René is Head of Department and Professor in the Department of Government as well as Director, Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis. He is also Co-editor of the British Journal of Political Science. He joined the Department of Government in 2011, having previously held faculty positions at SUNY Stony Brook and Trinity College Dublin.
His main research and teaching areas are political economy, political institutions, formal theory and political methodology. His theoretical interests are in social learning and diffusion, political accountability, strategic communication and cooperation. René's research has been published or is forthcoming in, among others, the American Journal of Political Science, Political Analysis, the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies.
His ongoing research includes projects on electoral competitiveness, the political economy of organizational growth, globalization preferences, and temporal dynamics of political accountability (including a book-length treatment on the U.S. Congress).