I am a political scientist in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I do research in comparative politics, political economy, and formal political theory.
My current research is in two substantive areas: i) the politics of democratic transitions and consolidation and ii) the politics of authoritarian regimes. My work on these topics has been published as articles in several political science journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, the American Political Science Review, and the Journal of Politics, and as a book, The Politics of Authoritarian Rule.
In my research on democratic transitions and consolidation, I study why politicians comply with the outcomes of elections, why dissatisfaction with the performance of individual politicians in new democracies often turns into disillusionment with democracy as a political system, and how third-parties, especially election observers and electoral commissions, contribute to the integrity of the electoral process in new democracies. In my empirical work on these topics, I have applied new empirical methods (split-population models, hidden Markov models) to the study of democratic survival and consolidation. These articles can be found here; I am currently preparing a book manuscript on this topic.
My research on the politics of authoritarian regimes investigates institutions, leadership transitions, power-sharing, military interventions, and accountability in authoritarian regimes. I have also collected original data on leadership changes and the political organization of dictatorships. My articles on these topics are here; my book The Politics of Authoritarian Rule (2012, Cambridge University Press) can be found here.