Political Science Faculty Mentors

Lowell S. Gustafson, Ph.D.

University of Virginia, 1984
Professor of Political Science
Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences
Office: SAC 105; Phone: 610-519-4737
E-mail: lowell.gustafson@villanova.edu

Dr. Gustafson teaches courses on Latin American Politics, International Political Economy, Theories of War and Peace, Precolumbian Politics, and what has become known as Big History.  He has written and edited The Sovereignty Dispute Over the Falkland/Malvinas Islands (Oxford University Press), The Religious Challenge to the State (Temple University Press), Economic Development under Democratic Regimes (Praeger Publishers), Thucydides' Theory of International Relations: A Lasting Possession (Louisiana State University Press), Ancient Maya Gender Identity and Relations, co-edited with Amelia M. Trevelyan (Greenwood Press), Economic Performance Under Democratic Regimes in Latin America in the Twenty-First Century, co-edited with Satya Pattnayak.

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John Johannes, Ph.D.

Harvard University, 1970
Professor of Political Science
Office: TOL 103; Phone: 610-519-4521
E-mail: john.johannes@villanova.edu

Dr. Johannes has taught courses on American national government and politics since 1970, with special emphasis on the U.S. Congress, U.S. Presidency, elections, and political reform in America. He is the author of Policy Innovation in Congress, To Serve the People: Congress and Constituency Service, and over two dozen articles in political science journals. Dr. Johannes was co-editor and a contributing author to Money, Elections, and Democracy: Reforming Congressional Campaign Finance. He has served on the editorial boards of two journals, the governing board of the Midwest Political Science Association, and a State of Wisconsin Advisory Committee on Campaign Finance Reform.

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Matthew Kerbel, Ph.D.

University of Michigan, 1987
Professor of Political Science
Office: SAC 253; Phone: 610-519-4553
E-mail: matthew.kerbel@villanova.edu

Dr. Kerbel studies media politics. His interest in the influence of mass communication on the political system began in the early 1980s, when he worked as a television newswriter for Public Broadcasting in New York City and hosted assorted radio news programs in upstate NewYork. He is the author, co-author or editor of eight books, entitled: Party On!: The Evolution of Political Parties from Hamilton to Jefferson to the Information Age (2012); American Government: Your Voice, Your Future (fourth edition, 2011); Netroots: Online Progressives and the Transformation of American Politics (2009); Get This Party Started (2006); If It Bleeds, It Leads: An Anatomy of Television News (2000).  His research has led him to interviewreporters, producers and executives at CNN and ABC News; consider the influence of the Internet on political engagement; explore details of the content of television news coverage; andwrestle with the connection between reporting and cynicism toward politics and politicians. Dr.Kerbel is currently studying the political influence of the Internet.

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Markus Kreuzer, Ph.D.

Columbia University, 1995
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Office: SAC 257; Phone: 610-519-5300
E-mail: markus.kreuzer@villanova.edu

Dr. Markus Kreuzer was educated at the University of British Columbia, the London School of Economics and Columbia University. He teaches courses on European politics, electoral politics, social movements and democratization. His research focuses on democratic consolidation of interwar Europe and present-day Eastern Europe. He analyzes how the constitutional design of countries affects the development of political parties and the ability of citizens to advance their political concerns. He has a special interest in interdisciplinary work between history, sociology and political science. His work on interwar Europe has appeared in several journals and will be the subject of a forthcoming book, Institutions and Innovation: Voters, Politicians and Interest Groups in the Consolidation of Democracy. France and Germany, 1870-1939 (Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press). He has started a new project on "Party Building and Democratization in the Baltic States." He has received funding from the Soros foundation to conduct elite surveys in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the coming year. Prior to coming to Villanova, Dr. Kreuzer taught at McGill University, Darthmouth College, Barnard College and Columbia University.

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Robert Langran, Ph.D.

Bryn Mawr College, 1965
Professor of Political Science
Office: SAC 265; Phone: 610-519-4734
E-mail: robert.langran@villanova.edu

Dr. Langran is primarily concerned with the United States Supreme Court and the role it has played in our constitutional development. He has done research on Supreme Court judicial biographies and is interested in the United States Congress, the role of women in our political system, mass media law and the interrelationship of government and business. He has published several books and numerous articles, and has received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

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Olukunle Owolabi, Ph.D.

