We are excited to officially introduce the newest faculty members to the Department of Political Science. Professor(s) Clare Brock and Kristin Olofsson recently joined the department in August 2023. Professor(s) Iasmin Goes and Daniel Weitzel have been with the department since August 2022.

2023 New Faculty Members 

Clare Brock (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2017) is an Assistant Professor of American Politics and Public Policy. Brock’s research focuses on the policy process, agricultural policy, lobbying, and money in politics. Her book, Farmed Out: Agricultural Lobbying in a Polarized Congress is forthcoming this fall with Oxford University Press, and considers how polarization impacts lobbying behavior and legislative outcomes in the agricultural and food sectors. In addition, current research projects have focused on subjects such as the relationship between punctuated equilibrium theory and partisan polarization, and on the use of social media by school districts to communicate changes to the National School Lunch program during the pandemic. Brock’s work has been published in Interest Groups and Advocacy, Social Science Quarterly, and World Medical & Health Policy. 

Kristin Olofsson (Ph.D., University of Colorado Denver, School of Public Affairs) is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy and Public Policy. Olofsson specializes in environmental and energy policy. She uses comparative research design to focus on the dynamics of policy coalitions and networks of policy actors engaged in policymaking.  She is a former National Science Foundation (NSF) Sustainability Research Networks AirWaterGas Student Research Fellow and an NSF Research Coordination Networks Sustainable Cities Student Fellow. 

She explores differentiation in institutional settings to better understand how the people involved in the policy process shape policy outcomes. Her research questions the rational capabilities of policy actors and questions how decisions are made in contentious politics. Dr. Olofsson often uses survey data to explore political behavior and utilizes network analysis and geospatial modeling. 

2022 New Faculty Members 

Iasmin Goes is an Assistant Professor of Political Science studying the political economy of natural resources, with a focus on how international organizations promote natural resource governance in the Global South. Other topics of interest include sovereign debt, statistical capacity, energy transitions, and economic development broadly defined. 

Between 2020 and 2022, Goes was a Junior Research Fellow at the Carlos III – Juan March Institute in Madrid. Before that, she received a PhD in Government and an MS in Statistics from the University of Texas at Austin, in addition to degrees in Political Science and Latin American Studies from Freie Universität Berlin.  

Daniel Weitzel is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Government at the University of Vienna. Weitzel received his Ph.D. in Government from the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin in 2020 and was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Government at the University of Vienna between 2020-22.  

His research interests focus on comparative politics and quantitative and computational methods. Weitzel uses text as data, Bayesian statistics, and machine learning to study the interaction of political parties and voters in democracies. In his dissertation he examines the determinants and consequences of negative campaigning in multi-party electoral competition in Europe. He is also interested in estimating the prevalence and consequences of variation of political knowledge and information in the mass public and media. 

Weitzel received an M.Sc. in Statistics from the Department of Statistics and Data Science at the University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to UT Austin, he received an M.Sc. in Political Behaviour from the Department of Government of the University of Essex/England and a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the Institute of Political Science at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg/Germany.