About Me


I am a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Southern Illinois University. My anticipated graduation is spring 2021. I am the founder of @PerishorPublish and serve on the executive board.

I hold the 2019-2021 Illinois Diversifying Higher Education Faculty fellowship, as well as the 2019-2020 Adam Smith fellowship at Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Previously, I held the 2018-2019 Humane Studies Fellowship sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies.

My research agenda focuses on the the intersection of education and labor market trends in initiating and shaping the outcomes of nonviolent movements in authoritarian settings. While my work is primarily in civil conflict and comparative political economy, I also engage in scholarship on regime-sponsored sexual violence in nonviolent contexts, and analysis of racial discrepancies in conference attendance and hiring rates in political science.

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 posits 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.

I have extensive teaching experience in 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 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.

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.