Examining the strategic interaction between governments, terrorists & the populations they target

Unpacking the psychological foundations and consequences of violence & conflict

Studying the strategic dynamics of Israeli-Palestinian violence and its effects on political attitudes & public health

Exploring the changing dynamics of conflict in the modern era, including insurgency & cyber-warfare

Investigating the role of leaders & bureaucracies in shaping security policy

Researching how group attitudes shape political behavior & inter-group relationships


I am an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Washington University in St. Louis. I completed my PhD in Political Science at the University of Michigan. 


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 the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Global Security Studies, 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

PhD in Political Science (2019)
MA in Political Science (2015)
Major: International Relations
Minors: Political Psychology &

Political Methodology

IDC Herzliya

2009 - 2010

Masters of Government 

Magna Cum Laude

Diplomacy & Conflict Studies

University of Michigan

2005 - 2009

Bachelor of Arts

Highest Distinction
Majors: Political Science & History


281 Seigle Hall

One Brookings Drive

St. Louis, MO




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