Program Highlights

Department Welcomes New Faculty Members

The Department of Political Science is very pleased to announce the hiring of new faculty members who will join the NIU community in August 2009.

Michael Buehler is presently a postdoctoral fellow in Modern Southeast Asian Studies at Columbia University. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science in May 2008. His Master of Science degree is from the same institution. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Zurich in 2002. The title of Michael’s doctoral dissertation was "Changing Patterns of Local Elite Competition in Indonesia: Democratization or Oligarchic Restructuring?" Michael is a specialist in Southeast Asian politics. His scholarly and teaching interests and experience include democracy, decentralization, politics and Islam, local politics, governance, all focused on Indonesia. Through positions with German Technical Cooperation, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank, Michael has three years of field experience in Indonesia. Michael has published four journal articles, two book chapters, and a number of other works, such as commissioned analyses, book reviews, and news articles. He has presented several conference papers. Michael has worked at multiple think tanks and consulting firms and served as a research fellow at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies. He speaks English, German, and Bahasa Indonesian fluently and has a command of Spanish, French, and Dutch.

Kheang Un is presently a visiting research fellow at the University of Louisville’s Center for Asian Democracy. He earned his Ph. D. in Political Science and Southeast Asian Studies from Northern Illinois University in 2005. His Master of Arts in Political Science and Southeast Asian Studies is from the same institution. He received his Bachelor of Arts with distinction in Political Science from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 1996. The title of his doctoral dissertation is “Democratization without Consolidation: The Case of Cambodia, 1993-2004.” Kheang is a specialist in Southeast Asian politics. His teaching and research interests include democracy, democratization, human rights, non-governmental organizations, and political economy focusing on Cambodia and the developing world. Kheang has published by himself and in collaboration with other scholars a number of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and commissioned analyses. He has consulted on issues of political economy, governance reform and democracy for the World Bank, the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom, AusAid, UNDP/the Cambodia Development and Resource Institute, and the United States Department of State. He has presented a number of papers at conferences and workshops. He also serves as research advisor to the Cambodia Development Resource Institute and as a Board Member of Build Cambodia, a US based non-profitable organization. He is an affiliate with the Center for Advanced Studies, Cambodia where he serves as In-Country Coordinator for Tracking Development, a multi-disciplinary and multi-country project based at Leiden University, examining the trajectory of development in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Through this project Kheang is developing comparative analysis of the politics and political economy of Uganda and Cambodia. He speaks English, Khmer and Tea Chiv (a dialect spoken by ethnic Chinese throughout Southeast Asia) fluently and has some command of Thai and French.

Scot Schraufnagel is presently an associate professor at the University of Central Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at Florida State University in May 2002. His Master of Arts in Political Science is from the University of Central Florida and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science is from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The title of Scot's doctoral dissertation was "Measuring Incivility in the U.S. Congress and its Policy Implications." Scot is a specialist in American Government and Politics. His scholarly and teaching interests focus on Congress and the Presidency. He possesses considerable teaching experience and has been recognized with a university-wide teaching award. Scot has published 11 peer-reviewed articles, one book chapter, and several other small works, including encyclopedia entries and essays on teaching. He has presented numerous papers at scholarly conferences. Among the courses that Scot has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels are American National Government, American Public Policy, Congress and Legislative Processes, Metropolitan Politics, Political Parties and Processes, Scope and Methods of Political Science, State Government & Public Policy, Voting and Elections, Public Policy Analysis, and Seminar in American Politics.

Vlad Kravtsov joins the Department as a visiting faculty member for the 2009-2010 academic year.  He is presently a doctoral candidate in Political Science at The Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University.  The title of Vlad's doctoral dissertation is "National Purpose and HIV/AIDS Politics: Russia and South Africa in Comparative Perspective."  He received a Master of Global Governance from the University of Delaware in 2003.  He also earned his Ph.D. in History at Russian State University for the Humanities in May 2000.  From 1999 through 2001, Vlad participated in a number of projects sponsored by Russian National Committee for the United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Moscow Bureau of UNESCO.  His scholarly and teaching interests include international organization and cooperation, global health politics, policy transfer, identity in international relations theory, and the impact of popular culture on nation-building, especially in the Russian Federation and South Africa.  Vlad's forthcoming article, "Antiretroviral Treatment and AIDS Entrepreneurs in South Africa: Domestic Opposition to an International Norm (1999-2004)," will appear in the July issue of Global Society.  He has presented a number of papers at the annual conventions of the International Studies Association.  Vlad has extensive teaching training and experience at Syracuse University.  Among the courses that he has previously taught are Political Argument and Reasoning, the United Nations, Civil Society, and the Private Sector in Global Governance.  This fall he will teach Introduction to International Relations and Politics of Russia at the undergraduate level and a seminar in Global Governance and Health Policy at the graduate level.  He will teach additional courses in his areas of specialization during the spring semester.