About Me


Hello! I am a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Southern Illinois University with a focus in comparative political economy and contentious politics. My main methodological areas are non-parametric IRT and SEM. I will graduate in spring 2021 and am the founder and serve on the executive board for @PerishorPublish.

I hold the Illinois Diversifying Higher Education Faculty fellowship, as well as the Adam Smith fellowship at Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Previously, I held the Humane Studies Fellowship sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies.

My research interests are currently centered on the the intersection of higher education and labor market trends in the initiation and outcomes of nonviolent protests in authoritarian settings. My dissertation,“Education Bulges: How the Rise of the Middle Underclass Sparked Mass Protest”, examines the emergence and outcomes of skilled labor protests in heavily repressive regimes.  I theorize that post-recession periods preceded by education bulges, sharp increases in domestic higher education attainment, distorts the labor market and can initiate mass protests even within heavily repressive societies. My research finds that regimes which have traditionally served as the primary employer of skilled labor due to underdeveloped private sectors will be at an increased risk of mass protests emerging and succeeding. My job market paper measures protest movement outcomes using Mokken scaling procedures to compare protests on their relative successfulness.

While my work is primarily in civil conflict, I also engage in scholarship on regime-sponsored sexual violence in nonviolent contexts, and racial discrepancies in conference attendance and hiring rates in political science.

I am a TA for ICPSR’s 2020 and 2019 summer program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I previously held the 2017 Garcia Award from the Society for Political Methodology as a ICPSR participant.

My extensive teaching experience covers a variety of institutional and class formats, both internationally and domestically. I served as full-time faculty at City University in Bratislava, Slovakia, as a graduate instructor at Southern Illinois University, and in person and online classes for College of DuPage since 2002.

I have experience teaching a number of courses across the discipline: World Politics, Comparative Politics, Introduction to Statistical Methods, American Government, and Introduction to Political Science.

I bring practitioner experience to the classroom from my  internships with the US State Department in Port au Prince, Haiti and the United Nations Association of the USA in NY, NY. My interest in the role of labor markets in mass political behavior was cultivated by my years of management in the restaurant/hotel industry.

Thank you for visiting my page and please feel free to contact me at turnerk@siu.edu.