About me

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I am an associate professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma. I received my Ph.D. from Yale University and was previously a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Cyprus. My book and related article focus on the enforcement of democratic electoral norms. I examine how and why the international community responds to flawed elections, and how does this influence prospects for democratization in autocratic and hybrid regimes.

In related work on elections, election monitoring and electoral integrity, I examine the unintended consequences of international election monitoring; the conditions under which elections lead to democratization in autocracies; the effects of electoral manipulation on party system development; and, more recently, the consequences of electoral misconduct for civil conflict.

My research on women’s rights builds upon my earlier work on women’s empowerment in majority-Muslim countries to explore the incentives for the advancement of women’s rights in authoritarian regimes. I examine how domestic autocratic institutions and international pressure shape incentives for autocrats to pursue gender equality reforms. This project features a new global dataset on the enactment of national legislation and policies related to women’s rights.

My work on formal international organizations examines the European Union’s external agreements to shed light on the economic conditions under which international commitments can reduce repression. In other work, I explore how changes in the global economy are incentivizing the creation of trade agreements among developing countries; as well as how international organizations exercise membership conditionality by screening out countries that pose a high security risk.

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 first article to emerge from this research employs experimental methods to explore the microfoundations of building peace in longstanding frozen conflicts.