Research & Publications


    • Disrupted Governance: Legacies of Civil War and NGO Leader Behavior in Post-Conflict Côte d’Ivoire
      How does civil war affect democratic consolidation? Specifically, how do subnational disruptions in governance during civil war shape local NGO leaders’ behavior, attitudes, and beliefs after the conflict has ended? Although international development agencies have devoted considerable resources to strengthening civil society, little research considers how subnational power disruptions during civil war affect the strength of civil society over time. I argue that the most important explanatory variable driving civil society strength in post-conflict settings is whether a given territory experienced a disruption in governance from state to non-state actors during the civil war. Examining how legacies of rebel or government control persist can help us understand why some local organizations are less effective in bringing democracy and development to their localities. I develop a theory in which power disruptions evoke institutional instability for leaders of local organizations, while also affecting their behavioral and psychological responses to future democratic practice. To test this theory, this paper draws on a multi-methods approach, leveraging subnational variation in legacies of rebel governance, survey and lab-in-the-field experiments with civil society organization leaders, and a paired comparison of departments with varying levels of civil society strength in Western Côte d'Ivoire.

      Supported by: IIS Simpson Fellowship, Center for African Studies Rocca Fellowship, and UC Berkeley Mentored Fellowship


    • Legitimacy, Disenchantment and Democracy Promotion: Perceptions of Local NGOs in Post-Conflict Africa
      To what extent do citizen evaluations of the state transfer to those who are attempting to promote democracy in their society? Do populations in post-conflict, democratizing countries in Africa perceive local, democracy-promoting NGOs to be politically neutral? How do perceptions of such NGOs—which receive millions of dollars from international donors—affect citizen political behavior?

    • Civic Education in Violent Elections: Evidence from Côte d'Ivoire's 2015 Election, with Leonardo Arriola, Aila Matanock, Manuela Travaglianti. Pre-Analysis Plan.
      This paper examines whether democracy promotion programs such as civic education can affect citizens' attitudes toward democracy, elections, and even violence in countries where multi-party competition has been associated with violent instability.

    • Constitutional Referenda, Youth and Perceptions on Participatory Democracy: A Case Study of Côte d’Ivoire’s Reform, 2016
      This project examines citizen perceptions of their role in the participatory process of constitutional reform in post-conflict Côte d’Ivoire.

    • Encouraging Attitude Change towards LGBT Communities, Health Outcomes and Political Participation: Experimental Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire, with Matthew Thomann

    • Party Building and Politician Defection in Zambia, with Leonardo Arriola, Danny Choi, Lise Rakner, Ingvild Skage, and Melanie Thompson. Pre-Analysis Plan.
      We examine the party affiliation preferences of parliamentary candidates in Zambia. We find that candidates who are business owners with multiple organizational linkages are not only the most likely to be recruited by parties, but they are also the most likely to defect between parties. Despite such weak partisan attachments, we also find that candidates prefer to join strong national parties with developed organizational structures for leadership selection.

    • Conceptualizing Ivorian Citizenship in the Classroom: Human Rights Education as a Tool for Peace
      How is the concept of citizenship instilled in young students (primary and secondary levels) in post-conflict Côte d’Ivoire? What are the chief obstacles and opportunities in developing civic attitudes and using the curriculum as a reconciliation tool?

    • Presented at the Conference in Citizenship Studies at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, March 2015



    • “Democracy-Promotion in Côte d'Ivoire: Citizen Perceptions of Local NGOs” Africa Colloquium, UC Berkeley, 2017

    • “Civic Education in Violent Elections: Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire’s 2015 Election”, Results Dissemination Workshop, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 2016

    • “Party Building and Politician Defection in Zambia,” African Studies Association, Washington, DC, 2016

    • “Effects of Electoral Observation and Civic Education on Electoral Violence, Turnout, and Voting,” APSA, Philadelphia, PA 2016; MPSA, Chicago, IL, 2016; Electoral Violence Conference, Center on Politics of Development, Berkeley, CA, 2015

    • “Elite Messaging and NGOs: A Case Study of Democracy-Promotion in Côte d’Ivoire,” Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, 2016

    • “Contested Citizenship and Voting Rights: Findings from the Voter Registration Process in Côte d'Ivoire, 2015,” UC Human Rights Center, 2015

    • “Perceptions of Voter Education Programs before the 2015 Presidential Election, Côte d'Ivoire.” African Studies Association, San Diego, CA, 2015

    • “Conceptualizing Ivorian Citizenship in the Classroom: Human Rights Education as a Tool for Peace.” Conference in Citizenship Studies, Wayne State University, March 2015.

    • “Ideologies of Land and Place: Memories from Zimbabwe’s War of Liberation.” National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR), April 2008.

    • “Ideologies of Land and Place: Memories from Zimbabwe’s War of Liberation.” Student Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF) Elon University, April 2008.

    • “Assessing the International Appeal of Women’s Peace Organizations in the Casamance Conflict, Senegal.” State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium (SNCURCS), November 2007.

    • “Assessing the International Appeal of Women’s Peace Organizations in the Casamance Conflict, Senegal.” Student Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF) Elon University, April 2008