I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at UC Davis. I received my Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University and was a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford and the Center for Global Development (CGD) (non-resident). I am a member of Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP) and Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) and a Steering Committee member of the Future of Democracy Initiative at the UC IGCC.
I study political violence and collective action. My main research agenda is on election violence, including how it affects voter behavior and how elites strategize and organize violent elections. I began this research in Zimbabwe. I’m currently researching how contextual factors like party strength shape the causes and effects of election violence, and doing research with policy partners on how to prevent and mitigate its effects. My second research agenda is on collective action after violent crime. This work, based primarily in Mexico, tries to understand when citizens demand punitive responses to crimes and when they mobilize around vigilante action.
I also advance research methods in two areas. First, much of my work uses information and communication technology like WhatsApp to collect data from hard-to-reach populations and run field experiments. Examples of some of my research using WhatsApp can be found here and here. Second, I am working to develop new methods to make research in violent contexts better adhere to the principles of research ethics. Some of my preliminary methods work on research ethics can be found here.