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. It has been published or accepted for publication in the Annual Review of Political Science and the Journal of Peace Research, 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.