Marvin R. McNeese Jr. (Ph.D. 2015)
 Curriculum Vitae
Website: http://mcneese.rice.edu/

Marvin’s research interests include American politics, especially interest group activity across national and subnational political institutions.  His dissertation focuses on the relative advantages provided to policy advocates by political venues—the institutional settings where policy decisions are made.  Building on Baumgartner and Jones’ punctuated equilibrium theory, he tests whether where policy is made has an independent effect on likelihood of policy adoption.  Punctuated equilibrium theory suggests that a change in policy requires an advocate to move decision-making to a new venue that is most advantageous to the advocate’s position. Marvin’s research seeks to explain the venue choices policy advocates make, whether those choices affect policy outcomes, and whether policy consensus among advocates is necessary for advancing policy change.   He tests hypotheses with a re-analysis of Baumgartner et al. (2009) Lobbying and Policy Change data set.  He also collects original data on the issue of hydraulic fracturing for testing his consensus hypothesis, which involved a machine aided content analysis of 20 national and regional newspapers’ coverage of hydraulic fracturing between 2008-2013.  He has taught American politics courses as well as an undergraduate statistics and research design course.  He also maintains an interest in Latin American politics, having researched the Afro-Brazilian Political Movement (for Civil Rights) through his Masters program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dissertation Committee: Robert Stein (Chair), Keith Hamm, John Alford, and Doug Schuler


 Hiroki Kubo. (Ph.D. Expected 2016)
Website: http://hirokikubo.wordpress.com

Hiroki's research interests include comparative political institutions, political parties, electoral systems, and legislative studies, with a regional research specialization in the Asia-Pacific region. His dissertation is entitled “Organizing Parties in Legislatures: How Elections and Policy Positions Shape Intraparty Politics.” Focusing on contemporary party politics in Japan, Australia, and the US, his research project seeks to understand why and how politicians create, organize and maintain legislative parties.

Dissertation Committee: Royce Carroll (Chair), Robert Stein, Lanny Martin, and Steven Lewis


Fanglu Sun (Ph.D. Expected 2016) 
Curriculum Vitae 
Website: www.sunfanglu.com  

Fanglu’s main research interests are in the areas of civil and ethnic conflict, foreign policy analysis, and research methods. She applies quantitative analysis, spatial statistics and formal modeling in her research. Her dissertation, “Divide and Concede: Territorial Autonomy and Ethnic Rebellion,” examines the roles that divisions within minority groups play in determining autonomy granting and its effect on ethnic rebellion. Her current project explores the motivations and constraints of China’s participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations in countries torn by civil wars. She has taught a course on civil wars at Rice University.  

Dissertation Committee: T. Clifton Morgan (Chair), Songying Fang, Brett Ashley Leeds, Songying Fang, and Steven Lewis