Research & CV
Image: Sunrise in Ruhengiri, Rwanda (August 2010)
My research is focused on the study of political and sexual violence, political parties, ethnic politics, and social movements and contentious politics. Methodologically, my work combines quantitative and qualitative data to uncover both broad patterns of violence and trace the causal mechanisms that generate conflict. I am also interested in the philosophy of the social sciences. I am currently completing a book manuscript that develops a theoretical and empirical account of the relationship between elites, political parties, and party-based violence. This research is based on a cross-regional comparison of Kenya and India with sub-national comparisons in the two countries.
A second long-term project seeks to understand the conditions under which social movement organizations (SMOs) and feminist groups succeed in mobilizing mass protests against incidents of sexual violence. What are the tactics that are most effective and when are SMOs less successful in galvanizing public demonstrations? Moreover, to what extent does mobilizing collective action depend on the extent of traditional and/or social media coverage that an incident receives and the nature of the violence itself (harassment vs. molestation vs. rape)? India and South Africa will be the two cases at the center of this research, and I will commence data-collection in India in January 2020.
Substantively, much of my work explores the processes that drive (and contain) different forms of political violence as well as the reactions—both in terms of collective action and approaches to reconstruction—that are adopted in their aftermath. To date, I have carried out in-country research on conflict and post-conflict reconstruction in Cambodia, Rwanda, Kenya, and India. I have also conducted policy analysis for the World Bank and the United Nations.