Notre Dame Univeristy, 2012
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Office: SAC 258; Phone: 610.519.4727
Email: olukunle.owolabi@villanova

Research Interests:
Dr Owolabi teaches graduate and undergraduate level courses addressing politics, society, and governance in developing regions, with a primary focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.  His research examines the long-term consequences of European colonization for social development and postcolonial democratization.  Using statistical methods and comparative historical analysis, he examines the factors that contributed to surprisingly high levels of social development and democracy in the West Indies (the non-Hispanic Caribbean region) vis-à-vis Sub-Saharan Africa following independence.  Identifying forced settlement and occupation as the modal forms of colonization in each region, Owolabi's research suggests that forced settlement colonies generally achieved higher levels of social development and post-colonial democracy (vis-à-vis colonies of occupation) as a result of political and administrative reforms introduced following slave emancipation, as former slave populations were legally reconstituted as subjects or citizens of the metropolitan state during the mid-nineteenth century.  In colonies of occupation, by contrast, European colonizers typically maintained distinct institutions to govern indigenous vs. non-indigenous populations until after the Second World War; the legacy of a bifurcated and poorly integrated state impeded social development during the colonial era and democratization after independence. 

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Colleen Sheehan, Ph.D.

Claremont Graduate University, 1986
Associate Professor of Political Science
Office: SAC 254; Phone: 610-519-7421
E-mail: colleen.sheehan@villanova.edu

Colleen A. Sheehan is Professor of Political Science at Villanova University, Director of the Ryan Center for Free Institutions and the Public Good, and has served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She is author of James Madison and the Spirit of Republican Self-Government (Cambridge University Press, 2009), co-editor of Friends of the Constitution: Writings of the Other Federalists 1787-1788, and author of numerous articles on the American Founding and eighteenth century political and moral thought which have appeared in journals such the William and Mary Quarterly, American Political Science Review, Review of Politics, and Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal.  She is currently completing a book on Madison’s Voyage to the World of the Classics

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Thomas W. Smith, Ph.D.

University of Notre Dame, 1993
Director, University Honors Program
Associate Professor, Political Science
Office: SAC 304; Phone: 610-519-7300
E-mail: thomas.w.smith@villanova.edu

Dr. Smith’s teaching interests center focus on the history of political thought in the west (with aspecial emphasis on classical, medieval, and early modern political philosophy) and religion andpolitics. His current research takes issue with libertarian and post-modern accounts of humanlife that argue that reason is not capable of ordering complex human actions in a way that works towards the common good. Smith seeks a more expansive conception of political life thatdefends the dignity of politics, and acknowledges its twofold task: ordering complex systems ofhuman action through practical wisdom, and moderating the tendency of those attracted to public life to work for their own honor rather than the common good.

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A. Maria Toyoda, Ph.D.

Georgetown University, 1998
Associate Professor, Chair, Political Science
Office: SAC 202; Phone: 610-519-5969
E-mail: amaria.toyoda@villanova.edu

Maria’s research and writing focus on the causal mechanisms of financial liberalization; the politics of development aid; the mobilization of postal savings and government financial institutions for policy financing in Japan; and banking and regulatory reform in Japan. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on East Asian politics; international relations; international and comparative political economy; and development aid.  Her most recent research has been published as articles in the American Journal of Political Science, Review of Financial Studies and Asian Perspectives; and as chapters in edited book volumes published by Cambridge University Press, Stanford University Press, and University of Toronto Press. In 2006-7 she was a Council on Foreign Relations/Hitachi International Affairs Fellow. During 2008 and 2009, she was a nonresident visiting researcher at the International Monetary Fund.  In 2010 she was a Japan Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Prior to joining Villanova in 2003, Maria was a research scholar at Stanford University’s Institute for International Studies (now the Freeman-Spogli Institute) and the Asia/Pacific Research Center from 1997-2003. She received her A.B. in Human Biology with Honors in Values, Technology, Science and Society from Stanford University. While a graduate student, Maria was a Monbusho (Japanese Ministry of Education) Scholar, researching her dissertation at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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