People at Political Science

David Foster

Graduate Student
Sean Gailmard, Rob Van Houweling, Eric Schickler, Ernesto Dal Bo
Full CV
Academic Subfields
American Politics
Methodology & Formal Theory
Personal Statement

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. My curriculum vitae is available here.

I apply formal theory and quantitative methods to questions about American political institutions. In particular, my dissertation uses formal theory to understand presidential unilateral action. The first chapter, which presents an alternative to the first-mover paradigm, is forthcoming in The Journal of Politics. The third chapter, which examines the role of elite messaging and group power in conditioning political backlash, is conditionally accepted at The Journal of Political Institutions and Political Economy. In the second chapter, still in progress, I explicate the role of bureaucratic agency in conditioning unilateral action. In subsequent empirical work, I intend to examine the connection between unilateral action and lobbying.

I have a secondary interest in the politics of local public goods, especially housing. The first paper of this agenda, coauthored with fellow PhD student Joseph Warren, is forthcoming at The Journal of Theoretical Politics.

Before starting my PhD, I studied economics and government at Hamilton College, graduating summa cum laude in 2010; I then consulted in New York and Washington, DC on securities and antitrust litigation.

Dissertation Committee Chair
Sean Gailmard
Area Specialization
Primary Subfield
American Politics
Methodology & Formal Theory
Academic Advisors
Sean Gailmard
Robert Van Houweling
Eric Schickler
Ernesto Dal Bo