SDI: 2011 Student Profiles




The following Ph.D. candidates participated in the 2011 Summer Doctoral Institute.

Ceren Altincekic

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Ceren Altincekic is a Ph.D. candidate in the political science department at the University of Colorado, Boulder, specializing in social policies in developing countries. Her dissertation analyzes the different dynamics of public social expenditures in the context of electoral autocracies and resource-rich states. In addition, she focuses on the Middle Eastern region to reveal the potential effects of Islamic economic practices on social redistribution. The current events in the Middle East feed into her dissertation rather nicely: If the states and its institutions in the Middle East implemented social nets protecting the labor force, would we still see widespread riots for democratization?


Research Project:
The Diaspora Investment Interest Survey: Turkey
The aim of this project is to conduct an opinion survey on Turkish-Americans to determine their interest in investing in their home country. Research on diaspora investment is growing fast but we still do not know enough about the motivations of investors in choosing their country of origin. This survey will directly ask their primary goals to Turkish-Americans and reveal the potential financial, emotional, social-status, and political motivations in establishing business relationships with Turkey.

Faculty Mentor: Liesl Riddle

Brodie Boland

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Brodie, currently a doctoral student in Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University, is a former President of AIESEC International and consultant for McKinsey & Company. As President of AIESEC International, he led the development of a five-year vision and plan for AIESEC globally, which has since been achieved. Brodie's team also started the initiative to expand AIESEC's operations to the Middle East and Central Asia. As a consultant for McKinsey & Company, he worked with organizations in the public and private sectors on issues ranging from long-term nuclear power generation to petroleum production efficiency. He is currently researching how large-scale, sustainable change occurs in complex systems through the collaborations of business, government, and civil society institutions. Brodie has traveled to over 40 countries, is an avid rock climber, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of Calgary.


Research Project:
Not Just Laggards; SMEs as a Vanguard for Ecological Sustainability
The role of SMEs in ecological sustainability has been a largely ignored area of study. The research that does exist often focuses on the difficulty in regulating SMEs, their prevalence in developing nations and gray markets, and their particular concentration in highly polluting industries. Such research frames SMEs as problems to be solved in the progress towards ecological sustainability. However, the lack of certain types of institutional pressures, increased organizational flexibility, innovative practices, and other factors may allow SMEs to innovate more in the unproven market for ecologically sustainable technologies (e.g., solar power, biofuels, organic products). This study will identify whether SMEs do play this vanguard role in developing ecologically sustainable technologies through examining US patent data.

Faculty Mentor: Jorge Rivera

Diane Caceres

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Diane Alleva Cáceres is a PhD student in the Program of Science, Technology, and International Affairs in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech. She received her B.A. in Economics and M.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. She brings 20 years of international trade, investment and economic development experience having worked with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars' Asia Program, the World Technology Foundation, the Australian Trade Commission and the U.S. Agency for International Development's Center for Trade and Investment Services covering North Africa and the Middle East based in Washington, D.C. She also established an international trade and investment consulting practice, Market Access International, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Alleva Cáceres currently serves as part-time Associate Director of the European Union Center of Excellence at Georgia Tech. "Manfred Worner Seminar for German-American Understanding," and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her recent work examines networked polities at the sub-national level in bioscience.

Research Project:
Institutional and Industrial Change: The Case of Clean Technologies in Japan, France and Brazil
Clean technology is defined by both the goals of reducing pollution and conserving energy and by the various technologies designed to achieve these goals, from alternative energy such as solar and wind power to recycling to water management. How do firms, varying levels of government and non-governmental organizations coalesce or not to share knowledge, learn and commercialize these new technologies? What are the institutions and governance mechanisms that impact the innovation process in the clean technology industry, particularly bio-energy? How have they changed over time? This paper is exploratory and the researchers will address these questions with an eye towards solving its main puzzle: Why do states with similar levels of economic development engage in different systems of innovation?

