Research

Current Research

Individual Research

Corruption, Reform, and Revolution. I examine how different types of corruption shape the onset of conflict and contentious politics. I pay particular attention to how elements of different types of corruption affect the strategic goals of conflict actors.

Trust & Mobilization. The role that social trust plays in shaping mobilization into contentious groups, as well as shaping ‘cultures of trust within those groups. In particular, I examine the role that trust can play in shaping collective action and bargaining in mining communities as well as rebuilding post-conflict societies.

Unity & Fragmentation. The processes by which African secessionist groups experience movement unity or suffer from fragmentation. Given how often secessionist movements in Africa fail, why have we observed an increasing number of secessionist groups over the past two decades?

Collaborative Research

Civil Resistance & Political Violence. With Brandon Ives and Jonathan Pinckney. This research focuses on topics like the emergence of non-strategic violence, the formation of alliances within civil resistance movements, and issues of temporality in contentious politics.

Methods

Geospatial analysis, which allows me to visualize and model the spatial impact of social incidents on one another, as well as to derive a stronger understanding of how geography drives political outcomes.

Quantitative analysis, including parametric and non-parametric statistical analysis in both frequentist and Bayesian approaches.

Experimental methods, which I find to be useful in deriving and testing initial suppositions about behaviors in response to certain stimuli. I see experiments as a crucial first step in testing whether we are asking the right questions.

Field research and interviews, which provide both exploratory and confirmatory information in the form of thick context and process-tracing.

Research Appointments

  1. Center for Open Data Enterprise. Washington, DC. (2018 – 2019)
  2. Global Integrity. Washington, DC. (2016 – 2018)
  3. Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. College Park, MD. (2015 – 2017)
  4. Uppsala University, Department of Peace Research. Uppsala, Sweden. One-Sided Violence Project (2015)
  5. University of Maryland. College Park, MD. w/ Mark Lichbach & Paul Huth (2013 – 2016)