I am an assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University. My research is motivated primarily by theoretical questions surrounding the assignment and consequences of cultural classifications. This focus is reflected in my research on legitimacy, which examines how legitimacy and illegitimacy are evaluated (for examples, see here and here), established (e.g., here and here), and invoked (e.g., here), and how these classifications affect socially significant outcomes (e.g., here, here, here, and here).

I explore these questions through the study of contentious politics, and in that context I am engaged in substantive research spanning sociology, international studies, and political science. For example, I have published research examining why armed conflicts recur, the social and contextual factors that influence counter-state organizations’ behaviors (also see here), and the unintended consequences of legal activism. One of my current projects examines why certain organizations are classified as terrorists, using newly collected data on media coverage of 1,229 extremist organizations across 592,335 news articles from 1970 through 2013. Another current project builds on my research on ethnic conflict in Turkey (for examples, see here and here) to examine how political ideologies influence ethnic mobilization in Turkey.

I am also interested in methodology. I use a variety of methods in my work, including historical research, comparative analysis, quantitative network analysis, and statistical analysis, and I am broadly interested in multi- and mixed-methods approaches to social research. These interests motivate work advancing new methods and approaches to measurement (representative publications are available here), including a book project co-authored with David Melamed and Ronald Breiger titled Regression Inside Out, which is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Please feel free to contact me for more information about my current research or classes.