who joined the Transitional Justice and Democratic Stability Lab in August 2021. He is an international relations scholar who is also trained as a formal theorist. His research interests include formal models of international politics, constructivist IR theory, and international organizations. When he’s not teaching or researching, you can probably find him on his bike somewhere in the Chicagoland area.
Moksha Sharma is a first-year PhD student in political science department and has been with the lab since 2019. She graduated summa cum laude from the College in 2021. She is interested in research methodology and formal theory in particular. Her substantive interests include democratic backsliding and the comparative roles of law and constitution in democratic and non-democratic contexts. You can contact moksha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jacob Delgado is a second-year student in the college studying Political Science and Latin American and Caribbean studies. His substantive work includes reporting on Mexican political affairs and publishing articles about new issues in international trade. Jacob joined the Transitional Justice and Democratic Stability Lab in August 2021. You can reach Jacob at email@example.com.
Ben Konstan is a recent graduate of the College, majoring in mathematics and economics. His academic interests span game theory, modeling, and statistics, and he plans to pursue a PhD in one of these fields. He joined the Transitional Justice and Democratic Stability Lab in June 2019 to work on formally modeling social welfare during periods of transitional justice. He will focus on deriving the theory behind social outcomes for these events. You can contact Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tatum McCormick is a second-year MPP student at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2020 with a major in political science and a minor in creative writing. She is particularly interested in political economy, politics and race, and policy development. She has just started working for the Transitional Justice and Democratic Stability Lab this August. You can contact Tatum at email@example.com.
Benny Nicholson is a second-year undergraduate at the college majoring in public policy and political science. His interests include political philosophy, international law, and the impact of social movements. He first started working with the lab in September 2020 to collect data on democratic transitions. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julian Santesteban is a third year undergraduate in the College, majoring in political science and economics. His academic interests include game theory, revolutions, and political economy. He joined the Transitional Justice and Democratic Stability Lab in September 2021. You can contact Julian at email@example.com.
Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, Ahmed is a fourth year undergraduate double majoring in Economics and Political Science. His main interests include the political economy of development, democratic transitions and backsliding. His research mainly centers around the Middle East and his BA Thesis discusses democratic backsliding in the wake of the Arab Spring as a function of foreign intervention. After his undergraduate studies are finished, Ahmed plans on enrolling in a PhD program in Political Economy to further focus on the issues that interest him.
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Cristina is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in political science at the University of Puerto Rico. Her main academic interests include international relations, communist and former communist states, the rise of China, post-colonial theory, and independence movements. She joined the Transitional Justice and Democratic Stability Lab in June 2022 through Leadership Alliance.