William & Mary

Faculty Updates 2010

John Gilmour and Larry Evans each have a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of the American Congress, which will be available in February 2011. Prof. Gilmour's chapter is on "The Congressional Budget Process," while Prof. Evans' is on "Congressional Committees." As Prof. Gilmour notes, this "makes W&M unusually well represented in a volume featuring many of the top congressional scholars."

George Grayson's latest book, Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State?, published by Transaction Press, has gone into its fourth printing. His monograph, "La Familia Michoacana and U.S.-Mexican Security," will be published later this month by the U.S. Army War College, which provided him with a grant to produce the study.  The War College is also funding his current research on "The Emergence of Vigilante Groups in Mexico." Prof. Grayson has also lectured on Mexico's drugs and thugs at a dozen universities, government agencies, and think tanks during the past few months.

Tobias Hofmann coauthored an article, "Obstinate and Inefficient: Why Member States Do not Comply with European Law,” which has just been published in Comparative Political Studies. He also took a group of students from his Introduction to Comparative Politics class to Washington, DC, in October to visit the Organization of American States and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Discussing these organizations' work in the field of democracy promotion and assistance put some real-life meat to the theoretical bones covered in class. The trip was sponsored by the Charles Center. Over the summer, Prof. Hofmann taught an applied statistics course for PhD students at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany.

In October, Chris Howard was the keynote speaker for an event celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Unemployment Insurance, sponsored by the Commonwealth Institute of Fiscal Analysis in Richmond. Later that month he also participated on a panel discussion about the adequacy of the social safety net, sponsored by the New America Foundation in Washington, DC. Prof. Howard and Richard Valelly of Swarthmore College co-authored a piece about the deficit and public opinion for The American Prospect.

Paul Manna just published his second book, Collision Course: Federal Education Policy Meets State and Local Realities. The Congressional Research Service has invited Professor Manna to speak at their annual orientation conference for new members of Congress, which will be held in January 2011.  In that role he will be speaking with these newly elected members about different aspects of elementary and secondary education policy.

Rani Mullen is on leave for the academic year 2010-2011.  She is based in New Delhi, India and is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. She recently received a book contract with Routledge Press for her manuscript Decentralization, Local Governance, and Social Wellbeing in India: Do Local Governments Matter? and is working on several research projects, including Afghan-Indian relations and Indian foreign aid. She has also been the on-the-ground liaison for William & Mary’s efforts to set up a South Asian Studies Program and an exchange program with St. Stephan’s College, Delhi University.  She recently hosted a reception for W&M alums in the Delhi area and is helping to establish a W&M alumni India chapter.

Chris Nemacheck and Ron Rapoport are the faculty advisers for the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics.  The Journal will be housed in the Department for the next three years. Prof. Nemacheck writes, "This is a great opportunity for our students to become more involved in original research and the political science community. Our students have been busily working on putting together our first issue of the journal to come out in January. The journal is transitioning to an online format, so keep your eye out for the new edition coming soon."

In April, the Board of Visitors designated Chris Nemacheck as the Alumni Memorial Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Government.  She is working with her co-authors on completing a new edition of their introductory American government text, Government by the People, which will be out in January 2011.  She is currently enjoying teaching courses on American legal process and a seminar on constitutional law.  She and her seminar students recently visited the US Supreme Court to hear oral arguments followed by meetings in W&M's DC Office with attorneys who filed briefs in the relevant case.

In Spring 2010, Paula Pickering once again taught an international community engagement class to help prepare seven Bosnia Project volunteers from W&M to work for 5 weeks with NGOs in post-war Bosnia to teach English and non-violent communication to youth.  Prof. Pickering appreciates the generous support the project received through the Reves Faculty Fellowship for International Community Engagement and Scholarship.  Participants this year included Courtney Downing, Lisa Kepple, Meagan Taylor, Anna Mahalak, Justin de Benedictis-Kessner, Lauren Greene, and Michael Tsidulko. The Bosnia Project’s new work with the Bosnian NGO Creativus involved teaching English and media production skills to children and teenagers in a partnership with University of Sarajevo students in Sarajevo. The Bosnia Project volunteers, with the help of Adam Stackhouse, produced three films, which they presented to the Sarajevo community on their graduation day in July 2010. Prof. Pickering continues her research on the the impact of international assistance for democratic governance at the municipal level in the post-war Western Balkans.

Simon Stow has an article forthcoming in the American Political Science Review entitled "Agonistic Homegoing: Frederick Douglass, Joseph Lowery, and the Democratic Value of African American Public Mourning." He recently appeared as a guest on NPR's 'Talk of the Nation' for a segment on secular sacred spaces.

Mike Tierney '87 spent most of the past year working with William and Mary students to gather, clean, code, and analyze data on foreign aid projects in order to create the world's most comprehensive database of development projects. AidData is now a searchable online database that allows users to search for individual projects or aggregate aid flows from 90 different donor agencies.  Tierney and his students use these data in order to study foreign aid allocation, foreign aid effectiveness, and the politics of multilateral development banks. The project was launched at a conference on Aid Transparency at Oxford University in March of 2010.  If you want to learn more about the project or read blog posts from current and former students who are working on the project, click here. After a year of 'research leave' Tierney is back in the basement of Morton Hall earning his keep in the classroom.