Hello! I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Central European University in Budapest with the AUTHLIB project for the academic year 2023-2024. After that, I'll join the faculty at Mississippi State University as an Assistant Professor! I completed my Ph.D. in Political Science at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY).
My research interests include political economy, comparative democracy & autocracy, political parties, and data science methods. My current project examines the incentives that shape coalition building in backsliding democracies.
I scrape social media data to get leverage on the attitudes, networks, and behavior of political elites, which is especially useful in hard-to-observe settings such as authoritarian countries. I also draw on surveys, economic data, and fieldwork.
I find that authoritarian populists follow as much as lead. Political elites responsible for dismantling democratic institutions are often responding to the preferences of economic elites and a few select social groups based on shared identity. My work has been published in Party Politics, South European Society and Politics, and Nationalities Papers, as well as public-facing outlets including The Democracy Paradox and Foreign Policy in Focus.
I also study Middle East politics, broadly. I have spent years living, studying, and researching in the region, including in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. I speak Turkish at home and am advanced in Arabic.