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. I am also interested in methodology. As a comparative historical sociologist, I use a variety of methods in my work, 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).

Work In Progress

My ongoing work builds on and integrates these foci. I am currently writing a book (under contract with Cambridge University Press) with David Melamed and Ronald Breiger titled Regression Inside Out, which presents a novel approach to regression decomposition and details its applications.

Additionally, I currently conducting interviews with researchers who have conducted long-term fieldwork in Turkey. Combining interview data with historical research, this project explores both the causes and consequences of generalized suspicion, and how people navigate social interactions characterized by suspicion. Through these interviews, I am also exploring the processes and practices of ethnographic fieldwork in comparative perspective.