Investigating the role of leaders & bureaucracies in shaping security policy
I am an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Washington University in St. Louis beginning July 2019. I completed my PhD in Political Science at the University of Michigan in May 2019.
My research and teaching lie at the intersection of international relations, conflict, and behavioral approaches to politics. I specialize in the psychological causes and consequences of political violence for the mass public, elite decision-making in conflict contexts, and strategic adaptation in modern warfare.
In my research, I bridge rational and behavioral approaches to examine the micro-foundations of political conflict, identifying the systematic ways in which psychological processes impact cycles of war and political violence. Though I explore broad cross-national trends, I also have a regional expertise in the Middle East and Israel-Palestine.
My work is published or forthcoming at a number of journals, including Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Political Psychology, Public Opinion Quarterly, and European Psychologist. My book, The Polythink Syndrome (with Alex Mintz), was awarded the 2016 Alexander George Book Award by the International Society of Political Psychology for best book in the field of political psychology.
In my current book project, "Risk or Retribution: The Micro-foundations of State Responses to Terror," I examine how public perceptions of threat and desire for retribution shape and constrain policy-makers’ responses to terrorist violence. I show that the moral outrage of citizens to terrorism drives both militant group tactics and state counterterror policies. By constraining democratically elected leaders' policy options and encouraging them to strongly retaliate, public outrage can indirectly fuel an increasing reliance by militant groups on terrorism, as counterterror efforts limit their ability to execute more difficult guerrilla tactics.
University of Michigan
2013 - 2019
Doctoral Candidate in Political Science
MA in Political Science (2015)
Major: International Relations
Minors: Political Psychology &
2009 - 2010
Masters of Government
Magna Cum Laude
Diplomacy & Conflict Studies
University of Michigan
2005 - 2009
Bachelor of Arts
Majors: Political Science & History