I focus on issues of corruption, conflict processes, and social movements in Africa. I am fascinated by the ways in which African citizens respond to rampant government corruption, particularly since it takes such a heavy toll on their lives. I look specifically at the ways that corruption drives contentious political action and violence, ranging from social movement activity to terrorism. I also write on the theoretical nature of corruption, and am working on a comparative construction of corruption.
- The intersection of pervasive political corruption and contentious political action
- The impact of government corruption on grievances, trust, and mobilization
- The role of identity politics in perceptions and reactions to corruption
- Developing a comparative construction/theory of corruption
In seeking to answer empirical questions, I gravitate toward two main methodological approaches:
- 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.
- Center for Open Data Enterprise (2018 – current)
- Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (2015 – 2017)
- Uppsala University, One-Sided Violence Project (2015)
- University of Maryland w/ Mark Lichbach & Paul Huth (2013 – 2016)