General Interests

My research explores how national history and other narratives about one's ingroup can structure modern political attitudes and behavior.  How do parties use narratives about the past, and what are their consequences? I mostly examine this question in the context of far right party politics in Europe and the United States. My dissertation project investigates the conditions under which authoritarian history can be used as an electoral obstacle or resource for the far right.  Additional and past projects have explored topics related to victimhood perceptions, far right electoral breakthrough, and multiple projects related to 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 working with large observational datasets in R and STATA, using multiple machine learning techniques in R, and designing and carrying out survey experiments.

Working Papers:

Aligning incentives? Party position change on immigration in the European 'Refugee Crisis'

Abstract: Do rapid changes in racial demography cause 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. This paper examines the question in the context of the European `Refugee Crisis.' Using basic OLS modeling and an instrumental variable (IV) strategy, findings suggest that high exposure to racial diversification at the national level causes a restrictive shift in party positions on immigration. This effect is driven by center right parties. The findings are explained through a series of conflicting or aligning incentives for parties when forced to confront an issue. To understand party system change, backlash, and reactions to crises, we must carefully parse the incentives that different parties encounter in response to environmental stimuli.

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.

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 parliament. 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 in Spanish formal institutions, the party system, and short-term contextual events created a favorable moment for a radical right party to emerge when it did. The thesis argues that it this 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.