I am an associate professor of comparative politics in the Department of Government at Harvard University, where I am also an affiliated faculty member at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Program on US-Japan Relations, and Institute for Quantitative Social Science.
My research interests cover a broad range of topics in comparative politics, comparative political economy, political behavior, and historical political development. A core substantive focus of my research and teaching is political representation in democracies, especially how institutions such as electoral systems affect voting behavior and the demographic backgrounds and behavior of political elites. I am also an expert on Japanese politics, and co-organize the Japanese Politics Online Seminar Series (JPOSS), in addition to co-editing the Japan Decides election series.
My first book, Dynasties and Democracy (Stanford University Press, 2018), introduces a comparative theory to explain the persistence of political dynasties in democracies, and why they are only now beginning to wane in Japan. The book examines the advantages that members of dynasties reap throughout their political careers—from candidate selection, to election, to promotion into higher offices—and provides lessons from Japan for other democracies around the world seeking to widen democratic representation beyond a limited number of elite families.
My research also appears in the American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Political Analysis, and many other journals and edited volumes. My CV gives a complete record of my research and professional activities. Current working papers are available here.
I earned my MA (2009) and PhD (2012) in political science from the University of California, San Diego, and my BA (2005) in political science and Italian from the University of California, Los Angeles. From 2012 to 2013, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University.