I am a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Maryland. My research is at the intersection of Comparative Politics and International Relations, and I focus on ethnic politics, conflict, and nonviolence. I recently defended my dissertation and will have my degree conferred in May 2019. Currently, I hold a position as an Instructor of Political Science at Colorado Mesa University.
In my dissertation, "To Campaign, Protest, or Take up Arms: Ethnic Minority Strategies under the shadow of Ethnic Majority Fragmentation," I examine how fragmentation within ethnically mobilized groups that control the government (e.g., ethnic political majorities) impacts whether ethnopolitical minority organizations use electoral politics, nonviolence, or violence to achieve their strategic goals. Studies have shown that fragmentation within ethnic minority groups impacts the strategies that they use. I argue, however, that ethnically mobilized groups that control the government may be just as fragmented and competitive as the minorities over which they govern, and that fragmentation within these ethnic political majorities affects the strategic choices of ethnopolitical minority organizations.
The dissertation includes two original measures of majority fragmentation, one based on roll call voting data collected during fieldwork in Sri Lanka and the other based on ethnic party seat share, elite interviews conducted during fieldwork in Sri Lanka, and an original cross-national database on majority fragmentation across a global sample of countries.
I am also interested in what causes organizations to mobilize along ethnic, multi-ethnic, or non-ethnic lines, how mobilization strategies change over time, and what causes organizations within ethnically mobilized groups to cooperate with each other. My other research interests include electoral politics under authoritarianism and the determinants of state repression.
My research has been funded by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).
I work as the project coordinator of the All Minorities and Risk (AMAR) Project, which is housed at the University of Maryland's Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM).