Director, Student Programs
Instructor, Department of Political Science
PhD, Political Science, University of Iowa
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Dr. Jonathan Ring was born and raised in Rapid City, SD. Since high school, he has been slowly moving east, earning degrees and experience as a researcher and teacher along the way. He earned his B.A. from the University of South Dakota (2007), and M.A. (2010) and Ph.D. (2014) from the University of Iowa. He was a postdoctoral research fellow and lecturer at the University of Michigan from 2014 – 2106 and an assistant professor at Cleveland State University in the 2016/17 academic year.
His academic interests are in international relations, comparative politics, and formal models. His research addresses norm diffusion, the process by which ideas and policies are spread from one country to another. His current work focuses on various human rights policy areas such as personal integrity rights protections, quotas for women’s political representation, and LGBTQ anti-discrimination laws. In each of these areas, the world has recently witnessed dramatic changes in policy adoption suggesting rapidly changing global norms. Yet, policy implementation has been uneven, with some states professing support for human rights norms without leading to real change. Dr. Ring’s research deals with these issues by developing and applying theoretical and empirical mathematical models. He has used agent-based modeling to explore the processes of norm diffusion under a variety of assumptions about countries’ motivations for expressing support for norms they do not intend to follow. He also has contributed to the empirical understanding of human rights by addressing measurement problems associated with translating textual information into ordinal and numeric indexes of human rights practices.
Dr. Ring is also a committed educator who has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate political science courses and supervised student research. He is currently working with coauthors on a book project Gaming the System, which provides instructors with games to teach core lessons of American politics. His courses have included international relations, comparative politics, foreign policy, conflict processes, transnational activism, human rights, global governance, and norm diffusion.