Bryan Garsten
Assistant Professor of Political Science
8 Prospect Place, Room 109
Phone: 436-3696

Bryan Garsten received his Ph.D. from the Government Department at Harvard University, and taught at Williams College before coming to Yale. He writes about the history of political thought and contemporary political theory, with a special interest in the themes of persuasion and rhetoric, political representation and judgment, and religion. His first book, Saving Persuasion: a defense of rhetoric and judgment (Harvard 2006), earned the Thomas J. Wilson Prize from Harvard University Press for the best manuscript in any field submitted by a first-time author. During the current academic year Garsten will teach courses on democratic rhetoric, representation, and the history of modern political thought.

Philip S. Gorski
Professor of Sociology;
Director of the Center for Comparative Research

Phillip Gorski received his B.A. from Harvard University and his PhD from UC Berkeley. He is the author of The Disciplinary Revolution: Calvinism and the Rise of the State in Early Modern Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2003) and co-editor of Max Weber’s Economy and Society: A Critical Companion (Stanford University Press, 2005). The principal focus of his research is on religion and politics in comparative and historical perspective. Current projects include an edited volume entitled “Bourdieusian Theory and Historical Analysis”, a book manuscript entitled “Religious America? Secular Europe?” and papers on post-secularism, religious nationalism, and critical realism.

Sigrun Kahl
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Sociology
Ph.D., Humboldt University (Berlin, Germany), 2006
Office: Rosenkranz Hall # 405
Phone:  203-432-0280

Sigrun Kahl studies how long-term comparative historical factors such as religion shape current policies and institutions for addressing, among other things, poverty, unemployment, education, and abortion. Among courses she teaches are Welfare States Across Nations, Religion and Politics, and Historical and Archival Methods. She is currently completing two book manuscripts. Just Deserts: The Moral Economy of Welfare in Europe and the United States analyzes the last resort safety net (“welfare”) in Europe and the United States. It argues that the rights and responsibilities of the poor change over time, and differ cross-nationally, depending on the deservingness of the poor: Societies relieve poverty with welfare if they consider poverty fate, and they correct the poor with work if they view poverty as the fault of the poor. The book traces how such moral judgments become public policy, from national politicians’ deliberations to local caseworkers’ everyday adjudication of “just deserts.” Poverty and Eternity: How Religion Shapes Assistance to the Poor, from Early Church to Modern Welfare State investigates where these striking cross-national variations in deservingness come from. It argues that societies’ responses to poverty depend on their dominant religious legacies. What modern governments do to save the poor from a life in deprivation depends on what early modern Catholics, Calvinists, and Lutherans believed about who was saved in the afterlife. A third project, Church Space, State Space: A Comparative-Historical Explanation of Nonprofit Sector Variations in Europe, Australia, and the United States, explores the origins of the boundaries between state and non-state public provision in education, healthcare, and social services.

Publications: 2009: “Religious Doctrines and Poor Relief: A Different Causal Pathway,” In Kees van Kersbergen and Philip Manow, eds. Religion, Class Coalitions, and Welfare State Regimes. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 267-295. 2005: “The Religious Roots of Modern Poverty Policy: Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed Protestant Traditions Compared.” European Journal of Sociology. 46 (1): 91-126. 2003: Social Assistance in Germany. With Willem Adema and Donald Gray. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Junior Fellows

bejanTeresa Bejan is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Yale specializing in political theory and the history of political thought.  She holds degrees from the Universities of Chicago and Cambridge, and during the 2010-2011 academic year she returned to Cambridge as a Fox Fellow at Sidney Sussex College. Her principal research interests lie in the political and religious thought of early modern England and America, particularly concerning issues of religious toleration, civility, and civic education. She has published articles in the Oxford Review of Education and History of European Ideas, and her essay on the educational thought of Thomas Hobbes is forthcoming in Ideas of Education: Philosophical and Political Perspectives from Plato to the 19th century (Routledge). She is a founding member of the editorial board for the The Art of Theory, an online journal of political philosophy, and is currently finishing work on her dissertation, “Mere Civility: Practicing Toleration in 17th c. England and New England”.


degeCarmen Dege is a PhD student in Political Science with a specific focus on political theory and comparative politics. She graduated from Freie Universität Berlin in 2009 with a degree in Political Science and Psychology, and completed the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago in 2010 with a thesis on the history, politics and ethics of Zionism. Carmen is particularly interested in understanding the beginnings of the philosophy of the other in 18th and 19th century Europe and the extent to which it has provoked different “ethical turns” in French and German contemporary political philosophy.