The authors will use a qualitative, longitudinal, comparative approach towards examining these questions and have tentatively selected two developed countries and one emerging country - France, Japan, and Brazil - all of which engage in different ways in R&D, commercialization, and innovation policies and regulations that are impacting the emergence of a new industry in clean technology. However, each country is comprised of very different state, industry and firm structures and has developed different strategies, policies and mechanisms enabling them to reach their current levels of innovation. Therefore, the causal mechanisms explaining these outcomes are different in each country. Given the breadth of this research project, the authors will limit themselves to analyzing industrial trends, leading firm strategies, government policies and key decisions over the last 10 years to produce a broad comparison of structures, mechanisms, decisions and outcomes. Future research will delve more deeply into an analysis of causal variables and testing of hypotheses generated by this exploratory project.

Faculty Mentor: Llewelyn Hughes

Jocelyn Leitzinger

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Jocelyn Leitzinger is a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in the Department of Management and Human Resources. Her research focuses on the emergence of clean technology industries and the development of the wind energy market. Jocelyn's past work has examined the importance of information and learning in the diffusion of wind energy technologies, as well as the role that social movements may play in the process. Jocelyn received BS degrees in Marketing and Advertising from the University of Florida. She went on to complete a Masters in International Business at the same institution. Before pursuing doctoral studies, Jocelyn worked as a marketing communication and strategy consultant, completing projects in the fields of economic development, healthcare, and nonprofit management.

Research Project:
Multiple Paths to the Same Destination: Social Movements and the Emergence of Clean Industries
This study builds a theoretical framework for categorizing the evolution of environmental social movements as they interact with the political institutional structures particular to each nation. Using the corporatist and statist constructs developed by Jepperson (2002) to categorize nation types, the framework depicts the typical path taken by social movements in engaging the public, government, and business in discourse on environmentally relevant issues. The scope of this study is narrowed to focus on the paths of action that social movement actors take that either directly or indirectly facilitate the emergence of new industries and how these paths differ across countries.

Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Spencer


Cameron Mackenzie

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Cameron MacKenzie is a Ph.D. candidate in the OU School of Industrial Engineering currently exploring how industry preparedness decisions such as keeping inventory and using alternate transportation routes or multiple suppliers can be numerically evaluated using interdependency models. This research thrust developed as a result of the research team's work on the economic consequences of closing an inland waterway port. Prior to OU, Cameron earned an M.S. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, where he specialized in decision and risk analysis. Other degrees include an M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University, and a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.A. in History from Indiana-Purdue University at Ft. Wayne. Cameron was a Senior Associate with Washington, D.C. consulting firm The Cohen Group and spent a summer with the think-tank RAND designing a model to evaluate border security technologies.

Research Project:
International Economic Impacts of Supply Chain Disruptions

My project explores the international economic ramifications of major disasters such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. If companies lose business because of disruptive events, how do these losses impact the national economies in which these companies operate? These research questions require modeling the economic interdependencies among different countries and understanding modern global supply chains. I will seek to answer whether supply shortages impact a company operating in the United States differently from one that operates in another country. Finally, companies that face the risk of supply chain disruptions can prepare for these disruptions by maintaining inventory and sourcing from multiple suppliers. My research will quantify the international impacts of these company decisions.

Faculty Mentor: Joost Santos

Aldo Ponce

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Aldo F. Ponce is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Houston. He has recently published articles on the piquetero social movement, the relationship between civil rights and foreign direct investment, and the effects of low party system institutionalization on legislative party discipline. His current projects focus on Latin American legislatures, political parties, and judicial politics in Latin America.


Research Project:
Local Protests, Privatization, and Foreign Direct Investment: The Peruvian Case
Societal protests have been escalating in Peru since former President Alberto Fujimori renounced and fled the country in 2000. A considerable number of protests emerged at the local level, specifically to either oppose privatization processes or make concrete demands on firms in the countryside. Protests were especially frequent in the mining sector, which has grown more dramatically in Peru than in most of the region. As a result of these societal protests, several privatization processes were postponed or cancelled. Likewise, several international firms had to stop their operations. In our project, we will investigate the relationship between the presence of private investment and the emergence of societal protests in Peru. In other words, we aim at answering the following research question: what is the relationship between the operation of foreign capital and territorialized protests in Peru? More specifically, we will analyze the effect of two factors on the emergence of societal protest: 1) the overall impact of private capital; and 2) the type of economic activity (since different economic activities can entail different benefits and costs for the locals). Click here to access the current working paper, which will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association.


