Isabel Williams

Ph.D. Candidate

Isabel is a PhD Candidate on the job market with expertise in American Politics, Political Psychology, Immigration and Refugee Issues, Public Opinion, Political Communication. 

She studies topics in American Politics and Political Psychology, including public opinion and minority public opinion, political psychology, immigration and refugee issues, and political communication. Her research agenda addresses how the securitization and racialization of immigration policy in the United States influences attitudes toward immigration policy among minority populations and among the American public more broadly.

​Her dissertation focuses on elite framing of contemporary refugee policy, particularly as it relates to stereotypes of refugees. In her work, she designs and administers experiments to test the causal impacts of immigration rhetoric on distinct populations: American partisans, American Muslims and Christians, and resettled former refugees. This involved coding immigration rhetoric among political elites, recruiting samples of hard-to-reach populations including American Muslim and refugee participants, and analyzing both survey and experimental data. Overall, her work finds broad support for restrictive refugee policies across sub-populations despite diametrically opposed stereotypes of refugees by opinion leaders. 

She has been involved in several related collaborative projects regarding immigration and refugee policies and public and elite attitudes and behavior. This includes a published article at Social Science Quarterly, co-authored with Dr. Lisa Sanchez, in which they find that beneficial immigration policy making is particularly responsive to the need generated by immigrant population size, regardless of the documentation status of the beneficiary. 

Isabel is the instructor of record for two courses: POL 201 American National Government and POL 388 Immigration and Refugee Politics. 

For more information about Isabel, and to download her CV, please visit her personal website at:


Published Scholarly Work: 

Sanchez, L. M., & Williams, I. (2020). Extending a Hand in Perilous Times: Beneficial Immigration Policy in the Fifty States, 2005–2012. Social Science Quarterly, 101(6), 2257-2271.