My research focuses on the politics of armed conflict, conflict resolution, state-building and institutional change in fragile states. I bridge academic scholarship with engaged investigative and policy frameworks.
I am a postdoctoral Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy of International and Area Studies at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. In autumn 2019, I will begin as an Assistant Professor of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, where I will be at the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and a concurrent faculty at the Department of Political Science. I earned my Ph.D. in Political Science at Northwestern University in 2017. My research has been sponsored by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Dissertation Fellowship and the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award.
My work lies at the intersect of Comparative Politics and International Relations. I am interested in how armed groups engage with pre-existing political institutions of the states in which they organize, and how rebel-brokered changes are adopted into the post-conflict political order. I specialize in conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where I have spent three years over the course of doctoral field research, work with local universities, and consulting with the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Congo. This experience builds on seven months' field research in Kenya, focused on the politics of vigilante enforcement of informal housing rights in urban areas.
Too often, research in conflict settings and fragile states turns in to its own extractive industry. I aim for engaged scholarship that partners with African scholars and researchers to addresses issues of core concern for local communities. Building a knowledge base that incorporates feedback and dialogue with local researchers, journalists, and mamas in markets also uncovers surprising findings for seminal questions of political science. I do so through teaching at local universities in Congo and participation in Africa-based conferences such as the American Political Science Association Africa Workshop.