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Political Science


Our faculty are experts in their research areas as well as excellent teachers. Our staff provides the support for faculty and student excellence.  Here is a list of faculty publications, a summary of Faculty areas of expertise and faculty office hours.

Faculty picture

Dr. Kasianenko and Dr. Vieira discussing the invasion of Ukraine


Faculty Bios

Ph.D. The Claremont Graduate University

Office: McKee Fisk 213B

Phone: 559.278.8396


Areas of expertise: Constitutional law; political philosophy; American politics and government.

Dr. Abosch's teaching and research specialties are in political theory, especially Thomas Hobbes, and Constitutional Law. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science and Political Research Quarterly.

Ph.D. Purdue University

Office: McKee Fisk 213

Phone: 559.278.2779


Dr. Becker teaches courses in political theory and environmental politics.  His research work focuses on the connection between theory and environmental activism.

He is a co-editor of the journal Green Theory and Praxis.

Dr. Naomi Bick

Ph.D. Western Michigan University

Office: McKee Fisk 209

Phone: 559.278.7957


Dr. Bick's CV

Areas of expertise:

Public policy; environmental policy; urban politics; American politics and government; political institutions; women and politics; federalism

Dr. Bick is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. She received her Ph.D. from Western Michigan University in 2021. Her research focuses on public policy, with an emphasis in climate change, urban politics, and local political institutions. Her current research projects explore municipal climate change governance, using a mixed methods approach (regressions, surveys, interviews, and case studies).

Dr. Bick’s teaching interests include public policy, American government, state and local politics, and environmental policy at the undergraduate and MPA level.  

Dr. Lisa Bryant

Chair of the Department

Ph.D. University of New Mexico

Office: McKee Fisk 244A

Phone: 559.278.7612


Dr. Bryant's CV

Link to professional website

Areas of expertise: American politics and government; political behavior; public opinion; campaigns and elections; election sciences; race / ethnicity; gender and politics; public policy; political methods.

Dr. Bryant's research focuses on primarily on election administration, public opinion and political behavior, campaigns and elections, and gender and representation.

Her work has been published in several journals including American Politics Research, Political Behavior, Electoral Studies, and Publius: The Journal of Federalism. Her article, “Working Mothers Represent: How Children Affect the Legislative Agenda of Women in Congress”, was awarded the Hahn-Sigelman Prize for best article published in American Politics Research in 2019 and she was invited to share this research with the U.S. Congress’s Moms in the House Caucus in 2020.  Dr. Bryant was awarded the Provost’s Promising New Faculty Award in 2019.

In addition to academic teaching and research, she has experience in the field of public opinion survey research and data analysis in both the public and private sectors and has worked with several non-partisan organizations, such as Pew Charitable Trusts and the Democracy Fund, to better understand voter behavior and increase voter registration and turnout. (She also emphasizes the importance of voter registration in her classes and on campus and encourages everyone to register.) 

Dr. Bryant currently serves on the national research advisory board for the Electronic Registration Information Center. 



Dr. Bryant teaches a variety of courses, including: intro to American government, political behavior/public opinion, campaigns and elections, political psychology, state and local politics, public policy, and research methods. 


Selected Publications:

Bryant, Lisa A., Michael J. Hanmer, Alauna C. Safarpour, and Jared McDonald. 2020. "The Power of the State: How Postcards from the State Increased Registration and Turnout in Pennsylvania." Political Behavior. 44: 535-549.

Bryant, Lisa A. 2020. "Seeing is Believing: An Experiment on Absentee Ballots and Voter Confidence." American Politics Research.

Mann, Christopher B. and Lisa A. Bryant. 2019. "If You Ask, They Will Come (to Register and Vote): Field Experiments with State Election Agencies on Encouraging Voter Registration." Electoral Studies: Online first (3/20/19). Co-Author: Christopher B. Mann.

Bryant, Lisa A. 2019. "Field Experiments: Design and Implementation Challenges using a Minority Voter Mobilization Study." Sage Research Methods Cases: Politics & International Relations. Sage Publishing. London, UK. doi:10.4135/9781526475282

Bryant, Lisa A. and Julia Marin Hellwege. 2019. "Working Mothers Represent: How Children Affect the Legislative Agenda of Women in Congress." American Politics Research, 47(3), 447–470.

Atkeson, Lonna Rae, Alex N. Adams, Lisa A. Bryant, Luciana Zilberman, and Kyle L. Saunders. 2011. "Considering Mixed Mode Surveys for Questions in Political Behavior: Using the Internet and Mail to Get Quality Data at Reasonable Costs". Political Behavior 33(1):161-178.

