My research focuses on political institutions, violence, and conflict. I have papers examining how police secure elections and the relationship between security sector engagement and election violence; the limits of trade linkage to improve human rights; and dynamics between coups, dissent, and human rights violations.
Substantively, my dissertation examines the politics of policing in multiethnic autocracies. Policing in autocracies is puzzling. On one hand, police in authoritarian regimes are the agents responsible for providing law and order as a public good. On the other hand, police are agents of repression employed by the regime to deter dissent. I examine this tensions by exploring the conditions when citizens cooperate with police and various ways police solicit information and cooperation from the communities they are policing.
Previous studies show individuals who share ethnicity are more likely to cooperate to provide public goods. In my book project, I examine: a) whether this co-ethnic cooperation extends to the provision of law and order (one of the most important public goods) and b) why co-ethnics cooperate with each other. For citizens, the ethnicity of security officers may influence their decisions to report crimes and to cooperate more generally because they believe that ethnicity influences officers’ willingness to help or their ability to effectively do their jobs. In autocracies, a third mechanism conditions individuals behavior toward the police. I argue citizens might not report to the police because they are concerned that any interaction with the police increases the possibility that they experience repression.
Methodologically, to answer these questions, my work uses diverse methods like cross-national comparisons, survey experiments, field research, and qualitative interviews. My research is funded by the Institute for Developing Nations and the Mellon PhD Interventions Project.
I was the 2017-2018 pre-doc Election Monitoring fellow with The Carter Center and Institute for Developing Nations. I also consulted as a project analyst for the Carter Center’s international election observation missions in Kenya 2017, Liberia 2017, and Nepal 2017.
In addition to research and consulting on election observation mission, I am passionate about teaching and pedagogy. At Emory University, I designed and taught Repression and Control under Dictatorships with Jennifer Gandhi in Spring 2017. Before coming to Emory I taught for two years as a lecturer for the Department of Political Science and the Fulbright College Program in International Relations at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where I received the Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Support Center’s New Faculty Commendation for Teaching Commitment. In addition to teaching at the University of Arkansas and Emory, I have taught courses in global diplomacy for the Summer College and Academy at Duke University and a seminar on American Politics at John Brown University.
My research and teaching interests stem from my international work. In 2004, I taught English in Zenica, Bosnia and partnered with local community leaders to rebuild homes for families displaced by the war. While there I had the opportunity to visit several cities that had been designated by the UN during the war as “safe areas” including Sarajevo, Gorazde, Bihac, and Srebrenica.
I started working in Uganda in 2007 partnering with local and international non-governmental organizations to provide aid to internally displaced persons. In 2009 funded by the McCaleb Initiative for Peace, I returned to Gulu, Uganda with my partner, Kaitlin to research the role religious leaders played in pursuing peace and justice in areas impacted by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Our work won two journalism awards from the Missouri College of Media Association.
When not researching or teaching I can be found rock climbing and kayaking with my boys and husky.
Political Science Department, Emory University, 1555 Dickey Drive, Tarbutton Hall, Atlanta, GA 30322