Research

General Interests

I study political parties, party system change, and radical right parties, and the connection between memory and politics. I am particularly interested in studying these themes in European, American, and transnational settings. Central to my research are questions of continuity and change. Broadly speaking, my research hopes to address why some radical right parties succeed while other don't, the strategies that parties use to brand themselves and their competition, and how cross-national parties and party families relate to one another.

I employ both quantitative and qualitative methods. I have field experience interviewing regional politicians in Spain. I also have experience working with large datasets in R and Stata. I plan to continue to methodologically grow through ongoing coursework and practice.

My interests remain broad and I expect to update this page as my research agenda changes.

Ongoing Project:

Signal Issues: Why Radical Right Parties Strategically Invoke Issues that They Fail to Own

In this project, I find that radical right parties promote certain issues despite the fact that other parties are winning the votes of those most connected to such issues. For example, many radical right parties in Europe articulate overt religious messages, though Conservative and Christian Democratic parties continue to win religious voters. I argue that certain issues, like religion, are strategically used to signal commitment to other issues. Furthermore, not only do radical right parties seek to prove themselves as issue owners, but they also signal commitment and ownership to certain framesnamely, resistance and anti-political correctness frames.

Past Project:

Ending the Spanish Exception: Explaining the Rise of Vox

My undergraduate senior thesis in Government addresses the rise of a radical right party in Spain. In 2019, Voxa previously unrepresented party in the national parliamentbecame the third largest party in the Spanish congress. Drawing on both quantitative analysis and qualitative interviews conducted with regional party representatives in Spain, the thesis addresses the rise of Vox by discussing the various political opportunities that the party capitalized on. I argue that opportunities present at the formal institutional, party system, and immediate contextual levels created a favorable moment for a radical right party to emerge when it did. The thesis argues that it this a combination of opportunities that pushed Vox to break into the party marketplace. Perhaps most relevant to this emergence, the thesis argues, was its ownership over the issue of immigration. The thesis sought to add to the vast literature on radical right party emergence while focusing on a relatively new case.

The thesis can be found here.