Atkeson, Lonna Rae, Lisa A. Bryant, Thad E. Hall, Kyle Saunders, and R. Michael Alvarez. 2010. "A New Barrier to Participation: Heterogeneous Application of Voter Identification Policies". Electoral Studies 29(1): 66-73.

Maestas, Cherie D., Lonna Rae Atkeson, Thomas Croom, and Lisa A. Bryant. 2008. "Shifting the Blame: Federalism, Causal Attribution and Public Assignment of Blame Following Hurricane Katrina." Publius 38(4): 609-632.

Ph.D. Colorado State University

Office: McKee Fisk 210

Phone: 559.278.2865


Areas of expertise: Public administration; public policy; American politics and government; state and local government.

Dr. Kurt Cline teaches courses in public administration at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  These topics include:  public personnel, public budgeting, public management, organizational behavior, and program evaluation. 

He received his PhD in Political Science from Colorado State University in 2003.  Dr. Cline’s areas of during his doctoral study were American politics; Public policy and administration; and Environmental politics and policy.  His research interests include both intergovernmental relations and environmental policy.  Previous research has examined the level of cooperation in the intergovernmental management of environmental policy.  Dr. Cline’s current research studies factors impacting the design of air quality policy in California’s Central Valley.

Dr. Cline's CV.

 Dr. Jeffrey Cummins

Ph.D. The Claremont Graduate University

Office: McKee Fisk 214

Phone: 559.278.6693


Areas of expertise: State politics and government; local government; national politics; public policy.

Dr. Jeff Cummins received his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 2003. He previously worked for the California State Auditor and the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) in Sacramento before coming to Fresno State in 2005. His teaching and research areas focus on American politics and public policy, including state politics and policy, public budgeting, and the presidency. He is author of Boom and Bust: The Politics of the California Budget (Berkeley Public Policy Press) and co-author of California: The Politics of Diversity (Cengage Learning). His research has been published in American Politics Research, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, and Congress and the Presidency, among other journals.

Dr. Cummins's CV.

Recent Publications

2024. California: The Politics of Diversity, 11th Edition. With David G. Lawrence. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. 

2023. "Are Initiatives an End-Run Around the Legislative Process? Divided Government and Voter Support for California Initiatives," State Politics and Policy Quarterly

2020. "Interest Group and Political Party Influence on Growth in State Spending and Debt" with Thomas T. Holyoke. American Politics Research. 48(3): 455 - 466.

2018. "Fiscal Accountability in Gubernatorial Elections" with Thomas T. Holyoke.  State Politics & Policy Quarterly 18(4): 395 - 416.

2015.  Boom and Bust: The Politics of the California Budget.  Berkeley: Berkeley Public Policy Press.

2015.  California: The Politics of Diversity, 8th Edition.  With David G. Lawrence.  Boston: Cengage Learning.

2013.  "The Effects of Legislative Term Limits on State Fiscal Conditions."  American Politics Research 41(3): 417-442.

2012.  "An Empirical Analysis of California Budget Gridlock." State Politics & Policy Quarterly. 12(1): 23-42

2011. "Party Control, Policy Reforms, and the Impact on Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S. States." Social Science Quarterly 92(1): 246-267.

2011.  “Lobbying Strategies, Campaign Contributions, and the Impact on Indian Gaming in California.”  In The New Politics of Indian Gaming eds. Tracy A. Skopec and Kenneth N. Hansen.  Las Vegas: University of Nevada Press.

2010.  “The Partisan Considerations of the President’s Agenda.”  Polity 42(July): 398 - 422.

2010.  “State of the Union Addresses and the President’s Legislative Success.”  Congress and the Presidency 37(May): 176 – 199.

2009.  “Crime and Issue Voting in Gubernatorial Elections.”  Social Science Quarterly 90(September): 632 – 651.


boom and bust

 Ken Hansen

Ph.D. Texas Tech University

Office: McKee Fisk 218

Phone: 559.278.2260


Areas of expertise: Public administration; public policy; international relations; defense / security policy; American indian law and tribal self-governance.

Kenneth N. Hansen, Ph.D. (pre-ICWA adoptee), is a Full Professor of Political Science, and also teaches courses for the American Indian Studies program. He was hired at Fresno State in 2005 following stops at the University of Arkansas, Southeastern Louisiana University, and the University of North Florida. His Ph.D. in Political Science (with a History minor) is from Texas Tech University. His bachelor's and master's degrees are from Cal State Fullerton. He teaches core Public Administration, American Government, and topics on American Indian politics and tribal governance. Dr. Hansen serves as tribal staff for the Chalon Indian Nation located in Bakersfield, California. He also serves on the board of CAL TERRA, a Native-serving emergency response nonprofit organization headquartered in Fresno. He is the author or coauthor of two books and more than 18 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. Dr. Hansen was a founding member and the first Chair of the Fresno State American Indian Faculty and Staff Association (AIFSA). He also served as the Co-Coordinator of the Africana and American Indian Studies program from 2007-2010.

