Pavel Bacovsky
Ph.D. Candidate • Comparative Politics and American Politics

Major Field: Comparative Politics

Minor Field: American Politics

Research & Teaching Interests: Comparative Politics, Political Psychology, Political Behavior, New Media & Technology in Politics, Sport & Politics, Japanese Politics, Politics of Central and Eastern Europe, American Politics, Networks, International Relations

Dissertation Title: Gaming Alone? The Effects of Videogaming on Sociopolitical Attitudes.

Dissertation Committee: Dr. Jennifer L. Fitzgerald (Chair), Dr. Sarah Wilson Sokhey, Dr. Anand E. Sokhey, Dr. Ethan Scheiner (UC-Davis)

Dissertation Description: I study how activities and interests that are not political in nature shape the political behavior of individuals over time. Specifically, does computer gaming structure the ways in which people engage in politics and society? Are gamers less likely to display prosocial attitudes and are they less interested in socio-political issues as compared to non-gamers? Using a mix of data and methods, including a unique adolescent panel study from Sweden and original survey experiment research, I find that—despite being less interested in sociopolitical issues in general—gamers become much more engaged once the political process directly affects them. As a unified body of work, my dissertation posits that gamers are a distinct issue public with specific policy preferences and patterns of political behavior. More broadly, my dissertation shows that engagement in leisure activities can—and frequently does—shape patterns of people’s political behavior and preferences. My research is important given the current patterns of decreasing political engagement across demographic groups, but especially among the younger people. It illustrates how people otherwise uninterested in politics find the motivation to engage in the civic life of their communities.



Bacovsky, Pavel. 2018. "The Power of Connections: The Study of Influence of Electoral Systems on Economic Development in Japan and South Korea." Czech Journal of Political Science.



  • Hayek Fund for Scholars (Institute for Human Studies at George Mason University), 2018
  • Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship (University of Colorado Boulder), 2019
  • Center to Advance Research and Teaching in the Social Sciences Graduate Student Grant (University of Colorado Boulder), 2018
  • Graduate School Travel Grant (University of Colorado Boulder), 2018
  • United Government of Graduate Students Top Poster Prize (University of Colorado Boulder), 2018
  • United Government of Graduate Students Individual Travel Grant (University of Colorado Boulder), 2018
  • Political Science Department Large Research Grant (University of Colorado Boulder), 2018
  • Political Science Department Travel Grant (University of Colorado Boulder), 2018
  • Political Science Department Small Research Grant (University of Colorado Boulder), 2017
  • Excelentní Studentské Odborné Práce (“Excellent Student Papers”) Award (University of Economics, Prague), 2015