I am an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University’s Political Science Department and Data Science Institute. Before joining Vanderbilt, I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Pennylvania's DevLab@Penn.
I received my Ph.D. from the Departments of Political Science and Scientific Computing (Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering) and a dual M.S. in Statistics from the University of Michigan, where I was a Rackham Pre-doctoral Fellow and a graduate student associate with the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. I study international relations, comparative politics, and quantitative methods.
My research and teaching address various topics related to political violence and its long-run effects on political economy and development, with a special emphasis on the broader Eurasian region. My dissertation studies combat motivation in authoritarian regimes. Specifically, I examine why ordinary civilians support an autocrat’s war-making efforts in the aftermath of repression and marginalization and how wartime experiences affect repressed citizens’ post-conflict behavior. I develop a theory for how authoritarians repress in anticipation of international conflict, and I draw on original large-scale historical datasets constructed from archival materials to test the theory’s implications through an in-depth case study of the Russian Empire. I focus on World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the subsequent civil war by tracing the trajectory of individuals from diverse ethnic and religious groups across space and time.
My dissertation work is part of a larger substantive research agenda that seeks to understand the short- and long-run effects of political violence on the political and economic development of states. My methodological agenda is an extension of my substantive interests and is centered around the development of models and tools to ease the processing and linkage of large-scale data from multiple sources. I am passionate about synthesizing data science, history, and developmental economics with political science to better understand the drivers and outcomes of violence. My research has been published in the Journal of Peace Research. My published and working papers can be found on my research page and google scholar. You can access my CV here.
My work has received the Ronald H. Coase Best Dissertation Award from the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics, Pi Sigma Alpha Overall Conference Best Paper Award, Kellogg/Notre Dame Best Paper Award in Comparative Politics, Robert H. Durr Best Paper Award in Quantitative Methods, Best Paper in International Relations, Best Paper in Political Behavior awards from the Midwest Political Science Association, Dina Zinnes and Patricia Weitsman Best Paper awards from the International Studies Association, David Brian Robertson Best Paper Award from the History and Politics section of the American Political Science Association, and the Best Paper Award of the American Political Science Association's Democracy and Autocracy section.
My research has been supported by the Carnegie Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, Institute for Social Research, Center for the Education of Women, and several other centers at the University of Michigan. I was a 2016-2017 Marshall Weinberg Population, Development, and Climate Change Fellow at the Population Studies Center, 2015-2016 Emerging Democracy Fellow at the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, a 2016 Diversity and Diplomacy Fellow at the Humanity in Action, and a 2010 Black Sea Young Reformers Fellow of the German Marshall Fund and Robert Bosch Foundation.
I hold an MPA (2014) degree from Harvard University and an MA (2009) in International Relations from Seton Hall University, John Whitehead School of Diplomacy. I received my BA (2007) in International Relations and European Studies from the Azerbaijan University of Foreign Languages.