Dr. Hansen's CV.


  Dr. Thomas Holyoke

Ph.D. The George Washington University

Office: McKee Fisk 216

Phone: 559.278.7580


Dr. Holyoke's CV

Areas of expertise: American politics and government; interest groups and lobbying; Congress; western water policy and politics.

A specialist in American politics, Dr. Holyoke teaches courses and conducts research on Congress, interest groups and social movements, and western water politics. He has published over forty research articles in prominent peer-reviewed journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Research, Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and the American Journal of Education. His first book, Competitive Interests , was published in the fall of 2011 by Georgetown University Press. To learn more about the book, listen to this podcast of an interview with Dr. Holyoke for New Books in Political Science.  His second book Interest Groups and Lobbying was published in 2014 by Westview Press (the second edition was just published by Routledge).  He is also the author of the new book The Ethical Lobbyist published by Georgetown University Press.

He is published a new book titled Water Politics: The Fragmentation of American Western Water Policy which is now available.

Dr. Holyoke has also worked for several interest groups in the past, as well as the United States Senate and the New York State Senate. In 2008 he received the Provost's Promising New Faculty Award and in 2021 received the Provost's University Service Award.

Professional website:

Holyoke Water Politics

All books are currently available for purchase.

Interest groups and lobbying

 Dr. Nataliia Kasianenko

Ph.D. University of Nevada, Reno

Office: McKee Fisk 206

Phone: 559.278.1195


Dr. Kasianenko's CV

Areas of expertise: Comparative politics; international relations; Russian and East European politics; nationalism and identity.

Dr. Kasianenko is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Fresno. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research focuses on Comparative Politics and International Relations, with an emphasis on nationalism, identity politics, and human rights in the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Dr. Kasianenko teaches courses in Modern Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Politics of Russia and East-Central Europe, Global Political Economy, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Model United Nations.

Selected Publications:

Kasianenko, Nataliia. 2023. “Does Globalization Hurt Liberal Democracy? An Application of Saliency Theory to the Globalization-Democracy Nexus.” In Nicholas A. Seltzer and Steven L. Wilson (eds.), Handbook on Democracy and Security. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Kasianenko, Nataliia. 2022. “Measuring Nationalist Sentiments in East-Central Europe: A Cross-National Study.” Ethnopolitics, 21(4): 352-380.

Kasianenko, Nataliia. 2021. “Statelessness and Governance in the Absence of Recognition: The Case of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic.’” In Tendayi Bloom and Lindsey N. Kingston (eds.), Statelessness, Governance, and the Problem of Citizenship. Manchester University Press. 

Kasianenko, Nataliia. 2021. “The Trojan Media: Narrative Framing on Russian Television in the Occupied Donbas.” In Olga Bertelsen (ed.), Russian Active Measures: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. Ibidem-Verlag/Columbia University Press.

Kasianenko, Nataliia. 2021. “Presidential Rhetoric and Nationalism. The Cases of Russia and Ukraine.” Nationalities Papers 49(1): 108-125.

Kasianenko, Nataliia. 2019. “Internal Legitimacy and Governance in the Absence of Recognition: The Cases of the Donetsk and Luhansk ‘People’s Republics.’” The Ideology and Politics Journal, 1 (11): 3-32. 


Dr. Melanie H. Ram

Ph.D. The George Washington University

Office: McKee Fisk 212

Phone: 559.278.5324


Dr. Ram (Ph.D. George Washington University) studies international organizations (IOs), European integration, Central and Eastern Europe, international development, and human rights. Her work is published in Global Governance, Journal of International Organizations Studies, Comparative European Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, Europe-Asia Studies, Ethnopolitics, and JEMIE (Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe), as well as other peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. Her most recent research explores the cooperation between intergovernmental organizations on overlapping issues, both on a global scale on specific issues and as part of regional cooperation in Southeastern Europe. In prior research, she examined IO agenda-setting, the EU’s impact on domestic policies in Central and Eastern Europe, NGO advocacy, and the impact of migration on minority representation. A large body of her published work has focused on post-communist Central and Eastern Europe and Roma inclusion and discrimination in the context of IO policy and EU membership conditionality.

A recipient of the Fulbright Schuman European Union Affairs US Scholar Award (2022-2023) for research on regional international organizations, Dr. Ram’s previous research has been supported by the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), the Wilson Center, the Cosmos Club Foundation, and the George Washington University Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, among others.

