US Centre staff members at an event

Undergraduate Research Assistantships

Encouraging interdisciplinary research collaborations between academics and undergraduate students

In Michaelmas 2017, the Centre launched the US Centre Undergraduate Research Assistantship program as a means of encouraging US-related interdisciplinary research collaborations between academics and undergraduate students at LSE.

The program was an opportunity for students to involve themselves directly in internationally-oriented scholarship on America’s changing role in the world. Collaborating over the course of an academic year, undergraduate students were paired with academics who required assistance in collecting or processing new data, gathering archival resources, writing-up a blog article, or conducting library searches.

Read the donor report of the successes of the programme here.

The 2017-18 program was generously funded by LSE alumnus Stefan Guetter (Msc Accounting and Finance 1995, and Executive Summer School 2010). 

"My gift is supporting the provision of internships for undergraduate students, enabling them to work with faculty on professional research programmes that emanate from the Centre. I thought it a very good idea as it provides a different academic challenge than would otherwise be undertaken in undergraduate study. Separately I thought it made a lot of sense to support something that is having a close look at US relations from a European perspective; obviously this is highly topical at the moment."

- Mr Guetter outlined his motivation for donating to the programme on page 21 of LSE's Impact Magazine.


 For information on the 2018 programme please click here.

2017-18 Research Projects

1. A Return to Mercantilism

Faculty: James Morrison, International Relations

This project attempts to rethink mercantilism using the political and economic work of John Locke, to assess that theory in light of modern developments in political economy, and to explain the return to mercantilism (particularly in the United States) today. This will be either a set of articles or a small book project.

Research Assistant: Olivia Horn, 3rd Year International Relations student 

2. US State-Level Partisanship and Political Blogging

Faculty: Peter Trubowitz, International Relations

While political polarization is not new, the 2016 presidential election brought this phenomenon into sharp relief. Previous studies have used Twitter and other social media sources, as well as broadcast and online news media, to examine partisanship, but to date there have been no comprehensive studies of partisanship at the US state-level, which have closely examined commentary in the form of political blogs. 

This project aims to explore the connection between US state-level partisanship and political blogging. Broadcast and online media at the national level have become very polarized in recent years – but is this the case with state-based commentary as well? How is state-based partisan commentary linked to partisanship in the states? In order to achieve a large enough sample to draw conclusions about partisanship, this project will use a web census of all state-level political commentary blogs across the US. Alongside this, the project will also involve a survey questionnaire and text-mining. The project output will be a series of blog articles and potentially a peer-reviewed publication.

Research Assistants:James Sanders, 3rd Year Government and History student
Gabriel Chua, 3rd Year Economics student  

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Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash



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