The School of Politics and Global Studies at ASU is a Knowledge Enterprise that focuses on advancing research.  The School emphasizes research that links theory with real world issues and organized into working groups to advance research and hold conferences in the following fields:

SPGS Faculty Working Groups

Conflict and Human Rights

Questions of political violence and rights have motivated scholars, thinkers, and policy-makers for generations. This working group represents several different perspectives of this important area of research. Our researchers come from several different methodological perspectives and conduct research on topics ranging from why states go to war, the dynamics of civil conflict, the scope of repression in states, the development and dynamics of Human Rights institutions, how conflict shapes state development, and the role of gender in conflict. Members of our working group have published in top scholarly outlets such as (but not limited to) the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution and Journal of Peace Research. Several of our working group members are also affiliated with one of ASU’s newest research centers, the Center for the Future of War.

Affiliated faculty include:

Recently, the working group has sponsored or co-sponsored two conferences hosted at ASU, supported by the Brian A. Kopf Fund. One will occur in Fall of 2015 and the other occurred in the early Spring of 2015.

In the Fall of 2015, members of the working group are organizing the conference entitled: "How does Gender Shape Violence and Coercion?" The conference addresses several important questions in the study of gender, violence, and coercion, including: To what extent do sex-based or gendered differences affect individual perceptions about the use of coercion and violence? Do sex-based or gendered differences at the elite level affect states' decisions to seek resolutions to international or civil conflict? How have different fields approached these questions, used distinct methodological approaches, and generated new sources of data to tackle these substantive questions? 

In the Spring of 2015, members of the working group organized (along with the Center for the Future of War) the conference entitled “How Do We Know What We Know? Charting the Future for Human Rights Documentation and Analysis.” The conference brought together several prominent Human Rights scholars and practitioners to try and tackle the question of documenting Human Rights practices and abuses. Bringing together different methodological perspectives, participants presented on several cutting-edge research practices to try and better understand where and how many abuses of Human Rights occur and how better Human Rights practices develop.

Nationalist and Ethno-religious Dynamics (NERD)

A major source of political activity, as well as violent conflict, is generated by nationalist movements, ethnic and religious-based groups. Our working group, Nationalist and Ethno-religious Dynamics (NERD), seeks to better understand the role of religion and ethnicity in collective political action, variations in patterns of behavior by such groups, their interactions with states and other international actors, their influence on the promotion or violation of human rights, and the sources and impact of their motivations and capacities for organization and any subsequent political action. The group features a mix of disciplines, substantive foci, methodological approaches, and area expertise. Faculty regularly collaborate and co-author with graduate students, and have a successful, strong record of winning external grants to fund their research, and are affiliated with a variety of research centers at ASU: Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity, Center on the Future of War, Center for Jewish Studies, the Melikian Center on Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies, and the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, to name a few. They also have affiliations and memberships in research and academic organizations nationally and internationally.

Political Economy

The Political Economy Working Group comprises an interdisciplinary team forged on common research interests related to state- and economy-building, international trade, global inequality, environmental policy and governance, and migration.  A major aim of the working group is to push the frontier in methodological approaches to answering questions on these topics, such as quasi-experimental and experimental techniques, large-n ethnographic data, as well as big-data analysis to test leading hypotheses in the literature.  The geographical focus ranges from the macro (or global) level to a more micro (case-study) approach, with regional emphases in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Affiliated faculty include:

Political Psychology

The working group in Political Psychology consists of scholars that apply contemporary psychological theories, concepts, and methods to the study of political behavior. Focal points of research within the group consist of the application of social psychology (e.g., the subfields of attitudes, emotions, group identities) and cognitive psychology (e.g., memory and cognition, decision-making processes) to understanding the formation of people’s political preferences, voter behavior during electoral campaigns, and the implementation of public policy by elected officials. The working group is methodologically diverse emphasizing laboratory and field experiments, text analysis, elite interviews, and survey research.  The Political Psychology working group sponsored their first conference “Immigration, Ethnicity, and Inclusion: Understanding Public Attitudes” in Spring 2017. 

Faculty members include:

Women and Politics

The Women and Politics Working Group has been active in the School of Politics and Global Studies since 2013.  Within the working group, we have a large group of scholars whose research focuses on women’s role in politics, including:

In addition to these core members of the working group, we have a number of faculty members who have previously or are currently doing research on women and politics (e.g., Carolyn Warner, Richard Herrera).

The research of working group members crosses geographical borders (e.g., Europe, Latin America, United States) as well as disciplines (e.g., political science, communications, psychology) and methods (e.g., surveys, aggregate analysis, content analysis, experiments, elite interviews). 

In 2013, the Women and Politics Working Group won the inaugural SPGS Annual Conference Competition and held a successful conference with national and international participants in April of 2014.  The conference, “Women, Media, and Politics: A Comparative Perspective” explored the media’s potential impact on women’s role in politics within a comparative perspective.  Papers delivered at the conference explored both traditional and new media coverage of women in the United States and around the world.   A group of papers from the conference will be published in a special issue of Politics & Gender shortly. 

In 2014, three members (Magda Hinojosa, Miki Kittilson and Kim Fridkin) of the working group received a USAID award to study symbolic representation through a “natural experiment” in Uruguay.   Based on interest in symbolic representation, the working group proposed and secured funding for a second conference “Symbolic Representation?  Groups and Representation in Contemporary Democratic Politics” which will take place in February of 2016 at Arizona State University.  While negotiations are preliminary, the editor of the journal, Politics, Groups, and Identities will publish a special issue of the journal devoted to the proceedings of the conference.