My research has centered on improving our understanding of the challenges under-represented groups face in democracies in the developing world and determining the effectiveness of measures designed to alleviate those challenges. Currently I am writing my dissertation on data gathered from Fulbright-funded fieldwork in Rajasthan, India, which examines the narratives of women brought into politics via the gender reservation system and the obstacles they face to substantively representing their constituents. Previous research includes: a qualitative analysis of temporary marriage and its contemporary use by couples outside the MENA region, a quantitative comparative analysis of the use of ethnicity by legislators targeting the personal vote, and a quantitative analysis of the effect of interpersonal trust on identity-based politics in India.
The goal of my dissertation is to examine institutional efforts in India to address the chronic under-representation of women in political power structures via gender reserved seats. From 2016-17, my local assistant and I interviewed 41 local municipal corporators in the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC), within which 33% of the seats are reserved for women. To gain a better understanding of the environment these politicians come from, we also interviewed 3 student union presidents, several journalists and a women’s right’s activist. My analysis is currently ongoing, but initial conclusions from these interviews show that descriptive representation does not necessarily lead to substantive representation in this case, with a lack of independence for women corporators the primary reason. Gender reserved seats have brought a significant number of new women into local politics, but a majority of these women are not entirely independent actors, as they have been brought into politics, and are currently guided by, critical male actors around them such as their husbands or fathers who are interested in exerting political power through these women. PUBLICATIONS
“Book review: Soviet Leaders and Intelligence: Assessing the American Adversary during the Cold War,” (2016) H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences
“Book review: Wronged by Empire: Post-Imperial Ideology and Foreign Policy in India and China,” (2015) Cooperation and Conflict
Fulbright-Nehru Scholar, US-India Education Fund, 2016-2017 Critical Language Scholarship (Hindi), US Department of State, Summer 2015 Walter Thompson Scholarship, University of Kansas, 2015, 2016 Bramlage Family Foundation Scholarship, University of Kansas, 2013 – 2014
Indian Politics, Electoral Representation of Underrepresented Groups, Voting Behavior in the Developing World, Ethnic Cleavages and Democracy, Human and Drug Trafficking, Quantitative Methods, Experimental Research CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS “Using Ethnicity to Target the Personal Vote: Assessing the Impact of Electoral Systems on Personal Appeals of Legislators.” Presented with Sarah Goudge and Ryan Daugherty at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Political Science Association
Panel Chair, Comparative Politics: Political Responses to Gender Violence, 2015 Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Political Science Association.
“Societal Trust and Identity-Based Politics in India.” Presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Political Science Association.