Jaclyn Bunch
Associate Professor

About Jaclyn Bunch

Jaclyn Bunch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at the University of South Alabama. Her research primarily falls within the fields of American Politics and Public Policy, with particular interests in state and local relations, federalism, hierarchical dilemmas, political media, motivation and reasoning. On the undergraduate level, Jaclyn has taught courses in American national government, media and politics, as well as state and local politics and policies. Her graduate courses include intergovernmental relations, public budgeting, state and local politics, organization and behavior, media and public relations, as well as health policy concentration courses. 

Much of Jaclyn's current research agenda regards shifts of authority and political power within the American political system. Stemming from her dissertation, entitled, "The Struggle for Power: Institutions, Autonomy, and Exchanges in a Federal System" her work focuses upon the various ways in which authority is gained and lost and the potential impacts these shifts have on political and policy outcomes. By examining various institutions using distinct pairings of governmental tiers, Jaclyn is able to assess both the augmentation and limitations placed on autonomy through federalism. Utilizing the vehicles of elections and coattails, funding and devolution, home rule, and diffusion, she explores and highlights the various institutional factors that promote autonomy and the acquisition of power as well as those that limit and leave tiers of government depleted of capacity to govern efficiently. Much of the research is founded on original data, and utilizes diverse methodological tools.

Jaclyn earned her Ph.D. in May of 2014 from Florida State University, where she served as the LeRoy Collins Fellow. In this role, Jaclyn was tasked with a host of projects including policy analysis, compilation of extensive data collection, coding, modeling, and assessment of state issues ranging from finance to institutional conflict and cooperation. She has contributed to several ongoing projects and has presented her research and findings to the institute and board of directors as well as at numerous political science and public administration national conferences.