My research aims to understand how individuals make decisions when faced with the threat of political violence. In 2016-2017, I will be a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford, and a Non-Resident Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD). I received my PhD in political science with distinction in 2016 from Columbia University.
My dissertation and book project investigates how citizens make decisions about participation in pro-democracy dissent in autocratic regimes. I argue that emotions shape perceptions of risks and risk aversion, and can therefore be used by elites to mobilize or demobilize civilians. I test this theory in Zimbabwe using lab-in-the-field experiments with a total of 1,145 participants, a field experiment carried out with 929 supporters of an opposition party, more than 50 qualitative interviews, and a new historical dataset.
My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, United States Institute for Peace, and CEPR-DfID’s Public Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) initiative, and has been written up in the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog and the IPI Global Observatory. In addition to my dissertation research, I have ongoing collaborative research projects in Eastern Europe, Haiti, Kenya, Mexico, and the US.