Schar School of Policy and Government
Aaron Stuvland received his PhD in political science from George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government in December 2021. He took subfield exams in comparative politics and international relations with coursework focusing on regime transitions (both democratization and democratic backsliding), the dynamics of authoritarian regimes, and obstacles to effective representation in complex societies.
His dissertation research explores when and why parties "talk like populists"--or use populist ideas, concepts, and frames to appeal to voters. To answer this question, he analyzed speeches and manifestos over the last 20 years in Austria, France, Germany, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S. For this research, he developed his own text-based measurement of populism and validated it using two recent elite surveys. His dissertation committee included the following scholars from the Schar School: Mariely Lopez-Santana (chair), Jennifer N. Victor, and Delton T. Daigle.
Stuvland's research interests include: populism/extremism, parties and party systems, religion and politics, text analysis, and political science pedagogy. He teaches several courses at the Schar School including: Introduction to American Government, Democratic Theory, and Introduction to Comparative Politics.
His work has been published on a variety of topics in PS: Political Science and Politics, Journal of Church and State, Journal of Political Science Education, and Comparative Sociology.