I am an associate professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to joining the faculty at Pitt, I received my Ph.D. from Yale University in 2008. My book and related article focus on the norms of electoral conduct: When, where and how does the international community respond to flawed or manipulated elections? How does this international involvement influence prospects for democratization, alternation in power and improved electoral conduct in the future? How do the efforts of regional organizations to defend democratic norms compare to those of the United States and the United Nations? The answers to these questions influence our understanding of how international norms and commitments are enforced, as well as the conditions under which commitments to democracy within international organizations are costly and credible.
In related work, I examine the unintended consequences of international election monitoring; the conditions under which elections lead to democratization; as well as the effects of electoral manipulation on party system development.
My work on formal international organizations considers how changes in the global economy are incentivizing the creation of south-south preferential trade agreements; as well as how organizations exercise membership conditionality by screening out countries that pose a high security risk.
My work on human rights considers the economic conditions under which international commitments can reduce repression. More recently, I build upon earlier research on women’s empowerment in majority-Muslim countries to explore the broader domestic and international incentives for the advancement of women’s rights in authoritarian regimes. This project will feature a new global dataset on the introduction of national legislation and policies related to women’s rights.
In 2015, I was awarded a Fulbright grant for research in Cyprus (January – July 2015), for a project that employs experimental methods to study how different types of interpersonal contact affect the attitudes that Greek- and Turkish-Cypriots hold about the other. The study will shed light on the microfoundations of building peace in longstanding frozen ethnic conflicts.