Ph.D. Candidates’ Paper Wins Award

Rebecca Schiel and Gary Smith, both Ph.D. Candidates in the Security Studies Program, presented a paper at the annual meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology in July 2015. The paper, “Leadership Psychology and Regime Repressive Behavior: Using Leadership Trait Analysis to Determine Leadership Characteristics Associated with Regime Use of Repression,” explored how the psychological traits of autocratic leaders increased the use of political terror within a state. The authors find that not only does psychology matter, but that these traits interact with certain types of autocratic regimes to increase or decrease the use of political terror. In the Summer of 2016, the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) announced that the paper was given the Roberta Sigel Award for the best paper presented by Early Career Scholars at annual scientific meetings.

Rebecca Schiel, Ph.D. Candidate and research assistant with the Intelligence Community’s Center for Academic Excellence, has research interests which include State Capacity, State Building, Coups d’etat, and Mutinies. Rebecca’s research has been presented at annual meetings of the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association and she has a co-authored piece forthcoming in Studies in Comparative International Development.

Gary Smith, Ph.D. Candidate, is involved with the Early Career Committee (ECC) with the International Society of Political Psychology. Gary has also served as the Mentor Program Coordinator and Professional Development Coordinator. Beginning in July of this year, Gary will begin his role as the Chair-Elect of the ECC. His research interests include the role of elite psychology for explaining foreign policy and state repressive behavior. His research has been presented at the annual meetings of the International Studies Association, the International Society of Political Psychology, and the Southern Political Science Association. His co-authored works on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Political Science have appeared in Politics and PS: Political Science & Politics.

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