The Catholic University of America


Graduate Students

CUA graduate students in Politics are making a strong impact in scholarship, public engagement, and teaching. Their work spans a variety of philosophical and methodological perspectives. Click here to find selected references to their recent work.


Joshua Bowman

PhD Candidate/ABD

Academic Interests: American Politics and Political Theory; Imagination and politics, environmental politics and thought, Thoreau, Augustine, early modern political thought, and religious liberty

Dissertation: "Arcadian Exile: The Imaginative Tension in Henry David Thoreau's Political Thought"

  • Advisor: Dr. Claes Ryn

Curriculum Vitae



Emily Butler

PhD Candidate/ABD

Academic Interests: Intellectual history, epistemology, aesthetics, the imagination and politics, Eastern European history, the history of communism, American political thought







Ben Clark

PhD Candidate/ABD

Academic Interests: Early American legal and political thought, constitutional law, the evolution of the role of Supreme Court in the Marshall Era, theories of federalism

Dissertation: "The Invention of American Nationhood: Judge Joseph Story and the Federal Common Law"

  • Advisors: Dr. Dennis Coyle, Dr. Claes Ryn, Dr. Steve Schneck

Curriculum Vitae


Gregory M. Collins

PhD Candidate/ABD

Academic Interests: Modern political theory, constitutional theory and practice, American Political Thought, American Political Development, political economy, racial and ethnic politics

Dissertation: "The Sphinx of Political Economy: Burke, Commerce, and the Question of Virtue"

Curriculum Vitae





Carol Cooper

PhD Candidate/ABD

Academic Interests:Ancient Political Philosophy; Early Modern Political Thought (Hobbes through Kant); the works of Eric Voegelin; Religion & Politics; Political Ideology; International Political Theory; Consciousness and Personhood

Dissertation: "The State of Nature as the Moral Foundation for Political Society: Kant's Contribution to Contract Theory and its Application to Theories of International Relations"

  • Advisors: Dr. David Walsh, Dr. Claes Ryn, and Dr. Chris Darnton




Anders Edwardsson

PhD Candidate/ABD

Academic Interests: American Government, European Politics, Political Theory


Stan Molchanov

Third Year Graduate Student

Academic Interests: Plato, Thucydides; 19th century Germany-Hegel, Nietzsche; 20th century continental political philosophy; American politics


Enrique Pallares

PhD Candidate

Academic Interests: Political Theory, Contemporary political thought, Continental Philosophy, History of Liberal thought, Literature and Politics, World Politics






Eduardo Schmidt Passos

PhD Candidate/ABD

Academic Interests: The relation between faith, reason, law and political power in contemporary political theory (including the works of Eric Voegelin, Carl Schmitt, Hans Kelsen, Jacob Taubes, Erik Peterson and others).


Daniel Petri

PhD Candidate/ABD

Academic InterestsDeliberative democracy, religion and politics, liberalism, modern and contemporary political theory

Dissertation: "William Connolly’s Agonistic Cosmopolitanism"

  • Advisors: Dr. Stephen Schneck, Dr. Dennis Coyle, Dr. William Barbieri


Shaun Rieley


Graduate Student

Academic Interests: Christian political thought, American political thought, Early Modern political theory, Modernity and its Critics, Science and Politics, Religion and Politics







Luke Sheahan

PhD Candidate/ABD

Academic Interests: Free speech and academic freedom; Constitutional Law, Law and
Politics, American Political Thought, Classical Political Theory, Modern Political Theory, Religion and Politics, Literature and Politics

Dissertation: "State, Community, and Individual: Robert Nisbet and the Freedom of Association in American Constitutionalism"

Advisors: Dr. Claes Ryn, Dr. David Walsh, Dr. Dennis Coyle

Curriculum Vitae



David Sollenberger


PhD Candidate/ABD

Academic Interests: American political thought, Pragmatism, German political thought, poetry and political theory, romanticism and liberalism







Brendan Stern

PhD Candidate/ABD

Academic Interests: Minority Language and Political Culture, Social Movements and Contentious Politics, Political Theory and American Political Thought, Framing

Dissertation: "The Diffusion and Dilemmas of Sacred Rhetoric: A Strategic Interactionist Analysis and Evolution of Absolutist Reasoning"

  • Advisors: Dr. John White, Dr. Chris Darnton, and Dr. Andrew Yeo

Curriculum Vitae