Hello and Welcome!


I am an Assistant Professor at American University's School of International Service. I am particularly interested in explaining variation in how changes to social, economic, and political hierarchies—especially across racial, gender, class, or religious/ethnic lines—are attempted and achieved, and how war or political violence is often the context or consequence of such endeavors. I explore questions related to this topic using quantitative, qualitative, and experimental methods.


My book, Governing for Revolution, explains why some rebel groups undertake complex and challenging projects to transform social orders by altering hierarchies of power during civil war. In the book, I incorporate both quantitative and qualitative methods, including the creation and analysis of an original dataset, elite interviews held in Lebanon, and archival research at nine sites across six countries. In 2016, my paper in International Organization, "Civil War as State-Building," received honorable mention for the Best Paper Award by APSA Conflict Processes Section, and presents findings from my dissertation, which was awarded the 2018 Walter Isard Best Dissertation Award by the Peace Science Society (International). My research has also been published at Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Conflict Management and Peace Science, and Research and Politics, and has been featured in the Washington Post, Political Violence at a Glance, and the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS).

The background pictures of my website are my own. Each page contains an image of a country that I visited and that also experienced a civil war at some point after 1945.

Peru, 2011.