Faculty Mentor: Cynthia McClintock


Divya Rajan

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Divya is a doctoral student in Public Policy at Duke university. Her research interests lie in the direction of examining political, economic and health outcomes in low and middle-income countries, especially vis-à-vis ethnic heterogeneity and violence. Her research interests then include investigation of the opportunities and constraints for collective action around class and ethnic lines that may in turn have an impact on intra-state inter-group conflict in a country on the path of increasing market openness.


Research Project:
The Maoist Insurgency in India: Can we blame Liberalization, International Business and Industrialization?
Is there a relationship between economic liberalization policy and Maoist violence in India? This project will look at the link between industrial development, foreign direct investment and Maoist violence in India's post-reform period. Are the Maoists opposed only to international businesses or are they mobilizing against both national and state-owned enterprises? In addition to statistically testing the link between development activity and political violence in post reform India, this paper will explore the causal mechanisms through which developmental activities might induce violence. Specifically, we seek to understand whether new development projects facilitate insurgency by providing an important source of revenues for insurgents to finance the rebellion, or if the expansion of mining and the establishment of special economic zones have created a constituency of Maoist supporters among the poor low caste and tribal groups dispossessed and displaced by neoliberal development.

Faculty Mentor: Emmanuel Teitelbaum

Rumela Sen

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Rumela Sen is a PhD student in the Department of Government, Cornell University. She received her Masters degrees in Political Science from Villanova University, PA and in International Relations from Jadavpur University, India. Prior to her doctoral studies, she has taught political science as a full-time faculty in an undergraduate college in University of Calcutta. Her current research interest includes effectiveness of strategies of coercion and accommodation in counterinsurgency, the causes of insurgent victory, micro-dynamics of insurgency and counterinsurgency, insurgent organization and conflict resolution. Her other research interests include role of information and communication technology in increasing transparency, accountability and participation in domestic and international institutions. Off work, Rumela is active in a leadership role in community affairs in residential campuses of Cornell University.


Research Project:
The Maoist Insurgency in India: Can we blame Liberalization, International Business and Industrialization?
As India struts on the world stage with near double digit economic growth, a radical left (Maoist) insurgency spreads across two-thirds of her hinterland. Though the insurgents claim liberalization, globalization and industrialization as its primary enemies, serious analysis has tested if there is indeed any correlation between spread of insurgency and adoption of these policies.This project seeks to examine if liberalization, industrialization and foreign direct investment increases the likelihood of rural insurgency in India. In addition to statistically testing the link between development activity and Maoist violence, this paper will also explore the causal mechanisms through which developmental activities might induce violence. Specifically, we seek to examine if developmental activities contribute to likelihood of violence by creating a grievance constituency (as Maoists claim) or if industrialization is providing insurgents new sources of revenue that enables them to finance the rebellion.

Faculty Mentor: Emmanuel Teitelbaum

Marketa Sonkova

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Marketa Sonkova is a doctoral student at Boston University in the School of Management's Strategy & Innovation department. She has a B.A. in Business Administration and an MBA from the University of Iowa, with strong interdisciplinary training in Finance and Strategy. She is a native of the Czech Republic, but grew up in Iowa City as the daughter of two academics. Her professional background includes five years spent in the financial services industry, where she gained first-hand insights about the operation of multinational enterprises in the region of Central & Eastern Europe. The experience motivates her research interests. She speaks Czech, German, English and some Russian.


Research Project:
Executive Staffing, Strategy and Institutions in Multinational Corporations
Our research project investigates the connection between corporate strategy, host country institutions and staffing strategies for top management in the subsidiaries of multinational firms. In particular, we analyze how the severity of agency problems affects the choice to appoint parent country, host country or third country nationals at executive positions and how this choice is affected by the institutional environment in the host country. We focus our research on the banking industry because both the theoretical and empirical literature on (international) banking has emphasized the risk that agency and information problems affect performance. In particular, foreign-owned banks face a trade-off between the need for local "soft" information on their clients and the creation of information asymmetries between the principal (bank headquarters) and the agent (a foreign subsidiary). This trade-off is more severe for certain bank strategies, and presumably it is less problematic in host countries with institutions that promote transparency. A key objective of our study is to provide insight into the way in which banks manage the trade-off through executive staffing.

Faculty Mentor: Hein Bogaard