SDI: 2010 Student Profiles




The following Ph.D. candidates participated in the 2010 Summer Doctoral Institute.

Eamon Aloyo

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Eamon Aloyo is a Ph.D. candidate in the political science department at the University of Colorado, Boulder, specializing in human rights and global justice. His dissertation explores the institutional responsibilities for human rights under non-ideal conditions. In it, he makes contributions to the literatures on human rights, democratic theory, international law, and global poverty. Besides his academic work, he works for the think tank One Earth Future Foundation (www.oneearthfuture.org), which promotes peace through improving global governance. As a co-founder of a non-profit charity bike ride (www.dream-ride.org) that raises money for organizations promoting human rights, he co-organizes and participates in the annual ride. As a member of the board of directors of the innovative news organization, the Common Language Project (www.clpmag.org), he serves as the current vice president.

Research Project:
Humanizing Interventions: Sovereignty, Institutions, and the Responsibility for Development
Under what conditions can state sovereignty be violated, to what degree, by whom, and which institutions have the responsibility to protect human rights? This basic question explores the limits of state sovereignty and asks why, if ever, state sovereignty can or should be violated to protect human rights. The closely connected second question is what sort of intervention (food aid, military invasion, sanctions, general governmental financial support, etc.) is fitting for the violations in question? Whether states are unwilling or unable to guarantee human rights should make a difference in which responses are legitimate. This under theorized distinction links with the further question of which institutions should be responsible for various types of interventions. Because different institutions have different mandates and powers, and thus different types and degrees of legitimacy, the reason for the intervention should guide us toward the institution or set of institutions that are most appropriate.

Faculty Mentor: Dinah Shelton


Nidia Banuelos

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Nidia Bañuelos is currently a second-year PhD student in Sociology at the University of Chicago. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Public Policy with Honors in Education from Stanford University. Her research interests are broadly in the application of microsociological theory to organizational-level problems—including interaction between interlocks, knowledge-transfer between people and firms, the role of identity in decision-making processes, and the ethical development of both individuals and professions.

Research Project:
Initial Public Offerings by Start-up Firms: An Analysis of the Influence of National and Global Innovation Systems
This paper will address the effect of national and global systems of innovation on initial public offering (IPO) activity by start-up firms from the U.S., China, Brazil, and India. Existing research suggests that start-ups can now avail of capital and talent from innovation hot spots that are as varied as Helsinki, Singapore and Shanghai. Our study examines the outcome of such behavior by start-up firms and evaluates whether and when firms proceed to IPOs by analyzing the effects of the start-up’s knowledge sourcing behavior from the global and key national systems of innovation as well as the moderator effects of the nature of innovation at the start-up’s location. We posit that the valuation of the IPO is influenced by the knowledge and innovation characteristics of the start-up firm and its location.


Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Spencer and Anu Phene


Syed Hussain

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Syed Muhammad Hussain is a PhD candidate in University of Rochester’s Economics Department. He is originally from Pakistan where he earned his BSc (Hons) in Economics from the Lahore University of Management Sciences with high honors. His research interests include macro-labor and international economics. He is currently working on evaluating the costs and benefits to developing countries of bringing their nationals back who have been working abroad.

Research Project:
Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: The Case of Inward FDI into the US
The aim of this project is to build a theoretical model which can explain certain stylized facts about firms in USA receiving FDI. In particular, in this project we want to construct a model which is capable of explaining the change in employment of firms receiving FDI. It has been observed that firms that receive FDI from industrial countries experience an increase in employment following the investment whereas those firms which receive investment from developing countries experience a decrease in employment.


Faculty Mentor: Wenjie Chen


Stephen Meyers

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Stephen Meyers is currently a PhD student in Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to returning to graduate school, Stephen worked five years for an international NGO initiating physical and socio-economic rehabilitation projects benefitting landmine survivors and other persons with disabilities in Central America and Africa. Currently, Stephen studies the ways in which local, grassroots disability associations interpret international disability rights language in relation to their organizational histories and the identities of their members. Stephen earned his BA from Loyola University in New Orleans and has received Masters degrees from Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Research Project:
Firm and Disability NGO Interactions for Labor Market Integration
With the recent passage of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which enumerates the “right to employment” and specifies “labor market integration” in article 27, disability and development organizations have a new impetus to engage with firms for the purpose of creating employment opportunities for their members and beneficiaries. In order to address some of the more egregious social concerns of today require that NGOs have gone beyond their traditional repertoire of strategies (philanthropy and public sector/government advocacy) to begin collaborating with for-profit organizations. Equally important, firms have been shown to be concerned not only with profit, but also in increasing their social legitimacy and maintaining positive reputations within their fields. This research project aims at shedding light on the nature of benefits each party seeks within disability NGO-firm partnerships and try to establish the geographic scope of the partnerships.

Faculty Mentor: Rafel Lucea



Mark Thorum

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Mark Thorum is a PhD candidate at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University- School of Public and International Affairs. His research interests include international political economy with a focus on global finance, financial regulatory reform, and comparative politics. Mark received his Masters degree from the Johns Hopkins University – School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a D.E.A. from the Institute of Political Studies, Paris, France Prior to entering the PhD program at Virginia Tech, Mark worked as an international banker in the Netherlands, and New York.

Research Project:
In Search of a Governance Model for the International Capital Markets
The over-arching theme of this project is to examine potential governance structures for the international capital markets. As the financial crisis of 2008 has amply illustrated, the absence of a regime for regulating international capital markets contributes to the potential for serious negative externalities for both the financial and real economies. This project is motivated by several related questions including how financial governance impacts the development and performance of the international capital markets. How do national and multilateral financial regulators respond to the challenges of systemic risk, yet create an institutional environment to foster financial innovation and vibrant capital markets? Would international rule harmonization better enable financial regulators to supervise the growing number of financial institutions with international scope and systemic importance?

Faculty Mentor: Srividya Jandhyala


Trevor Young-Hyman

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Trevor Young-Hyman is currently a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his bachelor’s degree in International Business and French Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, and an MA in International Politics from the University of Denver. Currently, he studies local economic development, industrial policy, and participatory governance, with an empirical focus on Turkey and the European Union. He is also interested in organization theory, social network theory, global value chains, and the sociology of development.


Research Project:
MNE Investment and Knowledge Spillover in the Global Textile and Apparel Industries: A Cross-National Empirical Analysis
How do differences in national-level variables like legal institutions, structures of political authority, and organization of peak associations impact the knowledge spillover effects of multi-national investment? MNE attraction constitutes a core component of most contemporary national development strategies, but case studies point to both positive and negative outcomes. When positive, beyond job creation, MNE investment spurs domestic innovation and entrepreneurship through the processes of vertical and horizontal knowledge spillover. While research on knowledge spillover, to date, has focused primarily on sub-national characteristics like social networks and socio-economic characteristics, this paper will offer a cross-national perspective that examines previously understudied national-level institutional variables. As empirical material, we will rely on a cross-national dataset of quality control accreditation in the global textile and apparel industries.


Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Spencer