Hi! My name is Jordan Duffin Wong and I’m a 4th-year Ph.D student in the Department of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis. I am also a survey research affiliate with the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy.
My dissertation, in its early stages, is called Here Come the Vultures: How Our Politics Shape Death (and what comes after). It explores the relationship between political and religious attitudes, local government, and social spaces reserved for dealing with death (often called a “deathscape”). The argument, in a nutshell, is that variation in those attitudes generates variation where deathscapes go, what they look like, and who maintains them. In addition to an introductory and concluding chapter, it is organized into the following sections:
- Contextualizing Deathscapes, Religion, and Politics lays out the theoretical groundwork for why we should expect these relationships to exist.
- Political Attitudes and Deathscape Preferences utilizes broad survey evidence to illustrate partisan and religious sorting into preferences for different types of deathscapes.
- Citizen-State Encounters with Deathscape Officials leverages both qualitative and quantitative evidence of the relationship between political processes and local political officials associated with deathscapes.
- Deathscapes as Political Geography traces the geospatial relationship between political phenomena and deathscape locations.
I also have a broad research interest in American local government, emphasizing rural and remote spaces. Questions of interest include:
- How do existing theories of the relationship between citizens and government change when one is distant? Insofar as citizens and politicians still have some sort of policy preference/incentive, can they still make sensible decisions without the other?
- What is the theoretical difference between “rurality” and “remoteness”? What implications does this difference have for how we construct the relationship between citizens and government? How might we better operationalize and measure it?
- How does politics change when places depopulate? When primarily rural places empty out, what happens to the few that remain? In the most extreme instances, how does government exist when the population becomes zero? In other words, how do you govern a ghost town?
- Access to broadband internet has transformed the United States, integrating economic and social networks more than ever. However, the development of broadband infrastructure in rural places has been staggered, costly, and uneven. How do those differences in broadband access condition political attitudes and behavior?
- “Land doesn’t vote, but people do.” However, vast swathes of unpopulated land in the United States are under government jurisdiction. How do we think about public land use and administration when no one lives or works there?
Other Fun Stuff
I play fake plastic guitar. Check this out:
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