Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, University of Redlands (2013-present)

Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (Germany), hosted by the Technische Universität-Dresden (2010-2014)

Director, Salzburg Semester of the University of Redlands/Bildungsverein der Universität von Redlands (2010-2012)

Director, Latin American Studies, University of Redlands (2008-2010)

I am Professor of and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Redlands, and former Director of Latin American Studies.  I received my Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and my B.A. in Sociology and Spanish at Macalester College.  I am a former Fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and Visiting Researcher at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City and the Politics program at the University of Edinburgh.  

As a Fellow of the AVH Stiftung (hosted by the Technical University of Dresden), I researched how political parties organize themselves differently across a country's territory - taking my earlier research interests in party organization and decision-making and placing them in a spatial context.  My work in eastern Germany, including interviews with party leaders, social movement leaders, and members of civic organizations as well as extensive archival research, grapples with the territorial differences in how parties organize in newly democratized spaces - drawing specifically on the experiences of the Christian Democratic Union across the states and counties of the former GDR.  (Please see Institut für Politikwissenschaft, TU-Dresden)

I was the Director of the University of Redlands' exchange program in Salzburg, Austria - a program with over fifty years of history introducing Redlands students to European history, politics, and culture through in-class studies and extensive group travel.  Our curriculum emphasized Austria's position at the crossroads of Europe, and included program-sponsored travel to Vienna and Budapest, through the Balkan peninsula, and across the former East Germany.  In all of those sites, our students encountered the legacies of the Habsburg Empire, the problems of multinational states, socialism's effect on people and place, and the politics of war and postwar reconstruction.  I remain very vested in the internationalization of undergraduate education, and worked with IES Abroad for several years to maintain excellence in their overseas programs.


My research examines how political parties build and maintain linkages with collective social actors, their members, and voters, with a special eye to how those relationships affect the quality of citizenship - both in my current Germany project and in my prior work.  In my book, Savage Democracy, I examine how the leaders of Mexico's Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) and Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) responded to the competitive pressures of democratization by transforming how they picked their candidates for public office, reworking their central party offices, and designing new ways of linking with organizations from Mexican civil society.   

Link to "Savage Democracy"

I have also published articles on Mexico's PAN in Party Politics and the Journal of Politics in Latin America, and on processes of candidate selection in Mexico and the United States, including articles in Party PoliticsJournal of Politics, International Studies Review, Election Law Journal and Estudios Mexicanos/Mexican Studies.  


In my classes I seek to cultivate students' curiosity about how the world works by encouraging inquiry-based projects that allow students to have agenda-setting power in the classroom.  My current teaching portfolio includes:

Introduction to American Politics
The Study of Politics
Latin American Politics and Development
European Politics and Development
Political Change
Parties and Elections
Territorial Politics: Mexico and the United States
Place and Power in Europe
Political Geography
Advanced Seminars in Comparative Politics
Capstone in Political Science    

For more information on my research, teaching, and service work, please contact me at or see my departmental page