Research Agenda

My research explores how national history and other narratives about one's ingroup can structure modern political attitudes and behavior.  How do individuals think about the past, how do parties use historical narratives in their campaigns, and how do these affect voting behavior or other political outcomes? I examine these questions in liberal democracies, with a specific focus on post-authoritarian democracies in Europe. My dissertation documents variation in authoritarian nostalgia, tests explanations for why nostalgia may change over time, and considers the consequences of these changes for democratic stability. Additional and past projects have explored topics related to victimhood perceptions, far right electoral breakthrough, and party strategies, communication, and positioning.

I use both quantitative and qualitative methods in my research. I have field experience interviewing political elites in Spain and doing archival work in Spain and Italy. I also have experience designing and carrying out surveys and survey experiments (in Spain, Israel, and the United States), working with large observational datasets, using multiple machine learning techniques to analyze data.

A copy of my CV can be found here.

In Progress:

Past Projects:

Populism and the Pandemic: France and the Rassemblement National

In a book chapter on populist reactions to the pandemic and cross-national report on social media communication, both co-authored with Marta Lorimer (LSE), we explore the rhetoric and actions Marine Le Pen and her Rassemblement National (RN) party throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic. In both pieces, we argue that Le Pen and the RN engaged in a careful strategy of balancing respectability and radicalization. The strategy fits well with the party's attempt to 'de-demonize' itself, a choice driven largely by incentives present in the French electoral system.

Turning right? Party position change on immigration in the European 'Refugee Crisis'

In a policy brief, I assess the whether and how differential levels of migration throughout the so-called European 'Refugee Crisis' induce parties to shift positions on immigration. While existing studies assess how party systems transform with long-term demographic shifts, little work explores the effect of short-term shocks to levels of diversity. Using basic OLS modeling and an instrumental variable (IV) strategy, findings suggest that higher exposure to racial diversification at the national level induced restrictive shifts in immigration positions only among center-right parties throughout the crisis. I make sense of these findings by considering incentives that parties when pressured to confront an issue.