Dr. Ram has been recognized by Fresno State with the College of Social Sciences Faculty Service Award (2020) and the Provost's Promising New Faculty Award (2011). She has been actively involved in the university at all levels, including as Department Chair for 4 years, International Relations MA Program Director (4 years), Director of the College of Social Sciences Honors Program (2 years), and co-Chair of the College International Education Committee. She has served as an elected Senator on the Academic Senate for over a decade, an elected university-wide Senator on the Senate Executive Committee (8+ years), and has been appointed or elected to more than two dozen other university committees and task forces.

Dr. Ram teaches undergraduate courses on International Politics (PLSI 120), International Law and Organization (PLSI 126), the Politics of Foreign Aid (PLSI 122), and International Human RIghts (PLSI 127). During her time at Fresno State, Dr. Ram has also taught at universities in Ghana and Spain as a Visiting Professor through the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC).  Prior to her current position, she served as an advisor and coordinator on U.S. foreign aid policy in the Washington, DC office of JICA, the Government of Japan’s main development assistance agency.  

 Dr. Ram's CV.

Select peer-reviewed publications:

European Union Roma Policy: Under Construction” in Research Handbook on Minority Politics in the European Union, eds. Tove H. Malloy and Balázs Vizi, 250-270. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022.

Regime Complexity and a Galvanizing Idea: Development Goals and Intergovernmental Organization Coordination,” Journal of International Organizations Studies 10, no. 2 (2019): 33-53.

"International Organization Autonomy and Issue Emergence: The World Bank’s Roma Inclusion Agenda,Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, 23, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 2017): 565 - 582.

"International Policy and Roma Education in Europe: Essential Inputs or Centralized Distractions?"  Inclusion and Education Rights of Roma Children.  Special Issue of the Alberta Journal of Education Research, 61, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 465 - 483. 

"Europeanized Hypocrisy: Roma Inclusion and Exclusion in Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe, 13, no. 3 (2014): 15-44.

"European Integration, Migration and Representation: The Case of Roma in France," Ethnopolitics 13, no. 3 (May 2013): 203 - 224.

"Legacies of EU Conditionality: Explaining Post-Accession Adherence to Pre-Accession Rules on Roma."
 Europe-Asia Studies 64, no. 7(2012): 1191-1218.

"Lost in Transition?  Europeanization and the Roma."  L'Europe en Formation 364(Summer 2012): 417-434.

"Roma Advocacy and EU Conditionality: Not One without the Other?" Comparative European Politics 9 (March 2011): 217 - 241.

"Interests, Norms and Advocacy: Explaining the Emergence of the Roma onto the EU's Agenda." Ethnopolitics 9, no. 2 (June 2010).

"Romania: From Laggard to Leader?"  In Minority Rights in Central and Eastern Europe, ed. Bernd Rechel (New York: Routledge 2009).

"The Roma" in Minority Rights in Central and Eastern Europe, ed. Bernd Rechel (New York: Routledge 2009) (with P. Vermeersch).

"Anti-Discrimination Policy and the Roma: Assessing the Impact of EU Enlargement" published in Croatian Yearbook of European Law and Policy 3(November 2007): 491-514.

"Democratization Through European Integration: The Case of Minority Rights in the Czech Republic and Romania" published in Studies in Comparative International Development 38(Summer 2003): 28 - 56.

"Minority Relations in Multiethnic Societies: Assessing the European Union Factor in Romania."  Romanian Journal of Society and Politics 1, no. 2, special issue, "Romania and the European Union" (Nov. 2001):63-90.


 Dr. Everett A. Vieira III

Ph.D. Temple University

Office: McKee Fisk 213A

Phone: 559.278.7908


Dr. Vieira's CV

Areas of expertise: Comparative politics; international relations; terrorism; political violence; civil war; Latin America; human rights; democratization; qualitative methods; politics of memory.

Dr. Vieira specializes in comparative politics, international relations, and methodology. His teaching and research interests focus on terrorism and political violence, civil war, human rights, democratization, politics of memory, and Latin America. His research agenda prioritizes questions related to variation in violence during civil wars (particularly amongst sub-state actors), political violence as political communication, and the effects of violence on state capacity.

Before joining the faculty at Fresno State, Everett taught at California State University, Stanislaus, Modesto Junior College, and Temple University. He was a Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program Scholar at The California State University from 2016-8, an Affiliated Researcher at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos where he carried out extensive fieldwork from 2013-7, and a Future Faculty Fellow at Temple University from 2011-3.

Everett earned MA/PhD degrees in Political Science from Temple University, and is proud to be made in the CSU after earning BA/MA degrees in Political Science from San Diego State University. His work has been published in PS: Political Science & Politics, The Latin Americanist, PURIQ, and the University of Texas Press.


Office: Industrial Technology 268

Phone: 559.278.7956


Professor Wallace teaches American government and runs the department's moot court program.


Faculty 2022

Faculty at graduation in 2022 (above) and 2019 (below)

Political science faculty