I am a PhD Candidate in the Government Department at Harvard University and a Graduate Student Associate of the Center for European Studies, Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and the Davis Center. You can find more information on my background in my CV.
My research focuses on voting and protest as two central forms of political participation and means for citizens to influence the state. I ask when and how do movements shape democratic politics? Under what conditions and why are activists elected to political offices? What opportunities do long-term changes to party systems in Europe create for movements and movement parties? How do citizens vote in new democracies and low-information and crisis environments? To answer these questions, I combine quantitative methods, including survey experiments and automated text analysis, with field and archival research. My work has appeared in Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Experimental Political Science, and Perspectives on Europe.
My dissertation offers a new framework for understanding the return of movement politics in contemporary Europe. I argue that movements gain importance in electoral politics by supplying political candidates who provide an alternative to a discredited elite. At times when disenchanted voters demand change, movement activists have a leadership advantage as skillful mobilizers of angry publics and a reputational advantage as authentic representatives of the people. However, these advantages decline over time as political competition stabilizes after the crisis. I focus on two moments, which opened opportunities for renewal of political elites in Poland and Spain: transition to democracy and the current political crisis within a democratic system. The dissertation draws on new data, including two survey experiments and original datasets on biographical information and electoral outcomes of political candidates.