My research and teaching experiences coalesce around issues in comparative politics and African politics with specific focus on comparative political institutions, democratization, electoral integrity, gender and politics, and public opinion. My current research agenda focuses on how multiparty elections in electoral democracies and competitive autocracies shape popular evaluations of political legitimacy including, trust in the electoral process, satisfaction with democracy, and support for regime principles.
There are two main avenues of inquiry within this agenda. The first explores the design and performance of electoral management bodies (EMBs) in Africa with emphasis on how political elites and citizens respond strategically to the autonomy and capacity of EMBs. The second strand of my research examines the relationship between citizens’ campaign and electoral behavior and popular evaluations of political legitimacy. Specifically, I focus on how direct experiences with election management, electoral manipulation, and third-party actors as well as the outcomes of elections influence citizens’ evaluations of 1) election integrity, and 2) the performance of state and regime institutions.
I have experience conducting fieldwork and organizing surveys in several African countries and my published work has appeared in Electoral Studies, Governance, Journal of Modern African Studies, Political Research Quarterly, and Political Studies. I have also served as an advisor to several prominent democracy promotion and political development organizations including, Freedom House, International Foundation of Electoral Systems, and National Democratic Institute. I have also been fortunate to observe elections in Ghana (2008) and Nigeria (2011).
I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from Michigan State University, my B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Williams College, and spent my formative years at Campion College High School in Kingston, Jamaica.
For more information, please see my CV and feel free to contact me at any time.