Research

At the core of my research is an interest in actors’ strategic decision-making in relation to formal institutions, and the democratic consequences of these decisions.

My first book Electoral Protest and Democracy in the Developing World (Cambridge University Press) examines how political elites work with and around electoral institutions to try to gain an advantage in the electoral arena.  Other early work has looked at how political elites might use electoral manipulation strategically (Comparative Political Studies), and how they make strategic decisions to pursue credit ratings (International Organization).

My recent work extends the book’s theoretical logic and uses survey experiments to examine citizen perceptions of elites’ strategic decisions in the electoral arena.  Based on data from the 2011 & 2012 CCES, I am looking at the ways that political parties, gender, and available voting technologies shape citizens’ perceptions of election fraud.  With the support of TESS I am expanding this work, to examine how political polarization might further shape perceptions of electoral integrity.

My future work turns these questions of elite strategies and citizen perceptions to the topic of political violence, with projects on ethnic politics and partisan violence, political assassination, and parliamentary brawls.

My research has also informed professional activities such as contributing my expertise to the World Politics Review; serving as guest editor for a special issue of the Election Law Journal; and participating in a workshop on election integrity as part of International IDEA’s Inter-Regional Dialogues on Democracy in Stockholm, Sweden.  In 2014 I delivered an Empire Series keynote lecture at the MPSA annual conference in Chicago.