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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Kimberly Gouz Guiler

M.A. in Social Sciences, The University of Chicago; B.A. in Political Science and B.S. in Journalism, The University of Florida

Kimberly Gouz Guiler


Kimberly Guiler is a PhD candidate, specializing in comparative politics and methodology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research draws on experimental methods, open-ended interviews, and large-N surveys to analyze the conditions under which voters in the broader Middle East elect anti-regime parties in competitive elections. In particular, why did secular voters in Turkey and Tunisia help carry Islamists into power only to later demand they step down? 

Guiler's dissertation theorizes that pro-democracy voters support anti-regime parties to check authoritarian elites and institutions. In situations where incumbents begin to monopolize power, anti-system parties can "credibly commit" to governing more equitably. In other words, voters from other marginalized groups believe that anti-regime parties—who share their sense of exclusion and have paid a costly price for supporting anti-regime principles—will produce policies that are more widely representative once in power. Hence, Islamists in Turkey and Tunisia have successfully courted votes from swing voters because they have paid a price in years spent in prison, in exile, and as part of banned political movements. In these respects, the electorate's attitudes are strategic and democratic. Importantly, when voters subsequently turn away from Islamist governments and other anti-regime parties, they are often responding to incumbents who have begun to exhibit authoritarian tendencies.

Guiler's research has been supported by the Boren Fellowship, the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS), the University of Texas, and the University of Florida. In addition, she was the recipient of a national Clifford C. Clogg Scholarship for political methodology, a Critical Language Scholarship for Turkish, and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships for both Turkish and Arabic. She holds an M.A. in social sciences with a focus in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in political science and B.S. in journalism and communications from the University of Florida.


Middle East politics, Islamist movements, ethnic and gender pollitics, political parties, religion and politics
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