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Publications in VIVO

Strayhorn, Josh

Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Dr. Strayhorn specializes in formal theory and the study of political institutions. His research applies game-theoretic models in a variety of contexts, but with particular focus on questions about delegation and accountability within political hierarchies. He focuses particularly on hierarchical relationships within judicial systems, such as between the U.S. Supreme Court and the lower federal courts.


  • game theory, formal theory, judicial politics, courts, judicial hierarchy, US Courts of Appeals, delegation, accountability


selected publications


courses taught

  • PSCI 3225 - Strategy and Politics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2022 / Fall 2023
    Focuses on the rational choice approach to understanding political decision making. Introduces students to the tools and methods of game-theoretic reasoning, and examines the strategic logic of many forms of political decision-making, including voting, lawmaking, and international conflict. Recommended prerequisite: PSCI 1101 or PSCI 2012 or PSCI 2223.
  • PSCI 3271 - Law and Society: Legal Institutions and Human Behavior
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2020
    Examines relationship between human behavior and legal system, looking closely at the voluntary relationship between the citizen and the state, the use of law to balance economic liberty and equality, support for civil liberties, and procedural, distributive, and retributive justice. Recommended prerequisite: PSCI 1101.
  • PSCI 7011 - Seminar: American Politics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Fall 2022
    Core field seminar for students of American politics. Course work emphasizes the diversity of contemporary research on American political history, political institutions, and political behavior.
  • PSCI 7055 - Introductory Game Theory
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2020 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2023
    Develops competence in engaging formal theories of politics and in constructing and solving basic game-theoretic models of political behavior.
  • PSCI 7071 - Seminar: An Introduction to the Rule of Law
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2024
    Introduces students to debates about the role of institutions, particularly but not exclusively legal institutions, in placing limits on the state and fostering the rule of law. What is law? Why do courts exist and what is their role in the state? What institutions are necessary to establish the rule of law? Why are institutions successful in some contexts and not others? Considers these questions by surveying classic and current research from American and comparative politics literatures on topics such as judicial independence, credible commitments, separation of powers and constitutional design.
  • PSCI 7111 - Seminar: American Political Institutions
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Intensive examination of the structure and rules of different political institutions in the United States. Explores both the changing approaches to the study of American political institutions as well as many ofthe major research topics on the presidency, Congress, the judiciary, and the bureaucracy.
  • PSCI 7155 - Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Generalized Linear Models
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2023
    Introduces maximum likelihood estimation and extends the linear model to several "generalized linear models." Provides students with the skills to analyze and understand a broad class of outcome variables and data structures such as dichotomous outcomes, counts, ordered and unordered categorical outcomes and bounded variables. Also examines several special topics such as multilevel models, causal inference and missing data.


Other Profiles