Research Interests and Expertise

Ethnic Cabinet Appointments

  • Creating a comprehensive database of all cabinet appointees since 1967 throughout the world.
  • Interested in how country leaders respond to changes in ethnic group size within a country. Do leaders respond to the increasing power of an ethnic group by giving that group a cabinet seat or increasing cabinet representation?
  • Do ethnic groups confront country leaders and demand representation? Formal models suggest that the leader may try to establish a reputation for toughness and not give in to demands for ethnic cabinet appointments, but do leaders actually think in this way?
  • Finally, do citizens actually increase their approval of a non-coethnic country leader who appoints their co-ethnics to the cabinet? Or are leaders making ethnic cabinet appointments even though they do not increase their approval among non-coethnic citizens?

Newspapers as Collective Action Data

  • Do newspapers accurately report riot incidents? How does the sociological event history literature impact whether a newspaper decides to report a riot in a given area? Can we compare newspaper riot reports with reports from official sources or are both too biased to get any clear picture of riot prevalence?
  • In India, vernacular newspapers have much different reporting standards and marketing strategies than to English newspapers. Do these strategies impact reporting on riots? If so, are these differences in the tone and content of the coverage or do different language newspapers report different types of riots?
  • Can newspapers be used to study civil discourse? Under what conditions is a newspaper unbiased and reflective of the words, themes, and sentiment of the general public? What are the differences in civil discourse between autonomous regions and de facto states?


  • Do ethnic party bans increase terrorist attacks and riots?
  • Is Muslim radicalization a byproduct of low socioeconomic status or identity threat?
  • Are terrorist attacks responsive to electoral results?

Competitive Authoritarianism

  • When do leaders of competitive authoritarian countries choose to democratize their electoral systems? Does this democratization actual signal democratic reform or is it a pooling equilibrium?
  • When are valence issues important to voters in competitive authoritarian regimes?

Regional Autonomy

  • Do wealthy regions actively attempt to become more autonomous in order to keep resources for themselves?
  • What impact does tourism, particularly small regional airport infrastructure, have on regional government demands for decentralization?

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