Fall 2012-  Dissertation Title “Understanding Suffrage Expansion: Constitutional Enfranchisement in the United States and Immigrant’s Voting Rights in Europe”

Defended on Nov 29th, 2012.


This proposed research will explore the rationale behind suffrage expansion. In political context, suffrage expansion amounts to inclusion of new voters’ preferences into the realm of electoral competition. If politics is solely motivated by power considerations, as commonly argued, how could it be that political elites consent to expand the size of the electorate instead of remaining responsive only to the previously enfranchised electorate which voted them into power?

My dissertation project will proceed along two paths. As a preliminary step, it explores how suffrage expansion in the United States political history took place by examining the legislative voting behavior of members of Congress at times of constitutional enfranchisement. More substantially, it will focus on contemporary debates and decision in Europe by investigating the conditions leading to enfranchisement of immigrants.

Political Representation of Immigrants in Belgium with Barbara Kinsey(University of Central Florida) 

We explore the determinants of representation of non-Western immigrants at the local level in Belgium. Nomination of candidates of non-Western immigrant backgrounds on party lists is viewed as determined by the strategic calculations of parties to gain electoral advantage while minimizing electoral costs associated with tradeoffs between native and immigrant voters. The magnitude of the tradeoffs may be determined by social factors, as xenophobic environments and unemployment (Fonseca 2011). We expect that in Volk cultural contexts (Flanders) the effects of xenophobia and unemployment on the nomination of candidates of non-Western origin to be larger than in non-Volk (Wallonia) contexts. Belgium is good grounds for this inquiry due to regional differences in the conceptualization of citizenship and approaches to integration while citizenship rules remain constant across the regions. Our analysis takes place at the level of the municipality in the 2006 local elections.

Political Trust with Ekrem Karakoç (Binghamton University) 

Citizenship Regimes and its Impact on Political Conflict with Seden Akçınaroğlu (Binghamton University)

Constitutional Enfranchisement Process in United States with Michael D. McDonald (Binghamton University)

Social Psychology and Attitudes Towards Immigrants with Jenna Emery (University of West Florida)


Comments are closed.