Michael Paarlberg

Michael A. Paarlberg, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
827 W. Franklin St.
Room 301


Ph.D., Georgetown University
M.P.P., Georgetown University
B.A., Williams College


Michael Ahn Paarlberg, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Political Science Department at VCU. He specializes in immigration, labor and Latin American politics. He is currently writing a book on transnational elections and diaspora politics in Mexico, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Paarlberg is also an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., and a regular contributor to The Guardian. He has also written for the Washington Post, The New Republic, Slate and other publications. He has appeared on and been interviewed in national and international media including Sky News, U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, WGBH Boston, Pacifica Radio, RSI and Telam. He has also served as an expert witness in legal cases involving Central American migration and security issues. 

Prior to coming to VCU, Dr. Paarlberg was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Immigration. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from Georgetown University.

Personal website

Select Publications

“Transnational Militancy: Diaspora Influence over Electoral Activity in Latin America,” in Comparative Politics, Vol. 49, No. 4, July 2017.

"Competing for the Diaspora's Influence at Home: A Case Study of El Salvador.” Forthcoming in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

“Immigrants and Day Laborers.” In Huerta, Iglesias-Prieto, and Brown, eds. "Contemporary Issues for People of Color: Surviving and Thriving in the U.S. Today: Immigration and Migration" (2016).

"The Human Trafficking of Domestic Workers in the United States." Co-authored with Sameera Hafiz, published by the Institute for Policy Studies and the National Domestic Workers Alliance (2017).

"Unpredictable, Unsustainable: The Impact of Employers’ Scheduling Practices in D.C." Co-authored with Ari Schwartz, Michael Wasser, and Merrit Gillard. Published by D.C. Jobs with Justice and the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute (2015).