I'm 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.
In my dissertation, "Strategies of Self-Determination: Conventional Politics, Nonviolence, and Violence under Ethnic Competition," I examine how competition within ethnic groups that control the government impacts whether ethnic minority organizations use conventional politics, nonviolence, or violence in their bids for self-determination. Studies have shown that fragmentation and competition within ethnic minority groups impacts the strategies that they use. I argue, however, that another set of actors are often just as fragmented - ethnic groups that control the government - and that competition within these ruling ethnic groups affects whether ethnic minority organizations pursue their strategic goals through conventional politics, nonviolence, or violence.
The dissertation includes an original cross-national database on fragmentation within ethnic groups that control the government and case study data collected through field work in Sri Lanka. The case study includes a database of legislative roll call voting in the Sri Lankan parliament that captures the effect of ethnic fragmentation in a novel way, as well as elite interviews.
I am also interested in what causes organizations to mobilize along ethnic, multi-ethnic, or non-ethnic lines, how mobilization strategies changes 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).