Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy (Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2008) is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Houston. He is also the founding director of the University of Houston’s Center for International and Comparative Studies, a research associate at the Hobby Center for Public Policy, and a contributing analyst for Oxford Analytica. Kennedy’s work has spanned a number of areas in comparative politics and international relations, primarily dealing with stability and change in political institutions.

Kennedy’s work has appeared in several top peer-reviewed journals, including: The American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, European Union Politics and Foreign Policy Analysis. He and his co-authors received the Heinz I. Eulau Award for best article published in the American Political Science Review in 2010. He was awarded a Fulbright research fellowship for his work on identity in Moldova, an NSF travel grant for the APSA methods meeting, and was twice honored for the best paper presented at the International Studies Association – Midwest conference. Additionally, he and his partner were the 2000 National Parliamentary Debate Association national champions.

Kennedy’s current work encompasses a number of areas in comparative politics and international relations. His current working projects explain patterns of democratization since 1820 using Bayesian spatial analysis and agent-based models, explore the sources of oil nationalization and the (purported) relationship between oil and institutional weakness, elucidate the institutions that either support or undermine leadership survival in authoritarian regimes using formal models and survival analysis, improve on predictions of state failure using advanced machine learning techniques, analyze “soft balancing” theory through historical analysis of Moldova’s strategic shift in 2003, and explore new techniques of data reduction for data with skewed classes (among other topics, see CV).

Kennedy has written three book chapters on Turkey’s “new” foreign policy, Moldova’s reaction to the “color revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, and the effects of Chinese investment in Kazakhstan’s oil markets. He also regularly writes analyses on Moldovan politics and the Transnistria conflict for Oxford Analytica.