dromiShai Dromi is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology. His research interests include the sociology of morality, comparative-historical sociology, transnational movements, the sociology of religion, and cultural trauma. His dissertation studies the ways 19th Century religious and nationalist movements gave rise to a field of transnational humanitarian activism. In addition, Shai has previously studied how cultural trauma and moral boundaries intersect in the context of contemporary Israeli politics, and how individuals make sense of their moral efficacy in daily encounters with abject poverty.

hartleyJohn Hartley is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at Yale University.  He also holds a B.A. in International Relations from UC Davis (honors and special recognition) and an M.A. in Iranian History (distinction) from the University of Isfahan, Iran. John’s analytical interests are in religion, culture and politics, religio-secular relations, conservative interfaith relations, globalization, secularization, and social theory.  Prior to coming to Yale, John had studied, researched, or worked in Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.  His foreign language training is in Persian, Turkish, French and Spanish.At Isfahan, John did archival and oral historical research on socio-cultural change in the Isfahan Bazaar during the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.  His work gave special attention to the interpenetration of religious and secular fields in the commercial system. At Yale, John’s dissertation tentatively titled “Religious Exclusivists taking Inclusive Action” comparatively analyzes recent transnational relations between conservative Muslims and Christians in the US, Middle East and Southeast Asia. John uses mixed methods of historical event, narrative, survey and social network analysis to explore the interaction between theological belief, social orientation and politics in the public action of religious leaders.John’s other projects at Yale investigate the political communication of Iranian presidents at the United Nations, symbolic boundary formation in the international community, the limits of tolerance, and the role of regional “experts” in public diplomacy and discourse.  John is also affiliated with the Yale Center for Comparative Research, the Yale Center for Faith & Culture and the Yale Council on Middle East Studies. 

jurkevicsAnna Jurkevics is a Ph.D. student at the Yale department of political science, where she is focusing on political theory. Her research follows in the tradition of critical theory and explores themes in political and legal theory as they inform current debates on territorial jurisdictions and the politics of borders. Prior to Yale, Anna received a B.A. in German and Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania.


loncarSamuel Loncar is a first year Philosophical Theology PhD student in Religious Studies. His research focuses on modern theology and philosophy, particularly in the post-Kantian tradition. Interested in the theological and philosophical foundations of modernity, his political concerns center on the philosophical coherence of modern institutions, like the secular state, and how or whether their perceived legitimacy is related to the decline of metaphysics in modernity.


William MacMillan is a graduate student in sociology. His Research Interests include the intersection of religion, culture, and politics; faith and globalization; the sociology of knowledge; social theory; the philosophy of social science; and comparative-historical sociology.


Angelika Schlanger is a third-year Phd student in the Political Science Department and the Student Coordinator for the Religion and Politics Colloquium. She received her BA at the University of Pennsylvania, with university and departmental honors in French and Intellectual History, and an MA in Political Science at Columbia University. At Penn, she did original archival research on the pre-revolutionary debate on the "Jewish Question" in France. Her current research seeks to explain the variation in the extent to which Western European states accommodate the religious rights and needs of Muslim and other religious minorities. She is also exploring how European states “manage” religion through the requirement of formal recognition and the normative implications of this practice. Her work intersects the subfields of political theory and comparative politics.


stablerSamuel Stabler is second-year graduate student in Sociology. He received his BA at The University of Washington, with honors. Sam’s interests revolve around the secularization debates, with an emphasis on religion in the United States. His work strives to connect the contours of policy regimes and institutions directed at religion, to broader patterns in religious, political, and moral practice across time.


steinmetzAlicia Steinmetz is a PhD student in the Political Science Department at Yale, where she specializes in political theory and comparative politics. She is interested in the theological origins of modern social and political phenomena, including the dynamics of religious change, conservative movements, secularization, and the use of religion in public reason. She holds a BA in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College.


turkmenGulay Turkmen is a Sociology Ph.D. candidate. Her research interests include sociology of religion, comparative-historical sociology, nations/nationalism and cultural trauma and collective memory in the context of national identity formation. She is specifically interested in the ways religious and nationalist identities intersect, intertwine and compete with each other, especially in the Middle East. Currently she's doing research on religion as a supra-national identity. Her dissertation proposal is titled "United in Religion, Divided by Ethnicity: An Analysis of the Role of Supranational Religious Identities in Ethno-Nationalist Conflicts.


wagnerLuke Wagner is a PhD student in Sociology at Yale. He has a B.A. in Political and Social Thought and an M.A. in Religious Studies, both from the University of Virginia. His academic interests are in political sociology, religion and politics, secularism, political economy, and cultural identity. His research is on the forms and formations of democratic cultures and the role of religion in political transitions. His research is focused geographically on South Asia, with an emphasis on the Himalayan region and Nepal, in particular.