Hannah M. Ridge

About Me

Welcome! I am a PhD candidate in Political Science at Duke University, specializing in comparative politics, religion in politics, and political methodology. In 2021, I will be a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Pozen Center for Human Rights at the University of Chicago.

My research primarily focuses on how citizens understand democracy, what makes them want democratization, and what makes them satisfied with the democracy they have. This includes their attitudes towards political institutions and their evaluations of their democratic institutions, like party systems. I also examine the role religion and religious law play in the state and the effect of state policies on religion on citizens' behavior. My teaching interests include theories of democracy, religion and politics, and the Middle Eastern/North Africa.

My dissertation project utilizes original surveys in Egypt and Morocco. It examines whether citizens conceive of democracy in economic or political terms and how this understanding impacts their interest in and to commitment an election-based regime. It also employs a conjoint experiment to identify the most valued element of a regime-structure, including political participation, economic deliverables, and official religion.

While at Duke, I was a Graduate Fellow with the Kenan Institute for Ethics (2019-2020), a Graduate Scholar with the Religions and Public Life program at the Kenan Institute for Ethics (2018-2020), and a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow (Arabic, Morocco) (Summer 2017). I also hold an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. While there, I was a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow (Persian/Arabic) (2014-2015) and completed an internship with the State Department at the US Embassy in Rabat, Morocco. My experience living and studying in Morocco motivated my research on Morocco, such as an empirical examination of religious legislation, and the depoliticization of Middle Eastern politics. My research has been published in Political Behavior, Party Politics, the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, and Religion, State and Society.