Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
United States
American University
Insurgencies, civil war, state-building, state formation, political violence, post-conflict reconstruction, governance, secession
Media Contact

Personal Info

About Me

I am an Assistant Professor of Transnational and International Security at American University’s School of International Service. My book manuscript, Governing for Revolution, explains variation in rebel governance and incorporates both quantitative and qualitative methods, including the creation and analysis of an original dataset, elite interviews held in Lebanon, and archival research and fieldwork conducted in East Timor, Australia and the United Kingdom.

More broadly, my research agenda lies at the nexus of two distinct areas: civil war processes and state formation. In my research, I seek to integrate rebel governing strategies and their non-violent activities into existing explanations of conflict processes to develop a more complete understanding of the determinants of rebel success or failure, international recognition of secessionist movements, recruitment and attitudinal support for combatants, levels of violence and civilian victimization, rebel-civilian relations, and post-conflict reconstruction. I draw on both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, relying on original data collection, large-N statistical analyses, survey experiments, historical case comparisons, process tracing, interviews, archival research, and fieldwork.

Recent Publications

“Civil War as State-Making: Strategic Governance in Civil War” Forthcoming at International Organization.
*Honorable Mention: Best Paper Award (2016), APSA Conflict Processes Section


“Do Good Borders Make Good Rebels? Foreign Territorial Control and Civilian Casualties”. [with Yu-Ming Liou] Journal of Politics. (2017).


“Mass Protests and the Resource Curse: The Politics of Demobilization in Rentier Autocracies” [with Desha M. Girod and Meir R. Walters] Conflict Management and Peace Science (2016).

Media Coverage

“The Governance Nexus: Surveying the Research on Violent Extremism, Governance Failures, and the Quest for Political Legitimacy.” United States Institute of Peace: RESOLVE Network (2017).


“Trump’s plan for Syria safe zones could put civilians at even more risk.” Washington Post’s The Monkey Cage blog. 23 February 2017.


“What’s So New About the Islamic State’s Governance?” Project on Middle East Political Science, POMEPS Studies 9, October, 2014. Also featured in an October 7, 2014 post on the Monkey Cage.


Country Focus
East Timor, Eritrea, Lebanon

Research Areas

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